August 16, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews: Flashpoint Edition pt. 10

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3
Writer: JT Krul
Artist: Fabrizio Florentino
Cover Artists: Cliff Chiang and Jared Fletcher
Publisher: DC

Dick, Boston, and the rest of the survivors are running away from the dangerous Amazons. The Amazons are attempting to retrieve a helmet that they believe will turn the tide in the war against the Atlanteans. After bringing in Starfire to burn down the entire city, Dick decides it’s time to join the resistance and fight back.
This issue was decent with regards to the story, and passable as far as the art is concerned. However, this issue was nowhere near as exciting as the previous two. Not only were the fight scenes not as entertaining, but overall the story was fairly predictable: from Dick’s parents dying, to Deadman dying, to the whole circus gang being approached to fight in the meta-human war. Overall it was a decent issue, but it still had major things going against it. All that against it though, I will say that I liked the way J.T. Krul wrote Boston Brand. In a limited amount of space he was able to show real character development and growth, which I found impressive. 3/5 – AP

Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3
Writer: Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins
Cover Artist: Scott Kolins
Publisher: DC

This is easily the best issue of the Citizen Cold story. The battles with each vengeful rogue come to a head, while Cold explains his reasoning behind each one hating him. Some of the reasons are obvious; others have a nice little twist. Tarpit and Trickster have a funny moment, showing their age and inexperience while explaining what some of the other villains are up to. The ending was quite unexpected at first, but makes sense in the end. Kolins really showed his experience with these characters throughout this series, but especially in this issue. The motivations for each villain as well as Cold were really well done, and Cold’s nod to the real DCU was nice. One of the best ways to explain the Rogues is that they are little fish trying to swim in a big pond. These are all b-list villains at best, but when presented in the right way they make themselves seem like so much more. The key is to make that whole “little fish” ideal come full circle in the end, and Kolins does exactly that. Kolins’s art felt especially crisp in this issue, but it has been well done throughout most of the series anyway. If you’re a big Flash fan, especially of the Rogues, then this series is for you. If you are not too familiar with these characters, it wouldn’t be horrible for you to read this series, but it would be hard to really appreciate certain characters moments and agendas. 4/5 – MP

Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #3
Tony Bedard
Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Artist:
Syaf & Cifuentes with Ritter

This mini would have been much better if the events that took place in this issue were spread out throughout the three chapters. Too much stuff gets jammed into not only this issue, but the entire mini overall that just didn’t need to be there, like 75% of #2 focusing on Emperor Aquaman’s origin. Give us a one-shot about that, or just a page, but not an issue’s worth of origin story in a tight, compact story. Here we get the final (maybe?) face off between Aquaman and Wonder Woman acompanied by an all-out battle between the Atlanteans and Amazons. The only problem? The “duel” lasts a handful of panels and the all-out battle a handful of pages. This is the problem. More time should have been spent on that stuff, highlighting the meat of the piece and the showdown between the two major players, as opposed to spending so much time on pointles stuff that won’t matter after Flashpoint #5. The editors of these tie-ins need to realize they are telling the story of this new world, and we don’t need every freakin’ detail of every character. Tony Bedard did a great job weaving a tale of deception and betrayal, and to take away from that was just wrong. Still, this series was entertaining and the artwork by Syaf and Cifuentes was some of the best in any Flashpoint book from #1 to #3. I’ve added the DC New Universe Aquaman #1 to my pull because of this mini, and while I know the creative team and actual character are completely different, this story made me realize that when handled correctly, Aquaman is a badass. 3.5/5 – AL

Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3
Jeff Lemire
Andy Smith
Cover Artist:
Doug Mahnke

Everything gets wrapped up nicely in this issue, as one of the better Flashpoint tie-ins comes to a close. While not as strong as the previous two installments, this one still delivers and left me with a positive impression looking ahead to Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. which debuts next month. The main reason why this mini worked was because Jeff Lemire succeeded in taking some pretty obscure characters and making us care about them. He added layers of humanity to this squad of monsters, and made it clear that all the members have souls. When one of the main characters died in this issue, I actually cared. Hopefully this mini got people excited for Agent of S.H.A.D.E. as it’s also written by Lemire. I think it’s going to be good, but will unfortunately fly under many radars. My gripes with this series are few. Like many of the concluded Flashpoint tie-ins, this final issue felt very rushed, with lots crammed into it. If the whole point of this mini was to set the stage for the new series, I’m OK with it as the exposition will now have been delivered. However, if this was just a one and done tale, unrelated to the new series, then editorial should have helped Lemire trim the fat and keep the focus on the title character. Cut out his wife and the monster hunter, and make it about these characters lost in a new world. Once again, we don’t need all the extra stuff that just makes things convoluted. Andy Smith takes over on pencils for Ibraim Roberson, and I didn’t even notice until looking at the credits, so props to him. In many of the other tie-ins the fill-in artists have been horrendous, but not here. If you skipped this mini, pick it up. Despite its inauspicious cast, it held its own from start to finish and gives me faith in Jeff Lemire for not only Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., but Animal Man as well. Then again, after reading Sweet Tooth since #1, I’ve already been a Lemire believer. 3.5/5 – AL

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

Arnab Pradhan
Mike Parente
Andy Liegl



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