Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flashpoint Wednesdays 6/1/11

If the rumors are true, it seems that the mini series called Flashpoint will have some major repercussions on the DC Universe proper.  What exactly those repercussions are going to be though, it's anyones guess at this point.  What Top 5 Comics aims to do with this series of articles is take a gander at all of the Flashpoint issues and their tie-ins, giving the rundown on them, telling you which ones to check out and which ones aren't exactly up to muster.  It's obviously a big event, but will it be a good one?  Only time will tell.

This week we will cover: Flashpoint #2, Flashpoint Abin Sur #1, Flashpoint Batman Knight of Vengeance #1, Flashpoint Secret Seven #1 and Flashpoint World of Flashpoint #1.

Flashpoint #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Andy Kubert
Company: DC Comics
Easily better than the first issue.  Johns' script is tighter, we see more of the Flashpoint Universe on the whole, and the characterizations are great.  Thomas Wayne is fast becoming my favorite character.  His dialogue as he's talking with Barry about how the world was is perfect and though he is Batman, I kept having to remind myself that this guy isn't the greatest detective that's ever lived, he's merely a pissed off Doctor.  Somehow that made it better.  The opening bit to this one is also much stronger and more action packed than the previous as we see a pirate vessel captained by good old Slade Wilson.  Kubert's artwork continues to shine and he's tackling both the action and talking bits with gusto.  The detail that he's putting in each of the panels is amazing, and it's fun to go back and look for small clues and characters that are lurking (as they are).  I also wanted to point out a cool bit that's been done with the dialogue boxes when Wonder Woman uses her lasso.  It's a small thing, but I think it really adds a neat nuance to that particular power.  Overall, there's a lot to like and not much to be annoyed or be let down by.  Color me excited for Issue #3.  

Flashpoint Abin Sur #1
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Artist: Felipe Massafera
Company: DC Comics
Not the best of the Flashpoint tie-ins, but it was strong in its own right.  Adam Schlagman, who's been an Editor for DC and who's worked on several of the tie-ins to Blackest Night, does a fine job with the story of Abin Sur.  I wasn't quite sure how that was going to happen, as Abin Sur has always been built up, especially during Johns run, as being the best of all of the Green Lanterns.  That's quite a billing, and while I don't know if that's exactly what's shown here, Schlagman makes Abin Sur a worthy protagonist and someone that we can root for.  He believes in life above all else, which makes a lot of sense.  Also, the way that Schlagman incorporates the other Lantern factions into this new Universe is rather ingenious and the kind of ideas that I hope to see more of.  Massafera's artwork takes a bit to get used to.  Artwork that has that very painted look to it can sometimes feel very stationary and not as loose, something that with Green Lantern would be a problem.  However, after a few pages, I wasn't bothered by it and found myself really enjoying his takes on the characters, especially the way his Guardians of the Galaxy looked.  I think fans of Green Lantern will really want to seek this one out, but I simply found this to be a well told opening to a much larger story.

Flashpoint Batman Knight of Vengeance #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Company: DC Comics
My absolute favorite of the Flashpoint minis this week.  Usually I find that Azzarello doesn't quite work well within the confines of the DCU.  His Superman run was undecipherable and truthfully, he trends very dark in tone for most of his projects.  For Flashpoint and the character of Thomas Wayne, dark makes sense and Azzarello knocks it clean out of the park in terms of execution.  His concepts for Wayne and the way that he incorporates Penguin, Two Face, Gordon and the rest of Batman's traditional supporting cast had me floored.  It's such a fresh take that I found myself smiling a Joker-sized grin.  He also doesn't skimp with the action as Batman squares off against a villain in a no holds barred sewer match.  Providing the art is Azzarello's long time compatriot Eduardo (100 Bullets/Logan) Risso.  Sometimes I forget just how good of an artist he is, and then he goes does the stuff that can be found in this issue.  The lines of his work are just so damn gorgeous.  There elegant and meaningful and draw the eye.  The way he draws action is dynamic and he knows how to draw the sexy ladies as well.  I would say that if you're on a budget and are only looking to pick up a few of these minis, then this is a definite purchase.  It's really that good.

Flashpoint Secret Seven #1
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: George Perez & Scott Koblish
Company: DC Comics
An odd duck.  Secret Seven focuses on the magic side of things in the Flashpoint Universe, and writer Peter Milligan has decided to make the main focus of the book Shade the Changing Man, a character that he brought to some popularity several years ago with a decent length Vertigo title.  The focus is a bit scatter-shot as we see Shade being pulled and pushed through wormholes and time bubbles, while at the same time he's being hunted down by Enchantress.  There's a very Grant Morrison / Seven Soldiers type feel to it, which makes a certain amount of sense, but the way things are portrayed makes it hard for readers to really get a grasp of what is going on.  I personally am curious about Rac Shade and his M-Vest, and  how he fits into what's happening to the world, but the issue is a bit hit and miss.  The same can be said with the art.  George Perez is a uber talented draftsman and packs a ton of detail into his panels.  Still, his distinct style doesn't quite feel right for the book and it's not until Scott Koblish comes on in the latter half of the issue that I really felt the art and story mesh.  All in all, a curious outing but not one that has become extremely important to the Flashpoint story yet.  Hopefully, that shall change.

Flashpoint World of Flashpoint #1
Writer: Rex Ogle
Artist: Paulo Siquiera
Company: DC Comics
I feel that after Batman Knight of Vengeance, World of Flashpoint should be your next stop.  Not only do Rex Ogle and Paulo Siquiera throw down a well put together, exciting issue, there is a lot of world building accomplished in this first issue as well.  There's also several pieces of information, which I'm sure we'll see mentioned in the main series at some point, doled out by a great surprise guest that are NEED to know things that have sculpted the world.  As for the story though, World of Flashpoint focuses on oddball character Traci 13, daughter of Dr. Terrence Thriteen, and how the events of the battle between Wonder Woman and Aquaman have shaped her family.  It's nice to see the character get such a major role.  It's actually a heartbreaking story though, but it's done extremely well by the creators.  From page one Ogle had me, truth be told.  Seeing the bits and pieces of the new Universe was the icing on the cake.  Siquiera, who has worked on titles such as Ms Marvel and Amazing Spider-Man was really able to capture the character's emotions and really sell them.  He also had the distinctly hard task of making large groups of people easy to read and interesting.  There's a great cliffhanger here, so I'm anxiously awaiting the next issue.


  1. FP #2 was very good. I loved everything Thomas Wayne as well. Great ending that has me wanting #3 right now. Big improvement after #1.

    I only had four FP books for my pull box and Batman and Abin Sur were two of them. I was suprised by how well written Abin was. Schlagman
    deserves major props for it. Batman was awesome just as I expected it to be. How Azz and Risso didn't get a Batman book after the awesome Broken City story they told a while back is beyond me. I wouldn't mind seeing an ongoing Thomas Wayne Batman series at all. I don't three issues is gonna be enough.

  2. Yeah Joseph, Thomas Wayne is quickly becoming the standout character of Flashpoint. At first I wasn't sure what they could do with him, but both Johns and Azzarello have really fleshed him out and made him something more than I ever could have expected.

    And as for Schlagman..Yeah, I completely agree. He really turned in a great script that took the work that Johns has done on the Green Lantern books and then skews it just a little. I was impressed by the book.