Watchmen Mystery Unravels As Batman Meets An Unlikely Ally In Flash #21
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When DC Rebirth began there were serious questions as to how and why years of continuity were removed and revamped. And many fans have speculated that Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan is behind it all.
The four-part series entitled "The Button" seeks to provide some answers. Part Two of "The Button" (Flash #21), which released today sees Flash and Batman teaming up to investigate the connection between their universe and the one Alan Moore created in 1986.
The hints and Easter eggs in DC Universe Rebirth #1 to Moore’s masterpiece were abundant, but none more apparent than the appearance of The Comedian’s iconic blood-stained smiley-face button in the Batcave.
There is also the hooded Mr. Oz; a character many fans suspect is Adrian Veidt, or Ozymandias, Watchmen’s main antagonist. What connection that exists between Doctor Manhattan and Mr. Oz remains to be seen.
At the end of Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan departs the Earth with the intent to create life elsewhere.
It appears that DC Universe Rebirth is a result of that plan. Even the cover of DC Universe Rebirth #1 is a clear homage to Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, suggesting that Manhattan is behind this act of divine intervention.
[Spoilers of Batman #21 and Flash #21 to follow]
In "The Button" Part One (Batman #21) Eobard Thawne momentarily disappeared to another dimension.
Upon his return he was unceremoniously zapped to death (in a manner very reminiscent of Rorschach’s demise) by a mysterious force and screamed out with his dying breath, “I saw God!”
More likely than not, the “God” that Thawne saw was Manhattan, who is no stranger to dangerously high levels of radiation or zapping people to death. But the question is why the largely dispassionate Manhattan would get so strongly involved in the DC Universe?
The Flash #21 continued "The Button" storyline that began with Batman #21 last week.
After careful examination, Flash comes to the conclusion that the radiation emanating off Thawne’s corpse matches the radiation found on The Comedian’s button.
In the issue, Flash and Batman travel through time using the cosmic treadmill and witness various moments of DC Comics’ history that were previously thought erased from the continuity.
Batman and Flash watch versions of themselves from the past from certain books like Identity Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths. They witness the formation of the Justice League of America, however neither one of them has any recollection of the event.
Batman theorizes that they are in an alternate reality but the Flash disputes this, echoing Wally West’s revelation that “years were taken from us.”
i.e. They are witnessing DC continuity that was removed by Doctor Manhattan to pave the way for Rebirth.
The detective duo hit a time storm, which destroys the treadmill, and lands the two squarely in the Batcave. But this is not Bruce Wayne’s Batcave. Instead, Bruce Wayne comes face to face/cowl to cowl with his father, Thomas Wayne.
(In the famous Flashpoint, Barry Allen changes the past and creates an alternate timeline wherein Thomas Wayne became Batman after Martha and Bruce were murdered in Crime Alley)
The issue concludes here but the story will continue. How will Batman react to meeting his father? Will we get any new information on Manhattan’s role in DC Rebirth? I have no idea.
Part Three of The Button (Batman #22) comes out May