REVIEW: Flashpoint #2

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In the past month, Flashpoint has suddenly become the most important series in the DC Universe with the announcement that every DC Comics title will relaunch after Flashpoint #5. That book was originally scheduled to be DC’s only monthly issue hitting store on August 31st, with little to no information available about what was happening to the rest of their publishing line. We’ve now seen a number of announcements about the “new” DC Universe that will follow with a host of #1 issues in September, but before all that there’s Flashpoint #2.

Spoilers for Flashpoint, the DC Universe and all of creation may follow.

PTB: Flashpoint #5 was originally slated to be the only DC book shipping on 8/31, but we now know that we’ll be getting the first post-Flashpoint book, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League #1, that day as well. I’m a little disappointed by this as I really liked the idea of it being “the last day of the DC Universe.”

KevinMLD: I get that. The last day of the DCU would be special, but you know that since they’re only shipping two books that week, sales of those two books are going to be outrageous. That’s not a trick they can pull off twice. They can’t afford two weeks with only one book. Beyond all that, I’m not sure whether it’s really the last day of the DCU or not. DC’s Senior VP of Sales Bob Wayne sent retailers a letter that states, “this is the launch of the New DCU. It is not a ‘reboot.’ I think you will soon discover why that is.” Curiouser and curiouser…

PTB: You’re absolutely right that getting people into the stores twice is more difficult than once, plus only shipping the fifth issue of a miniseries as opposed to a number one issue might exclude readers/buyers that aren’t on board already.

The Deathstroke pirate ship sailing across flooded Europe in issue two is really cool to me. It’s fantastic actually. This series knocks those “Elseworlds”/alternate reality elements straight out of the park.

KevinMLD: I’m generally not a Fan of tying elseworlds into mainstream continuity, but I loved Deathstroke: the Pirate almost as much as I loved Doomstroke!

PTB: I’m not so crazy about Barry Allen’s memory starting to rewrite itself to reflect the new timeline. That’s obviously not happening to anyone else, and it needs to be tied to why Barry remembers anything in the first place. Is it related to his powers and their connection to the time stream? Does it have something to do with the event(s?) that changed history?

KevinMLD: I’m sure we’ll get answers in time, but it wouldn’t happen to everyone else. The only people we know that remember the real world are Barry and Booster Gold.

PTB: I didn’t realize Booster Gold was aware of the change. During Barry’s epiphany moment, we see symbols in his eyes. Are these the Flash and Reverse Flash symbols?

KevinMLD: Yes.

PTB: Where does Barry’s ring suddenly appear from? It’s suggested that Professor Zoom might even be in the room with him and that might explain it, but we never see that followed up.

KevinMLD: I couldn’t really make out if it was falling out of his pocket or if an invisible Zoom threw it across the floor.

PTB: The fact that a Reverse Flash costume emerged from the ring led my mind down an interesting path. Is it possible that Barry is the Reverse Flash in Zoom’s eyes? In other words, Barry may travel back in time during Flashpoint to correct things, and in fact he creates the DC Universe we knew but that isn’t the way things “should” be.

KevinMLD: Anything is possible, Barry Allen has not been able to change history and that’s something Zoom made a big deal out of in Flash #12.

PTB: Is the backstory that Barry Allen’s whole life was manipulated by Zoom a new history for him or a retcon of some kind to make Zoom a major villain?

KevinMLD: Zoom has always been a major Flash villain, but this backstory was all introduced in Flash: Rebirth as far as I know.

PTB: The only thing I didn’t like about the scene with Batman and Barry was that Thomas Wayne buys into the idea of trading places with Bruce in Crime Alley really quickly. Is it seriously called ‘Crime Alley’?

KevinMLD: Agreed. But then again this dude just showed up in the Batcave knowing all kinds of stuff he shouldn’t know, plus a ring appears out of nowhere that can hide an entire costume. Clearly weirdness is afoot.

It has always been called Crime Alley at least by the Batman family. Sometimes it’s portrayed as such a notorious crime hot spot that it’s been nicknamed that by the media.

PTB: I was glad to see the experiment to recreate the Flash wasn’t so simple.

KevinMLD: True. Barry doesn’t look so hot afterwards. How great is the cover the foreshadows this scene? Loved it.

PTB: The cover is a lot of fun. Andy Kubert’s art is solid but not as polished as issue one.

KevinMLD: I have no complaints about the art. I thought it was a pretty nice looking issue.

PTB: As the story moves on to Wonder Woman and the Amazons, is this Steve Trevor character they’ve hunted down someone I should know?

KevinMLD: Steve Trevor is traditionally Wonder Woman’s Lois Lane. A military officer who brought her to America. He has not played a major role in her life in recent years as far as I know.

PTB: The mention of Lois Lane here could lead to some interesting things to come for her. Hopefully, we’ll see it in the main series.

I like the character design pages at the back of the issue. I would have liked those pages to contain more story, but I have to admit I always like seeing those kinds of features.

KevinMLD: I hate this type of back up stuff in a monthly book. It’s great in a trade, but in a monthly issue it feels to me like it just drives the price up.

PTB: A map of the DC Flashpoint Earth appeared online since last issue. It’s labeled as the “H.I.V.E. Council Map of World Threats” and the most obvious feature is the Amazon-Atlantis War Zone covering much of the North Atlantic.

KevinMLD: The map of Flashpoint is only interesting to me if all of the realms come into play at some point in the series. It’s labeled as such because it comes out of the World of Flashpoint series (which we discuss along with some other Flashpoint titles that have spilled over into their own post) in which H.I.V.E. is about to launch a major assault of some sort that is likely to cause millions of death in an effort to end the war in Europe and keep it from engulfing the world.

PTB: I really like all of the interesting teases it introduces. This is honestly some of the stuff I love the most about alternate reality stories (like the recent Age of X Historical Logs and Communiqués), but it usually doesn’t get fleshed out. I also read something about a controversy regarding some of the phrasing, which is legit, but was the controversy limited to one site? I don’t recall seeing it anywhere else and I got there from reddit.

KevinMLD: I’m hoping with so many titles being tied to this series that we’ll get to see at least Alaska, “Land of the Undead,” and Nazi controlled Brazil. As for the controversy, I guess some people were trying to claim DC was being racist by saying Gorilla’s controlled Africa. Of course, Gorilla Grodd has long been a major DC villain and his Gorilla City has always been in Africa, so I think most people are giving DC the benefit of the doubt. I haven’t seen that the controversy has really any legs.

PTB: To wrap things up, I have to point out the expensive looking Super 8 ad in the middle of the book. The “covers” for the mini comic embedded in Flashpoint #2 even have heavier paper than the other pages?!?

KevinMLD: I didn’t even look through these pages. I don’t want anything to spoil that flick for me.

Read more about DC Comics’ Flashpoint on MyLatestDistraction,
and follow each issue of the series here:

Flashpoint #1 / Flashpoint #3

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