Issue #4 begins with the heroes being rescued by Element Woman, a new character originating in Flashpoint who is a socially awkward girl with the powers of Metamorpho. The group goes to recruit The Marvel Family to help fight the Atlanteans and Amazons. In the world of Flashpoint, instead of Billy Batson becoming Shazam, it is the entire family, and they form Captain Planet,I mean Captain Thunder and on the way to the battle, they are joined by the Enchantress. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are seen fighting, and they explain that Wonder Woman and Aquaman were once together, and that Wonder Woman killed Mera (None of this was in the comic of course.) Their fight is interrupted by Captain Thunder tackling Wonder Woman as revenge for scarring his face (another thing not explained in the comic itself.
Enchantress then reveals that she was actually a spy for the Amazons and somehow splits Captain Thunder back into the Marvel family using her magic. Before the Marvels can say “Shazam” again, Billy Batson is killed by an amazon. What makes this scene horrifying (Besides the needless child murder,) is how Aquaman is seen holding The Flash back so he can’t save Billy. As Barry is remarking that he “Was just a boy,” the villain finally shows up, Reverse-Flash. Reverse-Flash taunts Barry with “Look what you did” as the issue ends.
Issue #5 begins with Reverse-Flash beating down Barry and dropping the big plot twist of the story; that Barry is the one that distorted the world, and not Thawne. Barry remembers that he went back in time to prevent Thawne from killing his mother, Nora, thus changing history. Reverse-Flash proceeds to curb stomp Barry and is about to finish him off when Batman sneaks up behind him and stabs him through the chest with a sword, killing him. Batman is then blasted by the Enchantress, who is then crushed by Superman crashing down on her and squashing her like a bug. Batman gives a note to Flash telling him to give it to Bruce and Flash runs back in time.
After having a touching reunion with his mother, (Barry considers not going back in time to fix the world at this point,even after admitting millions of people died because of him) Barry sees his past self running on the Cosmic Treadmill. He pushes his past self off, and notices that the timelines have been shattered into three pieces. He hears the voice of a woman telling him to merge all three timelines (The other 2 timelines are actually DC’s other imprints,Vertigo and Wildstorm) and the New 52 is born. Barry tells the story of Flashpoint to Bruce and gives him the note from his father. This leads to the greatest send off to the old DCU where Bruce cries and thanks Barry, calling him one hell of a messenger.
Now let’s get to the ratings:
Plot: Barry being caught in a world where only he knows what’s wrong is a pretty cool concept, but he figures out who orchestrated the whole thing in the second issue, leaving not much mystery. The tie-ins also leave most of the plot and character backgrounds to be developed in other books.
Characters: As a main character, Barry is quite bland and he doesn’t really do much until the end. Thomas Wayne is pretty awesome, but he’s Batman what did you expect? My favorite character in all this would have to be Element Woman, though. Her cheery attitude, her willingness to help the team, and the way she gets just pushed aside by the others because they think she’s crazy make her a very likable character and I’m glad she was introduced into the main DCU.
Action: For a book taking place during a war the action is very weak. In both fights Barry is in he doesn’t even fight back. The battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman is just a two page spread of them swinging their weapons at each other before Captain Thunder interrupts. Most people in the story are just taken out in one hit,too.
Art: The art is another high point of the mini-series, tie-ins not withstanding. Character emotions are easy to see and proportions are never off.
Ending: The ending, though is just absolutely beautiful. Everything from Bruce saying that Barry’s memories of Flashpoint are gifts to “make things easier,” Thomas’s note, and Bruce actually crying.
Final Thoughts: As an Elseworlds story this could have worked, but as a major DC event it just fails. It reeks of a marketing event, but unlike Blackest Night, these are about characters in a world I really don’t care about. With Flashpoint characters set to appear in Convergence, maybe a greater purpose can be found in this series. It’s not bad enough to absolutely hate, as it has upsides like Thomas Wayne, Element Woman, and the ending, but I wouldn’t recommend seeking it out unless you’re willing to shill out extra money to get a complete story.
Rating: Buy it at a bargain.