The Flash #22 (DC Comics)
It’s all come to this. With the hype of the entire DC universe and comic fans behind it, “The Button” has reached its conclusion. But now that we know the next installment in the Rebirth mystery is coming in November, has the wind been taken out of The Flash #22 sails?
Not really. In fact, it’s probably helped Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter’s finale. Without spoiling anything, you don’t get any major jaw dropping revelations in this issue. Sure, you’ll get glimpses and more hints about a certain blue skinned character from a famous comic work messing around with the DC universe, but Batman and The Flash don’t see him. In fact by the end of the issue Batman and Flash are left with more questions and answers.
Now usually I’d be pretty annoyed by this, but knowing that the main mystery behind DC’s Rebirth will play out over two years really helps keep expectations in check. Not only that, but what this concluding installment lacks in revelations it more than makes up for with character work. Joshua Williamson is able to play with the mystery more than in the second installment of the story, and he even peppers in some heartfelt tragedy into Batman’s role in the story at the issue’s end. Even though the title of the issue is The Flash, there’s plenty of great character beats for Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne.
Howard Porter’s art is a huge improvement over Flash #21. It’s such an improvement in fact that I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me someone else did in the art in this issue. Porter is tasked with drawing some pretty wild stuff in this issue, but he’s able to handle it really well and keep all of these crazy ideas looking pretty consistent too. The action set pieces and quieter character moments are both given equal support with art, and it helps elevate not only Williamson’s script, but the entire “Button” storyline as well.
Those going into The Flash #22 hoping for all of the answers behind DC Universe Rebirth are definitely going to be disappointed. But as the “next chapter” in the Rebirth story it’s a really great, character focused installment of the ongoing saga. By focusing on the human side of Batman and The Flash, Williamson, Porter, Tom King, and Jason Fabok look at how deep these crazy adventures can affect our characters, something that isn’t done enough these days in modern superhero comics.