- ...Hello. You don't have to be shy now. I can feel your presence. Like a wave of static electricity. It's powerful, I'll admit. In fact, I've never encountered anything quite like it. You've done such strange things to the timeline. Things I won't begin to question. and you've remained hidden. From all of them...but I am not like them. My existence is the only constant in a sea of possibilities. I cannot be erased. By you. By anyone. Show Yourself--...I...my God. Wait! Wait, I didn't know! Please! I don't want to d--
Appearing in "The Button, Part Four"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Batman (Thomas Wayne) (Voice only)
- Superman (Cameo)
- The Joker (In a photograph only)
- Iris West (Mentioned only)
- Laurie Juspeczyk (Mentioned only)
- Martha Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Nora Allen (Mentioned only)
- Wally West (Mentioned only)
- Prime Earth
- Flashpoint (Mentioned only)
- New Earth (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Button, Part Four"
Following the destruction of the Flashpoint Timeline, an unknown person watches Reverse-Flash race through time to the source of the button's power with Batman and the Flash tailing him. As they race, this unheard person is shouting, trying desperately to get Barry's attention, hoping he can do for him what he did when he saved Wally West. All he needs is for Barry to listen to him. As he calls Barry from afar, Barry is trying to warn Thawne that whatever is at the end of the path will kill him. Because he is a living paradox, Thawne is undeterred by threat of death, citing other times that he has died to prove his point. He claims that there is no future or past save the one he chooses to establish. At that moment, a lightning bolt from the surrounding timestorm cuts Barry and Bruce off and allows Thawne to outrun them. Eobard brings up killing Nora Allen to change Barry's past, and stated that he will do even more when he harnesses the button's power source.
As he monologues, the unheard voice calls out to Barry again. He doesn't listen to it, but Bruce does and mentions it. Barry says that the voice he heard and the ones he is hearing are only possibilities that never came to be, and to ignore them lest he get lost in a stray moment in time. The voice calls again, and Bruce tries to convince Barry to listen, using Flashpoint as an example. While they debate, Thawne says he plans to return to the night Nora dies, pose as a friend, take Barry in, and raise him as his acolyte. At that moment, the Cosmic Treadmill begins breaking up. Bruce suggests they land whenever they can, but, Barry wants to stop Thawne from reaching his destination. However, they have already reached the end of the path. With a snap of his fingers, Thawne creates a temporal shockwave to throw Barry and Bruce off the broken treadmill, allowing him to reach he place where the button's power source resides.
Once there, Thawne senses the power of the being responsible for everything, describing its presence as static electricity all around him, and claims he has never felt power like it before. He expresses respect for this being's able to alter the timeline and remain hidden. He then claims that he is different from everyone else, and because he is a constant in a multitude of possibilities, no one, not even this entity, can erase him. Lastly, he demands that this entity reveal itself, and it complies. Thawne is shocked by what he sees, and as a wave of blue energy begins to wash over him, he begs for his life. The entity shows him no mercy, and Thawne is disintegrated.
As Thawne's scream is heard across the timestream, a stranded Barry and Bruce realize that he is gone, and without the treadmill, the two are stranded. However, the unknown voice has still been trying to call Barry. As a vortex tries opens up to suck the two in, the voice call out much louder, loud enough for both of them to hear. Barry is worried about where the voice will take them, but Bruce encourages him to grab hold of the voice, as they're out of options. The voice urges Barry to say his name: Jay. Barry complies, and Jay appears at their side in a flash of lightning, silently rejoicing at being set free. Grabbing Barry and Bruce, Jay uses all the power he can muster to return them to the Batcave in their part of time.
Once they get their bearings, Barry demands answers from Jay, believing him to be responsible for everything. Jay explains that he is his friend, and a fellow Flash, and urges Barry to remember him like he did Wally. Barry remembers that Wally mentioned him forgetting people, and asks Jay if he knows who's behind all of this. Jay responds that they took everything from him, but he doesn't know how or why. He tries to get Barry to remember him, but he is already forgetting him. Barry tries to grab Jay, but the energy that killed Thawne surrounds him, pulling him back out of time. Barry ponders how Jay knew him, and Bruce theorizes that he is from a dead timeline like Thomas. Outwardly, Barry agrees with him, but in his mind he thinks that he just wasn't the lightning rod Jay needed to return.
The two take time to visit Thomas' grave. Bruce thinks that the fact that they glimpsed an alternative to Bruce's life is a cruel joke, but Barry considers it a gift rather than a curse. He then brings up the possibility that Thawne was responsible for the alterations to time, but Bruce disagrees, as Thawne is dead. However, Barry considers that his death is the cause and that there are no more leads. Bruce respects his desire to close this case, but he knows that their investigation is far from over. Barry is skeptical about "God" being their prime suspect, but Bruce says that it's all they can go on if they decide to pursue this further. Barry silently ponders dropping the case, then promises to autopsy Thawne for more clues. As they leave the cemetery, Bruce states his belief that their experience wasn't an accident. Getting a chance to see his dad alive, being unable to help Jay, and what Thawne said about "seeing God" could not all have been chance.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce ponders what Flashpoint Thomas said to him about laying Batman to rest. As he reflects, the Bat-Signal appears and Alfred asks him if he plans to respond. Meanwhile, at the spot where Thawne died, the Button that started it all lies there...until a glowing blue hand picks it up.
- This is the final chapter of the "The Button" storyline. It takes place after the events of Batman (Volume 3) #22.
- The cover gives a homage to Flash Comics #1.
- Discuss The Flash Vol 5 22 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the The Flash series
- Images from The Flash Vol 5 22