Batman #21

It’s been a year since DC Rebirth #1 and the reveal of The Comedian’s button and the revelation of The Watchman universe now bleeding into the DC universe. There hasn’t been much since that issue explaining how this happened. Batman #21 kicks off a four-part crossover with The Flash where hopefully questions are answered. This issue goes by quickly – so quick it only takes a minute to read….

1:00 – That’s Saturn Girl from the Legion of Superheroes watching a hockey game inside Arkham Asylum.

0:59 – Saturn Girl is from the future. But what future?

0:58 – Obviously she’s from the future where this hockey player dies in a fight.

0:57 – Saturn girl realizes what “timeline” she is in by watching this hockey game and freaks out!

0:56 – Saturn Girl is figuratively looking down and screaming “save us!” and the answer she receives is a gravelly, whispered voice saying, “No.”

0:55 – Batman has a lot of monitors.

0:54 – I’m still staring at this splash page. The Comedian’s button is staring back.

0:53 – Ooh, the nine panel grid shows up!

0:52 – I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the nine panel grid layout. I feel it’s even more cinematic then splash pages.

0:51 – Batman is twirling the button between his fingers: an effect that you couldn’t capture in a comic book without the nine panel grid.

0:50 – A fight breaks out during the hockey game.

0:49 – One of the hockey players name is “Shuster.” Shuster is one of the creators of Superman.

0:48 – The hockey fight is getting brutal.

0:47 – Batman’s seen enough and turns the game off.

0:46 – Batman flicks the button next to the Psycho-Pirates mask.

0:45 – Wait a sec, who’s the Psycho-Pirate again?  Time to do some Googling.

0:44 – I head to Google and type in, “Psycho-Pirate.”

0:43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38 – Psycho-Pirate’s name is Roger Hayden. In the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, the Monitor recruits Hayden – who goes on to help Firestorm recruit Killer Frost to the Monitor’s team by making her fall in love with her enemy – but he is abducted by the Anti-Monitor. In exchange for an entire world to play with, Psycho-Pirate becomes an accomplice to the Anti-Monitor, manipulating a captive Barry Allen, his powers briefly being enhanced so that he can control the remaining three alternate Earths – Earth-4, Earth-S, and Earth-X – so that their heroes are provoked into attacking the teams sent to rescue them. But use of his powers on this scale causes him to “burn out” so that he cannot use his powers again afterwards. Although the Anti-Monitor constantly belittles the Psycho-Pirate, he keeps him around because his emotion-manipulating abilities may prove useful, and the Anti-Monitor lacks the time to find or create someone else with those powers.

0:37, 0:36, 0:35, 0:34, 0:33 – After the resolution of Crisis, Psycho-Pirate is one of the few to have full memories of the event. Driven mad by these memories, the Psycho-Pirate is shown in last few panels of Crisis in a straitjacket, as the scene pans out from his eyes to a full view of Earth from space.

0:32 – Ok, where was I?

0:31 – The button lands next to Psycho-Pirate’s mask and there is some kind of energy released between the two.

0:30 – The energy is so strong it knocks Batman off his feet.

0:29 – Suddenly Flashpoint Batman shows up!

0:28 – Flashpoint was a crossover event in 2011 where the DC Universe was forever altered and all the books restarted with #1’s.

0:27 – Flashpoint‘s Batman is Bruce Wayne’s father Thomas.

0:26 – Flashpoint Batman disappears.

0:25 – Batman calls The Flash to come over to the cave so they can talk about this Button and what just happened.

0:24: The Flash says he’ll be there in one minute, and that starts up a cool little countdown clock in the bottom right hand corner the panels.

0:23 – The Reverse Flash shows up! And in a incredible two-page splash page by artist Jason Fabok!

0:22 – Still looking at the splash page.

0:21 – Still looking. Ok, turning the page.

0:20 – Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne) tells Batman that he’s been dead for a while but a “power” resurrected him.

0:19 – I have my  suspicions on what or who that “power” is. Dr. Manhattan.

0:18 – Batman gets severely beat up.

0:17 – Batman is still getting severely beat up.

0:16 – Reverse Flash finds the letter that Bruce’s father wrote him from the Flashpoint crossover series.

0:15 – He rips the letter up.

0:14 – Then he beats Batman up some more.

0:13 – Batman gets some licks in.

0:12 – Hurry up Flash and get to the cave!

0:11 – The Flash is running late.

0:10 – The Reverse Flash knocks Batman out.

0:09 – Reverse Flash picks up The Comedian’s button and disappears in a blue flash.

0:08 – He’s gone for a few panels then reappears all messed up.

0:07 – The Reverse Flash claims he saw God.

0:06 – I have my suspicions on who that God is. Dr. Manhattan.

0:05 – The Flash finally shows up.

0:04 – The Reverse Flash is dead. Batman is unconscious.

0:03 – I can’t wait for next week’s Flash #21. Hopefully we’ll get some answers.

0:02 – Oh nice, there is a tribute to Bernie Wrightson.

0:01 – Still staring at the tribute……

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