After being saved from the forces of Project Superman by Element Woman, the new team of Flash, Batman and Cyborg convince the young kids of S!H!A!Z!A!M! to join them. As Barry Allen’s fears begin to grow that the changes made to the world by Reverse-Flash are permanent, Wonder Woman and Aquaman begin an all-out war that could destroy this new world in Flashpoint #4.
It’s at this point that I realize how little impact this story has when you don’t read the tie-ins. Whereas Blackest Night was a story that took place WITHIN the modern DCU, the very nature of Flashpoint is a story ABOUT a new world. But sadly, the main book itself only deals with Barry Allen’s brief and limited contact with that world. So far, I’m amazed at how little Barry has seen and done over the course of this story, basically spending 4 issues talking to Batman, with the occasional scene change.
Expectations are what kill it. I expected this story to be about Barry, with his super speed, exploring this crazy fun new world. And yet he’s spent the majority of the story standing still.
The war between Atlantis and the Amazons finally gets down to business in this issue, but again, who cares? Instead of an enormous emotional build-up between feuding royal families, we get a bit of lip-service that amounts to “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” and has much less impact. Instead of a huge war, with multi-page spreads showing the carnage and devastation, between these awesome sci-fi/fantasy empires, with their super-powered soldiers, we get a few pages set on street corner somewhere.
What I can’t understand is why, with the unlimited budget that comes with doodling images on a piece of paper, this big war looks and feels like the underwhelming battle scenes from an episode of Smallville. And I mean Smallville from the later years, when the budget was slashed and every outside scene took place on that same street corner and everyone would conveniently lose their powers before the big fight started.
But again, maybe these things would matter more after reading the tie-ins.
The concept I was most looking forward to seeing again was S!H!A!Z!A!M!, who finally reappear in this issue, not having any tie-ins of their own. This take on the Marvel Family is something I really want to know more about, and wouldn’t hate if it somehow spilled over into the main DCU post-Reboot. We don’t get much more info about the group than we did in their first appearance. And the much-anticipated fight between Wonder Woman and Captain Thunder lasted all of one page, with the Captain getting ‘pwned’ by outside forces before things can really get going. Again I ask, were they on a budget or something? Also, what was going on with the dialog bubbles pointing to Billy, but then someone else responding to Freddy, as if he just spoke. That happened like three times.
By the time the Reverse-Flash shows up on the last page, I’m just happy to finally get this thing over with.
As always, the art and character designs are great. They have really been the only saving grace in the long, ponderous story. I just wish Kubert had something more interesting to draw than four issues of people standing around, talking about getting ready to maybe do something. If they felt like it. And if Batman agreed.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The art is still good, and a lot of the concepts are still interesting||Too much time is spent talking about stuff we already know, and not enough time spent on stuff we want to see|