Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Batman #21 Review

Who's Got the Button?

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 19, 2017

The Button is here and I may not be one of those people who have been waiting at the edge of their seat for it, but now that it's here, I'm pretty pumped.  Basically, I have high hopes that we'll get a great story because with Jason Fabok and Howard Porter on art, that department is well taken care of.  Do I think we will get big answers here?  Not really, but all I'm looking for is a good story that makes me glad to be a comic book fan. So, does this first chapter give us that?  Let's find out...

The issue opens in Arkham Asylum with the inmates watching the Gotham Blades trying to make their way to the Stanley Cup.  Yea, I find it a bit odd that the criminally insane are allowed to watch Hockey of all things, but we get Saturn Girl so I will let that slide.  The scene quickly turns dark as Saturn Girl recognizes what is playing out in the hockey game and starts yelling that a player is going to get killed.  She gets more and more frantic until she is subdued, but not before stringing events together that make it seem that this hockey game is the start of dark times indeed.

Okay, I really hope that we see more about these connected events because thinking that Saturn Girl recognizes this particular game from just a faceoff is bad enough, but one that happened a thousand years in her past is downright ridiculous.  Plus, don't get me started about why anyone would start a fight in a game seven that's tied with minutes to go...

We then head off to the Batcave and see Batman is investigating the Button as well as keeping tabs on the Blades.  Yea, he's Gotham through and through!  We get to see the fight and eventual death on the monitors while Batman does a little shuffle the Button through his fingers coin trick.  Really?  Batman may be the World's Greatest Detective, but he better start treating evidence with a little more care.  He then just flips it onto his desk and this whole sequence really, really bothered me.  He is trying to figure out what this blood stained button that flew out of the Speed Force is and yet he's flipping and tossing it around?!?!?  I'm sorry, but I have to cry bullshit here.

That continues for a bit more as we see it land next to Psycho Pirate's Medusa Mask...that just happens to be sitting on the desk, but when the button and mask react to each other, the result is awesome enough to make me almost forget about all the nonsense.

It's a pretty awesome moment that is very personal for Batman and when it fades as quick as it appeared, Batman calls Barry Allen for backup.  Barry is a bit tied up with Samuroids (awesome!), but tells Bats he'll meet him at the Cave in a minute.  That's when things get awesome!

I don't want to spoil it too much, but Eobard Thawne has made his way from the cliffhanger in the Flash book to the Batcave and immediatley starts kicking major Bat ass!  We get a countdown to when Barry will arrive, but seriously, I started wondering if Batman could make it that long.

To go along with the fighting, Eobard destroys one of Batman's most prized possessions and if you read Flashpoint, you will no doubt be pissed.  Batman does get some blows in, but when Barry is late (as usual), the issue takes a left turn into crazy, wack, funky land when Eobard grabs ahold of the Button himself and...

I am not going to spoil any more, but believe me, the ending of the issue is messed up in an awesome way and while I wasn't as surprised as I thought I'd be, I am very, very intrigued.  Tom King is not giving us answers here, he is giving us questions on top of all the other questions we have and I really like it.

Yea, if you were looking to this issue for any answers, you will probably be very pissed off at this point.  I am in for the long run and like I said above, I just want a good story.  This is a good beginning of just that.  Yea, I had some nitpick issues, but the big picture stuff was great here and I want!  Still, some of those other things brought my score down a bit, but this is an issue that I can easily recommend to any DC Comic fan out there.

I have missed seeing a full issue of Jason Fabok art and this was the cure for what ails me.  The guy can just flat out draw and the entire art team kicked ass and made a great looking issue.  Almost the entire issue plays out in nine panel pages and just flies by.  No fancy panel layouts needed here.

Bits and Pieces:

The Button is here and those looking for quick answers will be disappointed, but if you relax, enjoy the great art and remember this is just the start, you should enjoy yourself.  I had a few nitpicks, but still really enjoyed myself and can't wait to see where we go from here.



  1. Great review dude, I whole heartedly agree with you!

  2. Batman. Owning. Eobard!! Enough said

  3. The destruction of that possession was devastating. Overall you hit the nail on the head here. My expectations were low after being underwhelmed by the lack of answers and overall confusion in Superman Reborn, so this actually met if not exceeded what I expected.

    1. I was so sad...though I think he will get more of the real thing by the end

  4. best line: I only need 11 seconds awesome book I totally agree with Jim's score.

  5. I liked the issue fine not so much as the first issue of the button but just showing how awesome batman is even when he loses a fight he is savage in how he goes down

  6. Really pumped up when thawne suddenly appeared.. dayyyym!! Flashpoint echoes!!

  7. Okay, the hockey commentary, starting a fight that late in a game seven (or at all in a game seven), and the guy getting killed before refs, linesmen, or other players stepped in was nonsense. Other that that, Batman's coin flip, and still having flashes of that fucking stupid retarded go-eat-a-bag-of-dog-turds puple cape, this issue was awesome!
    The art was great and detailed, the pacing and timing of the fight was spot-on, and unlike another Batman book we could mention [*cough* Detective *cough*], Batman actually fights back and gets the upper hand for a bit. I didn't expect the ending, but I am intrigued. Looks like I'll be buying my first issue of Flash since before the New 52 next week.
    And 8.5 sounds about right to me also. Great review, Jim!