With the New 52 coming to an end in a couple of months, let’s look back on the event that kicked off this relaunch,”Flashpoint.” I’ll leave my thoughts on the New 52 for later and will focus solely on the five issue core miniseries. The underlying problem with Flashpoint is how little there is in it. The core series is only five issues when there are 16 three-issue tie-ins,four one-shots, and a crossover with the greatest superhero ever,Booster Gold. This leads to multiple lines of dialogue referencing past events not in the comic, character motivations are barely known, and backstories are vaguely touched upon.
Issue #1 starts with Barry Allen waking up in a place completely different then he is used to. Captain Cold is a hero named Citizen Cold,the Rogues are nonexistent, Superman is unknown, a war has broken out between Atlantis and Themyscira and most importantly, his mother, Nora, is alive. Barry soon learns he doesn’t have his super speed (not before falling down stairs like Bobby McFerrin) and goes to the Batcave to talk to Batman. Batman attacks Barry until Barry calls him “Bruce” causing Batman to wonder who Barry is. Barry notices all the clues around the Batcave and realizes that Batman is Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father, who survived the shooting that night instead of Bruce.
Issue #2 comes back at the Batcave, Thomas has stopped beating Barry up enough for him to reveal the costume in his ring. However, when he opens the ring the costume of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, pops out. Barry and Thomas decide that the only way to get back to Barry’s universe is to become the Flash again. They repeat the original accident, but instead Barry ends up charred, but with more resolve to try again.
Issue #3 begins with Barry and Thomas repeating the experiment one more time, but getting it right this time with his powers coming back to him. Batman and Flash team up with Cyborg, who has the same reputation as Superman in the regular DCU. They break into a secret government lab to free a test subject from Project: Superman. They find a pale, large eyed, weak Superman who seems to have never even seen the sun. They break him out of the government lab and Superman flies off, leaving our trio to defend themselves from the government’s guards.
Thus concludes the first three issues of Flashpoint. I’m reading this from the trade, but I can see people continuing to pick this book up after these first three. The book does fail on one important thing, the filler. I was able to cut out many parts of the first three issues (Batman meeting Cyborg and his group, Steve Trevor infiltrating the Amazons, Deathstroke being attacked by Aquaman.) Next time we will conclude Flashpoint with the final battle against Reverse-Flash and see the end of the DCU as we once knew it.