Episode 1653 Talkback - Off the Racks Review on 'The Button'

Button, Button, who's got 'The Button'? WE have! Here's our take on the four-part story (Batman #21-22 and The Flash #21-22) that takes Batman and the Flash back to the Flashpoint reality and outside time itself, on the trail of answers to the questions raised by last year's DCU Rebirth Special. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1:13:36)

Listen here.


  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,967

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1:13:36)

    Listen here.

    “Who watches the watchmen?"

  • edited May 2017
    So was I the only one who thought Superboy-Prime (or maybe Superman-Prime) at the end?
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 1,013
    edited May 2017
    I wasn't planning to read this and started listening to the episode but I might pick up the issues now and finish later to follow along. DC should send these guys a sales commission!
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,627
    The thing I like about episodes like this is that I can get all the details without having to read books I have no interest in reading. And it beats reading a Wikipedia entry. ;)
  • AgitpropAgitprop Posts: 12
    I was very happy to see this episode appear in my feed! The as-they-happen event discussion episodes were one of my favorite parts of CGS before they fell by the wayside. I would love for you guys to do these more often. And while I'm making entitled demands, finish the Sandman BOTM series too! :smiley:
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 350
    CGS, you are fast becoming my favorite thing ever - I seriously JUST PUT DOWN part 4 of "The Button" when this Off The Racks popped up in my iTunes :joy: Your timing was perfecto and your insights were fantastico and I, too, think that this mini-event was fun but ultimately more sizzle than steako.

    As far as I can tell, there were really only two important reasons for DC to do this: 1) to remind readers about the "lost time" / Watchmen umbrella arc started last year and mostly forgotten about since, as they need to start promoting this fall's more major "Doomsday Clock" event; and 2) to compromise Batman, possibly, because he'd look like an idiot if we got to November and he *still* hadn't figured out the secret of The Button and the New52's lost time, but now we can say he was thrown/distracted/delayed by Flashpoint Thomas Wayne's urging for him to drop being Batman. By the way, am I the only one who thinks that wasn't really Flashpoint Thomas Wayne, but actually a construct of Dr. Manhattan's created merely to throw/distract/delay Batman? On the podcast, you guys implied as much when you said sidelining master-strategist Batman would be a goal of any DCU adversary. But I didn't know if you were saying that you thought Flashpoint Thomas Wayne was merely being manipulated to say what he did, or if he was entirely artificially created by Dr. M.
  • fredzillafredzilla Posts: 2,093
    I really enjoyed this episode. I got the first half of the story in my DCBS order last month, read through it and really liked it. I picked up Part 3 last week at my LCS during FCBD, and finally picked up Part 4 today. It was a good story, but I didn't like how the end leads right into big event. I know that's kind of the point with serialized monthly comics, but I'm so over all of the big events and multi-book tie-ins. Although I will say this episode really psyched me up for this little four issue story. And I'll agree with @BionicDave, I was shocked at the timeliness of this episode. Thanks for jumping on this one so quickly. I did miss hearing @wildpigcomics thoughts, but maybe we'll get that in an upcoming Comic Talk? Keep up the good fight, Geeks!
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 301
    edited May 2017
    The storyline started off with promise, but quickly devolved into the same disingenuous "filibustering" we've come to expect from DC. In fact, it wasn't so much a coherent story as it was a series of fan service pandering, meant to keep us following that same old carrot on a stick. The example from the story that perfectly embodies this lazy, presumptuous storytelling is "The Hall of Lost and Found". On the surface, it's yet another "nostalgia I-Spy" that harkens back to The Maestro's graveyard of Marvel's past in "Future Imperfect" (1992). But here's where it completely breaks down: The description of this section of the JLA Watchtower went like this:

    "After the Justice League missions, we secure the stray artifacts here."

    Cool concept, right? However, it obviously wasn't a place to store "stray artifacts" from the varied enemies and threats the JLA encounter, since easily 80% of the visible items belonged to fellow superheroes or even fellow JLA members! This is my core problem with this story, and the larger Rebirth initiative in general: Rather than simply telling a story and taking us from point A to point B, DC throws in the anchor and drags this stuff out far past the point of fan forbearance...while cynically (and nonsensically) tossing in just enough "fanboy catnip" to distract us from these threadbare storylines.

    "Oh, look! The Cosmic Treadmill!"

    "Hey! It's Jay Garrick...OH, awwww....he disappeared again!"

    "Ahhh! A Crisis scene!!!!"

    And so on, and so on, etc, etc, etc.

    Look...I generally love well done nostalgic moments in comics. Alan Moore and Curt Swan's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Steel?" remains one of my mountaintop comic book experiences. However, the level at which DC routinely doles out this knee-jerk nostalgia is just cynical, calculating, and, frankly, borderline a busive. We now find ourselves in the midst of the first MULTI-YEAR comic book event, and at what point do we say "enough is enough"? Ahh...but just when we're about to throw in the towel, DC tosses us Krypto, the Anti-Monitor, or some Silver Age background chachki, and we're pacified for another couple of months (in this case, until November of 2017 when Geoff Johns doles out yet another nostalgia-wrapped doggie treat).

    "I'm just a puppet who can see the strings." -Dr. Manhattan
  • Adam_Murdough, you gave my heart an instant palpitation the moment you mentioned The New Universe! Go ahead and take the full 175 issue plunge and commiserate with my kind of crazy. Magniconte! P.S. I would like to point out that The Pitt one-shot did not introduce The New Universe. It was actually John Byrne and Mark Gruenwald's radical attempt to either reinvent and salvage the whole concept or kill Jim Shooter's last Marvel baby via a late term abortion. Either way, The Pitt would be horrifying to any Pennsylvanian for sure. Magniconte again!
  • alienalalienal Posts: 481
    Like Shane I thought the issues read fast and were quite decompressed, but there were some interesting points. I did like how Batman hung in there expecting Flash to show up within a minute...but he was late! Then, as Chris said in the next episode, I was most interested in the Thomas and Bruce interaction, but most of the other stuff just had me confused. As @Mark_Engblom mentioned above, the homages and past DC references seem to be something added to keep older DC fans happy, but they were lost on me since my comic reading is sporadic at best. "Hypertime? What the heck?!?" Of course, I've heard mention of it, but I never read The Kingdom or those clone Superboy issues. Still, I enjoyed hearing Murd, Shane, and Pants discussing the items in that room. Anyway, nice to hear the DC-raised CGSers get off on "The Button." I wonder if @Pants, who said that he didn't get his Button comics thru DCBS, pre-ordered them thru his LCS, because it would be pretty risky to just hope they had enough copies on hand. As for the 80's New Universe, ah...I enjoyed that kind of "realistic" take on super-heroes (it was sort of a precursor to the TV show Heroes). I miss it. I even enjoyed that Warren Ellis new version from a few years ago. Oh, and to point out it was Shane and not Murd who said The Pitt introduced the New Universe. As for Silver Surfer: I order it, then don't order it. Then I order it because so many folks rave about it, then I don't order it. I guess I don't understand Pants enthusiasm for it but, I'm guessing it might have something to do with the Dr. Who connection. After I finish an issue of SS, I just think "So what?" Good job, Murd. Not muddled!
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