Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Flash 22 - SPOILER Review

Story: Joshua Williamson
Art: Howard Porter


We're finally here! The conclusion to The Button and the follow up to the DC Universe Rebirth #1. We were told the Watchmen characters would be making their way into the DC Universe, but we've only been given bread crumbs up to this point. This is finally the issue where we start to unravel the mystery. Or do we? Did the conclusion to The Button follow through on the big promises that it made? Or did it disappoint and leave more questions than answers? Read on to find out!


We're runnin through the time stream...

Barry and Bruce are furiously chasing after Thawn to try and stop him from approaching his death. But of course, Thawn doesn't listen. He's arrogant and full of himself and wont believe anything that Flash says. Just as Barry and Bruce are about to catch up to Thawn, the cosmic treadmill breaks down and Thawn makes away as Barry and Bruce are left to get lost in the time stream.


Then we get a glimpse of Thawn landing at his destination. He is surrounded by blue light and yells out to the owner of the button. Thawn screams that whoever is out there doesn't need to be shy anymore. He can feel their presence and he's never encountered anything quite like it. Then, as the egomaniac that he is, he goes on about how special he is. And that he cannot be erased. His rant about how special he is is cut off as he looks up and sees something that completely amazes and terrifies him. "Wait, I didn't know! I don't want to--" Thawn pleas out for his life. But it is cut short as he is burned to a crisp by what I'm assuming is Dr. Manhattan.

Jay Garrick to the Rescue! (Barry and Bruces, not Thawn. That dude is dead.)

Just as Barry and Bruce are about to be lost in the time stream, Jay Garrick shows up out of nowhere and saves their lives. Jay delivers them back to the Batcave in one piece. Barry has no idea who Jay is. He reaches out to touch Jay and try to recollect any erased memories of him and, just as he touches Jay's arm, Jay explodes into the speed force.

This case isn't closed..

We get a sequence of Barry and Bruce at Martha and Thomas Wayne's grave. They're talking about what they just went through. And all it really amounts to is that they both know that what just happened was no accident and there's still a lot of mystery to solve.

No more Batman?

Bruce is in his mansion, looking out the window at a Bat Symbol lighting up the sky. His father's final words "don't be Batman", are going through his head. We see Alfred come up and say "Sir, are you going to answer that?" as Bruce does nothing. This suggests that Bruce might not be wanting to continue being Batman.

Prologue to Doomsday

The final sequence of the book shows the button being held by Doctor Manhatten's blue hand. We get a quote from Watchmen of Dr. Manhatten talking to Laurie, saying "Why does my perception of time distress you Laurie? Everything is preordained, even my responses. I'm just a puppet who can see things". Then a couple pages zooming in on the button. The red and yellow slowly morph into the red and yellow of the Superman symbol. And a final quote: "There are poisons that bind you, and poisons that open your eyes" by August Strindberg.

Sum it up! 

Whew. I sit here at 2AM, way past my bedtime, writing this review. And I am totally happy with what I just waited for and consumed. This book didn't give us a whole lot of answers, but it did give a good story. What's more important, it showed up how epic and singularly important the events of DC Universe Rebirth and the inclusion of The Watchmen characters will be to the greater DC Universe.

I know a lot of people will complain that we didn't get answers and that DC is just biding time. But patience is a virtue. And life, in the end, is not about the destination, but about the journey. The Button took us on a wonderful journey that left me totally excited for the next chapter. And it's worth noting that the art on this entire series was ABSOLUTELY EXPERTLY done. I say this story arc, for what it was, was a 9.5/10. My score if for The Button as a whole.


Ben DuPey | NCRT

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