Tuesday, August 30, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Flashpoint #1 (Review)

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Andy Kubert
Cover by Andy Kubert

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

A change had been on the horizon, something that was in the making for a long time now ever since Dan Didio, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns were elevated to positions of control inside DC and while the 'New 52' is starting to appear as I write this review it is interesting to look back at the second week of May and the release of FLASHPOINT #1, the event book that was the beginning of the end to the DCU fans were familiar with.

There were two all-ages titles that were very strong that week - MEGAMAN #1 from Archie Comics, and ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #7 from DC - but while fun and entertaining neither had the emotional pull and shattering revelations that FLASHPOINT #1 had in its pages. Usually I am not too enthusiastic with the first issues of event books, they tend to say a lot but show little - looking at you, FEAR ITSELF #1 - but this book seemed to change that formula around, showing a lot of what's different and leaving it to the reader to keep up with the story of the new world.

Writer Geoff Johns is no stranger to big event books, having just written last year's DC event, BLACKEST NIGHT, and a few years before he helmed the DC Universe through INFINITE CRISIS. Teaming up with Johns for FLASHPOINT is big name artist, Andy Kubert, who DC fans will remember drew the two issue Neil Gaiman written Batman story, "What Happened to the Caped Crusader?".

In the issue, the premise for the event is simply laid out for the reader. A brief history of the Flash is told with a narrator readers are not told immediately who it is. Barry Allen awakes from a nap at his job and finds himself in a world he is not familiar with. Patty Spivot was there in the lab, but it took Barry stumbling down the stairs when he realized he was not wearing his Flash ring and landing in front of his alive mom to really bring the fact that things were not the same to the forefront.

The world is different, the Justice League doesn't exist, no one has heard of Superman, but there is still a Batman so Barry does the logical thing, head to Gotham City to get Batman's help. But in Gotham readers learn that the world beyond Barry Allen is drastically changed, with the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman leading their respective kin in wars against the world in attempts to overtake it. Throw in the threat of Professor Zoom lurking in this new world, and the final page reveal in this issue and I have no doubt that FLASHPOINT will be as entertaining as it is momentous.

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