Four weeks ago when I was writing my review for Batman #21, which was the first part of “The Button”, I said this: “After waiting so long, it’s somewhat disappointing to be given so little. We don’t really learn anything we didn’t already know and no real progression occurs. Ultimately, this comic is little more than a teaser for the bigger story at hand.”
At the time I didn’t realize it, but I ended up writing a comment that could easily be applied to the story in its entirety. That’s right. “The Button” ended up being nothing more than a 4-part teaser for a larger story that’s coming out in November. In that sense, it’s simply a stepping stone on the way to something bigger. Since it’s been a year since DC Universe: Rebirth #1, and another 6 months till November, I guess DC wanted to reassure us that they hadn’t forgotten about this story-line in the interim. And that’s all “The Button” really is. An advertisement we all paid for.
I could forgive this issue if it gave us something more tangible to latch onto like the 3 previous chapters did (cool fight scene/detective banter/Thomas Wayne). But this time out, everything unfolds exactly the way you think it’s going to. The first 6 pages are really nothing more than catching us up to Eobard’s death. Which we all knew was going to happen. Then…Jay Garrick shows up to save the day. Now, this could have been an awesome surprise had the cover not broadcast this fact bigger than a billboard in Times Square. But it did. So, when an unseen presence starts narrating the story and calling out to Batman and Flash, you just know it’s Jay. But just as suddenly as Jay sprung forth to save the day, he is whisked away by some unknown power.
At this point, we are 13 pages into the comic and all that has happened was something we already knew was going to happen and Batman and Flash being taken back to the beginning. Well, surely we learned something along the way. No. Not really. In fact, we have more questions now than when we started this story. For instance: Why did the button come to the Batcave to begin with? Why did the button lead them to Thomas Wayne? What did I just spend 3 dollars on?
You and me both, Bruce.
You and me both.
The story concludes with Barry and Bruce reflecting on their journey, and even they don’t know what to make of it all. Did Eobard cause all this? Or should they just chalk it up to God and call it a day? Probably the only relevant thing that happens in this issue for us Bat-fans is this quick little scene:
And while it’s nice to see that Bruce took a moment to reflect on his father’s words, we all know he isn’t going to quit being Batman. So really, it ends up feeling pretty hollow in the end. It brushes aside what should be a major dilemma in a completely inconsiderable way. And that’s truly sad because I’d love to have had an introspective issue where Bruce does nothing but mull this over.
Next comes a shot of Dr.Manhattan picking up the button, accompanied by text from “The Watchmen”. Once again. Not a surprise. Seeing him at the end of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 was genuinely an insane surprise. Here. It’s just old hat. We get it. Dr.Manhattan is a part of this story. Although, the text they chose to use is interesting. You see, if Dr.Manhattan isn’t God, then that means Geoff Johns is God. I guess….
I’m going to throw the last panel in a spoiler, because, I guess I should. But I’m not really sure it’s necessary as I don’t really know what it means or why I should be excited by it. But here it is:
How ambiguous is that? Right? I mean, at the end of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 you had some context to get excited about what you saw. But what is this supposed to mean? What Superman from what reality and what time-frame are we even looking at here? I have no clue.
At the very very end of the comic they drop this add:
So, I’m guessing this is the ACTUAL followup story to DC Universe: Rebirth #1. It, in and of itself, raises some interesting questions. The Doomsday Clock represents how close the world is to being wiped out by global nuclear war, with midnight being everybody turning to ash. With Superman’s signal being at the top of the hour, does this mean it’s Superman that will cause the end of the world instead of nuclear bombs?
And let’s not forget that seeing Superman and the word “DOOMSDAY” this close together probably bring up an entirely different connotation in your mind. But that was probably unintentional.
I usually spend a lot more time breaking down ever minute detail a comic has to offer, but I just don’t see the point in doing it for this one. Not to mention the fact that there really isn’t that much to analyze anyway. In any case, I’m more interested at this point in simply providing you all with a place to voice your thoughts. So, sound off in the comment section. Did you love this? Or, like me, did you think “The Button” was a pretty big waste of time?
- You want to see how “The Button”….”ends?”
We don’t really learn anything we didn’t already know, and no real progression occurs. Ultimately, this comic (and “The Button” in general) are little more than a teaser for the bigger story coming out in November. Not only do we end up being left with more questions than we started with but also less money in our wallets.
SCORE: 4 / 10