DC has released the first several pages of tomorrow's The Flash #22, the finale to "The Button," the four-part crossover between Batman and The Flash that saw the pair starting out by investigating the bloody smiley-face button from Watchmen and quickly escalate to an investigation of the Reverse-Flash's murder at the hands of, apparently, Doctor Manhattan.
Of course, things are usually more complex than they seem when you get right down to it, and these early pages, which seem to show the death, stop short of bringing fans face to face with the Watchmen characters.
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 that's been vexing various characters in a number of ways over the last year.
"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 the form of Doomsday Clock, a miniseries event that would pit Doctor Manhattan against Superman and the DC Universe at large.
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, as well as abducting characters like Doomsday and Mr. Mxyzptlk.
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.
You can check out the official sollicitation text below, and the preview pages in the attached image gallery.