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BATMAN #64 & FLASH #64

[ BATTLING BARGAINS
There once was a very cold case, which was difficult to fully embrace. But then, one night, to everyone’s, delight, two heroes firmly put the case in its place. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Joshua Williamson, Guillem March, Rafael Sandoval, and published by DC Comics in February, 2019.

TO QUOTE Steven Wright: 'I like to reminisce with people I don't know'.

THE REVIEW:
Now, if truth be told, there are two members of the Justice League who are having a tough time coping with the massacre at Sanctuary. Batman, is one of them, because he’s experiencing lucid visions of those who tragically passed away, whereas The Flash, is the other, because he still hasn’t come to terms with the death of Wally West.

So, with that said; how can they both resolve their problems and keep on keeping on? I mean, should they try to find the culprit? Or should they team-up and track down Claire Clover? Otherwise known as Gotham Girl! After all, she’s turned crazy, destroyed the Flash Museum, and is now planning to create an army of un-dead doppelgangers! Want to know more? Then please pick up issue 64 of Batman and The Flash today. In the meantime though, here, check this out...

Part One) NOT BED AND BREAKFAST:   Who would you say is your favorite character out of Batman and The Flash? Keeping in mind that they both have a vast and expansive legacy that has been reinterpreted many times throughout the years! Personally, I prefer Batman myself, although I do have a soft spot for Wally West’s version of The Scarlet Speedster. As for Barry, though, well, to me, he seems like a cool cat, more or less, and I'm starting to come to terms with who he is as a person since his reintroduction prior to the New 52.  But then again, that’s also part of the problem, perception! Or to be more specific about it, how I perceived him within the confines of this multi-part storyline, entitled, ‘The Price’.

Although, to be fair, I wasn’t too fond of Bruce's depiction either, simply because there was no obvious logic as to why the former was more upbeat than the latter! After all, Barry tragically lost his close, personal friend and successor, Wally West, during ‘Heroes in Crisis’, whereas Bruce mainly feels guilty for not finding Wally's killer!  So, thematically, it doesn’t make much sense as to why Bruce is more disturbed; and goes to show that sometimes it’s hard to define, understand, and crystallize a character’s persona when they keep on being reinterpreted by many different writers.

To me, Bruce has always been a stoic figure cut from the same Victorian cloth as Sherlock Holmes, while Barry, on the other hand, is more like a TV super-sleuth, like ColumboInspector Morse, or an agent from CSI whatever, due to the Dark Knight being flawed and infallible while the Fastest Man Alive is resourceful and methodical.

Well, let's face it, they're both detectives, very good detectives, with a wide array of sidekicks, alliesvillains, and obstacles under their respective utility belts. Besides, apart from being smart and resourceful superheroes, both Barry and Bruce complement each other rather than compete against each other, what with them being scarred with personal tragedies and continued hardships.

Out of curiosity, who do you think is the best detective out of the two?  My choice would most definitely be Batman (if his head was clear), although Barry would come in at a close second (if depicted properly).

Part Two) THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT:   That said, however, there is one notable difference between the two.  Namely, how they deal with and express their love and affection to their nearest and dearest. Barry, for instance, generally appears to be more than willing to acknowledge his feelings and doesn’t shy away from expressing them accordingly (as seen in that great scene between him, Bruce, and Iris). Whereas Bruce, on the other hand, seems slightly more apprehensive to show people how he feels deep, deep inside, despite genuinely caring about them (as seen in another great scene between him, Barry, Dick, and Wally).

As a matter of fact, while I’m on the topic of those flashback sequences, overall, I thought they gave this two-sided tale a light, almost melancholy tone, plus a substantial back-story to play off of. Heck, just take a look at that scene I just mentioned -- the one between the two heroes and their sidekicks (circa Batman #64) -- as it was a great scene full of nostalgiapersonality, and pathos, particularly since we now know how Dick and Wally turned out.  I can also say the same thing about another flashback sequence featured in the second chapter (Flash #64) -- the one where Barry reminisces about Wally designing his own costume -- which, likewise, brought a tear to my eye. 

In stark contrast to this, however, I wasn’t completely sold on Gotham Girl’s involvement. On the one hand, she seems like an interesting choice for a villain because of her previous history with both Batman and, quite possibly, Sanctuary.  Whereas, on the other, it hasn't been made clear how she's turned mad, who she's working for, and why she's doing what she's currently doing. In many ways her inclusion seems fairly forced, contrived even (just like the inclusion of Psycho Pirate's face-mask), because they both come across feeling like a frivolous link between this story, ‘Heroes In Crisis’, the previous Batman and Flash crossover, and whatever is going on with ‘Countdown’. 

Come to think of it, I wasn't that keen on the inclusion of the Justice League, Wally's dead body, and the destruction of the Flash Museum either! Up to a point they all served their purpose and felt like fairly logical additions (ish), but at the same time, they also felt fairly disposable as well, both as a cameo, a mutual introduction, or a common link to get the two main heroes together on the same page. Slightly morbid too, and overly dramatic.

That aside, though, altogether I have to say that this was a pretty decent read. Not only because I generally enjoyed Joshua Williamson's semi-evolving storyline (which had its moments), but in addition to this, I was also impressed with Guillem March and Rafael Sandoval's great artwork (which was nicely synergistic). Apart from that, well, let’s hope the best is yet to come. Fingers crossed.

THE MUSIC:
Now it’s pretty safe to say that certain parts of this crossover largely relies on people reminiscing or recollecting things that have happened in the past. So, with that in mind, here, please check out this month's musical match-up, 'Memories’, as sung by the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley.




THE COMPARISON:
Yes. That’s correct. I’m now going to compare these two issues with Holmes and Watson. If you want to know why, either click here or pick up these two issues today, wink-wink! 

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of issue 64 of The Flash, Gotham Girl jumps up into the sky and shouts out a well-known superhero catchphrase. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what she actually says? Could it be….

  • Shazam.
  • Flame On.
  • Hera, give me strength.
  • Hulk Smash. 
  • Up, up, and away.
  • It's clobberin' time.
  • I am vengeance. I am the night.
  • I am Groot.

Nuff said. 

BATMAN #64 & FLASH #64 BATMAN #64 & FLASH #64 Reviewed by David Lee Andrews on February 26, 2019 Rating: 5

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