This month, we're kicking things off by really pushing the city limits a bit for the Gotham Gazette and looking into the Batman/Flash crossover event happening right now through February. It's called “The Price” and there's a whole bunch to unpack, even if it's not strictly speaking a Bat-Family centric story.
This isn't the first time Barry and Bruce have had to team up in the Rebirth Era. If you remember back to last year's similar four-issue crossover, “The Button,” they had to band together to try and solve a mystery that directly called back to DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1—a mystery they weren't able to completely solve. “The Price” picks up a few of those threads, but don't worry if you're not totally up to speed on the earlier crossover, it’s well worth a read and now is available in a handy dandy collection, but you don't need to have read it to understand what's happening right here and now.
You might, however, want to catch up on HEROES IN CRISIS before you pick “The Price” up, which kicked off earlier this month in BATMAN #64. Just a suggestion! (By the way, did you know I’ve been breaking down each new issue of Heroes in Crisis in a second, equally fantastic column right here on DCComics.com? Just putting that out there…in case you weren’t aware.)
“The Price,” like “The Button,” is another mystery, which is pretty convenient considering Bruce and Barry are arguably two of the best detectives in the DC Universe. Unfortunately, however, when cases require the attention of both of them, those cases tend to be pretty high stakes and not very easy, which is exactly what's going on now. I won't get into too many spoilers here, but you might see the return of a familiar face from the earlier issues of Tom King’s BATMAN, so keep an eye out and don't worry, you literally cannot miss them in this story so you won't have to look too hard.
I'm just gonna casually recall BATMAN: I AM GOTHAM right here, right now, for no particular reason…
Also, don't worry if “The Price” really gets you excited about slightly non-sequitur Batman team-ups. If that’s the case, this month's Batman 100-Page Giant installment has got a story for you. These can be a little tricky to get, so keep an eye on your local Walmart, where they're exclusively available—and for clarity's sake, it's BATMAN GIANT #8 that you're looking for. This month, Bruce teams up with none other than Hal Jordan to continue his hunt for Vandal Savage and the mysterious egg artifact he's been chasing all across the galaxy.
Of course, this is far from the first time Hal and Bruce have worked together—they typically serve on the Justice League with one another after all—but they tend to, uh, not get along, which isn't great for them, but wonderful for us as readers. They're doing pretty okay in this particular issue, but if you want to check out some of my favorite Bruce and Hal mix-ups, I'd direct you to GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH (the first one, not the more recent one from the Rebirth DCU…yeah, I know, I find that confusing too) and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #1 from 2007, which features maybe my favorite Hal and Bruce team-up moment of all time.
And since we're talking team-ups this week, it'd be a shame for me to not call out DETECTIVE COMICS #998 where Batman has been meeting up with all sorts of familiar faces, some a bit more welcome than others. This time it's Etrigan (and Etrigan's human half, Jason Blood) who gets to play, which is an absolute delight. Bruce and Jason have a bit of a friendly rivalry going on for occult detective work, something you might remember from his occasional cameo in various animated cartoons like Justice League and Batman: Brave and the Bold.
And yes, that IS Detective #998. That means we're only two issues away from DETECTIVE COMICS #1000, which you definitely don't need me to explain how big of a deal that is. I'm not sure I'm emotionally prepared for it, but you’d better believe we’ll be talking about it here once it’s out!
Meg Downey covers movies, TV and comics for DCComics.com, and writes two monthly columns for the site, "Gotham Gazette" and "Relationship Roundup." You can follow her on Twitter at @rustypolished.