FLASHPOINT REVIEW: I admit that I did not read FLASHPOINT until the event completed. My buddy dropped off all 61 crossover issues and I was so engrossed with them I read them all in around 3-4 days. Plotwise, FLASHPOINT is similar to when Marvel Comics creates a mega-event where heroes are different due to a timeline/reality modification (Age of Apocalypse, Heroes Reborn, House of M, Age of X). In DC terms, the DC earth became one huge Elseworlds after the Reverse Flash manipulated the timeline and Barry Allen (The Flash) tried to fix it.
FLASHPOINT is a series based on What Ifs? that I am a sucker for. What if Superman’s rocket crash landed in Metropolis? What if Bruce when was shot by Joe Chill and Thomas and Martha Wayne survived? What if the U.S. military had found Doomsday? What if there were no fast heroes? What if Abin Sur had lived? What if six kids had the power of SHAZAM? What if Frankenstein had fought in WWII? What if Oliver Queen had never matured? What if Aquaman wasn’t raised as a human? Okay, you get the picture…FLASHPOINT was truly an all-encompassing event that was meticulously planned out by Geoff John and friends.
There were many plots. Besides the obvious Flash vs Reverse Flash story, the main one was the world war between Wonder Woman and the Amazonians vs Aquaman and the Atlanteans.
I wish I could talk about all of the events and details, or how Flashpoint led into The New 52, but I’ll be typing forever, so I’m going to talk about each series or one-shot.
Flashpoint 1-5: This is the main series, and most fans just bought these. It’s a shame since they missed so much backstory in the other minis. Unlike say, Infinity Gauntlet, CRISIS, Legends, or Secret Wars- just to name random mini-series- picking up many of the FLASHPOINT minis were necessary to enjoy the main series, and were value added purchases. Compared to, say, Final Crisis, Dark Reign, and Invasion (more random events), some of the FLASHPOINT minis were extraordinary and not simply “retelling” the main action from a different point of view.
Anyway, the art in FLASHPOINT by Art Kubert is beautiful. The FLASHPOINT main series is where the main action occurs and it set the mystery and suspense, not to mention describing this nightmare world/alternate reality that only The Flash knows is false. If there are any flaws in FLASHPOINT, they would be that some of the other miniseries are not referenced, and that the editorially mandated transition into setting up The New 52 felt rushed out out of place. Another gripe: it didn’t wrap up all of the storylines from all of the minis. Other than that, I highly recommend DC’s FLASHPOINT. You may actually cry at the end thanks to a very emotional scene with Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen.
Booster Gold 44 – 47: Dan Jurgens handles Booster Gold vs Doomsday (very scary fight) and time traveling. Very engrossing since Booster Gold is outside of the timeline.
Flashpoint Batman: Knight of Vengeance 1 – 3: Written by Brian Azzarello, he has once again shown why he should be considered an A-List writer. Like, uhm, you know how true comic book fans know that Batman has the best mini-series, one-shots, or Elsewords stories? Yeah, you can pretty much file Batman: KoV along with the great Batman stories. Thomas Wayne becomes Batman after his son Bruce is shot, and…(spoiler) Martha Wayne becomes The Joker. Thomas is even more psychotic than Bruce, and wants to undo this SICK reality. A MUST READ for any Batman fan. I don’t care if you have to go to Barnes & Nobles right now- go get this. Very MOVING and emotional.
Flashpoint Secret 7 1-3: Writer Peter Milligan takes you on a psychedelic journey, with cool art by Fernando Blanco. Secret 7 is self-contained and could stand on its own separate from FP. It was over my head, like so many DC magic books are. Probably should be read at least 3 times, alas…
Flashpoint Abin Sur: The Green Lantern 1 – 3: One of the best treatments of the character, written by Adam Schlagman and marvelously drawn by Felipe Massafera. Great way to include Blackest Night in FLASHPOINT. This is an emotional story about Abin Sur: he comes off like Martian Manhunter here (a philosophical peacemaker/warrior). His love for his sister is a tear-jerker as well. I wish Abin Sur would be alive in DCnU. Why wasn’t Abin Sur in Flashpoint #5, Mr. Geoff Johns????
World of Flashpoint 1 – 3: This is an overview of the “World of Flashpoint”, and features a new magic user named Traci 13, who is a 16-year old. This featured the only happy ending of this event, as well. Writer Rex Ogle was great; it felt like a hip Vertigo title. There were a couple of different artists and they were hot. I was amazed that DC has so many hot artists. Sometimes my head is stuck in the 1990s where DC decided to go with “reliable veterans” as opposed to coolness.
Flashpoint Emperor Aquaman 1-3: Aquaman is a evil badass. This ties in directly into the main storyline and shows the events that caused Aquaman and Wonder Woman to split (they were both being manipulated by their advisers). Aquaman is consumed by betrayal and Wonder Woman killing Mera. He is full of irrational hatred. He took out parts of Europe and wanted to destroy the world.
Flashpoint Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager 1-3: Awesome side adventure by Jimmy Palmiotti (writer) and Joe Bennett (artist). Is Deathstroke a natural pirate or what? The art is a little sloppy at times, but this is one mini series that will be missed from DCnU.
Flashpoint Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown 1-3: This has to be the most fun and innovative FLASHPOINT series. It’s an ensemble book that spans throughout the years. It’s kinda like the Hellboy movies. Writer Jeff Lemire truly injected personality into the monsters. I was blown away by this series. Although it doesn’t tie into the main series, it will be featured in the New 52 as its own title. Sign me up.
Flashpoint Citizen Cold 1-3: With Barry Allen not in this continuity, Captain ahem Citizen Cold is the hero, although he’s still a bastard. Unfortunately this comic series is better as a concept than in execution. Not sure why Iris West is so dumb on this earth. It started off great with Cold vs Mr. Freeze, but went downhill real quick, and Wally West (who?) got jobbed out. This was not a good series by Scott Kolins. At least the art (by Kolins as well) was OK.
Flashpoint Wonder Woman and the Furies 1-3: Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Scott Clark, Dave Beatty, and Nei Ruffino. Along with Emperor Aquaman, this is mandatory reading to find out Wonder Woman’s side of the war. I was really into this series and was blown away by the modern CGI/anime/crazy artwork. Yes, it was hot, and I mean steaming at times. I like the whole evil Amazonians being dominant. I wanted them dead!
Flashpoint Deadman and the Flying Graysons 1-3: By J.T. Krul (writer) and Fabrizio Fiorentino (artist). Although there were good moments, this series was held back by bland artwork and poor pacing. A chore to get through, although I liked Dick and his parents. Deadman was too much of a jerk, and Dr. Fate was asleep too much. Pass.
Flashpoint Legion of Doom: Kinda bait and switch, this LOD had nothing to do with the Superfriends cartoon, the Justice comic book series, or the Road Warriors. Instead it’s criminal prison, where most of the B, C, and D-listers are held. Too bad the star is Heatwave. Not only is he the biggets douche bag of all time, but he’s damn near invincible even though his only weapon is a freakin’ blowtorch. At least an evil version of Plastic Man is in prison. Anyway, Heatwave does some real sadistic stuff in this book. The violence was too over the top for a mainstream comic in DCU proper, and I think writer Adam Glass was just having sick fun by having Heatwave pop The Atom’s head and having Plastic Man go into people’s mouths. Artwork by Rodney Buchemi was not good, and brought memories back to 1990s DC crap. This is the only FLASHPOINT title that was offensive. If its purpose was to make Heatwave a major villain for taking out Firestorm in an alternate reality, it has failed. The prison scenes and breakout was too much to bear. At least Cyborg (earth’s greatest FLASHPOINT hero) kicked his ass at the end, and Plastic Man was seen in a different light. Man, I want Heatwave killed off.
Flashpoint Grodd of War 1: Why does Gorilla Grodd only get a one-shot? This is the best single issue of FLASHPOINT. Gorilla Grodd has conquered Africa, and is unopposed. He’s so bored that he becomes depressed. He is a ruthless leader. He is invincible. This is Planet of the Apes on steroids. Can Gorilla Grodd please have his own comic in the New 52? Or at least Gorilla City? Or Africa? Or at least about DC’s intelligent apes? I mean, Africa is so underutilized in the DCU that Grodd could easily set himself up in a country and rule with an iron fist. Props to go out to writer Sean Ryan and artist Ig Guara (nice name). You don’t have to know anything about FLASHPOINT and this comic still holds up. GRODD OF WAR SHOULD HAVE BEEN THREE ISSUES AND HE SHOULD HAVE HAD A MAJOR ROLE IN FLASHPOINT #5 INSTEAD OF ONE PANEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Flashpoint Lois Lane and the Resistance 1-3: A bridge between Aquaman’s comic and Wonder Woman’s, with direct influence on Flashpoint, sometimes this was great and sometimes it was repetitious. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning fit a lot of details into this series, and in many ways was truly the “World of Flashpoint”. Artwork was great (Gianluca Gugliotta + Christian Duce).
Flashpoint The Outsider 1- 3: Michael Desai was born in Chandigarh, India and broke out from poverty to become Flashpoint Earth’s most devious villain (although his motivation is profit and power as opposed to blowing the earth up). I wonder if A-List writer James Robinson ever read Tony Vahl and Damian Hospital’s Dream Seeker Universe, because The Outsider seems to be their villain Nehal Singh “The One”. Anyway, he’s the best new villain DC has come up with in a while, and I hope he makes it to DCnU. The Outsider Javi Fernandez’s art is dark and murky. Pretty cool that villains starring in books has worked so well for FLASHPOINT. Highly recommended.
Flashpoint Kid Flash Lost 1-3: Proper send off to a hero (Impulse) by writer Sterling Gates that’s been ruined by DC Comics, that tied directly into Flashpoint #5, although not mentioned (he gives Barry his full Speed Force power).
Flashpoint Reverse Flash 1: What a psychopath. This issue is his origin of Reverse Flash and how he’s involved in FLASHPOINT. Scott Kollins does a good job to show how nuts and full of hatred Reverse Flash is, not to mention how powerful he is (can run to any point in time and kill anyone). Artwork doesn’t fit the comic, though (Joel Gomez).
Flashpoint Project Superman 1-3: Explains how Kal-El was taken out of FLASHPOINT and how the planet pretty much became a World Without Heroes. Could have been a great Elseworlds mini-series. The U.S. government (General Lane, Lois’ dad) sucks. Writers Lowell Francis and Scott Snyder weaved a very ugly reality where Kal-El has been imprisoned and kept away from sunlight for such a long time. Krypto was experimented on and killed after he killed Lex Luthor when he was a kid (Lionel tossed young Lex into the dog’s jowls). Directly ties into Flashpoint #5, but Superman does star in FP#5, which is disappointing. I guess Geoff Johns did not want him to be a deus ex machina, like when Grant Morrison used him in Final Crisis. Gene Ha’s artwork is good for the most part.
Flashpoint Green Arrow Industries 1: What if Oliver Queen was more like Tony Stark? Excellent concept: Queen takes weapons from super-villains, redesigns them, and sells them back to the U.S. government. Writer Pornsak Pichetshote takes Queen to new heights. Karma gets back to Queen when one of his daughters he didn’t even know he had tries to assassinate him. How was this just a one shot?
Flashpoint Hal Jordan 1-3: Since Abin Sur never died, Jordan lives his dream to be a test pilot like his dad. Hal is basically the same guy without the ring, which was a good character study. This should have been a one-shot, and the FLASHPOINT reading order/shipment dates made Hal’s ultimate sacrifice less effective. Adam Schlagman writes it well, but this should have been a one-shot, instead of three issues. Ben Oliver’s art is fantastic. This is one of the few concept books that wasn’t executed well because it was so predictable. Just seemed a way to cash in on Hal Jordan’s popularity.
Flashpoint The Canterbury Cricket 1: Pass.
To recap- Awesome FLASHPOINT comics: Booster Gold, Flashpoint, Batman, Abin Sur, World of Flashpoint, Emperor Aquaman, Deathstroke, Frankenstein, Wonder Woman, Grodd, The Outsider, Project Superman, and Green Arrow.
FLASHPOINT and DCnU: Unfortunately, DC Comics decided to keep FLASHPOINT as a backdoor to the old DCU in case things don’t go well for DCnU. DCnU is NOT a complete reboot like the newspapers reported, and was created by The Flash running through time.
DON’T BELIEVE THE NEGATIVITY ON CBR, IGN, AND THE DC BOARDS: Read Flashpoint