The Price of the Dead
Review for Batman (2016) 64-B

Comic Book by DC, Apr 01 2019
     
 
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thebat1204
February 13, 2019

The Price of the Dead

At the present time, Batman is trapped by Bane and his allies in a machine pumping him full of Scarecrow’s fear toxin. However, before the Knightmare arc started, Batman had another issue to deal with: the killings at Sanctuary. While he would never admit it, the events at Sanctuary have been haunting the Dark Knight. Visions of the dead follow Batman, even into battle. So what can Batman do? Luckily, Batman isn’t the only detective in the Justice League. In order to solve the mystery, the World’s Greatest Detective must team up with the fastest. Can Batman and Flash solve the mystery? Or will their fate be no better than those lost at Sanctuary? And what about the mysterious new threat waiting to literally rip their worlds apart?

(Spoilers Incoming)

The very first thing we see when we open the issue is Batman about to preform an autopsy on Wally West. As he prepares to cut Wally open, he loses his nerve and walks out of the morgue. The issue then cuts to the Justice League battling Amazo and his android version of the League. As the battle rages, Batman looks over at Superman, but he only sees Commander Steel. Not only is he seeing a fallen hero, but as he reaches in his utility belt, he realizes that he never restocked it. Without his gear, he uses the utility belt itself as a weapon against one of the androids. As Batman attempts to rip the robot’s head off, he sees flashes of the field around Sanctuary. As the rest of the League defeats their android duplicates, they mention that they haven’t had a chance to rest at all in weeks. When they turn to speak with Batman, he’s already gone. Almost immediately after, Flash speeds away without a word. Wonder Woman then reveals that the two of them were trying to solve the murders but ended up running out of leads and hitting a wall. Between Flash’s anger and sadness and Batman’s guilt, the two of them don’t know what to do.

At the Flash Museum in Central City, countless families gather to walk around and celebrate their hero, as they would any other day. Or at least, that was their plan before someone started tearing through the museum like paper. As the people scatter, a father and his daughter are about to be crushed by a falling statue. As they prepare for the end, Batman saves them at the last second. He moves them out of harms way, then angrily makes his way up the stairs and into the museum. As he walks through, he sees a picture of Wally with two children he rescued and gets another mental flash of the hero’s dead body. When he hears someone behind him, Batman immediately throws two Batarangs at them, only for them to be caught. They were caught by the Flash, who proceeds to do everything he can to make the people outside the museum feel comfortable and safe. As he does this, all Batman can see once again is Wally doing the exact same thing. When Flash tells Batman that he can take it from here, Batman replies, “Two sets of eyes are better than one. We can tackle this case together. Like the old days.” We then get a flashback from years ago, when Dick Grayson was still Robin and Wally was still Kid Flash. After a fight with Solomon Grundy, Batman tells Flash that maybe letting Wally and Dick fight someone as dangerous as Grundy was a bad idea. Flash replies, “Like they don’t get into trouble on their own. And besides…Look at how much fun they’re having.”

Back in the present, Batman tells Flash that he knew about the museum attack as the result of an alarm in the Batwing going off. Flash replies, “You and I have too many mysteries as it is…We can’t afford your lies anymore…So you’re going to tell me how you knew. Right now.” Batman tells Flash that he’s been so caught up in Sanctuary and the fight with Bane that he’s been slipping. He missed a few small attacks in Gotham that began to quickly escalate into something worse. He knows who the culprit is, however: Claire Clover aka Gotham Girl (see Tom King’s first Batman arc in Rebirth). Flash says that he remembers Gotham Girl and her brother Hank aka Gotham. He also remembers that Bruce wanted to help turn them into heroes, but Hank died, and Claire was driven insane by Psycho Pirate. Unfortunately, Batman has yet to discover why she has been causing these attacks, leaving the two heroes with another mystery to solve. Elsewhere, Claire is seen talking to someone. She mentions that the Flash is now a part of her scheme, and that “This is the heroic thing to do.” She then says, “No one, not Batman or the Flash will stop me from being a hero. Especially if it means saving you, brother.” The final page reveals that Claire has her brother hooked up to a machine that seems to be pumping Bane’s Venom into his long-dead body.

Another day, another mystery for the top detectives of the Justice League. The last time we saw Gotham Girl was with Bane after he ruined Batman’s wedding to Catwoman. But before that, Bane was trying to kidnap her. When did he gain access to her? Why is she causing seemingly random chaos, now in two different cities? I would say that I’m sure Bane has something to do with it, but considering Hank is seen hooked up to a device pumping Bane’s signature drug into his dead body, it’s obvious this is just another one of Bane’s games. But why target the Flash? With this four-part crossover being told in both Batman and the Flash’s solo titles, the answers to this mystery, and maybe even to the deaths at Sanctuary, will be coming our way very soon.

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