"Batman" writer Tom King is teasing his upcoming Watchmen-centric arc, "The Button," sharing a piece of art from the storyline along with a classic line from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' iconic series.
The art, illustrated by Jason Fabok, shows Batman's Batcave monitors all displaying the same image -- a shot of the Comedian's familiar blood-splattered smiley face button. Along with the art -- which shows Batman analyzing the blood for DNA and checking out a Gotham City hockey game, among other things -- King quotes Watchmen character we've neither seen nor heard from yet in the Rebirth Universe: Rorschach. "None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me."
None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me.
Coming in Batman 21. Art by Jason Fabok. pic.twitter.com/pF1goWq8Pk
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) February 24, 2017
In "Watchmen," Rorschach utters this line when he finds himself incarcerated with a number of villains he himself sent to prison. As the bad guys soon discovered, the words were not mere bravado, as Rorschach killed every last person who stood in his way as he made his escape. Whether King included the quote as a clue regarding the Watchmen character's DCU debut, or if it's intended to be read in Batman's voice is unclear. What we do know is that this is not a cover -- King confirmed in a subsequent tweet that it's a splash page from the issue, so whatever it shows us is 100% in canon.
“The Button” unfolds across “Batman” and “The Flash” #21 and #22, with King and Fabok handling creative duties on the former, while “The Flash” installments will come from writer Joshua Williamson and artist Howard Porter. DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is overseeing the entire arc, as he plans to write the publisher's Rebirth Watchmen event for 2018.
Here’s DC’s official description of the storyline: “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 countdown starts here!”
“When we went out and we set up Rebirth, we set up a two-year story,” DC co-publisher Dan DiDio recently said of the unfolding Watchmen mystery. “A lot of the questions that are out there will be answered during that two-year plan. The goal is not to answer every question in the beginning, but to roll things out and continue to excite people all the way through. You’ll see a lot of twists and turns coming out over the next year or so that will get you to, hopefully, where you want to be.”
"The Button" kicks off when "Batman" #21, by Tom King and Jason Fabok, arrives in stores April 19.