SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! READ ON AT YOUR OWN CAUTION!
Now that we have had a few days to let the 2nd installment of “The Button” story-line to sink in, lets delve into Flash #21.
For good measure- SPOILERS!!!
In the same way that Batman #21 started with Saturn Girl being confined, Flash #21 begins with Johnny Thunder being restrained in an institution. Both Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder were seen in the Justice League of America (Golden Age) and DC Universe Rebirth #1. It seems like these 2 characters will somehow have a role in the upcoming story-line.
The scene then shifts to Barry Allen investigating the aftermath in the Batcave between Batman and the Reverse Flash. (See our review of Batman #21 to catch-up.) In the next few panels we get Barry discussing the death of his mother, how he became the Flash, the speed force, his relationship with Batman, and his encounter with the Reverse Flash that began The Flashpoint. While analyzing the Reverse Flash’s body, he detects his own speed force presence on Thawne’s body. Barry explains that each speedster has their own speed force signature. He then asks himself if he some how killed the Reverse Flash since Thawne’s body is covered in his signature.
Flash then seeks out Batman in the mansion. We see a demolished Bruce Wayne, bandaged and bruised laying in a bed. Barry presents his finding to Bruce. We then get a great exchange between the worlds greatest detective (Batman) and a true detective (Barry). They both discuss the matter at had and contemplate the possible lingering effects from The Flashpoint. Flash then comes to the internal realization of what he has to do.
The scene then shifts to the Flash in The Justice League Watchtower. We get a plethora of easter eggs that range from Dr. Fate’s Helmet, Blue Beetle’s Bug, Superman’s escape pod, Martin Manhunter’s costume, Wonder Woman’s shield, The Fat Man Nuclear Bomb; to name a few. Barry approaches an object covered with a tarp. He then explains that he has to do and use something that he swore he would never use again. At this point he uncovers the Cosmic Treadmill; the vessel that allowed the Flash to travel back in time and begin the Flashpoint story line. As the Flash gets ready to step on to the Cosmic Treadmill, Batman arrives. Clearly still reeling from his injuries, Batman tells Flash that he is going with him and there is no need for arguing.
As they both get on the Cosmic Treadmill and begin to travel back in time (and in between the multiverse’s) Flash notices there is something very wrong. He feels that he is being pulled towards a certain direction. The Flash and Batman get thrown from the Cosmic Treadmill and find themselves in the Batcave. Batman identifies the Batcave from his early days as the Batman, but something seems very off. He notices the gun that Joe Chill used to kill his parents, but Batman says that he never recovered this gun. A voice speaks, “….son” and Thomas Wayne and Bruce Wayne meet face to face.
This issue was not as fast paced as Batman #21, but that does not mean that it lacked content. I enjoyed how readers were given a quick reminder on the Flash history in relation to his mother, Reverse Flash, speed force, and Batman. There is also a more grand involvement of previous story lines that are coming to the surface.
My final rating of Flash #21 “The Button”- by Joshua Williamson is 8.9 out of 10.
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–The Dull Knight