REVIEW: Flashpoint #3 (of 5)

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In the race to the relaunch, DC’s “Flashpoint” hits its half way point. With the trio of Flash, Batman, and Cyborg hunting for their hopeful Kryptonian savior, can this issue make it to the finish line without falling flat on its face?

Take the jump, and find out!

Flashpoint #3 (of 5)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Sandra Hope
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Rating: Teen
Story Pages: 26
Cover Price: $3.99 USD

Previously, in Flashpoint: Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, has tampered with time. Many things have changed; Cyborg is America’s Greatest Hero, the Amazons are at war with the Atlantians, Thomas Wayne is the Batman, and Barry Allen is not the Flash, but not for a lack of trying. When we last left Barry Allen, his attempt to recreate the incident that made him the World’s Fastest Man went horribly wrong, and left him severely burned atop Wayne Manor.

WHAT’S SO SUPER ABOUT THIS SUPERMAN?

Getting the orders to stand down from the President of the United States, America’s greatest hero Cyborg, is approached by Batman, and the rejuvenated Flash. The trio will have to hunt down their only hope, the man who fell to Earth and killed 30,000 Metropolitans – the secret trapped within Project: Superman.

The comic’s focus is somewhere else, the coherent story that should be here isn’t. The lack of focus from such a writer as Geoff Johns, is just disappointing. Characters show up that serve no recognizable purpose, and in the end, they do not advance the story. Their appearance seems only to give the overwhelming number of tie-ins, a minuscule foot hold in regards to their relation to the main story of “Flashpoint”.

Since the first two issues seemed to move at The Turtle’s pace (a Flash villain ladies and gents), I expected things to ramp up as “Flashpoint” hit the middle of the series. Unfortunately, the third issue is still too slow for it’s own good. Though things do happen in this issue, it feels like this really should have been the second issue rather than the third. I expected Johns to be able to get up and go when it comes to storytelling, but so far “Flashpoint” has not been where all the action is at.

The pencils by veteran artist Andy Kubert were, in some parts, lacking. His depiction of the emaciated “Man of Steel” seemed to be illustrated by a different artist. In all honesty, it looked like Mark Bagley art that had been whipped up at the eleventh hour. Superman’s anatomy was all wrong, Kubert’s attempt to illustrate the gaunt, weakened Superman is just visually abrasive, and out of place.

Though this thought crossed my mind after reading the first issue, this issue brought it to a head. The look of Dr. Thomas Wayne, who is the Batman, doesn’t reflect a man that would be at least 20 years older than his son. Adding scruff does not substitute for age.

As for the inks in regards to this issue, an inker is a artist just the same as a penciler, they should be held at to the same standard. Sandra Hope provided this issues inks, and her inability to identify, and correct visual irregularities generated by Kubert is something that should not have happened. As a inker you have to embellish, and accentuate the pencils that are provided. Blindly inking pencils, with no considered effort, just makes you a tracer.

THE VERDICT: HURRY UP AND WAIT

“Flashpoint” so far comes off more as a means, to an end, rather than a honest, wholehearted effort to tell the best story possible. This comic from creators with such pedigrees as theirs means it could be so much better, but sadly, its not. Now even though the standard set by these creators in the past hasn’t been lived up to, it’s not wholly irredeemable.

It is after all a out of continuity event, that may have some impact upon the rapidly approaching relaunch. But even with this knowledge, the story is still quite slow, and the “fat” that encases it needs to be trimmed away. If you are a completist you will be buying this comic no matter if the story is going nowhere in a hurry, or how awkward Superman looks. If you are a person who just loves Andy Kubert’s artwork, you may be in for a disappointment due to Kubert’s unimaginative display of line work in this issue.

Overall, issue three was middle of the road, barely, and as whole, the story has gone down hill since issue one. In closing, Flashpoint #3(of 5) receives 2.5 Stars, out of 5.

Rating: ★★½☆☆