“The Button” Finale – Review of THE FLASH #22

Recognize that guy on the cover? I sure do! The one, the only…wait, the real question is, does anyone else recognize him? No, I don’t mean you, the wonderful followers of Speedforce.org…I mean does anyone else in today’s DCU recognize…him? That’s just one revelation as some of the mysteries of REBIRTH are confirmed in this issue of THE FLASH! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Barry and Bruce are following Eobard Thawne and that now-infamous button through the time stream. Thawne is convinced he can face down the owner of this button and the power it contains, but Barry and Bruce know what fate lies ahead for Thawne. If he pursues this to the end, the Reverse Flash will die. We’ve seen it. No questions, right?

But, of course, Thawne will have nothing of it. He even has plans for afterward, horrible, awful plans for Barry. But all during that chase…

There is a faint voice…

Calling to Barry…

Bruce hears it too…

But of course, Thawne keeps pursuing the “owner” of the button to his own demise. That leaves Barry and Bruce in the time stream with little way out. Their only hope is to say that name, the one that Barry has forgotten…

Jay Garrick!

Yep, Jay Garrick, THAT Jay Garrick, the original Flash reappears!

Sorry, I just had to stop a moment and compose myself. I’m a fan who has been reading Flash stories since they sold for 12 cents each, and every summer I looked SO forward to those JLA/JSA team ups, and to every other story that included Jay Garrick. Seeing him in that splash page was one of the highlights of my comics year…make that THE highlight of my comics year.

Of course, that couldn’t last for long.

Jay remembers Barry…and Barry knows that name…but he doesn’t truly remember Jay. So, while Jay can get Barry and Bruce back to safety in their own timeline, Jay can’t fully come back. Not yet, anyway. That will have to happen another day – but I am glad that day appears to be something we can expect to happen, rather than just a day to be hoped for.

Of course, we are still dealing with the fallout of “The Button” – and just as we thought after last issue, Bruce is dealing with those words from the FLASHPOINT Thomas Wayne, telling him not to be Batman.

And there’s more! We finally get official confirmation of Doctor Manhattan’s existence in this story, as a big blue hand grabs that button…and then…

The blood on that button, the blood that gave us that Doomsday Clock vibe, starts to leave the button itself and reform into…

A Superman “S”?

SUMMARY: No one should have expected “The Button” to tell us everything about REBIRTH. Nor should we expect a final re-appearance of Jay and the JSA. What “The Button” DID do was to give us an amazing story, with a taste of what unraveling REBIRTH can do for the DCU. And, it points us to some amazing stories ahead as we keep moving through this mystery, heading for November 2017.

Let me go on record once again, even though I’m sure there will be those who disagree – I like this approach! I lived through the original COIE, and through all the big “event” storylines afterward, and the main issue they all shared was trying to do too much, too fast. REBIRTH is taking a much different approach, giving us a slow build-up…which also gives the writers and editors time to really think this one through, to hopefully avoid the pitfalls that have caused DC to have to do continual resets. This story arc was exceptionally well done. I’m willing to listen to all the debate about mixing the Watchmen universe with the DCU…but if you can accept that this is the device DC is using to “fix” the universe, then this is a great way to deliver the story.

Joshua Williamson has once again delivered a fantastic script for the finale to “The Button”, with great artwork by Howard Porter (with colors by Hi-Fi). I’m giving it a 10/10 – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

2 thoughts on ““The Button” Finale – Review of THE FLASH #22

  1. golddragon71

    Given that Wally visited Johnny Thunder on his way out of the speed Force, i’m wondering If Wally will remember Jay and be able to draw the Golden Age hero out…or perhaps it’s Johnny himself who will release Jay from the speed force and prove that he’s not just an old coot.

    Reply
  2. Dallin Turner

    You said it well with DC trying to not do too much too fast. It is a novel approach in our instant gratification society, especially in comics (look at Marvel, where they have two or three MAJOR events each year). Hopefully this will all pay off in the end.

    DC has often used the image of the universe being created in a giant hand. I’m intrigued by the idea of that giant hand belonging to Dr. Manhattan.

    Reply

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