Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flashpoint Wednesdays 7/20/11

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 #2, Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2, Flashpoint: The Outsider #2, and Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2.

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Fabrizio Fiorentino
Company: DC Comics
A much more violent affair than the last outing, but with Amazons knocking on the door of the Big Top, what else can you expect to happen?  And really, the violence doesn't feel over the top or too outrageous that it becomes distracting from the actual story.  Krul seems to be known for that kind of thing, what with his history in Green Arrow and Rise of Arsenal stories, but here he finds a nice balance of both action and character as the Amazons continue to search for Nabu's helm while the rest of our protagonists merely try to stay alive.  Fiorentino's art continues to be a breath of fresh air.  I still think the colors are a little off, but that does nothing to stop the bare bones of his style to really shine.  His lines are smooth and effective, evoke the proper elements that align it with the story, and he drives home the action.  Without a doubt, Deadman and the Flying Graysons continues to be among the cream of the crop of the Flashpoint tie-ins.

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Rodney Buchemi & Jose Marzan Jr.
Company: DC Comics
In all truth, the first issue of Legion of Doom didn't really push my buttons the way that many of the other Flashpoint tie-ins did.  I don't know what it was that I was expecting, but the book didn't deliver.  This second issue hit about the same level, perhaps even a little less.  Why?  The main reason is the story that Glass is telling.  Heatwave, at least this version of the character, isn't a great character to focus on.  In the old Universe, Heatwave had a good guy/bad guy thing going for him that allowed for some great stories.  Here, he doesn't have any redeeming quality, nor does he have the cool factor that most of Elmore Leonard's bad guys have which allow you to like them at least in some regard, he's just kind of an ass that likes to set people on fire.  Seeing him tear through a prison in order to get his idea of revenge isn't interesting.  The art is also a bit of a let down.  It's kind of plain for the most part.  The character redesigns are interesting, as is the way that The Eel is handled, but on the whole the linework has a flat quality to it.  Riddled with problems, Legion of Doom just doesn't impress.  

Flashpoint: The Outsider #2
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Javi Fernandez
Company: DC Comics
Another comic that features an unrepentant bastard as the main character, though James Robinson is able to find ways that make him more approachable and intriguing, which ultimately makes for a more satisfying read.  The main thread for this mini is that someone is out to kill The Outsider, and he is dead set on finding out who.  That avenue leads the reader into some of the smaller venues of the Flashpoint world, featuring some pretty snazzy takes on familiar characters.  There is also action to be had, but it's the personality that Robinson infuses into his main character that keeps you engaged.  Fernandez's art is very effective.  The small details pop, he handles the locales, and captures the vicious/cool customer vibe that The Outsider radiates extremely well.  His overhaul of the Teth Adam character, while small, is really a homerun.  A solid outing, one that is well worth your money.

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and The Furies #2
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Agustin Padilla & Jose Aviles
Company: DC Comics
A continued history lesson on they whys and wherefores of the rift between Wonder Woman and Aquaman.  It isn't a dry history, but it not terribly exciting either.  That said, DnA are really good at getting across very believable, very nuanced characters, which is what you get here.  I think it is important to show that Wonder Woman and Aquaman are human, at least emotionally.  It's essentially in being able to relate to them.  The political intrigue and backstabbing though is a little underwhelming.  It's balanced out by a lot of good things, a small one being the explanation for Wonder Woman's helm.  The art from Padilla and Aviles is still good.  They seem to be channeling Jae Lee a bit still, but the style is very clean and good at capturing the details that are in the script.  Overall, not a super exciting issue, but if you enjoyed the first one or just want to know more about Diana and Arthur's relationship, this is the book for you.

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