THE FLASH #65 is a must read if you’re at all interested in Barry Allen. It sets the stage for future issues of this book. It ends "The Price" in a fantastic but grim finale. Joshua Williamson is at the top of his game with this book. Rafa Sandoval has some beautiful double-page spreads in this book, as well.
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Dark But Essential

THE FLASH #65 finishes “The Price” with a downbeat, bummer finale. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book. No, I loved it, in fact. The plot itself was very dour. Gotham Girl attacks Central City this issue, and Batman and the Flash need to stop her. But even if they succeed, will their friendship survive this team-up?

Joshua Williamson bares Barry Allen’s heart and emotions this issue. We’ve seen in prior issues how he reacted to Wally West’s death, but in this issue, Barry admits just how hard it hit him. This issue changes the status quo of THE FLASH, and it seems like it’ll stay this way for a while. Rafa Sandoval captures the epic scale of Gotham Girl’s devastating attack in grim detail.

The Central City Disaster in THE FLASH #65

In this last installment of “The Price” storyline, Batman and Flash teamed up after Gotham Girl attacked the Flash Museum, luckily injuring no civilians. They tracked her down to a hideout on an island, where they learned that a mysterious benefactor was supplying her with Super Venom, which she used to power herself and try to resurrect her brother, Gotham. She let loose an army of undead Gotham clones while she raced to Central City to create devastation. In THE FLASH #65, both of the heroes arrive in the city and try to deal with the damage Gotham Girl already dealt. They save civilians and then turn their attention to Gotham Girl. Flash tries to talk her down and, while she’s speaking, the toxin from the Super Venom finally affects her and she passes out. Flash and Batman race over to try and revive her.

THE FLASH #65 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Thinking about his regrets of sending Wally to Sanctuary, Flash is able to supercharge Gotham Girl’s body with Speed Force lightning. She awakens and seems to have no recollection of her heel turn. Iris West emerges from the rubble and lashes out at Batman for letting Wally die. She expresses disappointment in Barry for helping Batman push yet another young hero to the brink, this time Gotham Girl. Flash leaves since he needs to get Gotham Girl medical attention. Later, at the Batcave, Flash and Batman discuss Gotham Girl. Flash becomes cynical, claiming that it was wrong for them to ever bring other people into the crime-fighting lifestyle. He claims that the old, optimistic Barry died with Wally. What’s Batman’s reaction to this? Will Barry change his mind? Pick up THE FLASH #65 to find out!

Emotionally Devastating Dialogue in THE FLASH #65

THE FLASH #65 is chock full of harrowing, depressing moments. First, Barry recounts his feelings when he first raced to Sanctuary to find Wally dead. Joshua Williamson fills this retelling with stirring emotional dialogue. Barry’s first thoughts about Wally’s death were that it was all his fault he was even at Sanctuary in the first place.

Barry keeps beating himself up over this, even though it wasn’t his fault that Wally’s children no longer exist. That’s what really brought him to Sanctuary, that grief. Williamson makes this tragic since he characterizes Barry as a man who puts too much blame on himself. He carries more grief than he should. It’s incredibly depressing, but I still love how Williamson writes Barry in grief. He beautifully captures what a selfless person feels like when something tragic happens to someone they love.

The darkest, most upsetting part of the issue for me, though, was when Barry said his optimistic side died along with Wally. Throughout REBIRTH, Barry has been a greatly optimistic character. Even if, deep down, he beat himself up over every last personal issue he had, he still would face most threats with a quip and a smile. That seemed to be because he was so happy Wally was finally back. He got back someone he never even realized he lost. That loss of hope and happiness is heartbreaking. Williamson finally has Barry admit, out loud, that he’s lost that side of him. That’s a huge step for the character, and I’m glad Williamson did that. Every time the series is in danger of becoming stale, Williamson adds in something new to reinvigorate the book. That’s especially true here.

Dark Art for a Dark Book

THE FLASH #65 features many scenes set in a rubble-filled warzone-looking Central City. Rafa Sandoval really portrays how devastating and ruthless Gotham Girl was in attacking the city. He also showed that, even though she created mayhem, she still thought of herself as a hero. As such, you don’t really see any death or injured people. However, that doesn’t mean that the city didn’t undergo massive damage.

THE FLASH #65 pages 2-3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The first double-page spread, where Flash and Batman try to evacuate all civilians in the line of danger, shows the magnitude of Gotham Girl’s attack. Toppled buildings lay in the background while the charred husks of other buildings sag sadly onto the ground. These buildings become unrecognizable hunks of fused metal, glass, and concrete. Various forms of debris surround Batman and Flash. It’s a grim scene, which fits right in with how dark the whole issue is.

Final Thoughts on THE FLASH #65

THE FLASH #65 is another knockout issue. Joshua Williamson is back at the top of his game. It’s a harrowing read, but it’s a must for any and all Flash fans.

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