DC’s summer super-event, Flashpoint has both the fun of an alternate reality tale and the reward of a continuity storyline. Written by Geoff “I am DC” Johns, with stunning artwork by Andy Kubert, the first issue is largely spent setting up this previously unseen ‘world’. And what a world they have crafted! Though I’m more a fan of Green Lantern than of The Flash, this event looks to be far more exciting… and dare I pun ‘fast paced’, than Blackest Night or Brightest Day.
Before diving into Flashpoint, I would recommend reading The Flash #12, also released this week. While this first issue does a good job of standing on its own merits, Geoff Johns’ The Flash has some big plot payoffs, and is an easy enough read even if you haven’t been following the series before this.
The seeming tagline for Flashpoint is ‘a world without Barry Allen… as The Flash’. Still, from what has been published so far, I’m not sure that the Scarlet Speedster’s existence is the key alteration upon which the final plot-turns will hinge. I’d warn of spoilers ahead, but the first issue of the mini-series-mega-crossover event reveals little that previews marketing material has not already announced a dozen times over.
Atlantis and Themyscira, or the kingdoms of Aquaman and Wonder Woman for us layman fans, have embarked on a campaign of world conquest. The heroes (and I use the term loosely) that remain consist of Citizen Cold, Shazam, Secret Seven, and a few other minor characters. With Cyborg attempting to organize a resistance, hopes hinge on Batman’s participation. This push to have Cyborg at the forefront of a major title bodes well for the future of this oft-underused great DC hero.
Some of the alternate reality ‘character twists’ were interesting, but alone, they did not amount to anything that hasn’t already been done a dozen times over. Instead, it was the last page reveal regarding Batman that had me actually interested in what else Johns has up his sleeve. Sadly, Johns is not the writer for all, with so many title tie-ins and character crossovers, but I have more faith in his ‘architectural plot-plans’ having finished this first issue.
Still, I am worn out with cross-title super events that promise to redefine “everything we know of…(insert here)”, but so rarely deliver. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. And looking ahead to DC’s Flashpoint line up, with miniseries tie-ins one after another, I’m already exhausted by a storyline that only started a few days ago. Which makes enjoying this first issue that much more frustrating. So, fan-beware: this is a fun, exciting new comic that probably involves committing to an awful lot of weekly books to be best enjoyed. Sadly, a lot of these titles won’t have any significance five years from now.