SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT GO FURTHER UNTIL YOU READ BATMAN #21!
We start in Arkham, but not with the Joker or any other well-known denizen of that horrific establishment. Nope, we start with none other than Saturn Girl. Yes, she has been trapped in our time and considered mentally unstable. That’s not truly the case…but while she can recognize events that are history to her, she hasn’t regained use of her powers, leaving her in the not-so-friendly confines of Arkham Asylum. She recognizes what’s coming in a hockey game that stands somewhat metaphorically for what’s to come with Batman and…well, we’ll get to that in a moment But first…
We cut to Batman analyzing that famous button we all recognize from WATCHMEN. That button has been largely inert…
When Bats flips that button to a table near the Psycho-Pirate’s mask, there is an instantaneous reaction. For a moment, Bruce sees his father, in full FLASHPOINT-Batman gear. As Bruce recovers, he calls Barry for assistance, but Flash is delayed in a fight and promises to show up in one minute. The countdown begins on each panel as…wait, does Barry actually arrive early?
It’s Eobard Thawne!
Somehow he has been revived with full memories of how Thomas Wayne killed in in the FLASHPOINT universe. He’s determined to take revenge on Thomas’ son. What we get next is a truly epic battle, with Batman using every trick in the book to stay alive. Thawne isn’t interested in a quick kill – he wants to humiliate Bruce first (what happens to that famous letter is heart-wrenching), but he does find this battle to be far tougher than he would have believed.
Thawne believes he has killed Batman…or at least Bats is completely incapacitated. Thawne picks up that button and…
Wow, didn’t see THAT coming!
You’ll have to read the issue to find out about that. Barry arrives too late to see any of this, but in plenty of time to have the arc off to a roaring start. Can’t wait for what we’ll see next!
NOTES: Tom King nails this script – THIS is how you start a story arc of such magnitude. The action is outstanding, the emotional content is powerful, and the build up leave you breathlessly wanting more. The artwork drives all this home so exceptionally well, from the page layouts to every detail, thanks to Jason Fabok (pencils and inks) and Brad Anderson (colors).
SUMMARY: I was blown away by “The Button” Part 1 – what more can I say except this is a 10/10!
That’s my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!