Issue one of Flashpoint is a stage setter, pure and simple. The comic starts out strong. In fact it ends strong too. It’s the middle that seems to vomit information at the reader with a lack of rhythm and a deficiency of intrigue.
But, back to the beginning… In the first page everything seems quite normal. A narrator is whimsically talking about life lessons and the Flash while images of Barry’s dead mother coupled with images the explosion that gave him his powers illustrate the narrator’s point. Then the scene jumps to Barry, sleeping on his desk after an all-nighter in his typical work environment. As an altercation between Pied Piper and Citizen Cold begins to occur outside the office building, Barry leaps to his feet to race towards the situation … instead he races right down a flight of stairs where he crashes at the bottom.
An elderly woman helps him up. Barry looks up in shock to see that this woman is none other than his dead mother. It is like he fell down these stairs right into this strange world, which as the comic progresses gets stranger and stranger.
So far I’m in. But unfortunately this is the point where the comic stops focusing on Barry and begins to focus on everything else that is going on in this world in an almost jerky manner. The focus suddenly shifts to center on Batman throwing Yo-Yo off a building, which is the subject of the book for almost six and a half pages. Then, when we finally get through this unnecessary scene (which basically only had the point of saying that yes, this world’s Batman is a brooding hard-ass as well), the following scenes explaining the current world controversy feel extremely rushed. Much of this next section is filled with tidbits of background info that is useful to someone not extremely familiar with the characters, yet did little to actually incite any interest in the current plot.
Cyborg, whom everyone obviously has a great amount of respect for, is attempting to put together a group of super-beings in order to stop the escalating violence upon the world caused by the rivaling kingdoms of Aquaman’s Atlantis and the Amazons led by Wonder Woman. The general consensus between the super-beings is that Aquaman and Wonder Woman have too much power. So that’s a no-go.
Luckily the book shifts back to focus on Barry for the final scene. This is when the comic finally got good. I didn’t see the twist at the end coming in a million years, and I thought it a brilliant move. (Though of course I won’t tell you what happens at the end. That information costs $2.99 for the comic.)
All in all, I’m a little disappointed. I sincerely hope it gets better considering all the hype and the massive outreach into other books that Flashpoint will be having. But this is only book one. And from what we’ve been teased to believe, this is an extremely large stage that they are trying to set. Therefore I will withhold my cranky opinions from being too judgmental until this story arc really gets rolling. Geoff Johns is typically a fantastic writer; therefore he deserves a little faith.
On a positive note, the artistic team on this book rocked. Andy Kubert (penciller), Sandra Hope (inker), and Alex Sinclair (colorist) did a fantastic job and really brought this comic to life. No detail was too small for their artistic eyes.
Lastly I’d like to say that I’m really glad I read Flash: Rebirth before Flashpoint came out. That really helped and I absolutely recommend that anyone unfamiliar with the Flash does the same before beginning this massive DC event.
The next Flashpoint tie-in issue will be Booster Gold #44. Otherwise, or if you are planning on being a minimalist such as myself, stay tuned for Flashpoint #2 in June