Batman (vol.3) #22 (July, 2017)
“The Button, Part 3”
Story – Joshua Williamson & Tom King
Script – Joshua Williamson
Pencils & Inks – Jason Fabok
Colors – Brad Anderson
Letters – Deron Bennett
Associate Editor – Rebecca Taylor
Editor – Mark Doyle
Special Thanks – Geoff Johns
Cover Price: $2.99
Not much of a preamble today… just finished up my thesis, and I’m sort of in a daze. Ya know, it’s strange how things that have the power to take over your entire life just… end. I hit the “submit” button… and then started thinking “Okay, what do I gotta do next?” and the answer came back… “Nothing.”
Weird feeling. Anyhoo, mo’ Button.
After a quick and dirty Flashpoint primer, we pick up where we left off, with Batman and the Flash find themselves in a very different Batcave. They are also greeted by a very familiar individual… to both of them, Thomas Wayne… Batman!
Thomas sees his Son, and immediately thinks it’s a trick. He lashes out at the Flash… demanding to know what’s going on. Barry assures him this is no joke… but he’s also pretty confused. The Flashpoint Universe was never supposed to have been… it’s an alternate history not world. He deduces that there’s something holding it together, just like the images he and Bruce saw on their way in.
He realizes he needs to fix the Cosmic Treadmill right away… and Thomas warns that time is not on their side. At that moment, the combined forces of Aquaman’s Atlantis and Wonder Woman’s Themyscira storm the cave.
The Bats don their cowls to hold back the baddies while Flash rebuilds the mill. They make relatively short work of them… which really doesn’t say a whole lot about Arthur nor Diana’s folks. Thomas asks Bruce if he remembers what he had said when he had rescued him from the cave when he was a child. At this point, it seems… the Bats realize that there is no joke, and they are Father and Son.
Flash completes the rebuild on the Treadmill… and not a moment too soon. The Flashpoint Universe begins to unravel… as though whatever was holding it together just decided to let go! Bruce informs Thomas that he is a Grandfather… and invites him to come back with them. Instead, Thomas shoves Bruce onto the Treadmill. Batman and Flash both reach out and implore Thomas to join them… but he refuses. He tells Bruce to be a Father to his Son, and to let Batman die with him…
In his last moments, Thomas recalls that time he’d pulled young Bruce out of the Cave. That day he told his Son that Waynes never stay down… instead, they rise! Gotta say, I was expecting something more poignant.
Back with Batman and Flash… they are on the Treadmill, when they are passed by… well, lookie here, Reverse Flash. What’s more, he’s still holding the Comedian’s Button… so, somehow they have reentered the timestream before Thawne “saw God (with a capital G)”. Flash calls out to him, warning him that he will die if he keeps running. Thawne ain’t hearing it, however… he claims to know who the “power of the button” belongs to… and he intends to face him!
While this was still a tremendous issue, I can’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment. I was just hoping more would happen. I mean, don’t get me wrong, any story that wipes the Flashpoint Universe out of existence is a-okay by me, but I guess I’m just ready to see where this is actually going. Patience was never a virtue I claimed to have…
For what it was, I did enjoy it. I feel like the meeting between Bruce and Thomas Wayne was handled decently… even though I’m pretty sure we already had them meeting in Convergence. Am I remembering that wrong? Was that a different Bruce? I dunno… I’ve eaten and slept several hundred times since I’ve read that.
The “whispered line” from Thomas to Bruce when he first rescued him from the Batcave? A little less poignant than I was hoping for. I thought it was going to be something heartwarming or profound… but, nope… just a “Waynes don’t stay down” thing. Okay.
I don’t think I’ve ever hid my thoughts on how I feel about Flashpoint. I wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy the story/Universe because it was taking away everything I held dear about DC Comics. I never revisited it… so, it’s been (yeesh) six years. I’m happy to see it wiped out, however… it kinda sucks that they’re doing it just when something interesting is happening.
Overall, not a whole lot more to say… it’s definitely not my favorite part of this crossover, however I suppose it was necessary in order to display the insane power of whoever is messing with the DCU.