The world's greatest detective will take on one of the greatest mysteries in DC's multiverse this spring.
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.
"It's of course enormous fun but it's also I have to say quite frustrating," Titans writer Dan Abnett admitted during an interview with ComicBook.com. "It's a shared concept, it's not mine to play with. It's something that Geoff set up and obviously is a major event that's coming this year, I believe, and therefore it's a privilege to be able to write the book and the character, Wally, who is so close to the heart of all that. Also, I have to be very careful. Every possible connection to it, every possible nod in that direction, has to be carefully checked to make sure I'm not going too far or saying too much. I don't want to frustrate readers by going, 'Oh, nobody will ever mention it again,' but at the same time, I don't wan to start doing too much and people go, 'Well, when's this story happening?' It's not my story to tell just now. Titans and Wally are going to be fundamentally bound up in it, but I just want to make sure that the readers are aware that we haven't forgotten it and we weren't just brushing it away. Any little thing like [mentioning "Manhattan" in Titans #6] I could throw in is great. I have to say there were 2 or 3 other thigns that didn't get past the editorial gaze. 'Can I just do that?' 'No, that's too much.' So I was very pleased with the things that we were able to lace in there. If you know Watchmen well, then they're glaringly obvious but from the point of view of people who don't necessarily know it as well and certainly from the point of view of the characters in the story, these things have no significance whatsoever."
DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns stepped away from writing comics following the best-selling DC Universe: Rebirth #1 last year in order to make more time for the increased responsibilities he has overseeing DC's movie slate. Recently he revealed that his return to comics writing would come in 2017, and would relate to that book's final pages, in which it was teased that Doctor Manhattan was responsible for some of the events of the post-Flashpoint DC Universe.
Johns hasn't said exactly when he will be working on the story, and we had previously speculated that he might start writing near the end of the year with an eye on a March or May 2018 release date, which would line up with Action Comics #1,000 and the two-year anniversary of Rebirth. Abnett's comments seem to indicate an earlier release plan.
There's a whole lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest Mr. Oz, who will play a major role in an upcoming Superman storyline, is in fact Ozymandias from Watchmen. Similarly, it seems as though Ozymandias -- and somebody else, who has blue energy like Doctor Manhattan -- kidnapped Tim Drake, the former Robin, and faked his death.
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. These issues hit your local comics retailer and digital comics retailers beginning April 19.