Writer Joshua Williamson has taken over the latest installments of THE FLASH and BATMAN as he presents a team-up between the two characters that dives into a mystery that was first introduced at the beginning of the DC Rebirth launch. The mystery? Gotham Girl is back with plans of reanimating her dead brother, Hank. So in BATMAN #65, Batman and Flash continue their mission against Gotham Girl as new secrets rise to the surface.

BATMAN #65 teems with potential, just as its predecessors did. However, it appears as though the arc has struggled to depict Gotham Girl as a villain capable enough to carry themselves as a primary antagonist. As a result, the narrative of BATMAN #65 comes across as insubstantial as it falls short in bringing forth significant developments.

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BATMAN 65 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Dead Who Rise

So, as aforementioned, Batman and Flash have teamed up to take down Gotham Girl. However, their alliance has been marred as Flash comes to the conclusion that Batman is keeping secrets from him. This arc from Williamson is one of the first to actually refer to the events of HEROES IN CRISIS and its impact on the characters involved, which is undoubtedly one of the best aspects of this arc. We witnessed Flash grieving Wally’s death.

We witness Batman express anger towards himself due to the fact that he has still not figured out who is responsible for the massacre at Sanctuary. Thus, this issue continues the allusions to HEROES IN CRISIS as Flash grills Batman on whether or not Gotham Girl was a part of Sanctuary too. Batman never gives him a definitive answer, which only emphasizes the ambiguity of this issue. We come to discover Gotham Girl has been working with a mysterious ally, who has been assisting her in her efforts to revive Hank. Interestingly enough, Gotham Girl succeeds in her efforts.

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BATMAN #65 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Verdict

Yes, Hank’s revival would seem to be a significant development in this arc. However, he dies again as quickly as he is resurrected when he overexerts himself through the usage of his abilities. Consequently, Gotham Girl finds herself heartbroken and unleashes every ounce of power she maintains within her upon Batman and Flash.

So overall, BATMAN #65 feels like a static installment. Though there are a handful of revelations from the resurrection of Gotham Girl’s brother to Flash and Batman’s debate about Sanctuary, there are no definitive developments that truly make an impact on this issue. As a result, BATMAN #65 falls flat. The lack of distinct plot development and characterization weakens Gotham Girl as a formidable villain. So, though the arc had initially previewed quite a bit of potential, there has been a little pay-off to follow through on that taste.

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BATMAN #65 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #65

Unfortunately, the artwork is another negative aspect of BATMAN #65. Most of the fast-paced sequences or action sequences appear to lack a tether. This aspect is quite apparent in the sequence where Flash runs with Batman on his back. The details in the background lack definition as they get lost in the chaos of Flash’s speed. Additionally, the sequence where Hank meets his death once more is not as poignant as one would think it to be.

It is difficult to decipher exactly what is taking place within Hank’s body as it implodes upon itself. Also, Hank’s own facial expression comes across almost in a comical manner. So, overall, the imagery of this issue is undoubtedly disappointing. I ultimately hope it maintains more cohesion as we solidify each and every panel.

What Lies Beyond

The arc featuring Batman and Flash’s latest mission is approaching its conclusion. With this, it will be interesting to see how this storyline wraps up when it feels as though it has only begun. There are a plethora of loose ends that will most likely not be addressed in the events of this arc. Most likely, the consequences of HEROES IN CRISIS will continue to trickle through the DC Universe. Thus, I do look forward to the conclusion of this story with the hopes that Gotham Girl will obtain the characterization she deserves.

BATMAN #65 by Joshua Williamson, Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, & Steve Wands
BATMAN #65 shares the faults its predecessors maintained as it gives hints of a worthy arc but ultimately falls short of establishing a well-rounded narrative and villain.
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