Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Great
Title: Flashpoint Part Five
Barry Allen has one chance to change the Flashpoint Universe… and with it, everything else.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Sandra Hope, Jesse Delperdang
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Art: Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
As Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s battle threatens to destroy the globe, Superman returns to the fray, and Professor Zoom arrives to watch the devastation. Barry Allen’s greatest foe makes a shocking revelation, and nothing will ever be the same.
This is a rare book. The end of it has really been a foregone conclusion for months now, ever since the news about the New 52 launch hit the internet we knew what would happen at the climax of Flashpoint. So the question has not been one of “what,” but “how?” And I’m really very impressed with how the “how” turned out. For a story that’s about the restructuring of an entire universe, it’s been an intensely personal story as well, one that really boils down to two men – Barry Allen and Thomas Wayne – each willing to sacrifice anything to create a better world. Each of them makes choices this issue that fit in perfectly with who they’ve been in the story, and propel us to an exciting ending.
The actual “how” of the changeover is interesting as well. Geoff Johns puts forth an explanation for how the Vertigo and Wildstorm characters are suddenly going to turn up in the DC Universe, and in so doing, he brings up a number of questions. The much-discussed two-page spread that explains the changeover does so in such a way that it’s clear this story isn’t actually over. Considering how much has been made of the New 52 being new reader friendly, I’m actually surprised to see some dangling plot threads, which I can only assume Johns intends to follow up on in the new Justice League series. In a shared universe like the DCU, one that has to remain viable tomorrow and next year and next decade, you know no story is ever actually going to be a firm ending. So to me, the mark of a good climax is one that leaves me wanting to know more, and the double-page spread accomplishes that all on its own.
Also of note is this issue’s coda, the first glimpse of the new DC Universe, and a very heartfelt moment between two of DC’s greatest heroes, both of whom are given a gift. Without spoiling anything, it’s not at all hard to imagine wet eyes in America’s comic shops this week.
Andy Kubert is at the top of his game. The battle scenes at the beginning are good, but Thomas’s face-off with Zoom and the scenes of Barry hurtling through the timestream are just excellent.
If you’re looking for a book that breaks down each and every nitpick and tweak to the DCU, you won’t get it here. This won’t explain why Superman isn’t wearing red trunks or Wonder Woman can’t make up her mind about the pants. But it is a very satisfying way to explain that the whole universe is going to be a bit different now, and it’s heartfelt at the same time. It is, in fact, a very good way to begin something new.