Things are heating up for Flash and Batman, finding out how far gone Claire Clover was from reality, after finding a mask from Sanctuary by a cryogenic pod it started to show the rift between the two heroes even more as Barry questions Bruce about if Gotham-Girl ever went to Sanctuary. After Gotham Girl bursts onto the scene with Super Venom Compound, she reveals to the Scarlet Speedster and the Caped Crusader that she will show them what it takes to be a ‘true hero’ by destroying CCPD! Just to make sure they cannot stop her, she unleashes the clone prototypes of Gotham to keep them busy. Will Flash get the answers he is seeking? Can the Dark Knight give Flash the answers and stop Gotham-Girl from destroying CCPD and herself?
Put on your utility belts and hang on tight, fellow heroes! Spoilers ahead!
We find ourselves in a memory, from the looks of it, looks like the beginning of a hero origin story; a dark night, a cute family heading down a dark alleyway in the city. Sounds familiar right? The crook points the gun at the family with one hand, while the other motioning to them to give the criminal what he demands. The girl yells out “NO!” punching the criminal, killing him instantly, the flashback is interrupted momentarily with Claire pointing out that it didn’t happen, she wasn’t there when the family was mugged but later finding out Batman saved her parents and brother, giving him a reason to become Gotham but leaving her without a origin story.
Meanwhile, back on the island, we find our heroes up to their necks with Gotham and Gotham-Girl clones, Batman yells out to Flash to hold nothing back since the clones are not alive while Barry declares that someone is helping Gotham-Girl commit these crimes such as the attack on The Flash Museum and now the soon to be attacked CCPD, but he points out too that Bruce never answered his question. Batman barely dodging an attack from a gigantic clone of Gotham, tells Flash that he swears that doesn’t know how she got the mask or her plan is, that they needed to focus on a plan of their own to get them out of this mess.
Batman quickly latched onto Flash, telling him that if the clones are in fact zombies of Gotham then the only way to defeat them is to get them to burn out their powers, So we find the speedster running at top speed stating that this was similar to the time when they found the Button in the Bat Cave and wondering who was sending them on a fool’s errand, and why? With the clones beginning to wither away and burn out, it becomes obvious that whoever did it wanted to take advantage of what happened at Sanctuary to make pit them against each other, stating that whoever is pulling the strings is not wanting the Caped Crusader and Scarlet Speedster working together.
With the clones defeated, the two heroes look on at the aftermath of their battle, realizing this was just a hollow victory they didn’t have time to figure out who were the test subjects for the Gotham Clones were and why they were experimented on. This is where the frustration and rift become even more apparent when Barry lashes out at Bruce, stating this mess was his fault and adding another mystery to the one they were currently working on. Batman tells Flash that he’ll deal with Gotham-Girl, while Flash gives him a cold response saying that he NEVER lets others fight for him and with that, the speedster was gone, leaving Bruce alone temporarily with the aftermath.
Later, in Central City at the Police Department, we find Iris looking at a photograph of Wally, Barry and her smiling, a happier time than what currently was since her nephew’s death. Even though his death wasn’t public knowledge, she was going to be the one who wrote his obituary; suddenly, Gotham-Girl bursts into the building! With a sadistic smile on her face, looking on at the people in the room and the damage she caused. Just then, Flash speeds onto the scene, telling Claire she should stop what she was doing and whoever put her up to this, to stop listening to them. Surprised that he arrived on the scene quickly, laughing and telling him that it wasn’t very heroic to leave Batman all by himself.
The surprise appearance of Gotham catches Barry off his guard, a fight immediately while Batman races to Central City to save Flash, pushing the machine to its limit while Bruce says “He isn’t going to have Two Flashes dying on his hands.” With Hank was about to finish Flash off, he begins to die again, the serum his sister gave him quickly wearing off and with it Gotham’s life. With watching her brother die a second time, she was prepared to take Flash’s life for payback; Batman finally arrives on the scene, trying to talk her down. The talks go nowhere as Claire takes the same dose of serum she gave her brother, amping her power up one last time with the hopes of taking the two heroes down with her!
- The emotional impact of this story is phenomenal, the emotions between Flash and Batman are genuine, the real deal fitting the characters well, with Bruce trying to make amends and Barry not accepting it too well. The pain of losing Wally is too real, things will not go back to normal if that even happens will we find something out about all of this?
- Another stellar story by Joshua Williamson, the script is superb. It makes me sad to know that this crossover is almost reaching its climax, while the artwork and colors are outstanding.
- Is Bane really behind this scheme? Or is it someone who has access to Bane’s Venom. Hopefully, we find out next time in the conclusion of this cross-over.