Flashpoint: The End of an Era

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With the start of the DC Reboot comes the end of Flashpoint. Flashpoint was DC’s big universe story arc this summer going up against Marvel’s Fear Itself; and, in my opinion, Flashpoint absolutely TORE Fear Itself apart. While Fear Itself had the world on the brink of destruction and the heroes of the universe fighting for their lives; DC upped the ante with Flashpoint.

Flashpoint centers on Barry Allen AKA the Flash as his life changes in a flash. (See what I did there?) Barry wakes up in a world that is vastly different from his own: the Amazons and Atlanteans are tearing apart the Earth with their war, Abin Sur is still alive and well as a Green Lantern, there’s no sign of Superman, and Barry doesn’t have his superpowers. And then there’s Batman.

Holy Mother of Zeus, Geoff Johns did it right when he decided what he wanted to change about this universe’s Batman. Originally, I had no plans to read this comic series until a friend showed me the last page of the first issue to convince me. Let me reproduce it for you:

Yes, yes, and hell yessss

Such a great what if for this alternate universe! Thomas Wayne surviving the mugging in Crime Alley and becoming The Batman was a stroke of genius. This leaves poor, powerless Barry Allen to contend with a much angrier Batman (it is possible) that is not at ALL against killing those that get in his way. And it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

The main storyline of the book lasts for five issues and, of course, focuses mostly on Barry as he tries to regain his powers, figure out how to reverse the changes that have been made to the universe, and stop Wonder Woman and Aqua Man from destroying the world. The main storyline is solid with some excellent action, but sags around the middle. I won’t spoil the ending but it is well done and was a great way to end the old DC universe.

On a side note, I theorized that the end of Flashpoint would “cause” the Reboot of the DC universe. I’m glad DC didn’t take this approach. Just using this awesome story arc as a cop out for the DC Reboot would have tarnished it as a whole. I’m glad that Geoff Johns gave it the ending it deserved instead of just using it for future comic sales.

Flashpoint was a wide crossover encompassing the entire DC universe. How did the rest of the stories do? They had their ups and downs. Mostly ups, though.

The Good

The highest point of the expanded universe was the return of 100 Bullets team Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso to write Batman: Knight of Vengeance. Seeing this epic team back together was a wonder and they did Thomas Wayne’s Batman justice as they recounted his origin before showing the parallels of his life. On one side, he is, of course, The Batman while owning a chain of casinos as Thomas Wayne. The story finally comes to an end as Thomas sets out to find the Flashpoint universe’s very own Joker.

Other highpoints included Project: Superman (showing a Superman that was kept away from Earth’s sun and has the same views as Thomas Wayne when it comes to killing), a Jimmy Palmiotti penned Deathstroke, and Abin Sur as the Green Lantern of Earth’s sector.

The skinny guy? That's Superman. Feel free to go take his lunch money.

The Bad

The comic related to this universe that irked me the most was the Green Arrow Industries one-shot. It might have just been because Oliver Queen was so unlikeable and that his story was just kind of shoehorned into the universe. Regardless, I think it could have been better if they had given the emerald archer more than just a one-shot.

Both the Aqua Man and Wonder Woman stories could have been more exciting. The Hal Jordan story had its heart in the right place (proving that Hal could still be a hero without ever getting the ring, so on and so forth) but was very predictable, which saddens me since the same writer was on Abin Sur’s story and it was quite good!

Also, since I haven’t had a point to say this yet, Captain Thunder (the Flashpoint universe’s Captain Marvel; he had no spin-off comic and was just part of the main story) annoyed the hell out of me. Captain Thunder was made up of six kids that had to say SHAZAM in unison to bring forth Captain Marvel. The gratuitous amount of kids just made the panels feel cramped.

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That concludes my thoughts on Flashpoint. If you haven’t touched the series and you’re waiting for the trade, I highly recommend it. The alternate universe was well put together and fun to learn about and the good definitely outweighs the bad. But it all boils down to a Flash story and it’s a great story with a fantastic theme. So go out and pick this up. You’ll enjoy yourself.

Related posts:

  1. The Complete Rundown of DC’s Reboot
  2. The Chris X Files - Ep 1 - DC Reboot
  3. The DC Reboot Round-up: Week 1
  4. The DC Reboot Round Up: Week 2

About ChrisX

Comic geek, addicted gamer, future murse, and sometimes a writer. The three coolest things ever are X-Men, Back to the Future, and Doctor Who. Just saying. You should be awesome and follow me on twitter. http://twitter.com/ChrisX104