…was more like Flashpointless, am I right?
Honestly, this is probably the worst major comics event I’ve read since… probably Millennium. It was genuinely terrible, across the board bad: whole heaps of joylessness shoved into comic after comic after comic. I mean, we all knew that Flashpoint was just an excuse to hit the reset button so they could proceed with the reboot12, but all of the sub-events seemed designed to just be an exercise in demonstrating to the reader how very serious and dark this new alternate reality was:
- Batman: Knight of Vengeance: Thomas Wayne is a crazy murderer! So is Martha Wayne!
- Deadman and the Flying Graysons: The Amazons kill everybody!
- Citizen Cold: Captain Cold is a hero! But he’s not! So he kills everybody! Then he dies!
- Deathstroke: Deathstroke rescues his daughter – by killing everybody!
- The Outsider: The Outsider kills a bunch of people we like in regular comics!
- Project: Superman: Superman is held captive for years and years, until he breaks out… and kills a dude who was responsible for holding him captive!
- Grodd of War: Gorilla Grodd kills everybody in Africa who isn’t a smart gorilla! And then he throws a tantrum and kills some gorillas!
- Emperor Aquaman / Wonder Woman and the Furies: Both sides commit multiple genocides!
- Legion of Doom: I’m not sure. I tried to read the first issue and then I said “no, wait, this is dreck” and gave up. But, I am going to go out on a limb here – I’m betting a lot of people got killed.
And all of that is before we discuss the main series, wherein we learn that they made Captain Marvel grim-and-gritty in this universe. Captain Marvel. What the hell, DC.
I mean, how much killing does it really take to underscore the point that Earth-Flashpoint is a horrible place? At a certain point it all just fades into meaninglessness, a body count for the sake of a body count, all of it entirely without heft or import because it’s effectively an “imaginary story” giving the serial reader no point at which to sympathize or otherwise care about the dead bodies left in its wake. For a comics company that has predicated its existence on the idea of stories that “matter” to create an enormous Macguffin of a story that only exists to propel the company into its reboot is shocking for all the wrong reasons.
All the moreso because we already have a perfectly good example of a linewide “imaginary storyverse” event that was both entertaining and popular. Does anybody remember the Amalgam universe? Really, the comparisons between it and Flashpoint are numerous: an alternate universe with no “importance” beyond the event itself, explored in a number of smaller stories to offer up a hint of the enormity of describing an entire continuity in a dozen comics. Except that Amalgam wasn’t terrible.
- I’ve said my piece about that already, but will add that >Justice League #1 is a boring, generic comic that seems to have no point other than let people play with Darkseid again. Someone on Twitter described it as “like a comic you get with an action figure,” and that is pretty accurate. [↩]
- And did anybody really MISS Darkseid? [↩]