The Flash #21 (DC)


Rating: 5/5 – The Button Part 2: DC Nostalgia Gets Me Every Time…
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Shawn reviewed Batman #21 last week, part one of “The Button” and gave it a 5/5.  For me, that issue was a 4/5, because I thought it relied too heavily on a storytelling gimmick and was sparse on the amount of story progression delivered in the issue.  Part two of the 4 part “The Button” is out this week in The Flash #21 and I enjoyed it much more than part one.  Which just goes to show that different stories are going to hit different people in different ways (‘different’ cubed!)

Joshua Williamson’s story in Flash #21 hit me in my DC sweet spot.  I got the Multiverse, Johnny Thunder yelling ‘Cei-U’ at a lightning storm, the cosmic treadmill, and so much more that I won’t list because I don’t want to spoil the issue.  This story pulled me right back to the DC Rebirth Special from a year ago that kicked off the entire Rebirth era and which I feel none of the subsequent DC books have lived up to…until now.  Where I felt Batman #21 was sparse on story, this issue felt jam-packed.  There’s a lot happening that put a smile of remembrance on the face of this old-timey DC Fan (in this case taking old-timey to mean pre-New52).  It sure seems like a lot longer than the 5 years it has been since DC stood its entire line-up on its ear.  This issue, along with the re-emergence of the DC Multiverse as a result of last year’s Convergence storyline, has me hoping that I’ll start seeing some books set back in what to me is the “real” DC Universe (I know…it’s all fictional, but as fans we imprint on certain things).

Howard Porter does a great job on the art, packing tons of detail onto almost every page, whether it’s a scene in the Batcave, the Justice League Watchtower, or ghostly images of times and realities that once existed and may exist again in the memories of some of my favorite characters.  I’ve read this issue 3 times so far and I’m still finding new things drawn into panels that I didn’t notice on previous readings.

“The Button” is shaping up to be an epic storyline that could delight some fans and enrage others (like pretty much any comic story that changes the status quo).  Personally I hope it shakes things up, but with the DC Multiverse back in play, DC can really have its cake and eat it too.  Making a change does not necessarily have to invalidate any other stories that have been told.  I’ll be quite happy if I get “my DCU” back in some books while the New 52 continuity that other fans may love and still exist right beside it.  Of course, multiple parallel Earths is the confusing stuff that they tried to clean up with the original Crisis back in 1985, but it never confused me, even reading those stories of Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-S, Earth-X, and more as a kid.  If you haven’t tried DC in years, keep an eye out for “The Button”.  While I cannot predict where it’s going to go next, after the cliffhanger at the end of Flash #21, I’m really looking forward to finding out where that next step will take us next week.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
) By Fans who Love Comics for Fans who Love Comics

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