Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashpoint: The Last Major Story Arc in the Old DC Universe

Flashpoint in itself and as a concept intrigued my interest right away. Johns has always written well, so I was sold on Flashpoint from the beginning. I put the order in at the comic shop. I wanted all of it, every single issue. I can't remember of exact amount of number one's, but I was floored by the final price tag. I had to pick through every single issue and pick only the best of the best in order to make the series fit my budget, so here are the meat and potatoes.

Did not Continue:

Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown: This one I was on the fence about. The writing was pretty good. Sweet Tooth is one of my favorite books. I really liked the cover, but in the end, it didn't blow me away. It was really close to surviving until issue two. If I had a little more money to spend, I would have bought them all.

Lois Lane and the Resistance: The imagery in this book was ridiculous. Lois Lane was half-naked in every panel. For that reason alone, I didn't continue the book. There was no explanation or any particular reason to draw her that way, and I'm not going to read a Lois Lane comic because of sex appeal. The fact that it was being forced down my throat made me hate it almost immediately. A little part of me felt like it was insulting my intelligence. No more book.

Secret Seven: I don't even remember what it was about, and never thought about it until I flipped through my books to write this review and saw the cover. I can't speak intelligently on the book, but I honestly didn't remember that it even existed until this moment if that tells you anything.

Kid Flash Lost: Same.

Deadman and the Flying Graysons:
Cool cover, but at the end it didn't leave a lasting impression.

World of Flashpoint: Couldn't afford this one.

Reverse Flash: My mom always told me, well, you know what she said.

Legion of Doom: Generic.

Abin Sur: I liked the Alan Moore reference at the end of the book. Honestly, I was pretty pissed while reading it that it never came up. I think that the death origin of the once great Green Lantern is one of my favorite Moore stories. I was on the fence about this one. Maybe I should’ve picked up the next two issues, but in the end I didn’t buy the sizzle.

Booster Gold: Moot.

Citizen Cold:
Interesting book. I like the angle of the hero manipulating the public for his own benefit. It truly mirrors the society we live in today. The fact that you get more years in prison for stealing a TV than you do for creating a national recession and causing people to lose their homes, is completely ridiculous. Are we in Flashpoint? If Citizen Cold would have been wearing a suit, a tie, and had a corporate jet I would have continued the book.

Batman Knight of Vengeance: I love Batman and Detective Comics, but I didn’t care much for Thomas Wayne. Way to turn Gotham into Reno DC. Maybe if I was listening to the Taxi Driver soundtrack while reading I would have continued the book. Travis Bickle Knight of Vengeance? That would have been a better comic book.


Grodd of War (One shot) : I loved this book. The ending alone is proof that mainstream comics can be written well. Grodd has a moment of peace in an extremely violent world. The final page is him looking off serenely in the distance, and then marching his armies into an unwinnable battle for the continent of Europe. Great suicidal ape tales are hard to find, there are maybe a handful, and this one ranks up there with the best. I personally felt like Sean Ryan also respected the one shot. It was perfect only as a one shot and because of that it was beautiful. It wasn't a series, it was a well executed, thought provoking one shot worth every penny of my $2.99. There is no way I will ever give away or sell my copy of Grodd of War. It is not for sale.

Project Superman:
What is not to love? I was getting so bored with Grounded that this book came exactly at the right time, and I do love Snyder’s work on Detective Comics except for the final issue. It is so disappointing to read a great story arc and then have it end in a lame and contrived way. Seriously, Detective Comics 881 ruined my day. I wanted to go out and find a twelve pack of the cheapest and most disgusting beer in Hammond (Old Style, yeah Old Style), drink it all, and piss all over that book. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, something positive. Sorry. Snyder is a great writer (Almost all of the time. Regardless, I paid my $2.99, it’s still a free country. Wait. What? It cost $3.99. Who drew the line where? I need to find the nearest liquor store. ). Project Superman as a story was perfect for the world of Flashpoint, not Superman as a savior to the human race, but as a state manipulated weapon. And more than that, seeing the most powerful being in the world of comics reduced to a cowering little boy, skinny, cowering in a corner, nothing but a science experiment, great idea, great book. I loved every minute of this one. The characters were great, most notably young Lois Lane. It was really a tender moment when they met for the first time, the character development was really outstanding for a comic book. I could talk about it all day, but no spoilers. Go out and buy the floppies or the trades. You won’t be disappointed.

Emperor Aquaman:
Wow, what a great concept, nature vs. nurture at its finest. I loved seeing Aquaman, one of the greatest heroes in the DC Universe, slowly turn into a genocidal maniac. Help me God, how can I possibly review this book without giving away any spoilers? Well, it was extremely creative and well written. It takes a great writer to make the reader feel sympathy for someone who is trying to wipe out their entire race, even on a fictional level. And it was such a sad story with a great Dr. Strangelove moment at the ending. Beautiful read. Great book all around. Not for sale. Ever. Loved it.

Wonder Woman and the Furies:
You get to find out what the world would look like if Wonder Woman and the Amazonians controlled England and was engaged in a war with another superpower. You get to see a world without Superman there to keep the balance (besides Kingdom Come). There is no Justice League, only a tale about a lost love, a woman manipulated into destroying continents and killing millions. Now tell me that you don’t want to read this book. I mean seriously, the quest for world domination is not a boring subject. I mean, they’ve created board game about it and everything.

Geoff Johns had a great idea. There was a lot to love about Flashpoint, but in the end it lacked focus. What normal human being can afford so many comic books? The story itself was hills and valleys all of the way. There were some really engaging moments, but at the end I had to shrug my shoulders, stick it in a box, and never read the series again. In addition, I thought that the Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman series all suffered in the end because they were building up towards this big climax in issue five of Flashpoint. There was just a lot of banality in the whole story. I wish it was a taut and thrilling tale, but it was full of distractions. And it could have been great, it just wasn’t. No one was more disappointed than this guy. I do like what Johns did with Green Lantern, and I’m anxious to see what he does with both Justice League and Aquaman, but this story just didn’t deliver at the end of the day. The ending was predictable and contrived. Even the monologue at the end by Reverse Flash had been done so many times before, and the saddest part was that it had even been done better by other writers in the past. It had the potential to be a great story, but in the end it came off as nothing more than a marketing tool.

Grodd of War
Honorable Mention: Emperor Aquaman
Worst: Lois Lane and the Resistance

By: William R. Davis Jr.

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