The Button mystery of DC Rebirth comes to Batman and the Flash

When the DC New 52 universe transitioned to the Rebirth Universe it was done with a lot of thought and its own story.  What is hinted at is that the all powerful Watchmen character, Doctor Manhattan was some how behind the creation of the New 52 Universe.   Alan Moore the writer of Watchmen was long against anyone meddling with his universe.  In his eyes the Watchmen was story was a self contained work of art and nobody should play with it.  That view was respected for a long time but beginning about 6 years ago DC tentatively began creating prequels and other stories set in the Watchmen universe.  The major change was that the film Watchmen brought greater interest in the story and that universe.  There was effectively a great demand for new Watchmen stories and DC decided to create something to fulfill that demand.  Up until Rebirth though the Watchmen and DC universes were seemingly kept separate that has changed with Rebirth.  It is very clear that the Watchman Universe is has now effected the DC universe in a major way.

I do not always like these Universe or Time Alteration stories they can at times descend into a pseudoscientific gordian knot that no reader can cut through.  Sometimes though they can offer up some really original moments, and bend the familiar into crazy what if scenarios.  The Button is playing with great material, the potential for Bruce Wayne to work with his father from the Flashpoint Universe offers a dizzying array of possibilities.  Then mixing in the Flash, the New 52 and Watchmen this is can't miss comic book reading.

DC Official synopsis of the Button Mystery Crossover:
“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!”

Why Doctor Manhattan created New 52 Universe, how it was done these things have not been explained.  This mystery is not being ignored however there are small hints that something has taken place and DC will drill into the mystery with Flash and Batman comics in April.  The mystery that began way back in last year's DC Universe: Rebirth #1 will finally begin to play out.

A Toylab Note from no where: Expect April's Flash #21 and Batman #21 to be VERY popular comics!  Both Batman and Flash currently have the same numbering and 21 and 22 of both series will make a four part look at the Rebirth mystery.

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What's deal with the Button?

In the beginning of Batman's Rebirth run he finds a bloody smiley face button in the Bat Cave.  The button is the same type of Button that started the mystery in original Watchmen story when the Comedian was murdered.  Effectively, DC has created a murder mystery to explain how their universes united.  Instead, of a huge dramatic universe colliding story its a personal bloody, detective story.  I personally find this approach to be awesome!

The Comedian's bloody button remains as one of the most iconic symbols of the Watchmen Universe.  It dropping into the Batcave is very interesting because it says a few things.  First who the heck was in the Batcave?  2nd it obviously has something to do with Watchmen characters.  Finally, why did the person who entered the Batcave provide a clue to Batman?

Perhaps the biggest question of all is who's blood is on the button?  When universes meet in such a mysterious way it really could be anyone!

Flash Point Influence?

Batman #22 features the Thomas Wayne / Flash Point version of Batman standing over the bodies of Bruce and Martha Wayne.  This revisit of the Flash Point universe likely points toward some elements from that event effecting the creation of the New 52 universe as well as the Rebirth Universe.  The letter that Thomas Wayne sent Bruce may also factor into this story somehow.

Flash Point summary:
Flash Point was the DC event that preceded the New 52.  In Flash Point Barry Allen awakes to a world where there is seemingly no Superman and no Justice League.  In this world Barry never received the powers of the Flash.

Meanwhile Aquaman and his armies of Atlantis and Wonder Woman with her armies of Amazons are at war and threaten to destroy the entire world.

Barry finds that Cyborg is the world preeminent hero but is greatly under matched with out a Justice League to back him up.   The world still has a Batman but this Batman does not get along with Cyborg.  Researching Batman, Barry discovers that Bruce Wayne is not Batman but his father Thomas Wayne.  Bruce was killed instead of his parents in this timeline.  Like wise Martha, Bruce's mother has become this world's Joker.  Thomas Wayne uses money from casinos to fund his super hero career.

Barry initially believes this alternate reality was created by the Reverse Flash.  However, he learns from the Reverse Flash that Barry inadvertently created the Flashpoint reality when he brought the entire Speed Force into himself in order to save his parents from the Reverse Flash.  The Reverse Flash then gloats that he can now kill Barry without worrying about any paradoxes but before he can do so he is killed by Batman who shoves an Amazon sword through his gut.  Thomas Wayne then gives Barry a letter to his son Bruce and tells Barry to set the universe right.  Knowing that the paradox that began this universe is when his mother died Barry goes back and sets everything to normal.  He awakens after seeing numerous worlds and gives the letter from Thomas Wayne to Bruce.

The world that Barry awakens into is the New 52 Universe.  That we now know was also in part created or at least influenced by some of the Watchmen characters.  Does this mean that Watchmen characters also had a role in the creation of Flashpoint?

At the beginning of New 52 it was assumed that the the Flashpoint universe had become unraveled and no longer existed.  Those that remember that universe like Flash and Eobard Thawne were simply people that survived it.  That said the presence of Thomas Wayne coming into these stories means that more aspects of the Flashpoint universe have survived.

Who put the Button on the Wall?
Right now everything points toward Eobard Thawne.  He remembers being killed by Thomas Wayne in the Flash Point universe and has a major beef with Batman.

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