By Eric Morales/ Staff Writer
For the casual fan, terms such as “The New 52” and “Flashpoint” are far too foreign. To the serious fans of DC, those words mean far more than one realizes.
DC has a record of resetting their continuity, timeline, and status quo. The story arc “The Button” introduces the idea that one of the resets is not the fault of the Flash, but of the watchman character’s “Doctor Manhattan.”
So what is The Button? In the Watchmen comics, the Comedian’s button is one of-if not the-most iconic symbol/object in the watchmen universe. This is strange because DC and Watchmen are completely different entities and universes. Think DC and Marvel.
In the lore of DC, the Flash ran back in time to save his dead mom from the Reverse Flash. That made the flash enter a universe where everything was worse than before, so he ran back and stopped himself from saving his mom. This in return caused a butterfly effect and created the New 52.
The New 52 is the big reboot of the status quo. Origins changed, new heroes exist, and more was the result of Flashpoint. Once again DC said “Nah, fam. Let’s change and screw around with the timeline even more and get new readers.” Thus, we’re now in the latest change and reset of the status quo, “DC Rebirth.”
In Batman #21-22 and the Flash #21-22, the two heroes investigate the strange button that appeared in the batcave after the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1 way last year. Ever since readers have been given hints of what DC Rebirth is leading up to.
The Button begins with Batman analysing- well- the button. He sat it down next to Psycho Pirate’s (A DC villain with emotion manipulation) mask. This creates a feedback that shocks Batman and makes him see his dad from Flashpoint.
Afterwards, Batman calls the Flash to come check out the button, the deceased Reverse Flash appears and starts beating Batman up for his actions in Flashpoint. The explanation was “A power resurrected [him].” This power and why he was resurrected remains a mystery.
The Reverse Flash wins and takes the button. He even tore up Batman’s dad’s letter he wrote to Bruce from Flashpoint. The monster! He then somehow gets teleported and comes back as a dying corpse in blue fire.
This issue is dark and mysterious. Exactly how a Batman story should be. Overall, this gives more questions than answers about what the Button is and how Doctor Manhattan and the Watchmen are involved.
In the Flash #21 and Batman #22, the duo use, I kid you not, the Cosmic Treadmill to go back in time and solve this problem. The Cosmic Treadmill. The treadmill that can travel through time. Brilliant, huh?
After that they travel to Flashpoint (the button lead them there) where they find Batman (Thomas Wayne) and our Batman (Bruce Wayne) have a touching moment. In the Flashpoint universe, Batman dies and his dad becomes Batman and his mom becomes the Joker. They see Thomas about to blow up the Batcave as Atlantis and the Amazons are about to attack (Long story, basically Flashpoint was super messed up.)
After an exchange, they end the comic with them traveling through time and away from Flashpoint.
DC is confusing, especially if you just got introduced to the world of comics. This was more for the fans who read the New 52 books and Rebirth. As The Flash is a scientist and Batman is a detective, it was a great team up from the start.
The exchange with Bruce and Thomas Wayne was very emotional. Especially after Bruce told Thomas that in his timeline, he had a son- Damian Wayne (the new Robin) ; Thomas is a grandfather.
Then as they were about go through time and leave Flashpoint, Thomas said to Bruce to take care of his son and stop being Batman.
This 4-part crossover is nearing its conclusion, but the mystery will continue. I can’t wait to see where the story takes us and how the Watchmen are involved. There’s so many questions and not enough answers.
As the writers have said before, this is the jumping off point for Rebirth and the story arc is just getting started. I would recommend this to readers and I feel like this has a lot of potential for the future.