THE FLASH #64 continues "The Price" with a superb issue. The dramatic moments where Barry remembers Wally really stand out, thanks to Joshua Williamson’s terrific plotting and dialogue. Rafa Sandoval is a master at drawing THE FLASH.
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A Superb Team-Up

THE FLASH #64 continues the crossover between BATMAN and THE FLASH. This crossover, entitled “The Price,” sees the two Justice Leaguers teaming up in order to solve a mystery stemming from the near-destruction of the Flash Museum. In this issue, Flash and Batman deduce where the assailant, Gotham Girl, is hiding. They act friendly enough with each other, but there’s still resentment and regret bubbling under the surface after the events of HEROES IN CRISIS.

Joshua Williamson delivers a superb team-up issue with some fantastic dialogue between Batman and Flash, along with some tragic moments whenever Barry remembers Wally. Artist Rafa Sandoval’s interpretation of the Flash in motion, once again, looks incredible.

Modern Day Holmes and Watson in THE FLASH #64

In recent issues of THE FLASH and HEROES IN CRISIS, Wally West was sent to Sanctuary, a mental health facility for superheroes. There, he was seemingly killed, along with countless other heroes. Barry didn’t take the news lightly and partly blamed Batman for this, since he was one of the masterminds of Sanctuary, along with Superman and Wonder Woman.

In BATMAN #64, Batman and the Flash reluctantly teamed up in order to track down Gotham Girl, who’s been causing destruction at random sites, the most recent of which was the Flash Museum. In THE FLASH #64, Barry deduces where Gotham Girl is hiding out, after finding a leaf that traces to a Caribbean island. Both heroes decide to pool their efforts and track her down together.

THE FLASH #64 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

At the island, the duo quip and act friendly, but they can’t shake the elephant in the room: Wally’s death. They find an abandoned castle, where they encounter a room filled with drawings and cutouts of superheroes. Batman deduces that it’s Gotham Girl’s room. Barry is reminded of Wally when he sees a crude drawing of Gotham Girl’s costume. He starts becoming less friendly with Batman. They then stumble into a room with a dark secret. What’s in the room? What is Gotham Girl planning? And how does this all tie into Sanctuary? Read THE FLASH #64 to find out.

Pain Under the Surface in THE FLASH #64

Joshua Williamson, much like in THE FLASH ANNUAL #2, does a superb job of writing a character in grief with THE FLASH #64. Both the Flash and Batman show different types of grief this issue. Batman shows remorse and regret, along with a tinge of guilt, for not doing more to solve Wally’s murder yet. He even says that every time he sees Barry, he thinks of Wally. Williamson brilliantly shows the normally infallible Batman feel partly responsible for Wally’s death. He’s no stranger to this situation, having lost Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, and Tim Drake in the line of battle as well. Much like them, Wally was, essentially, in his care while at Sanctuary. With just a few short lines of dialogue, the frequently terse vigilante shows his emotions. I love what Williamson did here. It adds another layer to the HEROES IN CRISIS story.

Meanwhile, Barry’s grief is much less subtle. It’s hiding there, right under the surface, ready to bubble up at any moment. Just the mere sight of a crude costume concept reminds him of Wally’s early days as Kid Flash. That’s enough to completely remove Barry’s veneer of the calm, collected, quippy hero. Instead, he lets loose on Batman for not following an obvious thread in Gotham Girl’s origin. It was only a matter of time before Barry blew up at Bruce. Williamson does a fantastic job whenever he writes the Flash in pain and sorrow. It’s not a fun sight to see, but it sure does make for a well-written, dramatic comic.

Incredible Artwork

Rafa Sandoval returns to THE FLASH in style. In THE FLASH #64, he draws a full-page spread of Barry racing Batman over the water. At this point in the story, Barry’s trying to temporarily forget about Wally in order to stick to the case. In doing so, he attempts to stay his normally jocular self around Batman. His playful smirk shows how he’s enjoying this temporary reprieve from pain and suffering.

THE FLASH #64 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Aside from the emotional aspect of this page, Sandoval also stupendously draws the Flash mid-race. The lines of motion, the crackling lightning energy emanating from his chest and the waves rippling around the Flash show just how fast he’s moving. Sandoval is one of the best artists, recently, at portraying the Flash in motion. That’s a major part of the character. He needs to look fast, and he sure does on this page.

Final Thoughts: THE FLASH #64

THE FLASH #64 is a very enjoyable issue. It has some fantastic dramatic moments, along with some great characterization moments between the Flash and Batman. So far, “The Price” is a success!

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