“And the moment I saw you… I knew every choice I’d ever made had been the right ones… Because they led to you.”
— Tom King, Batman/The Flash: The Button
The crossover events are back with Batman and The Flash teaming up to pursue one of the greatest mystery to hit the DC Universe in the Rebirth era. With Batman/The Flash: The Button, fans are presented with a highly anticipated story that continues things right where DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns left off. This four-part crossover, collecting Batman #21-22 and Flash #21-22, presents us with a couple of fantastic cameos of classic DC characters as well as a thorough recapitulation of one of the most important event that took place in the DC Universe: Flashpoint by Geoff Johns. With the hunting yellow smile button and its little smudge of blood, both the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Fastest Man look to decipher its eerie origin and meaning. This storyarc kicks things off with the arrival of another character who sees something devastating in this enigmatic button and propels our favourite heroes on an adventure through time that will surely leave lasting scars, both physically and mentally.
Similar to Batman: Night of the Monster Men by Steve Orlando, the creative teams who’ve worked on each issue doesn’t remain the same throughout this short event. While Tom King remains the main writer for both Batman issues and Joshua Williamson remains the main writer for both The Flash issues, the artists on each series rotate between talented artists Jason Fabok and Howard Porter. The alternating artwork from one issue to another continues to be a sad reality in these DC Comics crossover events as the style never truly matches and demands visual readjustment as you progress through the event. However, besides this issue, the artwork is solid throughout the story and is far from being a repulsive element to this fantastic adventure. The artwork by Howard Porter genuinely ended up being a nice little change of style and offered us a different visual take on our heroes. Even the alternating writers was pretty interesting as it really brings forth a clear contrast between both King’s (the less wordy and repetitive Batman) and Williamson’s (more wordy and much more true to character; especially with a detective-oriented Batman and forensic-oriented Flash) writing styles. One of the biggest problem that should however be pointed out is the aberrant short length of this event. With only four issues, this story felt a lot more like a prelude to bigger things to come, similar to what Geoff Johns’ DC Universe: Rebirth #1 felt like, than a sequel that would go down as a turning point for the DC Universe.
There isn’t a lot that happens in The Button as the mystery behind the button continues to torture our DC heroes. In fact, upon completing all four issues, I felt like there was a lot of panels and pages that were dedicated to simply refresh the memories of fans on past events and their pertinence in the current problematic that clouds the DC Universe. Even if these recaps, especially regarding Flashpoint and the sudden temporal loss of the past 10 years, constituted a huge portion of this storyarc, the entertainment value stayed high and happened to be quite exciting. What I loved most of the storyarc are the cameos of Spoiler (Highlight To See) : « Flashpoint Batman (who isn’t Bruce Wayne, but actually his father) and a “new” Flash (Jay Garrick) ». Their integration into the whole investigation made the storyline just that much more fascinating. Questions about their presence would come raining down in a furry and leave us suffocating with a desire for bigger things. And bigger things is exactly what Geoff Johns seems to be planning with the revelation of his next project: Spoiler (Highlight To See) : « Doomsday Clock ».
The Button turned out to be a short and exciting crossover event that does nothing more than continue to tease fans. It isn’t exactly filled with mind-blowing narrative, but it does contain some very important moments that will surely leave a big impression on our heroes. Spoiler (Highlight To See) : « One can only wonder what will happen to Batman after his amazing father-son moment. I couldn’t help but pray that Bruce Wayne would not abandon his life as Batman upon the wishes of his father to pursue happiness for once in his life and forget about his cowl and cape. The death of Reverse Flash will also launch The Flash on a journey of introspection as revenge is now fulfilled. ». While the alternating artwork isn’t ideal or very appealing, all the artists, inkers and colourist do an amazing job in making their respective products vibrant and excellent. This short crossover event also brings fan a nice little break from respective series by diving slightly deeper into the big threat that had been looming around since the launch of the Rebirth era last year. What’s to come will surely be cataclysmic and epic in scale. Patience is all that will be required from now on.
Did you read Batman/The Flash: The Button yet? What did you think about it?
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/