Flashpoint: A Change in Attitude

My school’s library have recently purchased a few ‘new’ graphic novels, one being Flashpoint. To some of you that name probably rings a bell as it was an event that (I believe) is acclaimed as being rather good. Not one for just settling with what critics say, I decided to give it a read myself.

Barry Allan is in an unfamiliar reality. Batman is as violent as the criminals he takes down. No one has heard of Superman. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, taking the lives on millions and putting even more at risk. With the help of an ensemble of super-powered individuals, Barry must regain his speed and right the wrongs that have been committed. Easier said than done…

I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this alternate-reality tale. I appreciate how hypocritical that sounds considering how invested I am in Secret Empire. I didn’t really know what to expect, my DC knowledge being limited to core details about the big characters. Thankfully, that was all I really needed to know for Geoff Johns’ story to make sense.

Of all the changes, the Batman story was the one I was most interested in. Flashpoint Batman, whose identity I’ll keep secret for those who haven’t read this, had a mentality that one couldn’t help but sympathise with. They have faced a great deal and their attitude to life was genuinely a touch heart-breaking. I also know the identity of the Joker who, despite not cameoing in this event, makes the whole thing more upsetting. Sadness aside, the more ruthless take on Batman provided for some very exciting scenes (That’s if you can refer to senseless violence as exciting…). If I had to sum up my feelings on Flashpoints Batman it would be this: I may have written Batman off as a character a little too soon.

Cyborg’s role in the whole plot really boosted him up which I appreciated. When I was reading Justice League, I didn’t really care much for Cyborg. Seeing him rise to his full potential was a great move by Johns.

Whilst on the topic of plot, the central theme was definitely a great idea to explore with this event. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are incredibly powerful beings and seeing them go toe to toe does make one wonder what it would be like they clashed in the reality Barry is familiar with. My only bug-bear with the plot would probably be that it felt a little rushed. I don’t know what the tie-ins add to the story but I have an awful lot of unanswered questions.

Andy Kubert on pencils added to gritty feel to Flashpoint. The harsher edges in areas really conveyed the challenge Barry was up against. His reacquisition of his powers was particularly graphic…

This was my third ‘ground-breaking’ DC story and, overall, it is a solid event with some fantastic ‘What If’ character studies. My attitude to certain members of the DC universe have been shifted into a more positive light, my biggest takeaway from Flashpoint. If you have any questions, thoughts or recommendations for other comics book “masterpieces” let me know in the comments. Thank you.

  • Story – 7.5/10
  • Art – 7.5/10
  • Overall – 7.5/10

Apologies for not posting in a while. I was back at school this week so I wanted to focus on that. The final issues (Excluding Omega) of Secret Empire arrived today so I will be posting reviews soon(ish). I also intend to make some progress on ‘Life on Mars’ in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

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