Batman’s guilt runs two-fold in Joshua Williamson’s four-part “The Price” storyline. In part two Batman and Flash aren’t big fans of each other thanks to Wally West getting killed due to Sanctuary (a rehabilitation center partly made by Batman in Heroes in Crisis). Batman isn’t much a fan of himself either, taking the blame. Then we learn Gotham Girl, another failure of Batman’s, is back and rubbing all this guilt in Batman’s face. In part three this week, can Batman get over it?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
A cold case from the Justice League’s past has mysteriously re-opened, and Batman and the Flash–the only two heroes who stand a chance of cracking the case–are at each other’s throats! Our heroes must combat a demon from the past while burying their own inner demons in the process…and neither the World’s Greatest Detective nor the Fastest Man Alive will ever be the same again! But who is really pulling the strings here? And how does Gotham Girl fit into all this? Friendships will be tested and blood will be spilled in this titanic crossover event…
Why does this matter?
This issue progresses Gotham Girl’s plan — or failure to enact a plan, to be more precise — while Batman and Flash may be realizing it’s all a trap. They are annoyed, emotional, and possibly getting manipulated. Get your heads in the game, guys!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you like action you’ll love the opening part of this issue. Flash and Batman vs. zombie superheroes, who ya got? It’s rendered very well by Guillem March and colorist Tomeu Morey in an epic double-page spread with Flash zipping about and Batman kicking butt. Later there’s also an excellent scene with Flash taking on a villain that’s basically Superman. It does not go well.
This issue manages tension quite well too, setting up the fact that Batman and Flash may be onto what’s really going on while having them rush to save Gotham Girl. The book opens with a full flashback of Gotham Girl’s past with a twist that adds not only to her lunacy but also to her sympathetic story.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
If you’ve come for answers you have come to the wrong place. This issue is basically comprised of some arbitrary fight scenes and a hint at resolution. It’s confusing in a few ways, too — is Gotham Girl sympathetic or a true villain? I know she’s a bit crazy, but so far there’s been absolutely nothing shown to make her the good guy in this story. How she’s rendered is also a bit limited due to her basically being a cliched, unhinged character. Add in an odd panel with Batman losing it emotionally (seemingly shouting out of nowhere) and I’m at a loss for what this issue is trying to accomplish. There’s a clever tie into the title of the series, but the issue ends on a completely uninteresting note due to a lack of context. What are we seeing? Why should we care? At this point, I’m excited for the conclusion since it’ll have to bring some kind of answer to the table.
Is it good?
Some good action and some hints at a resolution are good, but I was left wanting. There’s also some erratic behavior by a few characters that throws the whole thing off. Read it to so you’ll understand the conclusion next week, but don’t expect much.