There’s new evidence that Gotham Girl was a patient at Sanctuary, which makes a suspect for the murders there, particularly now that she’s emerging as a villain.
Her status as a villain is being clarified in this month’s “The Price” crossover between The Flash and Batman titles, written by Joshua Williamson. According to this week’s The Flash #64, Bane promised Gotham Girl that her brother Hank will be resurrected if she does what Bane wants.
She also seems to be driven by a sense of revenge against Batman for “abandoning” her after her brother’s death, so she’s making things challenging for Batman and the Flash.
Her attacks are coming at a trying time for the two heroes, as they’re already feeling animosity toward each other because of the yet-unsolved murders at Sanctuary, particularly the death of Wally West.
This week’s The Flash #64, by Williamson and penciller Rafa Sandoval, is the second part of “The Price,” with last week’s Batman #64 having kicked the story off. The story continues next in Batman #65 and continues in The Flash #65.
Let’s take a look at all the revelations and find out more.
In the previous issue of the crossover, it was revealed that Gotham Girl (Claire Clover) was keeping her brother Gotham (Hank) alive by pumping Venom into him. (Hank had died some time ago in Batman.)
As this issue begins, Hank’s not looking so good. In fact, he’s weakly saying to his sister: “Help me.”
This alarms Claire, who turns to a dark figure behind her and says, “You said we could help him. Help us be heroes together again.”
The figure looks like Bane, with glowing red eyes and oversized muscles, but he’s in shadow, holding a vial of Venom in his hand and watching Claire cuddle her brother.
(Not only is this probably Bane because of his appearance and the Venom he holds, but also because Gotham Girl was shown standing among the villains serving Bane at the end of Batman #50. So it’s established that she’s in league with him.)
Claire says to the figure that after the death of her brother, “you were there. You listened to me.” So the implication is that Gotham Girl was immediately approached by Bane, or he already knew her.
Gotham Girl remembers her brother longingly. “That’s why I’d do anything for him, why I’ll be the greatest hero of all time.”
So yeah, she’s coming across a little crazy.
Back at the Flash Museum, which Gotham Girl attacked last issue, Barry Allen finds a clue that points him toward a remote island in the Caribbean. Despite Batman and Flash feeling some animosity toward each other because of Wally West’s death in Heroes in Crisis, they decide to investigate together.
They find a mysterious, giant castle on the island, and when they go inside on of its rooms, they find hundreds of photos on the walls, as well as logos and action figures, some of which are maimed.
“I’ve seen things like this before, this level of obsession,” Barry says, comparing the discovery to the way Eobard Thawne once obsessed over the Flash.
“No, Claire wasn’t insane like Thawne,” Batman replies. “She was confused.”
Barry starts to confront Batman about his mentorship of Gotham and Gotham Girl. How much did he know them? Who designed their costumes? Did Batman never think maybe someone was pulling the strings when they suddenly appeared?
In the next room, Batman and Flash find technology that is being used to keep dead people alive in giant glass tubes. Bruce ways it’s Wayne Tech, Mr. Freeze’s cryogenics, and some tech he doesn’t recognize.
Barry runs a quick analysis of the chemicals and discovers that it’s mostly Venom.
“This is a trap,” Batman says.
Gotham Girl, Murder Suspect?
Barry finds something else: One of the masks from Sanctuary.
“Did Gotham Girl ever go to Sanctuary?” Barry asks.
Batman doesn’t answer.
After they argue a bit, Gotham Girl shows up, carrying the vial of Venom that the shadowy-suspected-Bane was carrying earlier.
After a scuffle, Claire is able to use the vial of Venom to activate the people in the tubes. The zombie-like figures are wearing costumes like Gotham and Gotham Girl wear.
Claire’s dialogue indicates she’s not happy with the way she was treated by Batman.
“So when I was offered a deal … destroy the Flash Museum and get resources to create my own partners, it was hard to turn down,” she says. “Now these prototypes are hungry to prove their worth. Finally, you’ll feel what it’s like to be abandoned.”
Barry reminds Gotham Girl that if she uses her powers, she’ll die. Why is she continuing to be a hero?
“Isn’t it better to burn bright and explode then just fade away? Every action I take is to save a life. My sacrifice is all worth it,” she says. “Central City PD will learn that next.”
Claire leaves Flash and Batman surrounded by the attacking Venom-juiced Gotham-people, flying off to do whatever dirty deed she’s planning at Central City PD.
A teaser at the end of The Flash #64 says, “Next: Who is Gotham Girl?!” So it’s probable that readers will learn the secret history of how Claire and her brother got their costumes and powers, whether Gotham Girl really did visit Sanctuary, and what motivated Claire to team up with Bane and go after Batman and the Flash.