[Cautions: Potential Spoilers Ahead. Read with Caution.]
Now that you’ve been warned about reading any further…In Batman #22, Batman stands eye-to-eye with his Flashpoint counterpart. Let that sink in for a moment. Okay. For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, during the Flashpoint event (Flash goes back in time to try and prevent his mother’s death, but in doing so, boom, butterfly effect) there was still a Batman, but the cowl was worn by Thomas Wayne, you know, Bruce Wayne’s father. So, in Batman #22, Bruce Wayne stands eye-to-eye with his father…and it’s amazing.
So, what’s Batman #22 about? From DC Comics:
“’THE BUTTON’ part three! The cataclysmic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 continue here! The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive, the two greatest detectives on any world, unite to explore the mystery behind a certain blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. What starts as a simple investigation turns deadly when the secrets of the button prove irresistible to an unwelcome third party-and it’s not who anyone suspects! It’s a mystery woven through time, and the ticking clock starts here!”
Being able to see Bruce Wayne interact with his father—albeit from an alternate dimension—is somewhat of a dream come through for us Batman fans. After reading Flashpoint—after seeing Thomas Wayne become Batman thanks to circumstances similar to Bruce’s—there was a glimmer of hope that one day, the two would somehow meet up. In Batman #22, father and son do get to meet, and that’s great, but the amount of time that they are able to spend together is cut short thanks to a small invasion of the Batcave.
While I was initially displeased that Bruce’s time with his father was cut so short because of the attack on the Batcave, I soon realized that it was this same attack that afforded me the opportunity to see Batman fight alongside his father. And in my mind, these moments, these panels, are priceless. To summarize, Batman #22 is a gift, and its pages should be cherished.
Tom King and Joshua Williamson worked on the story for Batman #22 together, but the script that you’re reading—because you will read this comic—is Joshua Williamson’s. Williamson does a fine job creating a heartfelt book that, despite the ‘wasting’ of the first few pages on reiteration and summary, remains entertaining throughout. The story at hand—The Button—is quite complex, so in my opinion, having a third chapter like this that is filled with emotion, progresses the story forward, and remains entertaining is not an easy task. So, the fact that Joshua Williamson and Tom King accomplished this speaks for itself.
Artist Jason Fabok also does an amazing job in Batman #22. Regardless of whether our heroes are standing around talking in the Batcave or fighting through space-time, Fabok’s illustrations are breathtaking. His style is as close to perfect as one can get—in my eyes—when it comes to the way that comic books should look. I especially appreciate the amazing, dual-page spread of Bruce fighting alongside his father, as well as the sequence of panels where Thomas Wayne explains to Bruce that Wayne’s never stay down, they rise.