Gotta Go Back in Time(lines)Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 3, 2017
I am a little torn with the Button story as it nears it's finale. Should I rate and review it as just another issue or hold it up to a higher standard because of how big a story it's supposed to be. I have enjoyed each issue, but I am already a bit underwhelmed by what it has given us in relation to the whole Rebirth Universe. However, since DC has said, "The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here!", I think I am going to have to look at it as something bigger than just another issue of Batman or Flash and rate it accordingly. So, with that in mind, let's move on and please don't kill me if you disagree. Okay?
Last issue ended with the cliffhanger of Batman and Flash meeting Flashpoint Thomas Wayne face to face and this issue starts with confirmation that it is indeed the Flashpoint Universe. Crazy I know, but after a brief rundown of Flashpoint history, we see that things didn't end when we all thought they did. It seems that after Barry ran off to make things right, something or someone kept that alternate timeline alive and "well".
The issue's opening is moments before Barry and Bruce arrive and we get a peek at the dire situation Thomas Wayne is in. He is ready to be taken down by united Atlantian and Amazonian forces, but he's going to take those bastards with him!
Seriously, I would have loved to have seen more of this alt-history of the alt-timeline, but that's not what we are here for and Joshua Williamson reminds us of that when Flash and Batman show up in the Cave.
After a couple (too many?) pages of recap of last issue, Thomas Wayne acts like I thought he should...like he's being fucked with!!! He attacks Barry, but stops...because Barry talks to him. I mean, he's talking the talk, but I would still think the Big Bad pulling the strings was messing with me, but then again, I am no Thomas Wayne.
I do want to stop here and discuss what Barry tells Thomas next...that he left Flashpoint months ago. Months?!?! While those out there who listen to our podcast may think I will have a huge nitpick with this, I actually don't. When Barry comes back from Flashpoint, it is obviously not at the beginning of the New 52. He takes Bruce the letter Thomas gave him so obviously knows Bruce for some time already and this actually gives us a time frame of when he made his big "leap home". So, it was sometime right before Rebirth which also makes me feel better since that also means that Barry and Bruce knew nothing about Flashpoint through the majority of the New 52 which makes a lot of sense.
After that, there really isn't a whole lot to say without spoiling some really great moments. Flash reassembles the Cosmic Treadmill as Father and Son Batmen fight off the invaders. The fight wasn't epic, but the conversation between Thomas and Bruce was. Really, just seeing the two fight side by side was damn cool and while the Treadmill is fixed way to quickly, the pace of it all was spot on.
It all leads to a last goodbye as the Flashpoint Universe falls apart around them and if you are a Batman fan, I'll warn you, you may need some tissues. As they leave, it makes you wonder how and if Batman will continue on from here and if in fact, this is the last we will see of Thomas Wayne.
The actually issue ends with Barry and Bruce back in the Speed Force, meeting up with a recent foe who is not quite dead yet. He's headed in that direction, but there is some hope that maybe Barry will be able to stop it.
I liked this issue enough. We see that the villain(s) of the overall story can mess with timelines which is messed up, but since they already stole ten years from our heroes, it's not that shocking. The Speed Force is having p and I really want to see more of that, but instead we get an issue of big moments between Thomas and Bruce and not much progression in the overall Button story. In fact, after this issue's cliffhanger, I could argue we went two steps forward and two steps back. While that's fine for Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat, I want forward momentum and answers in my big stories. There is one issue left and I am worried we will end it with neither.
I did love Jason Fabok's art which is always good so there is no surprise there. Everything looks great and he once again let's the story take center stage while making it all look fantastic.
Bits and Pieces:
I can't quite call this issue disappointing, but if you are looking for answers, you may disagree with me. Joshua Williamson gives us some huge Batman (Batmen?) moments and there are a lot of intriguing things going on, but with one issue left, it feels like the Button story hasn't really begun. Jason Fabok's art is stellar, but that can't stop me from wishing this issue and story in general was giving us more.