Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flashpoint Wednesdays 6/29/11

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: Green Arrow Industries One Shot, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1, Flashpoint: Project Superman #1 and Flashpoint: Canterbury Cricket One Shot.

Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries One Shot
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artist: Mark Castiello
Company: DC Comics
In the grand scheme of things, Green Arrow Industries has very loose ties to the overall story of Flashpoint.  We'll more than likely see him around, but this one shot merely centers on what makes this character tick.  On the surface, the idea of a war profiteer that takes super-villain tech and re-purposes it for military use is the kind of thing that would make for a solid story.  For the most part it does.  As does the notion that this Oliver Queen is more of a pudgy Tony Stark who really is oblivious to the outside world.  That said, Pichetshote, who's been an editor at Vertigo for quite some time, does have a few missteps here.  There's one glaring scene transition that literally jumps from a scene of calmness to a literal room full of dead bodies in the blink of an eye that made me do a double take.  It's possible that the copy that I read had a missing page (here's hoping), but it was a very jarring and unnecessary switch up that could have been handled much better.  Castiello's art works well enough.  He gets to draw cool villain tech, neat action scenes as Queen and an assassin duke it out in a forest.  While I do thing there's room for improvement, this guy's got talent.  Overall, like most of these books, there are some neat ancillary material to chew on, though I wish the main story was a bit more interesting.  Things just moved a bit too fast and I found myself wishing that Green Arrow Industries was one of the minis compared to a mere one shot so it could flesh some of the cool ideas out.

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1 of 3
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Artist: Ben Oliver
Company: DC Comics
Good, but this one feels like a bit of a retread.  Adam Schlagman however has really proven himself to fit in with DC.  He handles each story with presence and makes the story very approachable and interesting.  With this one we get a glimpse of the life of Hal Jordan, very similar to that of the recent one that we saw in Secret Origin, and how his life is impacted by the start of the Atlantean and Amazonian War.  There's a very neat, very Top Gun-ish, plane battle, expertly drawn by Ben (Alpha Flight) Oliver that really is the high point of the issue.  Beyond that, there are again some neat character appearances that you more or less expect at this point and a trip into the psyche of our main character.  The main reason to pick this one up however is Oliver's art.  It's beautiful and that he captures both the "talking heads" portions of the book, full of vigor and interest, while at the same time drawing some very memorable action, is pretty damn impressive.  At this point, Schlagman and Oliver have me intrigued, but I was maybe hoping for a bit more deviation from the traditional Green Lantern story than we got.  That may happen though, as we've got two more issues to go.  

Flashpoint: Project Superman #1 of 3
Writers: Scott Snyder & Lowel Francis
Artist: Gene Ha
Company: DC Comics
DING, DING, DING...We have a winner.  That's what immediately popped into my head upon reading this one.  Snyder is a fantastic idea man and Lowel Francis' script is tight and very engaging.  It's a slow burn of a story, one that sees a model man and a dedicated solider give up his humanity in order to become something more only to be feared and rejected.  It's story threads that we've seen and read before, but there's something about the way that it's portrayed here that really drives the nail home.  There's realism and thought provoking ideas to be found, not to mention seeing characters like Sam Lane and Captain Adam, who's been around in a few of the other books.  To boot, this one will more than likely have very heavy ties to the main Flashpoint book as it's story unfolds, though it's fairly light at the moment.  Beyond the strong story, Gene Ha's art is deceptively simple but altogether stunning.  He's utilizing a bit of a different style here, one that's a bit more scratchy and rougher, which fits with the darker tones that the book is dealing with.  Like I said before, Project Superman is the strongest of the Flashpoint books this week.  It's smart, dark, and has tremendous possibility.

Flashpoint: Canterbury Cricket One Shot
Writer: Mike Carlin
Artist: Rags Morales
Company: DC Comics
Certainly one of the oddest books that I've read in a while.  Why do I say that?  Because it's a book about a giant cricket!  Still, it's very cool that we're seeing several brand new characters grace our presence during the Flashpoint series.  I hope they stick around.  This one shot plays to two different ideas, one being the origin of the Canterbury Cricket, the other being a focus on a rag tag group of people (including people like Etrigan and Miss Hyde) who are trying to deliver an important piece of information to...someone.  Carlin's writing is hit or miss as bits of this comic are stronger than others.  I quite liked the origin of the new character but found myself not really caring about the rest of it, even though Etrigan is a favorite character and I was in geek heaven to find that he was speaking in rhyme.  Rags (Identity Crisis) Morales seems like an odd choice to handle the art for this one, but he does a bang up job with it none-the-less.  The Cricket's design is different but very pleasing to the eye, as are his depictions of the other characters and the worlds that they find themselves in.  He's a detail man and an artist that really does seem to be grounded as a very traditional artist.  It works here and even though the story is a mixed bag and not really super important to the Flashpoint on a whole, Morales' art had my attention completely.

1 comment:

  1. I also was jarred by the missing page/s or just plain terrible layout. I thought I was missing something and started the book over from the top. That was a mistake as it only lengthened the time I had to suffer reading this utter crap wondering why the hell I wasted money on it. Awful. It's one-shots and sloppy series like this that make me want to see a successful DCU relaunch. In other words, I'm hoping they cut out all of this crap and take the chance to fire as many crap writers and artists as possible. Time to clean house. And just for good measure, I'm going to say "crap" one more time.