June 7, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews: Flashpoint Edition pt 1

In honor of DC’s latest event, each week we’ll be reviewing every single tie-in of Flashpoint in this special edition of Crisis of Infinite Reviews! We’ve reposted the reviews for Flashpoint #1 and Booster Gold #44 here as well, so we won’t miss a single chapter. A big thanks to my colleagues for taking on some of the Flashpoint books.

Flashpoint #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
Cover Artists: Andy Kubert, Ivan Reis, and George Perez
Publisher: DC

Barry Allen awakens in a strange new world, or at least new to him. Not only is his mother still alive, he’s no longer the Flash, and the villains he once knew no longer exist. Meanwhile, Cyborg calls a meeting to assess the situation in Europe, where there’s an epic war going on. Unfortunately, Cyborg was unable to deliver his promise of Batman joining the team, and his proposed army disperses into the night. Meanwhile, Barry Allen seeks out the man he believes can figure out all of his problems – Batman.
With as much hype as this story has been getting recently, I must say that I had much higher expectations than what was delivered. The story seems interesting enough, but here’s the problem. While I do enjoy a well developed, thorough story, I feel as if I’ll only be getting part of the story by not reading all of the tie-ins. If that ends up not being the case, then great. For the most part I thought that the art was really nice. The character designs looked cool as well, at least those that actually changed. The reveal at the end was interesting, but I’m still not sure how everything ties together, which I’m sure is the point. Overall though, this issue was just good. 3/5 – AP

Flashpoint #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
Cover Artists: Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC

Barry Allen has awoken to find himself in a world that isn’t the world he knows, and this troubles him. This issue starts us off with a glimpse of the world outside of Barry Allen. A pirate Deathstroke finds himself in the grasp of Aquaman, and Steve Trevor is captured by the Amazons in his search for Lois. Meanwhile, back in Gotham Barry struggles to convince Thomas that he isn’t just another loon. After exchanging blows, he is finally able to convince Thomas of his story; unfortunately, he himself is beginning to forget the truth. In a last ditch effort he attempts to recreate the accident that gave him his powers, only to leave his body burnt to a crisp.
I thought this issue was better than the first. The pacing of the story was better and we got to see more than just Barry. The art was absolutely fantastic. Much like in The Flash, which led into Flashpoint, the art outshines the story on many levels. And while better than the first, a second glance reveals that not much actually happens in this book. While we do see the Atlanteans and the Amazons, they don’t do anything, and other than Barry getting burnt, not much happens on that front either. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I am finding it hard to actually care about what is going on. I appreciate a good alternate universe story, but that’s not what this is. This is just one bored individual who decides to change the world, only to have it all undone later. I mean, Atlantis at war with the Amazons, Europe submerged, Africa controlled by the Gorillas…are we to believe that any of this will have a lasting impact? (And that was before news of the reboot.) The next issue will no doubt have some far-fetched way of healing Barry Allen, and forgive me if I don’t believe this level of stupidity, on Barry’s part, should be rewarded. 3/5 – AP

Flashpoint: Abin Sur the Green Lantern #1
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Artist: Felipe Massafera
Cover Artist: Felipe Massafera
Publisher: DC

Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern continues the alternate reality presented in Flashpoint #1 and #2. We start with a brief look into Abin Sur’s past and his relationship with his sister. A relationship that helped shaped his compassion towards all living creatures. Moving forward to “current” time, we stumble in on him fighting off a slew of Manhunters and kicking some serious ass. He is shortly thereafter summoned back to Oa and told by the Guardians that he must go to Earth and retrieve the White Entity (which seems to be the essence of life) before any harm can come to it. Abin Sur asks about his duties of protecting the people of Earth and the Guardians tell him the entity is all that matters. That’s not good enough for Abin Sur, and he promises himself to do all he can to protect all beings in Sector 2814.

I honestly really enjoyed this issue. It was nice to have a deeper look at Abin Sur and how he views his duties as a Green Lantern. There was also another bit of plot involving Sinestro that is woven throughout and leaves us with a bit of a cliff hanger. I especially loved the art. It was so rich and had so much texture. I’m anxiously looking forward to what happens next. 5/5 -MB

Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Eduardo Risso
Cover Artists: Dave Johnson
Publisher: DC

Revealed to us in the final pages of Flashpoint #1, the Batman of this new world is not Bruce Wayne, but rather his father, Thomas. The issue plays out sort of like a day in the life of Thomas Wayne. We start off with a checkup by his insurance company, to a rundown of what Gotham’s criminals are up to, finally to him lurking around Gotham as the Batman. Thomas is portrayed as a grumpy, unhappy, angry old man who has little to say other than a mumble here or grumble there.
I thought this issue was remarkably uninspiring, which is a shame as I am a huge Batman fan. The biggest issue I had was just how old Thomas was portrayed throughout the whole book, which logically makes sense. However, what then makes no sense, is how this old man could then take on Killer Croc and win, no less. Not to mention the beat down he gave Barry Allen in Flashpoint #2 (which doesn’t do much for Barry’s street cred). I was altogether rather unimpressed with the character as a whole, to be honest. In the regular DC world, he’s what would normally be considered a villain; he’s a grief stricken man who decides to kill people for sport. And while I appreciate that they are trying to prove a point by having the regular Batman villains appear, that these individuals exist outside of Bruce, in some situations that’s simply not true, specifically Hush. 2/5 -AP

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artists: George Pérez and Fernando Blanco
Cover: George Pérez with Tom Smith

“Part One: Hunter’s Moone”: Well, it’s time for yet another DC event. Flashpoint is their newest one, and although I haven’t always been a big fan of events, it gives me a chance to try on new comics and learn more about the DC universe. Case in point with Secret Seven.

OK, I’ll be honest with you. I’m a Marvelite more than I am a DCer (or whatever you guys call yourselves). Yes, I know Superman, Batman, and all the other main Justice League characters. So a lot of the characters and scenarios are completely new to me. However, I do give them credit for allowing newcomers like myself to figure out that it’s about what if the main superheroes never existed, and they’re going to put together a Secret Seven. Of course, there are other things like Rac Shade being haunted by visions of other realities simultaneously, but for the most part, a Marvel fan can feel safe picking this up if he or she is interested.

Now as far as the artwork goes, it’s OK. George Pérez and Fernando do their jobs decent enough, and colorist Tom Smith keeps it clean and simple. There’s nothing here that stunned me, but at the same time, there’s nothing that horrified me either. Same goes for the writing, too. Peter Milligan doesn’t have anything terrible written here, but at the end of the day it’s mostly comic book dialog. Nothing deep or amazing, just decent enough writing to fit in with the panels. However, I did snicker at one of the dialogs:

Rac Shade: I’m not ready to go poking around such a…
Enchantress: Such a what?
Rac Shade: A dark and filthy place.

But childish humor aside, again, nothing terrible but nothing that grabbed me either. As far as the plot goes, it’s too early on to decide whether it’s good or not. Right now it could go either way. A story that ends up being amazing or one of the more forgettable comics of the event. However, if there’s one thing that makes me interested enough to pick up the second issue, it’s one word. Enchantress. I love the way Milligan writes her. She’s mad, crazy, but in a classic witch way (or maybe a less crazy but more edgy Mad Hatter). Her costume is unique and she’s pretty (at least one side of her face, or when she’s June Moon), but not pretty as in a cookie cutter, we’ve seen this a million times before, way. She’s pretty much the glue for the story right now. Let me put it this way – if they came out with an Enchantress solo series, I’d buy it immediately.

Hopefully though, they’ll have even more exciting things in the next two issues, aside from a fun character and the mere potential that this might be a good three issue series. 3.25/5 – AH

Flashpoint: World of Flashpoint #1
Writer: Rex Ogle
Artists: Eduardo Francisco and Paulo Siqueira
Cover: Brett Booth and Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: DC

It is really hard to get into a book when you don’t care about the main character, and that is the case with World of Flashpoint. Little known character Traci 13 is the star of this book, and it was really hard to stay engaged. Here we have a story of a teenage girl with wild magical powers that was unable to save her mom from the sinking of Europe, and now has to stop her dad (Doctor 13) from blowing up 18 million people. That is the main story of this book. I figured with a title like “World of…” readers would be getting a look at everything that is going on in this new world. There were a few “global” glimpses, for example when Traci sees the world map and who controls the territories. It also showed us who some of the world’s leaders are and that was kind of cool, but it pretty much ends there. The highlight of the story was the art, which had some great colors and really suited the feel the book was trying to portray. That’s too bad considering I doubt many people will really care. If you’re a fan of Traci 13, then this is the book for you. If not, then so far this is an easy pass. Let’s see how this one plays out, because if it doesn’t pick up, it seems this will just be a really well drawn, irrelevant tie-in. 2/5 – MP

Booster Gold #44
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Cover Artists: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Publisher: DC

Returning from his search through the time stream for Batman, Booster Gold finds himself under attack. Not only are soldiers firing at him, but bigass satellites in space are shooting heavy duty lasers at him! Why? The surface world is at war with Atlantis. They believe Booster Gold to be Atlantean. They don’t know who Booster Gold is and Booster Gold doesn’t know where he is. Nothing is as, or where, he left it, including Rip Hunter’s time traveling stuff. Before he can set out to find what is going on, he comes face-to-face with an old enemy.
Dan Jurgens is back on the title, and from what I’ve heard he’s the only one who can do Booster right. This is my first experience with Booster Gold’s own book and I couldn’t have picked a better time! There is an excellent rundown of who Booster Gold is and what he’s all about, IN the story! Jurgens does a fine job of bringing new readers up to speed while not missing a beat of the current goings on. The book looks good, too. This is as safe as jumping on points get, and I don’t feel like jumping off. 5/5 – AW

Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!

Arnab Pradhan
Mike Parente
Aron White
Andrew Hudson
Mac Beauvais



  1. I wasn’t too impressed with Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1. It was a bit boring. Thomas is not a very fun guy. I did like Flashpoint #2 just as much as the first one.

    Btw is the cover you point for FP #2 the variant?

  2. @Nick yeah it is the variant. Pretty violent

  3. I loved Batman Knight of Vengeance. I’m a big Azzarello/Risso fan. 100 Bullets is amazing.

    I’d give that issue a 4/5.

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