Batman (2016-) #65
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Guillem March
Gotham Girl’s slowly declining sanity is becoming a bigger danger to our heroes but will they be able to resolve their own conflict in time or will Central City have to suffer the ramifications?? It’s part three of the Batman/Flash crossover special “The Price of Vengeance”!
Now I did NOT do a review of part two which featured in The Flash #64, to give a quick summary of events: Batman and Flash investigate the crime scene at the Flash Museum, only to discover particles which lead them to an island out in the Caribbean, only to discover a mysterious castle, containing Gotham Girl hero obsessed wallpaper and tubes and tubes of zombified, venom-pumped bodies of other Gotham and Gotham Girl experiments. But the nightmare continues when Barry finds one fo the Sanctuary masks, which sparks back up the conflict between these heroes. Right when things begin kicking off, Gotham Girl returns, trapping our heroes with the horde of zombie ‘Gothamites’ as she flees, disillusioned, to attack her next target: Central City PD.
Whew, all caught up? Great.
What Williamson seems to be doing each issue is the perspective from a different character, with this issue focusing on Gotham Girl, and her messed up psyche. Williamson really knows how to delve into the crazy and how Claire (Gotham Girl) genuinely believes she is the hero of the story, seeing no wrong in what she is doing. But unlike Batman’s other insane villains, you can’t but feel sorry her. She is so totally messed up, she’s sympathetic and you just want her to stop before she genuinely does more damage to those around her and herself. I’m really glad they brought back this character and they seem to be fleshing her out a little bit more. Now by fleshing out, I do mean just tapping into how messed up her mind has gotten and how she is further pushing her limits to breaking point. I really did like the characters King invented and I am glad to see them come back, I was a little disappointed more focus wasn’t on them during KIng’s run after they were such a huge focus during the ‘I am trilogy’.
Williamson really brings the action and conflict tenfold this issue, with Batman and Flash struggling to fight off the Gotham and Gotham Girl zombie experiments, all the while they are pitted against each other over the haunted memories of Sanctuary. You can really feel the tension build and explode and honestly, both of them are fairly in character when doing so. I was worried they would dance around or make the conflict weak like they’ve been doing in Heroes In Crisis, but I’m glad to see Barry put Bruce in his place. Williamson knows how to write characters pretty well and conflict even better.
Guillem March supplies the art again for this issue and it is superb. March brings the characters to life and really projects energy into each of the fight scenes, making the issue a page turner and really nailing the tension. But the biggest credit is how March draws Gotham Girl in this issue. WOW-WEE does she look insane. Just going by her ‘flashback’ moment and her arrival to the CCPD, her mad eyes do nothing but terrify me. You really feel unsafe at how deranged she is but also worrying that she thinks she is in the RIGHT. Some great stuff overall.
With next week wrapping up this mini tie-in crossover lollapalooza in the Flash #65, I cannot wait to see the conclusion to this mini-arc. And can we please get more Batman/Flash team-ups with Williamson behind the wheel? He really gets these characters and both this and the Button have been enjoyable. (They have also been bigger highlights than the events they’re tied to. Yes that includes you Doomsday Clock….until you actually finish that is) Be sure to check this arc out before we return to the….urgh….’Knightmares’ arc in Batman. It’s a fun, tension-filled team up with our two detectives. Enjoy!