Friday, September 8, 2017
Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition
The Mystery behind DC's REBIRTH continues....
....I just wish it would continue a little faster.
BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON DELUXE EDITION collects BATMAN #'s 21-22 and THE FLASH #'s 21-22; I can't speak about how this crossover will appear in The Scarlet Speedster's collected edition, but this story is omitted entirely from the third volume of Tom King's BATMAN, much like the NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN crossover before it.
The collection starts strong, with the Tom King penned BATMAN #21, which basically happens in about 90 seconds of real time. Batman is checking out the smiley-face pin that he found embedded in the cave wall in REBIRTH, and accidentally lets the pin come into contact with the mask of The Psycho-Pirate. Things that belong to two (or more) different bad-guys should never be allowed to come into contact.....Batman should know this. But come into contact they do, which leads to The Reverse-Flash appearing, kicking Batman's ass, and disappearing. Then reappearing again, slightly the worse for wear. Enter The Flash....
....which is where things went downhill. The remainder of the crossover is written by Joshua Williamson, and didn't do much for me. I'm not sure if it was Williamson's writing that wasn't clicking with me, or the interminably long time that was spent hopping through the speed force, or the lengthy FLASHPOINT sequence....whatever it was, you could feel Williamson frantically trying to pad out the crossover. It could have been done in two issues, one BATMAN, one Flash. But no one would buy a collection of two issues, so DC editorial must have mandated four. Which was easily two too many. Plus, Barry Allen is an insufferably boring character. Sorry, but someone had to say it.
At this point, the fact that REBIRTH is connected to WATCHMEN has been beaten into our heads for what seems like five years, so no one should be surprised that this has something to do with the revered Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons mini-series.....but, what? At the end of the book, I have no more answers than I had at the beginning. I'm not reading every DC book being published and parsing through them for clues, so maybe I've missed something. Maybe I've missed a LOT of somethings. All I can say for sure is, as a standalone, this is a severely disappointing book, lacking any type of closure.
The art is a mixed bag...I enjoyed Jason Fabok's BATMAN issues, but Howard Porter's THE FLASH issues got sloppier-looking as the pages went by. I was a big fan of Porter in his JLA days, but his more recent style leaves me a little underwhelmed.
For a "Deluxe Edition", this collection is very sparse as far as extras are concerned: There's a small variant cover gallery, and that's it.
BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON DELUXE EDITION earns a measly two out of ten Infinite Earths: 🌎🌎 I'll be back for DOOMSDAY CLOCK...hopefully we can get some answers there.
DC Comics provided a review copy.