Batman comes face to face with Batman. Wait what?! “The Button” storyline is crossing up histories as Flash and Batman attempt to find out what happened to Reverse-Flash, but find Batman’s dad, Thomas Wayne, instead. We dug part two last week and The Watchmen storyline continues in Batman #22…
Story: Tom King and Joshua Williamson
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jason Fabok
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“THE BUTTON” part three! 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?
Joshua Williamson and Tom King team up on the story with Williamson writing the script and the illustrious Jason Fabok on pencils and inks. Now that’s a teamup I can get behind. Probably the #1 reason anyone would want to read this is to see Batman interact with his father, something that could (and might?!) change him forever.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
New readers can probably jump on board here, which isn’t something you can say of most third parts in a story arc; Batman #22 opens with Batman’s dad filling us in on how he and Flash interacted and how the war he’s been battling may be coming to an end for good. Soldiers serving Wonder Woman and Aquaman are on their way to end his life permanently, but not before Flash and Batman get a chance to talk to the man. This impending attack adds tension to an otherwise compelling interaction we haven’t seen before.
This recap was helpful for many I’m sure.
The genius of this script lies with said interaction, which comes with a reminder of something Thomas Wayne said to Bruce when he had fallen into the Bat Cave as a child. This issue houses a rather tragic moment for Batman as well as some advice from his father that may change the character forever. At the very least, he has something to think about long and hard. Just think about how you might change if you were to meet a family member you loved but lost.
This issue also loops well into the first issue and ends with a cliffhanger that turns everything upside down. Where we go from here is really unknown, but given the timeline-hopping going on that’s a given.
Fabok does an excellent job with this issue, with lots of electric light effects floating about. It’s nice to see the subtle difference in Thomas and Bruce’s faces, which helps make the bond they share quite clear. The coolest aspect visually is the use of white space, which ends up literally tearing things apart; it also ends up creating an incredibly heroic moment, even if it’s an act of potential suicide. Given the use of white to blur, I’d wager it’s not the last we’ve seen of a major character.
This is where we left off in Flash #21
It can’t be perfect can it?
When you boil this issue down, nearly half of it is spent recapping, reintroducing the cliffhanger of the last issue, and instilling a fight scene that ends up being pointless. Said fight scene creates tension, but looking back it doesn’t add anything to the story. All these things combined, the story we do get is good, but it feels quick and more limited than it needed to be.
Is It Good?
Batman may be changed forever. Do you need any more reason to read this book!?