Batman and the Flash team up once again, but the two best detectives on the Justice League are no longer seeing eye-to-eye.

Batman 64
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils and Inks by Guillem March
Colors by Tomeu Morey

The first part of a four-issue crossover between BATMAN and THE FLASH harkens back to the first time the two books had an intertwined story, not long after the REBIRTH era kicked off. But circumstances have changed considerably since THE BUTTON, and the two heroes are no longer willing partners.

With the events of HEROES IN CRISIS ongoing, and the death of Wally West still fresh in his mind, Barry Allen clearly isn’t Bruce Wayne’s biggest fan right now. Honestly, it’s always nice to see one of Batman’s peers tell him to take a hike instead of giving in to his superiority complex. And Barry has every reason to mad at his fellow detective. Batman was one of the creators of Sanctuary, the rehab home for heroes out in the midwest where Wally was killed.

And Batman isn’t at his best at this point, either. As we’ve seen in the previous three issues of BATMAN (which take place after this story, according to the editor’s note – continuity can be headache-inducing sometimes), he has some added trauma to deal with beyond the deaths of a whole bunch of heroes who needed someone who understood what they were going through.

But Tom King’s story takes a bit of a break here, and King is also taking a two-issue break from writing duties, as THE FLASH writer Joshua Williamson takes over. So it makes a little bit of sense why this feels like more of a Flash story with Batman guest-starring rather than the reverse. The paces that King has put Batman through, though, are a big part of this issue, as Gotham Girl returns and attacks the Flash Museum.

Why would she do that? Well, she is a bit crazy, and she was among the group of villains who gathered around Bane at the end of BATMAN 50. Her main reasoning for the stunt – and the assorted other attacks she’s accused of here – are for a very specific purpose.

I wonder if Batman ever recommended that Gotham Girl spend some time at Sanctuary. She probably could have used some of that help.

The crossover continues this coming Wednesday, in the next issue of THE FLASH. I’m not sure if this story will live up to THE BUTTON, which was supposed to tie in to the Dr. Manhattan mystery in DOOMSDAY CLOCK. Though I’m not sure that story lived up to its own hype. Maybe we can just start a new tradition that The Flash and Batman have a crossover whenever a big new story is launching!