September 1, 2011

DC Reviews: Flashpoint #5

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Written by: Arnab
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Flashpoint #5
Writer: Geoff Johns
Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, Jesse Delperdang, and Alex Sinclair
Cover Artists: Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC

Months of build up, years of history, it all comes to an end here. When we last left Flashpoint, team Flash, Batman, Cyborg, and friends had just arrived smack dab in the middle of the Amazonian and Atlantean war. This issue starts of with a good dose of dialog on the Reverse Flash’s part, as he gleefully explains that he didn’t create the Flashpoint Universe, Barry Allen did. It turns out that in Barry’s attempts to save his mother, he accidentally shattered history and altered the lives of everyone.

Having exposed Barry as being the ultimate villain and culprit behind this mess, Reverse Flash couldn’t be more pleased with himself, which of course gives Batman enough time to kill him. After a brief interlude, the war starts up again, only this time more metahumans join in the fray, including Superman. When Britain starts to sink, Barry decides it’s time to take matters into his own hands and fix everything.

This was actually a fairly decent ending to what has been a wildly lackluster event. The issue started out with a bang, revealing that Barry was the reason behind everything. It was unexpected, it was exciting, and frankly it was probably the most interesting thing that’s happened since Batman was revealed to be Thomas Wayne. Speaking of Thomas, the Reverse Flash’s death was a nice surprise, although not a complete surprise considering who the Batman is in this universe. As a reader who does not really care about Superman, I will admit that his entrance was kinda cool. Barry saying “knew it” was a nice touch that speaks greatly about who Barry is and who Superman is. At the end there were two touching moments between child and parent, though I’d say that one was definitely more moving than the other.

Now that the good stuff is out of the way, I can go into what wasn’t working for this issue. The biggest thing for me, was the introduction of all the tertiary characters midway through the book. I get that they may have been important in certain tie-ins, but at this point in the main story they’ve played absolutely no role and really just waste space. When it comes to time traveling and the altering of history, there is relatively little explanation. It isn’t explained why everyone’s history is changed as a result of Barry’s meddling, nor is it explained how he goes about fixing things (though that could be intentional). There was also no mention of what occurred in Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3, in which Bart absorbed the Speed Force from all that it touched and sacrificed himself by transferring all of that power into Barry. If anything in all of Flashpoint was touching, that was it. 4/5

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Arnab Pradhan