Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Flashpoint Trade Review

This DC comics trade paperback as it's called is a collection of the Flashpoint limited series written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert. This was the series that meant the end for the old DC and the beginning of the NEW52. Unfortunately the series and ending wasn't really written that way. Having not read this book until after I saw the film made certain flaws more apparent but I will do my best not to compare and contrast too often. Geoff Johns wrote an entire event surrounded around the Flash that not only worked but made sense. Andy Kubert drew some of the best art that I've ever seen him do and fit the story exceptionally well.
This book started from the point of view of another characters journal or diary. It's obvious that the person is not Barry Allen despite this story being about him. That narrative was not used much after the introduction. Honestly I feel the story was better off without it. There's scenes recapping Barry Allen's life such as his moms death, his origin, and the Justice League. Then a depowered Barry wakes up in a world all too similar to his own with one big difference, his mom is alive. Flashpoint Batman is introduced and he appears to be more or less the same until he throws this version of Harley Quinn off of a building to her death. It would have been better if Flashpoint Batman was more polarizing than his counterpart. Cyborg shows up and reveals that Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, destroying the earth while they're at it. He tries to recruit Batman amongst other "heroes". It's hinted that there is something else at play to this world. Barry Allen seeks out Batman and the revelation that ensues is astounding. It's at this point that a sense of urgency is put into place as Barry's memories are starting to get replaced to fit this world. Flash must fix whatever created this alternate timeline before he forgets the one he's from otherwise all hope is lost. With Batman on his side they attempt to get Barry's speed force back. Aquaman of this timeline and an assault on a ship is shown but it felt as if the only purpose it served was that of showing fan favorites and how different this Arthur is. The same can be said for Wonder Woman once she's ushered into the story. Some of the emotional moments were hit or miss. The tenacity of Barry Allen trying to become Flash again was incredible. Certain things make more sense and work better in this iteration such as dropping hints, explaining small details that nerds would be anal about like how Barry makes a new Flash costume and some things are worse. Something that was not explained much at all was the how and why these characters are the way that they are. I understand that each characters had their own title to explain that but the interest should have been created in this book. In that instance the movie fared much better than the book. 
The best way to explain this book would be to say that it's most like the Butterfly Effect but with Flash in only one really messed up alternate timeline. The biggest fault with this story is that it spends too much focus on characters that don't matter and not nearly enough on the ones that should and need it like Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. It was also disappointing that the way it ended was not worthy of the end of the old DC and not spun as the event that spurred the NEW52. On its own though this is a great story for new and old readers alike. Andy Kubert did an astonishing job on art. Geoff Johns proved that not only can Flash carry an event but he deserves it too. Flash stops at nothing short of killing his own mother to fix the world. It's that idea that makes this story so strong and proves that Barry Allen can hold his own.
Verdict: BUY

You can pick up these comics at Age Of Comics or


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