SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! READ ON AT YOUR OWN CAUTION!
This past Wednesday we received the 3rd part of the 4 part cross over that is “The Button” story line. To get up to speed, the Reverse Flash thrashed Batman all over the Batcave. Reverse Flash then touches the “Watchmen” button (found in the Batcave at the end of Rebirth #1) disappears than reappears, but in flames and saying, “I saw God”, he then dies. The aftermath forces the Flash and Batman to go back in time, using the Cosmic Treadmill. Flash notices that there is something very wrong with the timeline. Batman and the Flash then tumble through time and multiverse to land in the Batcave and come face to face with Thomas Wayne as the Flashpoint Batman.
In Batman #22 we get Thomas Wayne in the Batcave giving a prologue of the events that occurred after the The Flashpoint. Thomas explains that the timeline did not end after the Flashpoint; more misery and death followed while he lived in a personal hell knowing he was basically powerless and still feeling alone without his murdered wife and son. Thomas Wayne explains, that after the Flashpoint, Aquaman and Wonder Women put their disdain for each other aside and combined their efforts to try to kill him once and for all. We then get a panel showing Atlantis soldiers and Themyscira Amazons rushing Wayne Manor.
All caught up to the events at the end of Flash #21, we get Bruce face to face with his father. Thomas Wayne, clearly upset, lashes out on the Flash telling him that he was supposed to put an end to his alternate reality… he was to make everything right. Flash tells Thomas that something or someone is holding the Flashpoint reality in place. The Flash says that he can fix the Cosmic Treadmill; Thomas tells him to make it quick because they have company. After a quick battle with the Atlantic and Themyscira soldiers, Flash finishes the repairs on the Cosmic Treadmill.
To almost prove to Thomas Wayne that he, Bruce, really is his son, Bruce begins to recount the events of when he fell into the cave as a child and what Thomas told him on the way up from the cave. At this point the Flash gets an overwhelming feeling that whatever was holding on to the Flashpoint reality “just let go”. Ultimately feeling that time with his father is now fleeting, Bruce tells him that he has a son (Damien) and Thomas is now a grandfather. The Flash tells him that the Treadmill is fully charged and ready to go with or without them. Bruce asks his dad to go back with them…back to Bruce’s reality. With the reality around them is crumbling, Thomas turns to Bruce and says this:
Thomas then shoves Bruce onto the treadmill and Flash and Bruce disappear; Thomas Wayne stays behind. In true warrior fashion, that is Batman, Thomas Wayne dons his mask and rushes into the destructive blue light, embracing the hopeful end to his world and finally being with his wife and son. The panel then changes to the Flash and Batman speeding through time. At this moment, the Flash and Batman catch up to the point in time the Reverse Flash is rushing back to the Batcave with the button in hand. The Flash screams to Eobard to stop for his safety, but says that he has seen too much to stop and knows who the button belongs to.
My final rating of Batman #22 “The Button”- by Tom King is 7.9 out of 10.
Once again the art work is masterfully done. I felt that Batman #22 was a bit of a “filler” issue, but it was done very nicely. I enjoyed the information of the Flashpoint reality after the Flash first left. I am also intrigued to find out if Thomas Wayne’s final words to Bruce will have lasting effects on the cape crusader. Though there was not much context in relation to “The Button”, I enjoyed Batman #22. Who knows, with next week being the final issue of “The Button” story-line, we may see a lot of relevance of Batman #22 to Flash #22.
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