Tag Archives: The Button

Review: Batman/The Flash: The Button

First I’m truly surprised at how good the Batman/The Flash: The Button collection is and this is not a slight to the skill and talent of the creative teams. It’s just I’ve been BURNED these last few mega crossover events and this being a tie-in to one of these, I came in with low expectations. And that’s not the only reason I passed over these books initially.

As a fan of The Watchmen, I haven’t been the biggest supporter of rehashing this universe. Despite the lineup of talent, I’m not big on the idea of that universe intersecting with the DCU proper.

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The deluxe edition of The Button collects Batman #21-22 and The Flash #21-22, with all of the variant covers for you to eyegasam. And without spoiling too much here’s why you should give it a read.

The feel of the book takes me back to Batman’s Brave and the Bold days, where each month he would team up with a different character of the DCU. Picking up the story from DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Batman and the Flash continue to investigate the mysterious Button that appeared in the Batcave when Wally West returned to the DCU. This investigation gives the heroes a few more clues to who has been influencing their world for the past few years, setting the stage for the next event Doomsday Clock.

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Writers Tom King and Joshua Willamson bring to the table an ability to highlight unique traits in characters, and this is one of several reasons why I really enjoyed this book. The way they connect Batman and the Flash with forensic science is so simple and basic, that it makes them work as friends on such a higher level. I haven’t been reading King’s run on Batman, I’ve heard good things, but this makes me curious about it. And these guys work on pulling your heartstrings with some interesting story beats.

The art team for these books also bring their “A game.” Jason Fabok‘s art is as clean and sharp as ever, but it’s his subtle nod to the art and style of Dave Gibbons’ original Watchmen, using a grid pattern for the storytelling. That helps enhance his beautiful line work with the visual brutality that fills most of this chapter.

And I’ve missed Howard Porter’s art, I’ve been a fan of his stuff since his run on JLA with all the dynamic, over the top, hyper-kinetic energy, which is perfect for The Flash, even when he’s not running Porter has energy crackling off of the Flash giving you the sense that he is Speed.

Putting the cherries on top, the colors by Brad Anderson on Bats and Hi-Fi for the Flash bring a rich depth to these books that play off of Batman’s dark tones and the Flashes intense vibrant flare. Assists also go to Deron Bennett and Steve Wands on the lettering, bringing the words to the page might seem easy but there is an art to using it to help guide the reader and not distract from the art.

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Please note if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for someone who likes Batman or the Flash, but don’t regularly read the comics, this might not be the right gift as it’s a stepping stone from a previous one-shot to a bigger event coming up. If they like a good story with amazing art for under $20 this makes a great stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift.

If you want a second opinion about The Button, check out another opinion from the GP team here.

Story: Tom King and Joshua Williamson
Art: Jason Fabok and Howard Porter
Color: Brad Anderson and Hi-Fi
Letters: Deron Bennett and Steve Wands
Variant Covers: Tim Sale & Brennan Wagner, Mikel Janin

 

George Carmona 3rd is an Artist/Writer, former Milestone Media Intern, former DC Comics paper pusher, current book lover, and lifelong comic geek. You can find his work at FistFullofArt.com or follow him on twitter at GCarmona3.

Review: Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Batman and Flash crossover event!

Batman/The Flash: The Button collects Batman #21-22 and The Flash #21-22 by Joshua Williamson, Tom King, Jason Fabok, and Howard Porter.

Get your copy in comic shops today and bookstores on October 17. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Batman/The Flash: The Button
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: The Flash #22

The Flash #22 is a rush of speed lines from artist Howard Porter as The Flash and Batman travel through time and the Speed Force and come to the conclusion (with us readers) that “The Button” is a prologue to the upcoming “Doomsday Clock”. Joshua Williamson and his sometimes co-writer Tom King barely scratched the surface on the cause of the rewriting of the history of the DC Universe. It will be up to Geoff Johns and Gary Frank to tell the story  the Watchmen characters’ connection to the DC continuity. But “The Button” was still a pretty fun ride, especially with the interactions between Batman and Thomas Wayne, who is Batman in the Flashpoint Universe, and there is even at a glimpse at the Justice Society before Williamson, Porter, and colorist Hi-Fi snatch it away.

“The Button” has been like a cool teaser trailer that has some emotional resonance. The Flash #22 starts with a physical and verbal back and forth between The Flash and Reverse Flash until Reverse Flash dies yet again after boasting about being a constant point in a shifting sea of time and space. This seems like a replay of what happened in the first part of “The Button”, but Williamson and Porter throw in the new wrinkle of the return of Jay Garrick in a powerful splash page that reminded me of the winged helmet showing up in the Season 1 finale of The Flash TV show. It a powerful glimpse of hope that is yanked away and probably yet another plot thread that will be explored in “Doomsday Clock” so hence the fact that The Flash #22 seems like yet another teaser for a bigger, upcoming story. There is a running plot thread between the disappearance of the Justice Society, the death of Reverse Flash, and the Watchmen characters that could be really interesting to see play out in the fall. But, for now, it’s nice to see the DC Universe add even more elements from its past to the DC Rebirth universe as Williamson realizes the intergenerational legacy of heroism is one of its greatest strengths, especially where The Flash is concerned.

But The Flash #22 does have some emotional heft between it as Joshua Williamson realizes the connection between the post-Flashpoint/DC Rebirth versions of Barry Allen and Batman. What sets them apart from the other characters in the DC Universe is that they’ve had an opportunity to speak and interact with people who they’ve loved after they were taken from them thanks to the events of Flashpoint and “The Button”. Barry is kind of the perfect person for Batman to talk to after having an extended conversation with his father in previous issues. They have both seen some crazy things and understand how difficult it is to process. The fact that Thomas Wayne wants Bruce to move on with his life and not be Batman is just a major character beat for Batman in general, and Williamson and Porter leave his reaction to these words ambiguous closing on a moody nine panel grid. Hopefully, either Tom King in Batman, Geoff Johns in “Doomsday Clock”, or yet another writer builds upon this powerful moment.

With art that is constantly in motion by Howard Porter along with some nostalgic imagery, The Flash #22 is a suitable end to a storyline that’s only job was getting readers excited for a storyline down the road. However, Joshua Williamson and Porter make time to show Batman and Barry Allen’s personal reactions to this crazy journey so it’s not all sizzle and no steak. “The Button” crossover also shows the care that the Powers that Be at DC Comics are taking to restore and rebuild their history and continuity via the vehicle of relatively self-contained crossovers and slow burn mystery thrillers instead of making Superman a fascist or something.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Howard Porter Colors: Hi-fi
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Review: Batman #21

Batman #21 is a strange prologue to “The Button” storyline that will connect Watchmen  to the DC Comic Universe as writer Tom King, artist Jason Fabok, and colorist Brad Anderson open the comic with Batman watching a hockey playoff game and spend most of its running time having him get the crap beaten out of him by the Reverse Flash. The beauty of Batman #21 definitely comes in its subtext more than its text as the fight between the resilient Batman and Eobard Thawne could symbolize the pain DC readers, old and new, felt during the New 52. Happiness and family are good things, but this crossover doubles down on darkness to start out even if the constant use of the smiley face button and the nine-panel grid gets a bit repetitive. Yes, we know it’s an homage to Watchmen, let’s move onto two of DC’s greatest detectives investigating a universe spanning

From his work on Justice League and Batman and Robin Eternal, Jason Fabok has demonstrated that he has the clean lines of superhero action and musculature down to a science. He can draw Batman’s jawline, The Flash/Reverse Flash’s lightning, and a double page splash without distracting from the reading experience. To this firm foundation, Fabok adds plenty of punishment as Batman is no match for The Reverse Flash, and Anderson shows that his black can barely handle Eobard’s yellow. He does use his ingenuity to get a few licks in until The Flash is back to save the day. (Or does he.) The blood flying off Batman’s body as he takes a beating from Reverse Flash reminds readers of his humanity, in light of a possible divine presence getting involved with the DC Universe.

Batman #21 is a less of a part one of an epic crossover mystery than an extended mood poem by Tom King and Jason Fabok on how dark and grisly the DC Universe has gotten. The cutting between a hockey fight and an interpersonal fight was used way back in Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amybut they take it into a melodramatic extreme with death instead of a few minutes in the penalty box. It’s also a nod to Watchmen where the seemingly unrelated pirate comic that pops up is thematically connected to the events of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel. Basically, Dr. Manhattan or characters from the Watchmen universe are going to destroy the denizens of the DC Universe. This is exhibited in the final few pages where one of the most powerful supervillains, Reverse Flash, is turned into a slavering mess.

Except Batman #21 is really just a tasty appetizer before the (hopefully) feast that is “The Button” storyline. It’s a great tapas plate, but leaves you wanting a juicy steak, like some actual Watchmen characters and not just an exercise in formalism with the nine panel grid with each panel elapsing exactly a second or teases about the Legion of Superheroes and Crisis on Infinite Earths. The presence of the Smiley Button is a constant teaser as Reverse Flash and Batman play with it and with audience expectations before ending on an slightly satisfactory cliffhanger and whetting your appetite for the next installment in The Flash.

Despite having bone breaking art from Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson, Batman #21 is more of a prologue than a part one. However, on a pure craft level, it is a wonderful demonstration of how comics can speed up or slow down time with a single minute stretched over many pages just like how Dr. Manhattan sees the world. Hopefully, King and company will continue to put their own variations on these old themes and not be content to play dive bar covers of classics past.

Story: Tom King Art: Jason Fabok Colors: Brad Anderson
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review