Batman / The Flash, The Button is an intense encapsulated story told against the backdrop of the larger DC Rebirth universe. Bringing in the focal characters from Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne and the Reverse-Flash.
Joshua Williamson and Tom King do a fantastic job of bringing The Flash and Batman together; highlighting the fact that despite the differences in temperament and personality, these two superheroes have more in common than a first glance would suggest.
From their expertise in using science and analytical data to solve crimes, to the gruesome murders of their parents at the hands of their enemies, enemies who more often than not, come back to haunt them, these two heroes are a lot alike.
Also brought to the forefront is the looming presence of a villain who is capable of using time and the Speed Force itself, to manipulate events. A presence Eobard Thawne describes as God. A figure that is capable of making a man like Eobard quake in his yellow boots is definitely one to fear.
Some might say this run is fan service if they don’t like it, but I simply call it good storytelling. A highlight is Bruce Wayne, the adult, The Batman, meeting Thomas Wayne and getting to speak with his father. They say everything that was previously left unsaid as Thomas Wayne faced the final destruction of his world.
The Flash deals with some parental emotional baggage as well thanks to the appearance of Eobard Thawne, the wrecker of every timeline The Flash inhabits. The Flash’s reaction to the death of his mother’s killer emphasizes just who he is now and his understanding of his place in the universe. Simply put, he understands the timey-whimey nature of the life he’s chosen to lead.
The artwork — penciling and coloring — is amazing. It was stunning how they blended the current comic books’ styles with the signature old-school DC style.
Williamson and King execute a successful run with Batman and The Flash. The pairing had me in my feels throughout the arc, especially with the added tension of The Button from The Watchmen. The Button is both an innocent piece, but the bloodstain spatter on it presents a frightening constant reminder of what’s to come. It provides the entire motivation for this run.
Also, the idea that we might see Dr. Manhattan at some point gets me excited to continue. Just how involved is he in the destruction of time around the Justice League and our heroes?
All in all, this was this is a story that I must recommend you pick up if you like either of these characters.