Comics Review: Alternate Take- DC's FLASHPOINT # 5 (of 5)

Overall, Flashpoint has been a mixed bag, providing great moments but dampened by the feeling that it was nothing more than a tour through a wacky and weird alternate universe that would soon disappear as quickly as it arrived.

Written by Geoff JohnsPencils by Andy KubertPublished by DC ComicsIn stores now! (our second review of the issue after Jamie's HERE) After months of build up, rabid speculation and fan frustration, this final issue closes out the DC universe that we all know and love, making way for the bright, shiny new 52 that begins this week with Justice League # 1. The issue starts out with Flash and the other heroes battling Professor Zoom but, with everyone reading it aware that a new reality will be in place by the stories' end, the proceedings begin to feel a little irrelevant and inconsequential. Who cares what happens to the S.H.A.Z.A.M kids when, in just a matter of pages, they won't even exist? Well, that feeling permeates this whole issue. Overall, Flashpoint has been a mixed bag, providing great moments but dampened by the feeling that it was nothing more than a tour through a wacky and weird alternate universe that would soon disappear as quickly as it arrived. Worse still, many moments that writer Geoff Johns and artist Andy Kubert executed perfectly, such as the reveal of this universe's Superman and the plight of Cyborg, fail to deliver any real pay off, only adding to the whole feeling that this was all pointless and unnecessary.As a result, this whole story ends up feeling like an assortment of randomly connected scenes awkwardly stitched together. As a dramatic send off to the old DCU it arguably fails, wasting too much time on scenes and characters that ultimately don't affect the story. However, despite its obvious flaws there is still a lot to like in this book. While the criticisms about this book ignoring character are valid, and it's true that most feature as nothing more than extended cameos (much to the annoyance of fans), nobody could argue that Johns doesn't work wonders with both Flash and Batman. It will please fans of Crisis on Infinite Earths (DC's 1986 event responsible for rebooting continuity and creating the universe being closed out here) that, once again, Barry Allen has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save reality. In fact, the choice he has to make here is arguably much, much harder than the one he faced 23 years ago. Anyone still decrying Allen for stealing the spotlight away from the Wally West version of The Flash will just have to make their peace with it, as Johns clearly intends for Allen to stick around and be the definitive version. The final scene is a quiet one involving Flash and Batman and, without spoiling anything, it actually took me by surprise how poignant this moment turned out to be. Realistically, Flashpoint will likely be remembered solely for being the book that waved the magic wand and created the DCnU, but the fact that Johns decided to end the series on such an emotional note will please those fans that have invested so much in these characters over the years. The only real complaint is that this is limited to so few of the major players, though I suspect DC is more concerned with saying hello to the cast of the DCnU rather than saying goodbye to the old one.

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Dean likes words. He also likes pictures. One day he would like to combine them to make a beautiful picture-word baby. Follow him @deanthreadgold for daily updates on all things comic book related (and some things unrelated).