Flashpoint is DC’s huge new event that has been getting one hell of a media push in the past few months. Complete with its core title, there will be a huge pile of spin offs for the readers to scramble over, as Barry Allen tries to decipher what the hell is going on. In this issue, DC’s speedster wakes up only to find that the world he’s now living in has quite a few changes from the one he’s used to. Some of them he’s more than happy to discover, but others are just a kick in the gut. During all of this, Cyborg is attempting to gather a team capable of taking on the two big bads of the planet before they destroy it in their attempt to take it over.
I went into this issue without reading the prequel books in the Flash title, and was still very much able to enjoy it and understand what was going on. Johns’s twists with some of the events in Barry’s life were to be expected in this alternate world, but that didn’t make them any less effective and vital to the story. The sequence where Cyborg is attempting to gather the troops was a great way to introduce new characters and variations of more familiar ones. My favorite “new” character would have to be Captain Thunder (aka Captain Marvel) and his Battlecat-like sidekick. He’s pissed, wounded, and wants to destroy his enemy with extreme prejudice. Due to the circumstances involved, this scene also could have devolved into a bunch of characters whining and complaining, but Johns effectively uses it to let the reader in on a bit of what’s been going on in the world. Aside from the last few pages, this was the best part of the issue.
You really, really can’t go wrong with Kubert providing the artwork for this series. Page to page it’s a visual treat, and it was honestly the deciding factor in me picking up the issue. From Barry’s hug to Batman swinging over Gotham’s Wayne Casinos, you’re going to get some very good work from not only Kubert, but the inks and colors are on point as well.
When first hearing about this event’s premise, my mind first went to Marvel’s House of M and Age of Apocalypse story lines. Not a bad thing since both companies frequently mirror each other at times, but I’m very much willing to give Flashpoint a chance. I’m more apt to pick up the core title being that it’s only five issues long and the creative team behind it has done very good work in the past. It’s just the plethora of tie-ins that worry me (as usual), especially since I’m not too familiar with the writing teams behind those issues. I do feel that DC kind of robbed Johns of a better issue; the media blitz effectively ruined several surprises that would have had a bigger impact had fans found out as they read the issue. Other than that, Flashpoint is still a fun read and one that is worth taking a look at, especially for fans of alternate story lines or the Flash himself!