The story begins with Batman finding a bloodstained smiley-face button in the Bat Cave. What does it mean and where did it come from? The Dark Knight can’t even begin to unravel that question. Fans of the genre might recognize the button, but let’s not give its origins away for those who don’t know. To solve this mystery, Batman teams up with The Flash to travel through alternate dimensions meeting old, new and alternative versions of themselves and others along the way. Wally West warned The Bat and The Flash that there are forces not of this world influencing the world’s timeline. However, the questions and answers are too hard to resist for the world’s greatest detective and the fastest man alive especially when a ghost of Batman’s past comes to haunt him wearing an all too familiar cape and cowl.
While The Button begins with a bang, its lack of narrative voice drags the story down quickly. What will be most appealing to readers of this graphic novel is its use of color and contrast of visual style. Having read this on a high definition screen, the reds come to life.The blacks provide a jarring stop to the swirls of blues and yellows. Anderson and Hi-Fi’s bright colors are those that the shadowy Bat Cave have rarely seen. We usually see Batman prowling dark cityscapes in blues, yellows, oranges, and purples, but here Batman is fighting The Reverse Flash surrounded by the dazzling lights of the Speed Force as they battle across dimensions.
All in all, however, the story falters. At 106 pages, Williamson and King could have written a tight little story without much filler that truly presents the next big DC event, but really The Button seems more of an introduction to something that is simply not there. On the plus side, The Button goes back to Batman’s roots with a great detective mystery to solve, but those wanting a strong ending may find this super hero story a bit lacking. Either way, pick this one up for its color, linework, and visual elements. Fans of Batman mysteries and tales of The Flash will not be altogether disappointed.