Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flashpoint Wednesdays 6/15/11

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: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1, Flashpoint: Grodd of War One Shot, Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1 and Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1.

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 of 3
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Mikel Janin
Company: DC Comics
A quite impressive little book, this one was.  With J.T. Krul writing, I was fairly certain that even with the cool concept at play, the overall book was destined for failure.  That is not the case.  Krul actually sells the notion of a wandering circus, stuck in-between two warring factions with nothing more on their minds than trying to stay alive, in a way that doesn't feel ham-handed or overwrought.  There are some delicacies here and while this book does focus on Deadman and the Grayson family, there are some other DC characters that make appearances as well, most of which make perfect sense for the Circus angle.  How it fits into the Flashpoint story on a whole is actually neat and it seems that it could have some major repercussions.  Janin's art is effective throughout, reminding me of Jesus Saiz, though I do feel that Ulises Arreola's colors may have been a wrong call as there's just something off about them.  Overall, this one was probably the strongest of the Flashpoint titles this week.  Makes me have some hope for Krul's new Green Arrow book too. 

Flashpoint: Grodd of War One Shot
Writer: Sean Ryan
Artist: Ig Guara
Company: DC Comics
Ig Guara's art here is really the main attraction for me.  The only other books that I remember him from are the Pet Avengers books, which I enjoyed and found the style very animated and memorable.  With Grodd of War, his lively action and characters really do take center stage, giving this very harsh and single minded story a bit of panache.  Ryan's story is focused entirely on Gorilla Grodd and how he came to be the ruler of Africa.  Flashpoint's Grodd is a conquerer, but he's also not quite what you would expect either.  There is a unhappiness in him that I found strangely appealing.  This one may not be greatly important to the overall Flashpoint experience, but it's got a lot of entertainment value.  Violence, dark humor and snazzy art are the armaments that it brings to the table.  If that's your cup of tea, then by all means, snag this one and get your gorilla on.

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1 of 3
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Rodney Buchemi
Company: DC Comics
When you hear the title Legion of Doom, you sort of expect a whole cavalcade of super villains running amok in the swamp.  With Flashpoint's Legion of Doom story however, Heatwave of the Rouges is the central character.  Glass' story is decent, but its sort of predictable in a lot of ways.  I do think he gets Mick Rory and the eccentricities that the character has are intriguing, which is nice, but the pacing of the story is a bit clunky.  There are some neat surprises littered here, little nuggets of the Flashpoint Universe that are just cool to see.  Are they super important?  Probably not, but I like that they address them anyways.  Buchemi's artwork is solid enough.  It's not super exciting, but there's a great level of detail in his backgrounds and the easiness of his panel layout and the way each scene reads is rather well done.  We'll see where it ends up, but as first issues go, it could have been better.

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 of 3
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Scott Clark
Company: DC Comics
An exploration of what makes the Princess Diana of the Flashpoint Universe tick, written by the always sensational writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (Annihilation/Legion Lost).  The book is two parts action and espionage and one part love story, all of it handled in a very smart and easy to read fashion.  For those curious as to how it fits into Flashpoint, this is even more information than what was revealed in Emperor Aquaman as to how things soured between the Atlanteans and the Amazons and how war became the only option.  DnA do a great job of capturing Diana's innocence and while I think that the political elements that are included could have easily been boring, they make them pop.  Handling the art side of things is Scott (Traveler/Brightest Day)  Clark, who has a Jae Lee inspired feel to his style, though not quite as painted, which allows the characters to feel a bit more mobile and animated.  His underwater scenes are particular nice, especially the sea creatures that appear.  This one wasn't quite as good as Deadman and the Flying Graysons, but it was close.  One of the main things that I enjoyed seeing was DnA getting to play around in the DCU, as they too know that this is a huge sandbox and there are so many possibilities.

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