Since DC launched their bold new Rebirth line, we’ve been left with one lingering mystery: “what have the Watchmen got to do with this universe and how did their button wind up in the Batcave?” Well it looks as if the aptly titled “The Button” crossover between Batman and Flash may answer this question, with the World’s Greatest Detective seeking assistance from another masked investigator to solve this case. What we get from this first issue, however, is something unlike what I was expecting, with there being little development on the main narrative. Instead the creative team decide to play off events from Flashpoint, with the Reverse Flash paying a visit to the Batcave.
Despite there being some frustration regarding how this brings a temporary halt to proceedings, writer Tom King rectifies this by giving us a thrilling encounter between the Dark Knight and Eobard Thawne. Setting things up in a dramatic fashion, King quickly transitions into the conflict between the uncommon foes, doing so in a natural, yet dynamic manner. Not only does this allow for a much more exhilarating tone, but the fact that it all takes place within the timeframe of a minute also allows for extra depth. Add to all this the engaging dialogue and a surprising twist at the end, and we’re left with a story that’s sure to leave readers eager to pick up next week’s Flash.
The artwork for the Batman portion of this crossover will be handled by none other than Jason Fabok, who I for one am glad to see return to the world of the Dark Knight. Giving us something a little different than we’ve seen in the past, Fabok certainly takes cue from the original Watchmen comic, with the layout and tone of his art reflecting this at times. That said, it’s the dynamic tone of this that really captivates, with the explosive battle in the Batcave and the shocking twist near the end being truly captivating. Add to this the vibrant colours of Brad Anderson and we’re left with a final product that captures the tone of this story perfectly.
Batman #21 gets “The Button” off to a tremendous start, as despite there being minimal development to the main narrative, it gives us a spectacular encounter between the Caped Crusader and the Reverse Flash. It also ends in surprising fashion, leaving us guessing what will happen next and how the button fits into things.
(9 / 10)