I admit it. I fell for the button promotion. For every issue of the Flashpoint storyline, you get a free button. So I bought them all and I will buy all the rest so that I can have all the buttons. Yep. Sucker.
Still, I am geeked about this series. If the rumors that this series leads into the reboot of all the DC titles, it might be worth following. And I love alternate universe stories. Flashpoint reminds me of Age of Apocalypse in that it is a dystopian version of the DC universe. However, instead of a supervillain rising to power, you have Aquaman and Wonder Woman at war over Europe. Alternate universes are fun because of the “what if” factor. We find out in issue 2 that the big “what if” of this storyline is that Professor Zoom has gone back in time and rewritten history and Flash, Barry Allen, is left without powers.
So far the coolest change besides the war between the Atlantians and Amazons is that Batman is Thomas Wayne and that Bruce was killed that fateful night. Thomas Wayne is a much darker, edgier Batman reminiscent of the older Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I even like his costume change – he has red eyes and a red circle behind the bat symbol.
So which books should you buy? Well, if you don’t want to fall for the button promotion this short guide below will fill you in on those worthy of purchasing:
Flashpoint #1 and #2: Issue one came out last month, so you might have already picked it up and found the killer reveal at the end that Batman is actually Thomas Wayne. Issue two is just as cool when Barry convinces Batman to recreate the accident that originally gave him his powers. Let’s just say dousing oneself in chemicals and being struck by lightning is no radioactive spider bite. Oh, and Deathstroke is a pirate with a band of swashbuckling villains that includes Clayface.
These issues are worth picking up and they seem to be self-contained, meaning you don’t have to buy all the peripheral issues to follow this story.
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1: This is definitely worth following. If you thought Bruce was angry and dark, Thomas spends most of this book growling. Oh, and this Batman kills. Brutally. Some of my favorite changes: Oswald Cobblepot (the Penguin) runs Wayne’s casinos, which Batman uses to draw the criminals to him. Jim Gordon is head of Wayne’s Gotham Security which has privatized Gotham’s police force. Want to see what would happen if Batman is willing to kill? Want to see just how grotesque Gotham can be? Then take a guess who is feeding off of a bunch of homeless people. Guess how Batman deals with him. It makes you wonder how he’s going to deal with a Joker who is hinted at being a pedaphile.
Flashpoint: Abin Sur The Green Lantern – Yawn. Apparently Abin Sur is a hippy Green Lantern who believes in reincarnation. It makes you wonder what his entire planet was reincarnated as since he failed to save it from being destroyed. I don’t think I could care less. The only interesting part of this story is that Sinestro is still a Green Lantern.
Flashpoint: Secret Seven – Unless you like occultist books, this comic is a waste of $2.99. I have no idea who Madman is. Nor do I care. I’ve never been a fan of the occultist books in DC or Marvel. The only exception being Neil Gaiman’s work for Vertigo. But this is no Hellblazer. Even the button was stupid.
The World of Flashpoint: This book was only interesting in that it gives you a vague background to this new universe. So let me save you $2.99 as I do my best to decipher some cryptic writing and images. There was a Justice Society during WWII, but because there was no Flash on the team, they failed. So Nazi’s are still around and they occupy Brazil. Superman’s ship crash landed in Metropolis and destroyed the whole city. The Amazons and Atlantians are battling over Europe because someone (not sure exactly which Amazon) was speared at the wedding where Aquaman was going to marry Diana. Aquaman floods Paris. Hooray! The Amazons have claimed the UK as New Themyscira. Grodd controls Africa. Red Tornado protects Japan. The Outsiders protect India. H.I.V.E. is going to nuke the world from an underground bomb shelter. Eh, I doubt it actually happens though.
So there you have it. So far, I suggest just buying the main storyline and the Batman spinoff.
On a side note I HATED the Super 8 comic promo right smack in the middle of all of these books. Put it in the END so that we don’t have to read it, DC! I might boycott this film because of this promo. Or maybe I won’t see it because it’s basically Goonies meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets War of the Worlds. Has Spielberg has been replaced by Bizzarro Spielberg? Everything he touched used to turn into gold, now it turns into poo. Hopefully JJ Abrams brought his red kryptonite.