Flashpoint #1 Review

Barry Allen awakes to find a world very different from the one he knows.  One where no one has ever heard of Superman or the Justice League.  Where Barry’s mother is alive and well.  And where Barry Allen has no Speed.

Flashpoint #1

Meanwhile, this world’s version of Cyborg tries to recruit Batman for a hastily assembled team of superheroes, both strange and familiar, to stop Emperor Aquman and Wonder Woman from conquering the world.

Right off the bat, Flashpoint seems a tad more reader friendly than DC’s last big event, Blackest Night.  That story combed DC’s rich and intricate history to bring back lots of dead characters and play off their connections to the living.  Flashpoint starts clean, requiring little to no knowledge of the DCU beyond the broadest of broad strokes.  It’s literally a brand new world.

Comparisons will obviously be drawn between Flashpoint and Marvel’s House of M.  Both involve the typical world being rewritten, with only one hero remembering how things used to be.  Both include mini-series featuring the new versions of established heroes.  It’s too soon now to give an honest comparison between the two series, but superficially, they sure sound similar.

Of all the new characters in the book, the most intriguing to me are the kids of S!H!A!Z!A!M!.  Six kids, each with one power of Shazam, who trade places with/release Captain Thunder.  Talky Tawny is now a real tiger, who is transformed along with Thunder into an armored super tiger, similar to Battle Cat from He-Man.

Geoff Johns writing feels more substantial than it has in a while.  There is a marked difference between the writing here and in the last few issues of the Flash, which felt a bit phoned-in.  Barry spends the first part of the story in typical “It’s a Wonderful Life” style, running around shocked and confused every time he sees something new.  Luckily he gets over it pretty fast and gets with the program.  Batman is a little closer to the Frank Miller Batman of All-Star Batman and Robin than Grant Morrison’s take.  But it works beautifully in this instance.

Andy Kubert’s art is beautiful as expected.  I know he didn’t design every new character, but he certainly renders them perfectly.  Even Gotham looks like a new character, closer to Vegas than New York.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of this new world looks like from Kubert’s perspective.

Overall, Flashpoint is shaping up to be a fun story, devoid of the angst and info-dump that was Blackest Night.  It’s good to see the Flash take point as the lead in an Event book.  Here’s hoping he gains his powers back pretty quick, and starts kicking butt next issue.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
A fresh take on the DCU, where anything can happen So far, it’s pretty similar to House of M
Rating
95%

Flashpoint Reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5

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2 Comments

  1. I didn’t think Flashpoint would start off this good. Wowzers.

    I’m just beyond happy that DC is doing to a big FUN event. The House of M comparisons are probably justified but it doesn’t make the story any less fun and intriguing. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are tearing up Europe, Cyborg is basically Superman, Batman is [spoiler] Thomas Wayne, Barry has lost his powers, tons of new characters, Shazam is badass, blah blah blah…its just FUN!! And you simply can’t go wrong with Andy Kubert. 

    And even more kudos to DC for making this an easy read. Final Crisis was rough at times, Blackest Night required a lot of catching up…but I haven’t read a single issue of the Flash title and I never felt left out. 

    Perhaps it’s pretty obvious but my initial prediction is that this isn’t an alternate universe, it’s the actual universe. Reverse-Flash went back in time and screwed with things. 

  2. Dan says:

    or… Something happened in the Booster Gold series that effected the time stream and this is that come to fruition. Not sure but it could be…

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