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Archive for December, 2011

Reviewed By: Faith McAdams

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Andy Kubert
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Genre: Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
MSRP: $22.99 USA
Rating: Teen
Release Date: Available Now

When it comes to big summer comic book events, DC Comics certainly knows that bigger is definitely better but this year they manage to outshine every past events by taking everything we know about the entire DC Universe and mixing it up in a way that was too good to pass up. We’re talking about Flashpoint – an event that has led up to a new change in a number of DC Comics. Brought to us in a hardcover graphic novel, all five issues of the series make for a book every comic book collector should own.

Barry Allen’s life has been an interesting one that changed one evening when he was struck by lightening in the crime lab and thus giving birth to The Flash. He had everything except for his mother who was taken from him a long time ago. Then, all that he knew about his life suddenly takes a most startling twist when he wakes up from a quick snooze in the crime lab. What he quickly discovers is that the world is not the same and it hits home the second he comes across his mother who is still alive.

Oh, but that’s not all. The world, it seems, is in turmoil as a massive war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman is tearing the globe apart. Barry also discovers that the world knows nothing of Superman or even the Justice League. Has he somehow crossed over to a parallel universe or some other kind of mirror world? When he learns that his mother knows about Batman, Barry Allen heads to Gotham where he makes another interesting discovery about this Caped Crusader’s real identity.

Barry starts revealing things about his own reality to this Batman and it becomes clear to The Flash that this world is real. Somehow, he realizes that someone had changed things and the only one capable of doing such a thing is a foe very familiar to him … Reverse Flash.

Of course, this doesn’t really convince a very different Batman who takes no prisoners and doesn’t care about the world around him and the fact that he has the gun that Joe Chill used that fateful night speaks volumes of how Batman deals with criminals. This Batman doesn’t even care about the state of Wayne Manor or the fact that his name adorns casinos he owns across Gotham. However, uncaring as he is, Cyborg knows Batman’s legacy is strong among heroes and villains and tries to recruit him in order to stop Wonder Woman and Aquaman. You know things are serious when Cyborg’s team consists of Citizen Cold (who we know as Captain Cold), the Sandman, Element Woman and the Shazam kids.

While he turned Cyborg down, he does not do the same for Barry who convinces him that his reality is the true one. So Batman helps Barry regain his lost powers and he does so be recreating the accident using similar chemical compounds and an electric chair hooked up to a lightning rod. It’s a dangerous plan but one that pays off enough that has Batman convinced to follow him into finding another hero … Superman.

They manage to find the Man of Steel but things are not what The Flash or Batman expects when they storm a secret military installation with the help of Cyborg. What they find isn’t the Superman Barry knows but actually something completely unexpected who flies away leaving the others to fend off a wave of security officers. If it wasn’t for the Element Woman – who is so delightfully offbeat that she’s one of the most refreshing characters in Flaspoint – they would all be captured but instead they manage to escape in order to regroup and take the fight to Wonder Woman and Aquaman once and for all.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, we find her to be so menacing that she’s almost unrecognizable. She and her Amazonian warriors have taken the United Kingdom and made it New Themyscira after having slaughtered thousands in the process. She even slays a familiar character who has come to find Lois Lane who is looking for a band of heroes who call themselves The Resistance.

There’s a final confrontation that is no only exciting but jaw dropping as The Flash and a band of heroes take the fight to Aquaman and Wonder Woman who are locked in battle. If the beginning of the series was shocking then wait until the last chapter as this single action will change the entire DC Universe in ways that comic book fans are now experiencing with The New 52.

Flashpoint wasn’t without its weak moments but that doesn’t stop Geoff Johns from telling a story that shocks and awes with a force that you can’t help be drawn into from start to finish. Adding the talents of Andy Kubert backed by Alex Sinclair’s perfect coloring and Sandra Hope’s finishing touches, this is simply a gorgeous-looking book.

A perfect blend of masterful storytelling and attention-grabbing artwork, Flashpoint is one of those rare treats that go from surprising to unforgettable. This is the one that comic book fans will be talking about for years to come and its aftereffects continue to ripple across the DC Universe now with The New 52. A Must-Not-Miss if ever there was one, Flashpoint deserves to be in your growing library.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
Barry Allen, The Flash, wakes up only to find that nothing is as it seems since his mother is still alive and nobody has even heard of The Flash. Unfortunately, there’s more bad news as Barry discovers that Wonder Woman and Aquaman have waged a war that is destroying the world. With the help of a very different Batman, the Flash regains the powers he lost but first he must solve the mystery behind this new reality.

ART: A+
There are artists whose work simply jumps off the pages when it comes to making action look mouthwatering good and there are those artists who convey emotion so easily that you feel every emotion. Andy Kubert does both and does it so well that you will often find yourself flipping back a page just to make sure you saw what you saw. Along with Sandra Hope and Alex Sinclair, this graphic novel

OVERALL: A+
Simply put, Flashpoint is not only this year’s best comic book offering but it’s also a game changing experience that will renew your faith in comic books period. There are very few comic book events that will leave such a lasting impression on you but this collection does it easily enough that you will find yourself engrossed from shocking start to explosive end. It really is just that good.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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