Saturday, 18 April 2015

Flashpoint: Definitive Flash

A Review By: Amelia
I never thought much of The Flash until I read The Blackest Night comics and now I can’t get enough of him! I obsessively watch the new television series and grab any comic book I can that I know Flash is in. Flashpoint is one of the first Flash centred comic books I ever read and it did not disappoint.

Barry Allen suddenly wakes up at his desk to discover that the world has changed. His mother is alive, he’s without any powers, and half the world is destroyed from an Amazonian revelry with the underwater city of Atlantis. Batman is a twisted soul not opposed to murder, The Justice League is nonexistent, and the Reverse Flash has his hands in it all. It’s a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war and The Flash has to figure out who altered the time line before time runs out!

The author of Flashpoint is the venerable Geoff Johns. Johns’ first comic assignments quickly led him to a critically acclaimed five-year run on The Flash. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and prolific comics writers today, working on such titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, Action Comics (co-written with Richard Donner), Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, and Infinite Crisis. He’s received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The illustrator of Flashpoint is Andrew “Andy” Kubert is an American comic book artist, son of Joe Kubert, and brother of Adam Kubert, both of whom are also artists. He is a graduate of and an instructor of second-year classes at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, founded by his father (who also teaches there). He mostly works with DC but he’s had a few branching outs over his career.

The main character of the piece is the Flash. Kinda obvious given it’s titled Flashpoint. I’m going to be the first to admit that before last summer, I didn’t really care/know that much about the Flash: Batman and Wonder Woman were my two tops. But then I read the Blackest Night comics and fell in love with Flash. He’s just so happy and optimistic no matter what happens to him in his life; and he’s no different in Flashpoint. Flash is a hero who never lets the darkness overtake him and it’s honestly very refreshing considering how DC has taken its characters in recent years. Batman, Cyborg, Shazam, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman also take fairly large roles with some very large personality twists: Wonder Woman and Aquaman are fighting against each other in a war that was killed hundreds of millions of civilians. Cyborg is the self appointed head of a haphazard Justice League. Shazam is a collection of mostly apathetic teenagers. And Batman has thrown the whole ‘don’t ever kill’ rule out the window. Honestly, it’s all quite an interesting take on an alternate path that the DC superheroes could have fallen into really quite easily!

Now, the main competent of the graphic novel: the art style. Honestly, there’s not much to say about the art style of Flashpoint. It’s a realistic style with vivid colouring but also vivid shadowing. The facial expressions were very well done and the landscapes and backgrounds are detailed and just overall it’s good. I mean, it’s a style that’s been prevalent in mostly all superhero comics but it’s a style that works for the genre. It adds nothing new but it also doesn’t take anything away; and it’s pretty to look at, so why second guess it?

My final thoughts on Flashpoint are that it’s a very interesting graphic novel. I’m a nerd for alternate histories so it was immediately appealing to me. Add in the excellent art, the kickass Amazons and Atlanteans war, and the fact that The Flash is just such an amazing character and you’ve got a DC comic that everyone should pick up and read!

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