Warning Spoilers Ahead!
Published By: DC Comics
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter
The next chapter in the DC Universe Rebirth Saga has finally come to a close. Did The Button meet expectations, or was it not quite fast enough to make the cut?
To do a brief recap of the third part of the event Bruce & Barry ended up in the Flashpoint timeline where Bruce got to have a short heart to heart with his father Thomas Wayne before they were attacked by the Amazonian and Atlantien forces, during the fight they world begins to vanish and Bruce and Barry are forced to head back into the speed force where they encounter Thawne before he dies with the mysterious button in hand.
Part four of the story picks up where part three left off with Batman & Flash following Thawne through the speedforce via the cosmic treadmill while a mysterious voice narrates. Thawne boasts that after he gets the power of the being behind the time/space manipulations he will go back and mess-up Barry’s childhood even more laughing at all the sadistic things he has planned. However once Thawne finally arrives at the edge and faces the mysterious entity his bravado quickly becomes fear as he begs for his life and is destroyed by the mysterious force. The ripples cause Barry & Bruce to be flung off the Cosmic treadmill but Flash finally here’s the voice that has been calling him and says Jay Garrick’s name which allows Jay to temporarily break free from the Speedforce and help get Flash and Batman safely back to the Batcave . Barry attempts to stabilize him the way he had before with Wally but he fails and Jay is pulled back into the Speedforce. Barry says he must not have been the right person that he wasn’t Jay’s lightning rod. The issue ends with the button floating in space and Superman’s shield shown front and center in one of the panels.
In terms of story The Button does move the overall narrative of Rebirth forward, however at the end of the day it does feel a bit more like a mean tease more so than anything else. The book does concrete that we will eventually get teams like the JSA and Legion of Superheroes back and does do some things that will most likely have some long lasting effects on the characters, such as the Death of Eobard Thawne The Reverse Flash, and Bruce having a heart to heart with his father Thomas making him doubt his purpose for being Batman. Otherwise the story just seems to be a set-up for this Fall’s Doomsday Clock storyline. On the Brightside however Howard Porter’s art is just as great as ever and his Jay Garrick is a nice mix of the traditional and the John Wessley Shipp version we see on TV.
Overall The Button is an interesting story that is just one more piece in the gigantic puzzle that is Rebirth.
Publisher: DC Comics
Written By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Steve Wands
The latest Rebirth Event continues with a murder mystery very personal to the scarlet speedster, but as we soon find out the case is big on questions and short on answers.
The second part of the Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” starts with an elder Johhny Thunder on top of the retirement home begging Thunderbolt to come back to him and help him find the Justice Society of America as he blames himself for their disappearance. Meanwhile Barry Allen examining the site while also monolouging about how he is relieved Thawne is finally dead though disappointed someone else did it and that the criminal will never truly know justice. He goes to ask Bruce what he remembers about the incident but Batman can give him little information on top of what he already knows, Barry says he is going to investigate more on his own and heads to the Justice League Watchtower. While there he dusts off the Cosmic Treadmill and prepares to start it up as Batman walks in and tells Barry that he is going with him. At first Flash states that Bruce is too injured to come along but he states that he’s been through worse so the two go together into the speedforce to travel back in time to The Flashpoint to see if they can discover who killed Thawne and who put the mysterious button in the Batcave in the firstplace. While traveling through time they see flashes of the stolen years Wally had previously talked about showcasing events such as the formation of the JLA in the silver age, the first Crisis on Infinite Earths and Identity Crisis. Suddenly a storm catches them and they get knocked out of the timestream into the Flashpoint Batcave where Bruce meets his father Thomas Wayne who is that timelines Batman.
Overall Williamson continues King’s narrative quite well the story while a bit fast paced is well executed and moves the event forward enough to keep readers interested. The dialogue between Barry and Bruce shows how the two are more similar than they would like to admit but also how they contrast when dealing with issues. The greater narrative or Rebirth is moved forward a bit as well as we see more hints at the return of The Justice Society and we see part of the ten years time taken from the DC Universe when Bruce & Barry are in the speedforce. In terms of art Howard Porter’s art may not be quite as detailed as the art in the previous installment however it still fits the narrative well and helps give The Flash flair in his motions throughout. Hi-Fi also does an excellent job on the colors complimenting Porter’s art quite well, although the costumes do look a bit overly shiny at times. Once all is said and done however the second installment of “The Button” while not as suspenseful as the first is still an enjoyable read overall.
Story: 8 out of 10
Art 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
Publisher: DC Comics
Written By: Tom King
Art By: Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson
Letters By: Daron Bennet
At the end of the DC Universe Rebirth Special DC put out last summer Batman found the Comedian’s bloody button from the Watchman buried in the wall of the Batcave. Now nearly a year later we start a crossover between Batman & The Flash to investigate the mysterious artifact with a four part crossover titled “The Button”.
The first part begins with the amnesiac Saturn Girl from the Legion of Superheroes in Arkham watching a hockey game on TV, this triggers something in her memory and she begins screaming about how Superman won’t come and the Legion will die. Meanwhile we cut out to Batman back at the Batcave and the titular button reacting to the Psycho Pirates mask sitting next to it. Bruce contacts Barry about this however The Flash is unable to speed over as he is currently in the middle of a battle with a group of robotic samurai but tells Batman he will be over in a minute. As soon as he ends the call Batman sees a swoosh thinking it is his friend however it turns out to be Eobard Thawne: The Reverse Flash, who taunts Batman by ripping up his letter that his father Thomas wrote for him during The Flashpoint and starts beating poor Bruce into the ground until he is unconscious and is able to steal the button from him. As soon as Thawne gets his hands on the button he is momentarily teleported away and reappears looking much worse for wear merely stating “I Saw God!” before collapsing and turning into a skeleton. The issue ends with Barry arriving at the Batcave finding an unconscious Bruce and a dead Thawne.
In terms of story the first part of The Button is near perfect, we see more of the staples that have made King so popular, nine panel page layouts, cryptic dialogue, social commentary, a nice cliffhanger ending and well paced action scenes make the issue one heck of a ride that would make The Watchmen themselves proud. The art by Jason Fabok complements the story perfectly and Fabok continues to be at the top of his game creating a truly tense and engaging atmosphere in near every page and panel, all of which are well complimented by Brad Anderson’s color work which give us bright and defined colors to help make the characters and surroundings really pop out on each page.
Overall Batman #21 is an excellent start to what may be one of the most important storylines since Rebirth began in June of 2016 and is a much have for any Batman &/or Flash fan.