“Stop telling yourself how ridiculous it is and start asking yourself if you think its going to work. That’s why its called a leap of faith, Jack.”
* Ms. Hawking from Lost
After having suffered through August watching DC attempt to wrap everything up to make way for the release of the DCNew we’re finally here. Flashpoint 5, where everything changes in a Flash! So nice of the cover to signify this for me, we don’t get enough cover exposition anymore these days.
Now if you’ve been reading my blog, you know my mixed feelings about this DC relaunch, reboot, or whatever DC wants it officially known as. My feelings where a mix of dread, doubt, excitement and wonder all rolled up in one. You see, back when DC first attempted a restart of this scale it was durning the Crisis of Infinite Earths and although it had a lot of bumps and errors, the restart did a what it set out to do, bring in new readers and give new life to its characters. But the story scale was truly epic in Crisis. Earths were destroyed, long loved characters where either given heart felt send offs or became causalities in the war but left us in a heroic manner truly befitting their histories. Supergirl, Superman, Wonder Woman and most of all The Flash, who’s selfless sacrifice left us during the Crisis only be be reborn when the last three remaining Universes reformed into one, setting DC on its One Earth, One Universe path that was true up until the last few years with the rebirth of the Multiverse and in my mind, the first steps to this Flashpoint event.
All in all I felt Flashpoint to be nowhere near the scale of Crisis of Infinite Earths. In Flashpoint 1, we find Barry Allen waking up in a world different then he remembers. Its a world where his mother is still alive and he never became The Flash. A world where the Justice League never formed and where the League were friends, in this place of Flashpoint, our heroes are enemies, placing the entire planet in peril as they war among themselves. Throughout the series Barry works towards regaining his abilities and reforming the Justice League in an attempt to find out what changed the timeline and help set it back on its correct path.
Ok, lets cover the good the bad and the ugly of Flashpoint now that its done.
Although written by one of DC’s best writers, Flashpoint fails to really show any sort of soul until we get to the few good scenes between Flash and his mother or Flash and Thomas Wayne. When characters start to talk about family and sacrifice we begin to have some sort of soul show in the dialogue, Even in the little scene with the SHAZAM family as they talk about their pizza nights and if they don’t try to stop the superhero war they’ll lose the only good thing they all love. Sadly, this doesn’t carry the title and in the mist of these few choice scenes we have to suffer though Barry Allen electrocuting himself twice, wonder endlessly on where the Reverse Flash is so he can stop him and finally where they can find Superman because if anyone other then Batman can stop this, Superman on their side would ensure victory. Of course its a full five issues before we find The Reverse Flash and even see Superman make any sort f meaningful appearance. Really, for the casual reader, Flashpoint 5 is all they need to read before jumping in on the new DCU because NOTHING happens in the first four issues! And when things finally do start to happen in issue 5, we’re left seeing that it wasn’t The Reverse Flash who messed up history, it was Barry Allen himself. Uggg… So hows it fixed? Glad you asked, Flash runs back in time and stops himself from doing it in the first place. This event, along with the appearance of a mysterious woman who’s only job is to tell us readers what the base universes they use to reform this new timeline create the new DC. Turns out the timelines are Vertigo, Wildstorm and the main DC Universe. Jim Lee must be thrilled. The world has been waiting with baited breath for more Wildcats.
So now its all said and done. Barry Allen, revived from the Speed Force and reintegrated into the DCU turns out the be the cause of the newest world changing event. Barry Allen, coming full circle and helping rebirth a new DCU, complete with crappy costume updates and stories aimed at a younger audience. Lets hope it lives up to the hype. Time for that leap of faith…
Note: It occurs to me that the Flashes classic winged earpieces look more like the nacelles of the Enterprise throughout this series, at least the new earth flash has them looking like wings again.