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Batman and the Flash, two of DC best known heroes and best detectives, are teaming up to finally try to figure out the mystery of the bloody smiley button. We are finally going to get some answers to some questions we have all been wanted answered since the DC universe relaunched in Rebirth. Batman #21 is the first issue of a four-part crossover mini-series and our ComiConverse Contributor Abel Loza is going to help us review this monumental issue.
Review: Batman 21
Synopsis:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Some spoilers ahead!
The entire DC Universe is entrenched in a playoff hockey game between the Gotham Blades and the Metropolis Mammoths. Perhaps this is just background noise, because we join Batman in the Batcave, intensely studying (what we know to be) the Comedianâs smiley button. While this is going on, the hockey game has turned violent as Shuster from the Gotham Blades is unmercifully beating on Taylor from the Metropolis Mammoths.
After turning off the hockey game, the smiley face button and the newly acquired Psycho-Pirate mask created some sort of reaction, due to the buttonâs radiation, and brought back Thomas Wayne from pre-Flashpoint. Thomas and Bruce only enjoyed a few seconds together as Thomas quickly disappeared.
The combination of the smiley button and the Psycho-Pirate mask apparently opened a hole in the speed force, which then made Batman call the Flash, since the Flash is well-versed in the speed force. Flash told Bruce heâd be there in exactly one minute. While Batman waits for the Flash, the Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne shows up in the Batcave.
Thawne has come back from being dead from Flahspoint and claims that an unknown power called out to him and resurrected him. While in the Batcave, the Reverse Flash is taking it to Batman. While fighting Batman, Reverse Flash catches the letter that Thomas Wayne wrote to Bruce in Flashpoint out of the corner of his eye, and tore it up.
It turns out that Batman was stalling for Flash to come to the Batcave, since the Flash only needed a minute to get to the cave. After a minute, the Flash finally showed up but not before the damage was done.
As both Batman and Reverse Flash lay on the floor, Flash tells Batman that he is late because he stopped at the hockey game to see if he could still help Metropolisâ Taylor. He couldnât as he died on the ice from the last punch.
Before Reserve Flash died, he was sucked into what seemed to be another dimension, after picking up the smiley button. He returned, half burnt and gone and stated, âGodâ¦Godâ¦I sawâ¦Godâ
This entire issue only took the span of 5 minutes but it will leave an everlasting effect in what is to come for the DC Universe in its short-term and long-term future. Batman #21 has started to answer a few of the questions that were set forward when DC and Geoff Johns released Rebirth in May of 2016. The Button: Part One is starting to tie together the two different universes that existed in DC prior to Rebirth, that being the pre-Flashpoint universe and the New 52.
Side note: I am so glad that they are bringing back aspects of the Flashpoint event. It is one of the more unique, creative and important stories in comic book history and one of my favorite. I know they had to in order to fully integrate all the universes (since that is the event that reset the universe), but I still enjoy that this is a main focal point of this issue, particularly with using Reverse Flash as the main antagonist in this issue, since he is a personal favorite villain of mine. I hope this trend continues with the rest of the mini-series crossover.
Batman #21 was a good introductory issue to what many are expecting to be a very enjoyable crossover. It has set the tone for the rest of the three issues, which will be pretty brutal. We continue the vivid brutality that was set forth in Batman #20. The fight between Batman and Reverse Flash is incredibly detailed in art and in tension and brutality. The anger coming off of Eobard Thawne can be sensed and comes off the pages. As much as Tom Kingâs script plays into the vividness of the story, the art and ink by Jason Fabok really bring the comic to life.
The presence of the Watchmen characters is heavily felt in Batman #21, even though none the characters actually make an appearance in the issue. Their influence is strongly present, and makes a deep impact within the story, especially with Reverse Flash. The revival and then immediate death of Eobard Thawne proves that, in my opinion, Dr. Manhattan is behind the Rebirth universe. Iâm hoping in one of the next three issues, we can find out a little more about the Watchmen characters and where exactly they fit within the DC Universe. If you guys want a warm up on the DC Multiverse, our own Kyle King of ComiConverse took a look at exactly where or what earth, the Watchmen world would fit in the DC comic Universe.
Although Batman #21 was a great start to the Flash/Batman crossover, there did seem to be allot of fighting and the furthering of the plot suffered a little bit because of it.Â The Reverse Flash/Batman fight, although bad ass, did take up much of the panels in Batman #21. We are only expecting a four issue crossover, so I was hoping to see some of the Watchmen characters in this issue. Perhaps that is the impatience in me talking but that is the only thing that I was disappointed in with this issue.
Other than my impatience, Batman #21 was a great way to get âThe Buttonâ crossover started and it gets me excited for the rest of the mini-series.
What did you think of Batman #21?
Are you excited for the rest of âThe Button?â
Is Dr. Manhattan behind all of this?
Let us know in the comments below!
Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter:Â @st_abel45
Batman #21 did a good job of setting a tone for the rest of the mini-series. Its script and art made the story come to life, and it really showed of the brutality and anger that came of Reverse Flash. Although no Watchmen characters were physically scene, their presence in the DC Universe has never been stronger and that is perhaps the most important part of this issue!