FLASHPOINT #5 (OF 5)

Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 3.7
 
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Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
Covers by ANDY KUBERT and SANDRA HOPE
Black and white variant covers by ANDY KUBERT
Variant cover by RAGS MORALES

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Whether you’ve enjoyed DC’s mega-event Flashpoint or you hated it, there is no way you can deny it significance or importance. Throughout the event Geoff Johns and company have crafted a stark, complicated alternate world that’s given us a variety of tie-in series, some really good while others not so much. It’s given us a war of global proportions, one completely original and thoroughly entertaining new character, and twists and turns that have been mind boggling. But at it’s core, Flashpoint has been the story of Barry Allen and his quest to find out what has happened to the world he’s always known. Here in issue #5 it all comes to an end, or at least it tries to.

The last issue ended with the appearance of the Reverse Flash on the mother of all battlefields as the Atlanteans and Amazons engage in their final showdown. Here Johns lays everything out as Thawne revels in not only revealing how the world has been so drastically changed but in showing Barry his role in it. It’s a smart and crafty explanation but one that quite honestly confused me at first. It took a more careful examination of the book to better understand it. In order to fix things, so much is required of Barry, both physically and emotionally, and this leads to some thrilling scenes and heart-wrenching moments. And speaking of heart-wrenching, there’s a final sequence that’s an emotional punch in the gut and I found myself really effected by it. This is the main story and Johns nails it from start to finish. It wasn’t the easiest for me to follow but by the end I felt the weight and magnitude of what had taken place.

While issue #5 nails the main story, the side story (the Amazon/Atlantean war) doesn’t quite get the attention I had hoped. I understand that Johns’ space was limited but he had three or four tie-in series that were to be concluded in Flashpoint #5. In a very real sense they were, but not from a satisfying storytelling position. There are a couple of beautifully timed arrivals bringing new players onto the battlefield but both are underutilized. For the most part the entire bigger battle is a backdrop for the main story. It’s not that I expected it to take center stage, but as someone invested in so many of the tie-ins, I would have loved to see a little more time given to these battles.

Andy Kubert’s art is really strong but not perfect. First off he really draws Flash action sequences well. The sizzling lightning effects are really cool and gave those panels real energy. I also loved the way he captured his character’s feelings in some of the more emotionally charged scenes. I felt these pages were Kubert’s strongest of the entire series. As with the other books, he uses a variety of page layouts and most work well. But in some of his smaller panels, the characters seem to be missing needed detail. Another thing I wasn’t crazy about was the cloudy, dingy gray background used throughout the first two thirds of the book. I’m sure it was meant to relay the effects of the battle, but for me it made the panels looked rushed and a little less attractive. But there are so many areas where Kubert really hits the spot and the good certainly outweighs the bad.

While I was hoping for some stronger resolutions to the relating tie-ins, I can’t deny the brilliance and emotional punch of the main story. Johns does a great job of putting the pieces together and making the event as a whole feel important. There’s some genuinely tender and thoughtful moments especially the ending which I felt was an amazing pay-off. Kubert’s art is solid even if he takes a few shortcuts. He beautifully captures the emotions of Johns’ story and that alone makes is easy to overlook the other. For me, Flashpoint has delivered. I’ve bought many of the tie-ins along with the main book and at the end of the day I can easily say I’ve had a fun, satisfying experience and this creative has led me right into The New 52. Well done DC.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

Comments

  1. It says Art: “5” but I gave the art a “4”

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