Thursday, 1 September 2011

Flash Drive - a look back at DC's Flashpoint *will contain spoilers*

A few months ago I was happily reading the Flash knowing that big things were on the way. By big things I mean a shake up of the whole universe as far as DC was concerned.

This was of course then followed by a plethora of marketing showing off the launch of all 52 titles that are beginning (or beginning again) in September, which gave a few more things away as well.

So, into the breach (once more) steps Geoff Johns, supported by Andy Kubert’s artwork, to create the five part series Flashpoint.

Following on immediately from the Reverse Flash’s arrival back in the storyline for the Flash, actions were set in motion which - when Barry awoke - had altered the entire world around him.

Normally a miniseries would be self contained and may occasionally slip into other brands, but on this occasion it has created several new ones. For example there was Kid Flash Lost, Deadman & the Flying Graysons and Abin Sur (to name a couple) and an entire political dynamic with an outright war between the Amazonians and the Atlanteans. Considering that all the different titles are written by different writers, the continuity between them all is very good as they revolve around Johns’ central storyline.

Having read several different DC events, I have come to associate Johns with fantastic stories and this is no exception. The issues lead you through the struggle that Barry faces in not only realising what has happened and trying to prevent it from going further down the wrong path. Typically, also with Johns there are misdirections and hints which lead the reader in various direction complete with one almighty moment which changes everything too.

Andy Kubert, as I mentioned earlier, has provided all of the artwork for the main story. As an artist that I like it’s hard to find fault with his work but on this occasion I didn’t feel he always lived up to his normal standard. Don’t get me wrong, it is still incredible work but on occasion I felt that the sheer number of characters that demanded attention (as quite often they were big names involved) meant that you just couldn’t spread the focus and so some of the detail slipped. In other instances you can see where he has tried really hard to pack absolutely every frame with power, energy and vigour.

The final thing to mention is that drawn/written into the final issue is a two page spread that has been raved about as it potentially sets the scene for the new DCU and how things may play out in the broader sense of thing. I’m personally more interested in what happens next as the ambiguity also starts in the issue as well as Barry visits a rather young looking Batman in his cave which raises questions about what has really happened and where this now fits (see arcs such as Battle for the Cowl and subsequent Batman issues to see what I mean).

Love or hate what is happening now this is a miniseries you want to have or try to procure as it tells the story of HOW things changed. Maybe not necessarily why but most definitely how. Plus you get to see so many people in such a different light, it’s worth taking a peek just for an alternative. This hasn’t been my absolute favourite series of the year so far but it is most definitely one of them and I would happily recommend it to any readers Flash fans or not.

This week Matt knew there was a paradox on the horizon and so rode towards it...

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