The Flash #65 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Rafa Sandoval, Penciller; Jordi Tarragona, Inker; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: No Resolution Here
Ray: So far, I’ve been a bigger fan of the spin-off arc “The Price of Justice” than I have been of parent event Heroes in Crisis. That reverses with Flash #65, which brings the story home and doesn’t feel like it accomplishes much beyond making the DCU a sadder place. When we last left off, Gotham Girl had taken the Super-Venom given to her by a mysterious benefactor (Maybe Bane? Maybe not?). It supercharged her abilities and turned her into a massive threat to the entire city – but also sped up her cellular destruction. As Flash tries to save all the civilians in the path of her rampage, Batman desperately tries to get through to her and stop her from killing herself and countless others. She eventually collapses, on the brink of death, and Flash is the only one able to revive her by giving her CPR at super-speed. They plan to take her and put her in stasis while she heals, but they’re not the only ones watching this fight – Iris West is there, and she’s not happy.
Iris’ role in this story has sort of been in the background, but it’s all been building to her confrontation with Batman here. I can’t say I disagree with much of what she’s saying – the whole Sanctuary plotline has been a complete disaster and yet another example of Batman’s overreaching arrogance just like Brother Eye. But I’m getting a bit tired of the trope of the civilian woman slapping the shocked superhero. The events at the end of the issue were what really put me off this storyline. The confrontation between Batman and Flash, which has been simmering since the first issue, was inevitable but it hinges on Bruce saying something incredibly cruel and senseless that nearly pushes Barry into beating him to oblivion. It’s hard to see how they come back from this. Iris leaving Barry, unable to handle the pain that his life as a superhero has caused everyone around him, doesn’t feel illogical but also feels like a huge step back from the great relationship Williamson built. Just an overall disappointing and depressing storyline.
Corrina: Well, that was all very depressing and somewhat pointless.
DC is back to the days of heroes who aren’t allowed to be happy or have relationships because it’s too dangerous and because what they do is too high a sacrifice and they’ll just never do anything that creates any joy for them.
Superheroes are a genre that relies on hope. Without hope, it’s just a depressing mash of people beating on each other. Sure, they need to struggle and make mistakes–that’s the stuff of good story conflict–but lately, DC seems to have taken the editorial direction of “Okay, let’s do the ‘Born Again’ saga except for this time, we’ll stay in the middle for, like…a year? And there’s probably gonna be no good resolution or triumphant conclusion.”
Why do I say it’ll be stuck for like a year or more? Apparently, the year of the villain is coming. To which I say, um, aren’t we already here? Gotham Girl seems like she’s making out much better by hanging out in her liquid limbo.
Will Iris ever come back to Barry? Will Barry and Bruce ever be friends again? I’ve no idea and, likely worse, I’ve lost any reason to care about the answer.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.