Joshua Williamson’s tie-in to Heroes in Crisis wraps up today and the title of this story arc is “The Price of Justice.” The story aims to get to the core of a hero’s guilt and reaction to a loss while also reminding them of their responsibilities at the moment. Gotham Girl is out of control and only Batman and Flash can stop her.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“THE PRICE OF JUSTICE” part four! The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe take on the one cold case that will tear them apart!
As chief architect of the Sanctuary program that cost so much for so many, especially Wally West, Batman will be held accountable…by the Flash!
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?
Rafa Sandoval is the artist closing out this four-part story which is a very good thing. As the last part in the story, we are bound to get answers, which is a big selling point in a mystery that’s been very light on them.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue does three things very well. It gives Flash a heroic, last-ditch effort to save a life using his powers in a unique way. It has Batman and Flash get some strong opinions of each other off their chest. Finally, it has a letter from Iris to Barry Allen that is equally touching and tragic. All three of these tie into the “price” part of the story arc title and take a realistic approach in its depiction of the solitary life of a hero.
The big takeaway many will enjoy from this issue is Batman and Flash finally saying how they feel about each other. It’s not pretty. They are fired up, emotional, and unsure how to act, so of course coming to blows is going to happen. This confrontation bleeds into an epilogue scene that is cryptic, but should have fans talking about where this all goes from here.
Sandoval draws a great issue with the aid of Jordi Tarragona on inks and Tomeu Morey on colors. There’s an incredible double page spread close up of Batman and Flash that’s not to be missed, as well as an excellent splashy double page layout after the first page. In an example of texturing, Sandoval draws a scene in the Bat-cave opening with well-rendered bats clinging to cave walls in the foreground which makes the panel pop nicely.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This story hinted at and teased answers, but never delivered. That’s clearly the master plan, but it’s hard to get much from this story beyond it reintroducing Gotham Girl into the bigger narrative and setting up a new mystery to solve. Who was manipulating Gotham Girl remains a mystery and that’s unfortunate since this mysterious figure was used to drive your interest. To make matters worse it’s still unclear why Gotham Girl was being manipulated at all or why the Flash Museum was attacked.
It doesn’t help matters that Gotham Girl’s actions require no repercussions since it uses the trope of the hero not being in control of their actions.
Is it good?
Great art and two big superhero fights makes this quite entertaining. There’s also a heartfelt message worth a look delving into the solitary life of a superhero. Unfortunately, though there aren’t many answers in a story arc that teased many questions.