The Mystery Of DC Universe: Rebirth

So I get this press release from DC Comics yesterday letting me know that we’re finally going to get a follow up to the Comedian’s button from Watchmen showing up in the wall of the Batcave in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. I have some thoughts about it, which follow after the release, complete with animated GIFs. Here’s a hint to publishers; I love when you take the time to make an animated GIF.


Batman and The Flash Team Up For the Four-Part Mystery “The Button”

All Four Issues to Also Feature Special Lenticular Covers

If you’ve been wondering about how the mystery behind Geoff Johns’ DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continues, you’ll find out more beginning this April in “The Button,” a four part story arc in issues #21 and #22 of BATMAN and THE FLASH.

Courtesy of the Batman team of writer Tom King and artist Jason Fabok, along with The Flash writer Joshua Williamson and artist Howard Porter, the two greatest detectives in the DC Universe unite to unravel the mystery behind a certain blood stained smiley face button stuck in the Batcave wall. However, what begins as a simple investigation soon turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party – and it’s not who anyone suspects! This is a mystery woven throughout time, and the countdown starts here!

In addition to the standard $2.99 covers on Batman and The Flash in late April and early May, each of the four issues will feature a special $3.99 lenticular cover, all drawn by Jason Fabok. Don’t miss the chance to find out more about the mysteries behind DC REBIRTH when these issues hit your local comics retailer beginning April 19!

I’m glad that there seems to be a plan to this incorporation of Watchmen in the modern DC Universe. I worry, though, about where this is ultimately going. There’s also a part of me that finds the wholesale incorporation of a legendary standalone story distasteful. While I hate the gimmick of lenticular covers, I can respect them being used sparingly to convey an effect.

I feel like this story launching in April smacks of the setup of the summer event. With it building on an artifact from Watchmen, I worry about a showdown with Dr. Manhattan, which would be another case of the world’s greatest heroes facing off against an almost omnipotent threat from another world. I hope that DC disappoints me in this aspect.

Watchmen has become a lesson in how a publisher can screw over creators. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were to gain full ownership of their creation after it went out of print. Unfortunately for them, DC has kept it in print for over thirty years. Dc first did the Before Watchmen group of mini-series to capitalize on not only the popularity of the original work but a major motion picture by Zack Snyder. That action felt like a conscious attempt to assert their ownership completely, by doing something Alan Moore vocalized should not be done. This incorporation of that story into a larger DC Multiversal tapestry doesn’t have that same feeling, because of that action. That doesn’t mean that I find it more appealing, just that I hope that it’s done for some reason other than snaring a short-term sales boost over Marvel.

Then we have the gimmick covers. By what we can judge, they will be limited to these four issues, which is good, as opposed to crossing this over with all of the Batman titles, the Titans books, and what the heck, let’s toss Superman in there. The Flash #21 cover makes the best use of the lenticular gimmick, depicting a moment in time rather than two states of being. Again, if you use the gimmick, it becomes less of a gimmick. 

So now we wait to see what happens in April. We’ll see if our worst fears are realized  or if DC is actually getting on the right track with this mystery.