Flashpoint is now finished. Actually, at the time that I’m typing this, it’s actually been finished for a couple of weeks. The final issue (#5) of the Flashpoint miniseries event released on August 31st, alongside the new Justice League. The last batch of the associated minis released the week before that. What follows are my thoughts on the whole thing.
What is Flashpoint?
For those not aware, Flashpoint was 2011’s big summer event for DC. It was starring The Flash in an alternate world and it was used to launch the new 52 DC comics. It included a primary miniseries, which started before the others and ended after them, several 3-part minis, and a few one-shots right at the beginning. The regular monthly issues of Booster Gold also tied into the event. For anyone who cares, Marvel’s event was / is called “Fear Itself” and, from what I’ve heard, is pretty much a reskinned Blackest Night ripoff starring Thor who just so happened to have a movie out this year.
DC’s Last Crossover Event?
Also worth noting is that DC claims that Flashpoint is the last big crossover event that they will be doing for the foreseeable future. Any comic book readers know that this claim is probably either total bullshit or that DC’s “foreseeable future” is very short right now. After all, we know that the big summer crossover events are the bread and butter of the comic industry (or at least the big two). Those events tend to sell better than any single title because many comic readers (maybe even most) will pick up at least the first issue of the event for their favored publisher. There are also usually a bunch of tie-in minis or one-shots for each event which also sell pretty well.
There is, however, a chance that this may be true. The word from many people working with DC is that these new 52 titles are just the beginning. These 52 ongoing books might just be the ones that were 100% ready to go in time. They may also be the top ones that they chose to fit into the number 52 that DC loves so much. I don’t know for sure and I don’t know if anyone outside of the company does. It’s possible that instead of banking off of big summer events, DC plans to just keep putting out a bunch of new ongoing titles (all while canceling the ones that aren’t doing well). I’m told that new issue #1s sell pretty well, too. Doing things this way has some benefits. First, there are some comic readers that hate the big summer events. Some also claim that they are intimidating to new and casual readers, both of which are a big focus for DC right now. Also, releasing a lot of new books gives DC the chance to try new things. Also, since DC claims to no longer be writing everything in 6-issue arcs, this would give us the chance to read a few shorter stories from new or different characters. This could also backfire since it could make the DC universe feel overpopulated again very quickly, which is something that annoys a lot of people. I have also seen people stop reading all comics from a single publisher because their favorite title was canceled. If DC cranks out new books all the time, they’ll have to be canceling a lot, too, unless thousands more people suddenly start reading comics.
I really don’t know what the future holds here but I’m looking forward to finding out.
My Thoughts on the Flashpoint Releases (Spoiler-Free)
Overall, I enjoyed the Flashpoint event. I usually like the big crossover events, though, and I’m always one of the suckers that buy every book released for the damn things.
The primary title for the event was called, of course, Flashpoint. It was written by Geoff Johns, the man behind the whole event (and much of DC these days) and it had been somewhat led up to in the regular ongoing Flash title for the last year. You don’t need to have read all of that to jump into the event but it will add a little bit of depth to it all (some books more than others). Flashpoint replaced the ongoing Flash title since they would have probably been telling the same story or else The Flash would have revealed the end of the event too early. In any case, the writing was mostly solid and the art was good. One complaint I had was that the story seemed a little meandering at times, though I understood that this was done to give some form of connection to all the tie-in minis that were released to go along with the event. The other was that having Cyborg as the world’s big superhero felt like they were trying to trick the readers into liking him since he is going to be in the new Justice League (mostly because he’s black but that’s a topic for another time). For me, that move felt really forced but it also kind of worked. Neither of these things are unforgivable.
There were three one-shots for the events. Of them, I considered Grodd of War to be the weak point. To me it was just boring. Cantebury Cricket wasn’t all that good but it served as a prelude to the Lois Lane and the Resistance mini. Reverse Flash was utterly forgettable and Green Arrow Industries was quite entertaining. I actually sort of wish that one had been one of the 3-part minis instead of a one-shot.
For the minis, Kid Flash Lost felt the most significant. It also was related most closely to the Flash ongoing from the last year.
Emperor Aquaman was, along with Wonder Woman and the Furies were good for showing what was going on with the antagonists of the Flashpoint world.
The mini called World of Flashpoint was interesting and meandering at the same time. It was obvious that its purpose was to show some other characters from the DC universe that were otherwise left out of the event and where they fit into this world.
There were two minis related to Green Lantern. Those were, of course, Abin Sur and Hal Jordan, though the latter didn’t actually involve a Green Lantern or anything to do with them other than the character. Both of these minis did well in developing the characters they were about in such a short time. Both also had some sad bits if you care about these characters, so that was a double-edged sword.
I didn’t expect to enjoy Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown but I found that I really liked it in the beginning. It went downhill a little for me, personally, and it wasn’t the greatest in the end but it was still good.
Citizen Cold really stood out as a good read to me. It really felt like a “what if” story for Captain Cold and the artwork was great.
Legion of Doom focused on the one of the Flash’s Rogues that didn’t have a role in the Citizen Cold mini. This title also seemed focused on showing off other DC characters that weren’t present elsewhere but it had a solid and personal story for this world’s version of Heatwave.
Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager was fun. Nothing amazing about it, mind you, but I enjoyed it. It was probably mostly there to draw some more attention to Deathstroke, since he will have his own ongoing in the new 52.
A lot of people seemed to really love Batman : Knight of Vengeance. I enjoyed it but it didn’t really grab me. It was a solid elseworlds story with minimal connection to the event.
Lois Lane and the Resistance felt like the weakest link of the Flashpoint minis. I didn’t hate it but it did nothing to make me love it, either. It was mostly there to bring attention to some characters that will have their own books in the new 52, I think.
Secret Seven will probably prove to be a solid elseworlds story for Justice League Dark that starts with the new 52. Not great but not bad.
My Thoughts on the Flashpoint Event (Spoilers)
The story was a decent one and it served its purpose. That about sums it up. It was rather amusing that the Flash fucked everything up by trying to save his mother and then, trying to fix what he had done, stopped himself from causing it all in the first place which actually just fucked everything up again (it’s just that no one realizes it). For better or worse, the old DC universe is now gone and we’re left with the new one. I’m actually very curious if the Flash will actually continue to have memories of the old world, as was indicated at the very end. I kind of hope not, though that would become a likely backdoor to the old universe (and another reboot) someday…though Dan Didio says that won’t happen.
I guess Booster Gold was sucked into the new world because he was traveling through time when the change happened. That doesn’t make perfect sense but, hey, we’re talking comic books here. It’s good enough. I am curious to see if he will be in that place outside of time when JLI begins, and if it will be our old Booster Gold. If I understand correctly, he shouldn’t have been erased. Maybe he was left behind in the old universe, though. It’s hard to say what they’ll do with that. He could also be another backdoor to the old continuity. You know, like what DD says doesn’t exist. Maybe there will be an alternate Booster Gold around in this new universe.
The Frankenstein mini seemed like it leads right into the ongoing so I’m not really sure how it will deal with a universal reset. My guess is that it will be ignored entirely.
One last thought : There is no way that I was the only one bothered by the final frame of the final Flashpoint being an image of Batman crying. Fuck that shit.