DCAU #354: ...Recognized, in Flashes, and with Glory...

IN THIS ONE... Batman and the Flash team up to stop a teenage hacker.

CREDITS: Written by Scott Peterson; art by Tim Levins and Terry Beatty.

REVIEW: Even discounting the Adventures in the DC Universe series, the Flash has been in the DCAU (in a Superman episode) and is definitely fair game for a team-up with Batman & Robin. It's still unusual, and that's part of its charm. It's the chance to see a bright, super-powered hero slumming it in Gotham City, and Peterson uses it to contrast different heroes' methods.

Batman is all about being SMART. He knows his turf. He knows the people. He's quick to assess situations and choose the best possible solution to every situation, and the one with the least possibility of collateral damage. Flash is all about SPEED, and so is portrayed as a hot-headed, impulsive character who's go-to is his power set. He DOESN'T evaluate situations, he goes for the most obvious solution as pertains to his superspeed. And Batman throws that in his face at every possible opportunity, pointing out how solutions to problems are simpler and safer than the ones the Flash routinely adopts, essentially treating him as another teen hero he has to school (so definitely Wally West). That doesn't make for the best team-up dynamic - Batman is too smug and rigid for that - but his hardass attitude can be fun, and Robin empathizing with Wally takes the sting out of it. And the Bat does throw him a bone at the end; a single compliment is a big thing coming from him, but no smiles on either side. It's a gloomy way to finish what is otherwise a fun romp.

The whole hacker story on which it hangs is okay, not stellar. We vaguely follow clues, and the antagonist's motivation is wishy-washy, if realistic. Like the Flash, she wasn't thinking, just doing. Best of intentions, sprinkled with a love of thrills, making a recipe for possible disaster. Personally, I think the police officer's epilepsy that might be triggered by the hacker's harmless virus is convenient in the extreme and should just have been a bluff on Batman's part. Would change nothing to the scenario - both Flash and the hacker would have reacted the same - but it would have been more believable and would have proven Batman's cleverness even more.
REREADABILITY: Medium - Ultimately a little deflating. The tone's off. But the team-up is worthy and quite readable.

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