SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Flash #65 by Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Terragona, Tomeu Morey and Steve Wands, on sale now.
Joshua Williamson and Rafa Sandoval's The Flash #65 concludes "The Price," the four-issue Flash/Batman crossover. The damage stemming from Gotham Girl's return has been contained, except for that done to Batman and Flash's friendship. Facing a divide along ideological lines regarding their younger partners, the trust between the two heroes has now been broken.
Has a DC Hero Broken Bad?
That distrust becomes apparent in the issue's two-page epilog, which takes place is noted as taking place in the near future. The scene opens with Batman surrounded by a wall of monitors, each depicting a different hero from the DC Universe – The Flash among them. Batman disputes the number of times the world's heroes have saved the multiverse with an unseen figure, revealed to be Superman on the final page. The crux of the discussion, though, is far more earthbound, but far-reaching, nonetheless.
Batman cites an unmentioned individual who "could have gotten to any of them" and "turned them," in reference to the heroes displayed all around him. Superman and Batman discuss their covert investigation, and the extreme caution needed involving others. Superman believes The Flash can be trusted, but Batman doesn't look as though he necessarily feels the same way.
The teaser blurb at the end of the sequence promises a deepening mystery in the upcoming "Year of the Villain," with the epilog offering up some possibilities as to the event's context. While DC has stated the stories in Justice League, The Batman Who Laughs and Action Comics will lead into the storyline, this two-page epilog offers some clues as to the context.
Batman's implication, and Superman's discretion, indicates that there's a traitor somewhere in the DC Universe, and maybe even the Justice League itself. But the implication doesn't necessarily mean that one of DC's heroes has gone bad – Batman's suspicions actually imply that if a traitor does exist, someone got ahold of them via a form of manipulation. And that someone would logically and most likely be a villain.
And Who Might Be Behind It?
Not just a villain, but one that Batman claims to know better than Superman, so it's likely one of the Dark Knight's manipulative foes – Bane, Mad Hatter, or maybe Psycho Pirate – has turned one of the heroes against the rest of the DCU. Based on his implied distrust of The Flash, perhaps Batman thinks Barry Allen has been affected.
"We need to investigate everyone who hasn't acted like themselves the last few months," Batman tells Superman. Given that the epilog takes place in the near future, that's still plenty of time for any of DC's heroes to start acting up. Batman may have seen The Flash's lack of hope and optimism in the wake of Wally West's death, though – referenced in the issue's main story – as uncharacteristic. Whatever happens in the coming months, The Flash might already be on Batman's radar.
Of course, there are other heroes who have been acting plenty strange of late. Few have been more off-kilter than Booster Gold, who's been seemingly broken and distant in both Batman and the current Heroes in Crisis storyline. J'onn J'onzz oddly seemed to be prodding Superman to take over the world in Superman #1, which was met with an awkward, uncomfortable response from The Man of Steel. Others may begin behaving differently in the coming weeks prior to official start of "DC's Year of the Villain."
There's plenty more lead-in before any potential traitor is revealed. DC's Year of the Villain #1 officially kicks off the event on May 1.