See all reviews of The Flash (2016) (26)

”The Button” part two is out this week and given the compelling set up in Batman #21 many of us will be rushing to read this one. Note: you won’t be disappointed. Flash gets the center stage of the crime scene left over from Batman and what he finds in his investigation is intriguing.

The Flash #21
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Publisher: DC Comics


So what’s it about? The official summary reads:

“THE BUTTON” part two! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party—and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!

Why does this book matter?

This is the series that, somehow, will connect the slow reveal of Watchmen related things into the DC universe. So far we’ve seen some details revealed in a few series, but a first stab at fleshing things out truly starts here!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?


I will never get bored of seeing how an artist draws the bat cave.

The more visual, Watchmen like approach shifts from Batman #21 with a more conventional comic book in this issue. That’s not a bad thing however, as writer Joshua Williamson certainly lays out some head scratching details that’ll get you talking. This issue does very well at capturing the Flash’s internal monologue via captions, highlighting his ability to investigate — and some of the process he underwent to become good at investigating. Opening where Batman #21 left off, Flash is using his detective skills while Batman is down for the count to figure out why Reverse-Flash showed up and where he came from. Williamson progresses the story a lot and by the end you’ll feel satisfied — yet there’s so much more story to tell.

Outside of getting inside Flash’s head (and revealing his concerns about where Reverse Flash was), Williamson explores Flash’s relationship with Batman. There’s an intriguing point Flash makes about Batman being good at a specific job in the police force and their general trust of each other is played with. This adventure is very much a duo sort of story and later in the issue Williamson has them witness something truly spectacular together. This transitions to the big cliffhanger well and it’s quite a pickle Flash has gotten himself into. Batman fans will need to read this for sure as it’s clear DC is adding a major element to his story.

Williamson does a great job filling readers in on details they may have missed or forgotten too. Batman clarifies my confusion over his father showing up in Batman #21 for instance, and Flash fills us in on some key “Flashpoint” details.

Howard Porter draws an impeccable issue with an awesome double page of the Bat-Cave and an excellent look to Flash throughout. Now that DC has Flash wrapped in yellow lightning nearly always it’s hard to see him any other way. Even when Flash is standing around in this issue he looks dynamic and kinetic as hell. Back to the Bat-Cave shot though, Porter makes it look incredibly big with yellow “do not cross” tape all throughout the cave (though why Flash would need this on a closed crime scene is beyond me) which helps convey key areas where Batman was tangling with Reverse-Flash. There are other scenes with a depth and level of detail that increase the amount of time readers will stay on a page and this increases the value of the read exponentially too.


This is what happens with too many Red Bull and vodkas.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The trope of heroes not filling each other in on key details is used to eye rolling effect. Luckily it doesn’t last long and is rectified, but seriously, how often do these characters need to not inform each other of details only to be burned later?

Is It Good?

This is an excellent issue and it should be a fan favorite installment in “The Button” storyline. Well told, well drawn, and very good at progressing the story.

The Flash #21
Is It Good?
An excellent second issue in a storyline you'll not want to put down.
Looks sharp, especially the bat-cave and other deep/dynamic locations
Williamson gets inside Flash's head well
The Batman/Flash dynamic is explored a bit
Progresses the larger story well
A trope is used that's, thankfully, ushered away fast
9.5
Great