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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Post by Joe Slab - Flashpoint

sgWelcome to another Aquaman Shrine Guest Post!

With the Flashpoint series set to kick off tomorrow, Shrine Correspondent Joe Slab was kind enough to write a brief summation of what we might be able to expect from DC's newest crossover event, an event that will feature Aquaman prominently:

Flashpoint: Aqua

With Flashpoint #1 by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert hitting the shelves tomorrow, the Aquaman Shrine is providing fans with a "primer" of sorts in preparation. Many of you may be wondering if the Flashpoint is even relevant to Aquaman since it is primarily a Flash-centered event or why you should care about another much-hyped summer blockbuster comic book series? We hope to answer those questions here for you today.
Flashpoint is set up to be for the Flash what Blackest Night was to Green Lantern with both series expanding beyond their main characters and reaching the far corners of the entire DCU. Flashpoint is not an elseworlds story nor is it an alternate universe as many have suggested, but takes place in the present-day DCU, occurring after the conclusion of Brightest Day and the current run of the Flash.

The basic plot premise is that the Reverse-Flash has succeeded in his evil mission to change the past "in a flash" resulting in a radically altered timeline in the present. There are five central characters that Johns is writing Flashpoint around and whose stories weave and intersect throughout the main FP book as well as many of the surrounding mini-series. They are: Barry Allen, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and...Aquaman!

Accordingly, Flashpoint gives us our first solo Aquaman book in almost a decade entitled Emperor Aquaman written by Tony Bedard and with art by Ardian Syaf (who drew the Hawkworld storyline in Brightest Day.) Bedard proudly declares that he has "an irrational love of Aquaman and everyone at DC knows it!" and while Johns is the architect of the larger story, Bedard will be chronicling Aquaman's spotlight role in this FP series. Early spoilers indicate that a global war between Atlantis and the Amazons have Arthur & Diana commanding their respective armies and has a very personal conflict between them raging throughout Flashpoint. Bedard describes his approach to the Emperor Aquaman series as "What if Aquaman was King of the Spartans?"
Aquaman's supporting cast is present and accounted for in Flashpoint and includes Vulko, Ocean Master and of course Mera who is at the heart of the first issue's big mystery "Why did Aquaman drown Western Europe?"

While seeing Aquaman portrayed as a ruthless despot early in the series may be a hard pill to swallow, Bedard has assured Aqua-fans that the Emperor's internal conflict and sense of right will ultimately provide some great character development and an emotionally satisfying resolution to his story. "He's such a cool alternate version of himself, but what may surprise readers is that in many ways this tyrant Aquaman illuminates the character of our Aquaman. In other words, this militant, murderous Aquaman will make you appreciate the real Aquaman all the more!"
Perhaps the most compelling reason for Aqua-fans to care about Flashpoint is in its eventual implications for Aquaman and the rest of DCU as a whole. Rumors abound theorizing that Geoff Johns may be rebuilding the DCU from the ground up and that at Flashpoint's end, the timeline may not be restored to its original canon.

With that possibility in mind, I'm going to go out on a limb to make some early predictions regarding the nature of its outcome for Aquaman and say that it will include a new, clarified origin, a formalized top-echelon leadership role in the DCU, and a return of one or more long lost (or at rest) cast member(s). Who? Well, we'll just have to wait and see...with Johns' launch of the ongoing Aquaman series immediately following Flashpoint, I think it is a safe bet to say that he is heavily invested in showcasing and setting up the Sea King to be a major force in the DCU, as well as "stacking the deck" with both old and new supporting cast. To this end, Flashpoint appears to be Johns' vehicle to do so while continuing to expand and build upon Aquaman’s awesome fan base.

The Aquaman Shrine will be covering Flashpoint (the regular Flashpoint series, the upcoming Emperor Aquaman, and other issues that Aquaman guest stars in) every Saturday after a new issue is released. Just look for this image on all Flashpoint-related posts:


Wings1295 said...

Can't wait! The future is NOW! :)

Aaron said...

Hmmm... You know what? I'd probably enjoy an alternate Aquaman (Tyrant Aquaman, Zombie Aquaman, Steve Reeves Aquaman) a lot more if they'd just give me some friggin' original Aquaman.

Brent said...

Giddiness abounds! :)

JD said...

I hope this series works to the benefit of Aquaman & his supporting cast, but it's hard to accept the possibility of Arthur & Diana being enemies in it, although maybe this series can also fix WW's current continuity and status quo woes.