Saturday, September 03, 2011

Flashpoint #5 - Oct. 2011

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Comics Weekend "Flashpoint" by Geoff Johns, Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, and Jesse Delperdang.

The final issue of Flashpoint opens with The Flash squaring off against his most tenacious and mendacious of foes, Professor Zoom:
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Zoom explains that, thanks to his presence in the timestream when The Flash altered it, Zoom no longer truly exists. "Freed from the shackles of history", Zoom is free to kill his enemy anytime he wants, and he can't be stopped.

Except, of course, he forgot about Batman, who runs a sword through Zoom's chest as he prattles on!

Even this though doesn't stop the raging battle between the Atlanteans and the Amazons, but our small squad of heroes are helped by a new group, Grifter and The Resistance (who I believe had several hits in the 70s). But one of main bad actors in this little drama, The Enchantress, cannot be stopped, until someone even more powerful, er, drops in:
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Batman lays dying, but has enough time to hand a letter to The Flash, and tell him to "run", run so fats that this whole horrible Flashpoint world will be replaced by something better (um...okay). The Flash does this, and wakes up at the world he recognizes, and finds himself in front of his mother, now back alive.

Then Flash's mother...oh, hell, at this point I'm going to just fess up and admit I didn't understand what the heck was going on, why things were occurring the way they were. Maybe I've simply lost my touch at following the intricacies of superhero comic book continuity (or maybe just don't have the background knowledge I used to), but at a certain point I didn't know why The Flash was doing any of this, or what any of it meant.

Anyway, The Flash runs through the timestream, and finds himself home. He soon makes it to the BatCave, where he is relieved to see that this Batman recognizes him. After explaining what happened (maybe Bats understands it!), The Flash hands Bruce a letter...a letter from his dear departed father from another world:
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...The End.


Okay, now that Flashpoint is over, I can honestly say...um, okay.

I don't think DC did itself any favors revealing that the entire DCU was being overhauled after Flashpoint, because then immediately you knew that whatever happens in this series was moot. So that meant that whatever fun was going to be had in the "event" would have to come from the event itself.

I was on board for that, since, as I said on the Shrine before, I looked at Flashpoint like a 21st Century version of those "What If?" stories Gardner Fox and Julie Schwartz used to hatch in the 1960s, where you could go and do anything with the characters, since the normal rules didn't apply.

Sadly, I think Flashpoint fails there as well--I can't be the only one that was expecting a giant, knock down, drag out conflagration between Aquaman and Wonder Woman and...we never get it. Sure, they finally do start to fight in Emperor Aquaman and Wonder Woman and The Furies, but as soon as they do it cuts away to some other plot line and they're battle is seen only as background. And even though I've been reading comics for decades, I was still kinda excited to see a "cage match" between the King of the Seven Seas and the Amazing Amazon. Flashpoint seemed to be promising that, building towards it, and then...not much.

That said, I did enjoy the final moments of the series, the quiet scene with Barry and Bruce, two characters that don't have a lot in common and rarely have one-on-ones together. I'd love to see a less absurdly-grim Batman, and maybe this small piece of emotional relief afforded him by Geoff Johns will point us towards that.

So...now that we've got Flashpoint out of the way, we can judge the DC's New 52 on its own merits. As I said earlier today, onward and upward!

2 comments:

Curtis said...

Flashpoint is my favorite crisis. I would have liked to see them show how Zoom and Flash caused all this to happen. I think they did better than a Stephen King ending which poorly supports the premise. At least they ran a series where aquaman didn't have to be saved all the time. Bruce Wayne's letter was a nice touch, maybe he go soft and stop fighting crime?

Ryan said...

The story worked and Barry really being the cause and later the solution to everything made sense. So, it worked but some things were just not set up or executed right.