Read of the Week – 6/1/11

FLASHPOINT #2

Story: Geoff Johns
Art: Andy Kubert & Sandra Hope
Cover: Andy Kubert & Sandra Hope w/ Alex Sinclair
Alternate Cover: Ivan Reis, George Perez w/ Rod Reis
Publisher: DC

A $2.99 Comic
32 pgs

The world of Flashpoint is revealed, and it’s not a happy place, especially if you are from Europe.

Emperor Aquaman sank Western Europe.  Woman Woman and the Amazons have conquered the UK, and the two of them are waging war against each other. Batman is a killer (and a lot older) .  There is no Superman, and Barry Allen never became the Flash.  A world that has been altered by 25th century speedster Professor Zoom, a/k/a Eobard Thawne a/k/a The Reverse Flash.

In just 2 issues Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert have created an new world; a world with familiar faces, but nothing is what you remember.  And now it’s the only world there is, and Barry Allen (without his superspeed) has to figure out how to stop Professor Zoom, and restore the world.  (With the recent news from DC, it seems he won’t exactly be able to do exactly that.)  So he has sought out the Batman (because who else would you want to help you save the world?) only to discover just how much the world has changed.

Maybe because of DC’s announcement this week, you might be inclined to not read this story, because why bother…  right?  But then you will be cheating yourself out of a great Flash story. (something we have been in short supply of lately)  Geoff Johns has a gift when it comes to telling large world shaping tales, and at the same time having those stories driven by the individual characters at the heart of the drama. Like  Blackest Night and The Sinestro Corps War before this, it’s  the small acts of individual heroism that help to define the larger story.   You believe a single man can change the world.

When Johns is on, he is on, and here is in full Universe building mode, and you don’t want to miss that, especially when its rendered so dramatically by the likes of Andy Kubert.  His gritty, but fluid work is the star here.  Johns and Kubert have redesigned DC’s biggest icons into something new and far more interesting.  The darkness of this world markedly different from the brightness we may be used to from the DCU.

It’s shadowy and murky.   Putting Barry Allen in this world is like  putting a beacon, a flash of lightning, in the sky.   While we may now know the outcome, it doesn’t make this story any less dramatic or relevant to comic book readers, and you’ll only be depriving yourself of a kick ass comic if you are not reading FLASHPOINT.

Grade A

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