[Review] The Price is Paid in BATMAN #65

FIRST IMPRESSION

BATMAN #65 is enjoyable overall, with a compelling story for Gotham Girl and strong artwork from a technical standpoint. The narrative has its flaws, though, and the art can be a bit unfocused.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
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“If you could have any superpower, which one would you pick?” It’s a question people often ask as an ice breaker. You may also remember hearing it on the playground in elementary school. It raises two critical follow-up questions, though: Why would you choose that power, and what price would you pay for it? Batman #65 asks those questions.

The book continues the Batman/Flash crossover event The Price, which is also a Heroes in Crisis tie-in. Batman and Flash attempt to run down the batteries on Gotham Girl’s venom-powered undead fighters. Meanwhile Gotham Girl, her specific goals—if she has any at all—still kept ambiguous, plans her next attack against Central City.

The Writing

Batman #65 is more action-centered than the previous entry in the event, but the action is not as compelling as you would hope. For example, Barry describes Gotham Girl’s undead fighters as being like “an army of Supermen.” However, he and Bruce come up with a rather anticlimactic plan to handle the threat. Later, the duo go up against another attacker, only for the threat to fall apart in a few pages again.

The book’s more interesting aspects focus on exploring Gotham Girl. From the beginning, she saw herself as a support character to her brother. In this chapter, though, we see her striving to make up an origin story for herself and nail down a motivation. She invents herself in the same way a comic book writer would invent a character. And, by the book’s end, Gotham Girl takes an action propelling us forcefully toward the story’s conclusion.

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Williamson’s writing in Batman #65 is good overall, with strong dialogue that manages to be emotive without slipping into melodrama. However, the action feels like an afterthought, only serving as beats to hit simply as we move the plot along.

The Artwork

Guillem March returns to provide art in this issue. Much like in Batman #64, the artwork is great on a technical standpoint. However, the frantic action goes beyond dynamism, to the point that it’s almost a bit overwhelming. It can be hard to decipher the flow of the work, as panels can feel random and chaotically-placed, making it hard to focus on any one image at a time.

Tomeu Morey’s excellent color work is, once again, a high point of the art. His colors are painstakingly-detailed, and truly gorgeous.

Final Thoughts

The storytelling in Batman #65 isn’t quite as strong as Bruce’s previous chapter. However, it’s a solid installment in the four-part The Price storyline overall.

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David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.