Saturday, April 29, 2017

Comic Book Review: The Flash #21 "The Button, Pt. 2"

By: Jerry Montgomery
April 26, 2017

The Flash #21
“The Button, Pt. 2”

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Howard Porter

Eobard Thawne is dead…again. If you’re unfamiliar with who he is, he is or should I say, was, the Reverse Flash. He was killed by the alternative reality Batman, Dr. Thomas Wayne, who ran him through with an Amazonian sword during the Flashpoint event. So, Thawne had been dead for a while before being summoned
Variant cover for The Flash #21
from the grave, from some greater power that called out for him, so he claimed. Although apparently, he brought no wisdom back with him from the great beyond as his evil and arrogance proved his undoing. To think himself invincible was to fly in the face of God and literally, that’s what happens.

In part 1 of “The Button” in this crossover event, Batman is trying to decipher the mystery of that blood spattered yellow button. Getting no further, he tosses the button near the Psycho Pirate’s mask and that’s when all hell breaks loose. The button reacts to the mask and seems to rip open time and space.  Bruce’s father, dressed as the Flashpoint Batman appears for a split second, long enough to speak Bruce’s name. Bruce immediately contacts the Flash, who is in the middle of a fight, to get to the Batcave to which Barry says that he’ll be there in a minute.

Expecting the Flash, Batman is greeted by a fist to the face by none other than the ressurected Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash. A vicious fight ensues but what can Batman do against one of the fastest men alive? On top of his speed, the Reverse Flash can blur his body, preventing himself from taking a punch which of course, he uses to his advantage. Batman is able to get his licks in, even pinning Thawne’s foot to the ground with a well placed sharpened Bat-shuriken. Satisfying yes, but it only serves to infuriate further an already enraged enemy. Thawne is only toying with Batman until Batman begins to actually get the best of him and then its all over. A triumphant Reverse Flash stands over an unconscious Batman and picks up “The Button “, questioning the mystery of it before disappearing with it to destinations unknown. After several seconds of nothing, Thawne reappears though not as he left. His left side is completely destroyed, engulfed in blue flame. He is dying but before he collapses,  he utters the words, “God…God…I saw…God.” “The Button “ is gone.
Remember,  this has all happened in a little over a minute. That’s when the Flash shows up.

The Flash #21 and pt. 2 of “The Button “, things pick up soon after Eobard Thawne returned from who knows where, only to die. His corpse still lay on the floor of the Batcave where he fell. Barry Allen,  as well as being the Flash is also a scientist. A forensics scientist to be exact. So, he sets out to solve the mystery of the death of Thawne and the circumstances surrounding his “resurrection” the best way he knows how…CSI style. The mystery is where in time did he come from but more importantly, where did he go with the button? Someone or something very powerful beckoned Thawne for obvious reasons. His ability to move through time and space effortlessly. Even with these scientific methods and technology, this crime scene may not be so easy to analyze.  Even the corpse of the Reverse Flash yields some puzzling energy signatures that leaves a big question for the Flash….one that may have far reaching effects. As for the button? Where did it go? There’s only one witness as to what happened…Bruce Wayne. Luckily, he understands Barry and the forensic science he was trained in.

Forensic scientist Barry Allen and a bruised and battered Batman, the Worlds Greatest Detective hash out what they know. Who better to solve the mystery of
Eobard Thawne and the button? Sharing visions evidence, anomalies  and ideas, Barry thinks back to his past. We know that Thawne returned in time to kill Barry’s mother in an insane act of revenge and when Barry too, went back in time to save her, created the Flashpoint event. So what are all these strange energy emanations coming from the now dead Thawne and the now missing button? The Flash concludes only one thing…he must use the very thing that he swore to never touch again and don’t think it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Batman.  They set out then in perhaps the strangest, life altering adventure, especially for Bruce Wayne, attaining one of the most things he’s ever wanted.

The Verdict: You can’t possibly tell me that you can skip this issue. YOU CAN’T !! The “Button, Pt. 2 continues on in epic fashion with many questions still to be answered with two or three more new ones thrown in. You didn’t think it was going to be that simple, did you? Writer, Joshua Williamson’s contribution to this four part crossover is in fine step to the previous installment  and maintains the mystery that has us all wondering about. The artwork by Howard Porter is very nice and has proven himself a worthy illustrator. I don’t need to tell you that if you have any interest in the Watchmen or what has been brewing in Rebirth, this issue is an integral part of the puzzle. I’m really digging the variant covers as well, especially the verticular or”winkie” version. At this point, it looks like Dr. Manhattan may be behind all of this, judging from visual clues (the deaths of Pandora and Owlman in Rebirth and New 52 Justice League, similar to the death of Rorschach.) and the familiarity of what Dr. Manhattan can do. So, who put “The Button” in the Batcave? Another member of the Watchmen? The Owl perhaps? Keep reading true believers!

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