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☆☆

The Author

Larry King

Larry King

It is hard being a King, especially when your first name is Larry. Well, not really. In Larry’s Kingdom the re-imagining “Battlestar Galactica” is superior, “The Wire” is the greatest crime show ever, and “ROM, Spaceknight” is the hero of the realm.

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13 Comments

  1. July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am — Reply

    I was thoroughly entertained. Yes, there were a few too many cameos by characters who were there to draw you into the tie-in books, but it was this issue where I felt like the Flashpoint story/universe finally got some traction. The sight of an emaciated Superman was heartbreaking and the thought of a Superman who wasn’t raised by the Kents but was instead tortured, malnourished and experimented-upon is terrifying. I really can’t wait to see what happens next.

  2. TaZ
    July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am — Reply

    I have to disagree with several of the points on this review. I had no problem with the art, although it looked more George Perez like toward the end of the issue.

    There are several points of the story that serve as good plot devices. Barry Allen’s explanation to Batman as to why he simply couldn’t “fix” what Reverse Flash had done. Barry not being “up to full speed” access to the speed force is also important as he will have to reassemble the JLA in order to accomplish what he needs. The characters from The Resistance begin to “graft” in the Wildstorm folks into the mix and we begin to see some of the places of other characters. It seems Nate Adam is not the Captain Atom we know and that General Sam Lane is the person in charge of the Project: Superman. The fact that Krypto was examined down to his skeleton was, quite frankly, chilling and hopefully not something that says in place in the Superboy series.

    Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne have always been on the opposite ends of the spectrum and it’s good to see Barry being more agressive and confrontational with these “darker” versions of his friends and their families in this reality. Not only that but he will now have to try to lead a bunch of people that have specifically spent their entire “existence” answering to no-one but themselves or either the highest powers.

    I’m finding this series more enjoyable so far that Brightest Day, which moved a bit too slow at the start and too fast at the end for me. My rating would be more of a 3.5 out of 5. Plus, Barry Allen saying “hit me again with the lightning” was just hardcore.

  3. websnap
    July 7, 2011 at 11:35 am — Reply

    Yeah, I actually dug it quite a bit. I’m with you on the art (if only about how Thomas should be aged more… more in the realm of Millar’s Return’s), but all in all I liked the general consistency. As far as the “cameos” go, I feel they will be playing a larger role going forward. I hope their inclusion now is to mitigate an “out of nowhere” inclusion later… making people feel that they NEEDED to read the tie-in to now they were even involved till the last minute.

    Two and a half is harsh, I would have given three and a half, but that’s just me.

    • TaZ
      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm — Reply

      I’m guessing that Batman in the “old” DCU was in his 30’s so Thomas Wayne could be in his mid-50’s. Being 48 myself I can tell you that if you stay in shape someone wearing a Batman costume with only their chin and mouth showing would only have grey stubble and some lines as an indicator of their age. I think the point where they are rappelling and Wayne remarks that he’s “old” points this out without the need to take away from the visual image of an intensely haunted, angry man that’s driven by pure rage.

  4. mosdef
    July 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    I have to disagree too, the issue was great to me. Barry getting struck by lightning again was pretty bad ass. While the pacing of the issues was slow, it was still very entertaining. Seeing Superman weakened was pretty sad, and im interested to see what kind of person he is now that the Kent’s havent raised him; and who is behind the second door?
    Major spoilers reviews used to give the entire scope of what happened in the comic, then judge the art and then give the reviewers opinion about the comic. You only talked about what happened in the comic for a paragraph, give us more! This is major spoilers, we expect to be spoiled.

  5. Armaan
    July 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    I loved this issue! Also, in the Knight of Vengeance series, Thomas Wayne looks pretty old without his mask, and you can’t tell he’s an old man when he has his mask on.
    The Superman reveal was horrifying. A hugely emotional moment. To see what they’ve done to Kal, the realization that he’s never seen the sun… it was a very strong moment I will not forget in a hurry. And, also, I’ve been following the other Flashpoint series, and there’s very little actual reference to them in this series. You can SO ignore them and stick to this one.

    I like the story. It’s a good story. I’m glad to be reading this story.

    Y’know.

    Despite missing the hell out of Wally.

    • TaZ
      July 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm — Reply

      Krypto’s skeleton is still creeping me out.

  6. crazyangel93
    July 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm — Reply

    ookay so a dead dog, a crazy guy who keeps trying to blow himself up with lighting, twice!, and a bug eyed, big handed superman that a stick insect looks fatter when compared to and a un aging batman all seem good to you guys? seriously? i mean come on anybody in they’re right mind would think that the story may just contain a few strange ideas in it, am i right or am i right?

    • Armaan
      July 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm — Reply

      Of course it has strange ideas.
      What else would grab out attention?

      Imagine waking up and discovering a longtime friend of yours has had his history changed. That he’s been a prisoner since they day he was born. That he’s never seen SUNLIGHT. That the strongest, bravest person you know has nothing but terror and fear coming out of his eyes. Oh, and that a bunch of scientists have turned your favorite dog into a skeleton.

      (btw. Krypto was Subject 3. Kal, Subject 1. The guy in the Project Superman series is Subject 0. Does anyone know who Subject 2 is? Because Kara only arrived on earth about two, maybe three decades after Kal did)

  7. July 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm — Reply

    I enjoyed Flashpoint 3 also. Thought it was the best so far and FINALLY made this event feel like it’s worthy of its billing. Didn’t really buy Cyborg being forcefed as America’s greatest hero initially, but w/ even Barry picking up on his differences, I’m all in. Does seems like w/ only 2 issues left, everything will be sloppy and rushed, but I hope not. Big moments/surprises for me were: 1) Barry being a badass (Wally will always be my fave, but…) , 2) Cyborg’s swagger (hope he’s drawn like this by Lee and not the “lego-man” look on Justice League cover, 3) emo-Supes, 4) Krypto bones, 5) GRIFTER! Also, can’t forget Thomas Wayne’s slow arse computer in budget batcave. LOL Dial-up to save money, perhaps?

    • Crash
      July 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm — Reply

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed Grifter in the comic. Gotta say it surprised the hell out of me.

  8. sil3nC3
    July 8, 2011 at 5:40 am — Reply

    I disagree with this review. I think issue 3 gave us a better story then issue 2 (although it was a slow issue but I would say that the ending was entertaining) and makes Flashpoint finally up to pace with its namesake.

    Things are beginning to add up and albeit having only 2 more issues to go, I’m hopeful that in the end it would be a satisfying event. But that’s only if you can see the bright side of things. The world itself in my opinion has been an engaging one, shaking up the characters a bit and giving us a nice “what-if” DCU.

    Well all in all I would have at least given it 3 stars, 3.5 in my books as I’m enjoying Flashpoint.

  9. Damascus
    July 19, 2011 at 12:09 am — Reply

    I’m glad you other commenters spoke up here, I’ve yet to read this, but based solely on my tastes and the reviewer’s, there’s quite a gulf between them. I usually find Larry’s reviews to have a bit of a pessimistic/negative tone, and that very well just could be that we don’t share similar views on books which is perfectly fine. But since this is a big event, I was hoping to hear another point of view. At least people are talking, which is always good for a site like this. Cool though, I think I’ll check it out, I’m down for seeing Barry get struck by lightning.

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