Batman #64 Review - Heroes in Crisis Revisited
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
The Price of Justice: Part 1 (Continued in Flash #64)
When I picked up Batman #64 I expected the continuation of Tom King's goofy ass "Nightmares" story arc. I was pleasantly surprised when I was given a break from that storyline but I was somewhat disappointed that this crossover with Flash ties directly into another flawed Tom King series, "Heroes in Crisis". I honestly forgot that this tie-in existed. My hope digging into it is that the event retroactively makes Heroes in Crisis better but I won't get my hopes up.
Before getting into the actual review I want to mention that the art is fantastic. Batman is portrayed as extremely capable next to the other Justice League members. This is done at multiple points in the issue, which is a huge difference between Joshua Williamson's take on Batman and what we've been getting from King. The Sean Gordan Murphy Variant cover is also beastly. I had to use it as the cover image because It's worth the price of the comic alone. I rarely say that with variants but seriously, damn!!!
The comic opens with the Justice League taking on Justice League versions of Amazo. I've never seen Amazo in a comic so I'm not sure what the threat level actually is but the League takes the robots down fairly quickly. During the encounter, Batman begins seeing distorted versions of the League and leaves abruptly. Flash chases after him and it is revealed that the two men have been working together investigating the murders at Sanctuary (Heroes in Crisis).
Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen seem to be a natural pairing and it's surprising that you don't see them team up all that often. Batman is regarded as the "Worlds Greatest Detective" while The Flash is a renowned Forensic Scientist. These are skill sets that overlap and a Batman-Flash series just waiting to happen down the line.
There is also a cool contrast established between Flash and Batman. Whereas Batman is all about the job at hand and secrecy. Flash takes the time to let the citizens see him in action which gives the people a chance to see their heroes. It's not stated in the comic but what visibility does is allow a connection between the characters. With Batman always dealing with misdirection and shadows it calls his motivations into question even amongst allies.
The standout moment in the issue happens when Batman tries to lie about his motivations for leaving the League after the Amazo fight and Flash immediately shuts him down for gaslighting and demands the truth, why? Barry Allen isn't an idiot and it's nice to see him portrayed as more than a goofball.
The comic concludes with the strong hint that the Sanctuary killer is actually Gotham Girl. If you've read Heroes in Crisis you know that this isn't the case but based on prior evidence and what was going on in 2019 she definitely had the skill set needed to kill those heroes.
This is a great start to this mini-series and honestly better than anything in Nightmares or Heroes in crisis. The downside is that King is on the main series for another 30+ issues and based on all of the information out there the run never gets better. It's pretty messed up but on a positive note the art is always amazing and diversions like "The Price" make it all worth it.