The team-up with Batman continues, Barry Allen asks his old friend some tough questions and Bruce Wayne picks up some bad habits from his son.

The Flash 64
Written by Joshua Williamson
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
Colors by Tomeu Moray

Amazingly, I think this 4-part crossover, which is being written completely by Williamson while regular BATMAN writer Tom King takes a bit of a break, is a much more effective at telling a story of grief and fatigue over the loss of superhero friends than King’s HEROES IN CRISIS has.

The story, which is a tie-in to HEROES IN CRISIS, sees Batman and the Flash teaming up to hunt down former Bat-protege Gotham Girl, who Batman shut down after her brother died. Barry Allen still isn’t a big fan of Batman after Wally West’s death at Sanctuary, but Williamson goes to great pains to show that both of them realize what the other is going through. More importantly, they’re trying to work through those larger issues to find the missing powerhouse.

But that doesn’t mean Barry doesn’t get a little heated at his fellow Justice Leaguer.

The two most analytical members of the League end up getting played, lured to a secret hideout on a remote island where Gotham Girl has been doing some experimenting. Once her prey get caught in her lair, she releases several superpowered corpses who have been injected with super Venom – the source of Bane’s strength.

That’s not the best place to be for a couple of guys who aren’t invulnerable. But it’s a good cliffhanger for part 3, which comes out this coming Wednesday.

This is also the second book this week that takes a panel or two to humanize Bruce Wayne a little bit, after Mark Russell’s fun scenario in the first issue of WONDER TWINS.

Gone are the days when Batman was always superserious and would never crack a smile, let alone a comment like “no shit, Sherlock” (Though, obviously, they’re saving the actual line for a BLACK LABEL comic book). Fatherhood is clearly good for Bruce Wayne, though I imagine Damian picked the phrase up from one of his Teen Titan teammates.

Williamson has a good thing going with this crossover. Maybe a turn on Batman should be in the offing.