Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Guillem March
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Steve Wands
Tom King takes a break from his active Batman duties and passes the torch to Joshua Williamson. Effectively this is a Flash takeover of the title (creatively), but Batman is not sidelined. The interesting part of this “fill-in” is that it strongly ties into King’s ideas with Gotham Girl and Sanctuary taking centre stage. Flash and Batman are using their detective skills together to find out what is wrong with Gotham Girl and what the greater threat behind the scene could be. As this is the penultimate issue of the crossover things hit the ground running and don’t stop for the entire comic.
Gotham Girl has successfully resurrected her brother, along with many other strange Gotham powered “clones.” She has been played as a hero in the past but in this crossover she has been completely unhinged, almost diabolical in nature. The story opens up with a re-telling/re-tooling of her origin. Adding another element to the larger DC story-line, is Flash trying to find out if Gotham Girl was at Sanctuary. As if this was the case, she could be the cause of deaths in Heroes in Crisis or explain her change in personality. Overall, this story is non-stop action. The Flash crossover plays well, as the pace of this comic is incredibly fast.
This is a strange comic. We have a fill in issue that acts as both essential and throw away. Everything is touched on, from Tom King’s legacy on the title to his massive event Heroes in Crisis. But without King penning the issue its hard to take anything too seriously. We know that Gotham Girl won’t be the main threat in Heroes in Crisis, and if anything really important was going to happen King would want control. If feels like a well written stop-gap that has the illusion of building on the larger narrative without doing anything to drastic. We know with issue #1 of Batman King has larger plans for Gotham Girl’s story-line and there is no way any revelations about Sanctuary will occur outside of Heroes in Crisis. With that aside though, this is a fun read. If you can just enjoy this crossover for what it is, a side story, it is one of the more well done ones. Josh Williamson has learned a lot from working on The Flash. In many ways this reads like a Flash comic more than a Batman one. Everything is constantly moving. The Gotham clones explode if you “burn them out” by making them overuse their powers. The pacing is so fast that I had to double back and re-read certain pages. As a change for Batman, it is an interesting one at least.
Guillem March is a fantastic artist. This issue is one of the best looking comics this week. His exaggerated cartooning style lends itself perfectly to the action in this book. There is absolutely nothing boring about looking at his art, and I am finding myself more and more a fan of his every time I come across him. From the re-telling of Gotham Girls origin to the kinetic energy of the action scenes, everything is perfectly drawn.