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.
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.
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.
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.