Flash #22 is going to big. Not just the final installment of the four-part Batman/Flash ‘Watchmen’ crossover, it’s also the return of Jay Garrick.
A Flash by any other name
Well… bet you didn’t see this one coming. Today we’ve got another cover from the series’ lenticular variants, which you can see to the right. Just click the image to see the effect. That’s cool and all, but we’ve also got a pretty monstrous announcement from DC.
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 that delivers the next piece of the larger, ongoing puzzle. DC has revealed three of the four lenticular covers for issues #21 and #22 of BATMAN and THE FLASH, with a mysterious fourth cover now throwing a wrench into the gears of this epic BATMAN/THE FLASH crossover!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 Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive will discover something completely unexpected along the way!As the lenticular covers have rolled out, we’ve seen Batman, The Flash and Reverse-Flash all change and transform as the image moves from one character to the next. Now, with the reveal of THE FLASH #22’s main image, we see someone not even hinted at in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1! What does this mean for “The Button,” and who else might show up along the way? The ticking clock starts now… or is it completely smashed?
Speed forces and consequences
So obviously, there’s something very big happening here, and it’s not limited to Jay’s return. As the pr text says, there wasn’t even a remote hint that he was in the mix here, and yet this major DC character has suddenly reappeared.
Much like the original DCU’s Wally West, Jay is a major part of what’s been previously retconned out Flash history. As you might have guessed, he’s also a user of the Speed Force. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s a kind of universal connective tissue in DC, that certain people can tap into. Barry Allen (the current Flash) is one such person.
The Speed Force can be used to do all kinds of things. It can be used to time travel, and (apparently) even keep users safe from timeline shifts. There’s evidence of that with what happened at the end of Flashpoint. Was Jay simply hiding in it, a’la Wally? Or will he bust through from the original DCU, still out there somewhere? We don’t know the answer there just yet.
I have a feeling that it’s going to be a while till we find out too.
Although Jay’s presence will no doubt factor into DC’s books in the short term, there’s something much bigger happening here. Something that involves not just the Speed Force, but the New 52/Rebirth universe, and the Watchmen. Well, Doc Manhattan at least.
It’s out there, and probably a little pie in the sky, but I can’t help thinking that we’re heading into a return of the ‘DCU classic’. Whatever happens, this is going to be a fun year for DC fans.