Published on May 5th, 2012 | by Mike Harding0
Mikeys Library Hotpicks: The World of Flashpoint
This weeks hotpicks both come from DC comics, and are both part of the same story arc. In 2011 DC published the story known as Flashpoint, which created a new reality that had been changed in many significant ways. This story would go on to create the current status quo for the DC universe with it being now known at the new 52.
The main book is sadly not available from Cardiff Library, although after speaking with them, they are rectifying the situation (they are very good at doing that, and, as I frequently point out, check your own local libraries to see if they have it). The tie-in books however, are available, and it is these books that I will be reviewing.
The First book is The World Of Flashpoint Featuring Batman, now straight away I have to tell you that this isn’t strictly true. The book does indeed feature the Eisner nominated Batman: Knight of Vengance by Brian azzarello and Eduardo Risso, but this story only accounts for a quarter of the book. the remainder of the book is made up of stories that have a vague connection to the dark knight.
So, firstly we have Batman: Knight of Vengance, written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Eduardo Risso. I really like this book, it is not the Batman we all know, as in this universe Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne wasn’t such a wimp, and stood up to his attacker that fateful night. In fact, it is Thomas Wayne who wears the cowl in this world, as it was his son Bruce, who died that night. The story itself involves the twin children of district attorney Harvey Dent being kidnapped by the Joker. As the story unravels we encounter the Penguin, who actually works for Thomas Wayne, Killer Croc, and then the final encounter with the Joker that left me stunned.
The Second story in the book is Deadman and the Flying Graysons, written by J.T.Krul, with Fabrizio Florentino, Mikel Janin, and Alejandro Giraldo providing the artwork. The story focuses on Boston Brand the Deadman, who in this universe is part of a travelling circus with Dick (Robin/Nightwing) Grayson and his family. Also part of this circus is Dr Fate, Rag Doll, and King Shark. They live a life of travelling thanks to events that take place in the Wonder Woman book, the circus can never return to America and scratch out an existence entertaining people in Europe. That all ends when the Amazons come calling for Dr Fate’s helmet, as the circus dwellers flee for their lives, they encounter a number of DC characters and have one DC hero sent after them to hunt them down. the story is good but you get the feeling that it ends too quickly, I just hope that the resolution to this is in the main Flashpoint book.
Third story in the book is Deathstroke And The Curse Of The Ravager, written by Jimmy Palmiotti, with art provided by Joe Bennett, Tony Shasteen, Alex Massacci, and John Dell. This was the book that I felt the idea was a bit lazy, Deathstroke has alway ony had one eye, so what did DC decide to do to him in this world? Oh, we’ll make him a Pirate. Despite this the story is actually well written and revolves around Deathstroke desperately trying to find his daughter Rose who was captured some time ago. Along the way Deathstroke recruits some villains such as Clayface, who lets face it should never be working on a boat in case he falls off. Deathstroke battles Aquaman, and later the Warlord, as well as a character known as the Caretaker. The story moves along nicely, and Deathstroke is as ruthless in this world as he had been in the regular DCU.
The final story is Secret Seven, written by Peter Milligan, with art provided by George Perez, Fernando Blanco, and Scott Koblish. Frankly, this story is awful, it has little purpose until the very last page, in which we find out the reason for the whole story, I’m amazed they managed to stretch it out over three comics to be honest.
The Second book this week is The World Of Flashpoint Featuring Wonder Woman. Now this book is accurately titled as Wonder Woman features in the majority of the book. Once again the book is divided into four stories, but this time, three of those stories appear to take place at the same time. This book feels as though it has more continuity as a result of this, and is a much better read than the Batman book.
The first story is Wonder Woman And The Furies, written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lannin, with Agustin Padila and Scott Clark providing the artwork. The book deals with the history between Themyscira and Atlantis, most notably the rulers Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The book has love, betrayal, epic scale destruction, rebirth, and betrayal. The art is brilliant and I didn’t want the book to end.
The second story is Emperor Aquaman, written by Tony Bedard, with artwork provided by Vincente Cifuentes, and Ardian Syaf. This story is a back and forth, with Aquaman reflecting on the past, regarding what led to events seen at the beginning of the book. The book then switches focus of the present, (with a few flashbacks to Aquaman’s origin) and brings us right up to the moment when Wonder Woman And The Furies ends.
The third story is Lois Lane And The Resistance, again written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, with artwork provided by Eddie nunez, Gianluca Gugliotta, and Christian Duce. I really like this story, it starts midway through the Aquaman story and finds Lois Lane vulnerable as she does not have a Superman to save her in this world. We see Lois captured, and trained by the Amazons, before escaping to join the Resistance on a mission that could turn the tide of the war. The book features the likes of Artemis, Grifter, Hyde, Lady Godiva, Etrigan the Demon and Penny Black the UK hero known as Britannia. As I write this, I realise that this book is a bit of a rip off of Captain Britain and MI13, but it’s still very good.
The Final story is The Outsider, written by James Robinson, with artwork provided by Javi Fernndez. This story focuses on a new character who appears to be made of rock, he is very rich and very clever. The story surrounds him finding out who ordered an attack on his newly completed base, and more importantly damaged his new suit. I felt this could have been done quicker and would have fitted better in the Batman book, with the Deathstroke story over in this book in its place.
Overall the two books are very good indeed, with some excellent writing found in both. There are moments that surprise you, which is why I’m a sucker for an alternate reality story. Pick them both up and wait for the main book and other tie-in books to become available, its worth the wait. Well that’s it this week, I’m quickly running out of books so make sure to suggest stuff for me to find.
If you live in Cardiff check out Cardiff Libraries website for an online catalogue and follow them on Twitter @cdflibraries