FLASHPOINT #5

(w) Geoff Johns (a) Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope and Jesse Delperdang

After a long summer, DC’s Flashpoint series came to its conclusion with issue #5, on comic stands today.

And what an ending it was.

Flashpoint and its numerous supporting series were all entertaining, but, from a story standpoint, they seemed to be more summer blockbuster popcorn fair, which is fine, since it was summer and all.  It had all the noise and color and adrenaline that would expect to find in a summer superhero movie, not say, Sophie’s Choice.  But then Geoff Johns showed us why he is the master: the last issue took a sudden right turn with the confrontation between Barry Allen, the Flash, and his longtime nemesis, The Reverse Flash, and made a story about saving the world from certain destruction into a story about a boy and his mother.

cover by Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope and Alex Sinclair

The surprise came with how personal a battle this turned out to be, and the sacrifice that had to be made by a hero in order to save millions of strangers and the world.  Barry is faced with the knowledge of the true cause for the Flashpoint, and the realization of what must be done to fix it.

Another surprise was what was not in the book.   The strong finales to series like Abin Sur, Green Lantern, Hal Jordan and Kid Flash Lost all seemed to me to point towards possible developments in this final chapter.   But the payoff on those titles didn’t come. And I didn’t miss them at all. We were rewarded with the arrival of Kal-El into the battle between the Amazons and the Atlantians, but, by the time he did show up, the war no longer seemed to matter in the grand scheme of the story.  I was completely drawn into the personal conflict that Barry was facing.

Of course, Barry does do the right thing, and it is that choice that closes the book on the DCU we have known for the last 25-or-so years.  Flashpoint #5 ends with The Flash restoring the universe, but something else gets involved and with it, three different realities (DC, Wildstorm, and Vertigo) get pulled together into the new status quo, the DC-nU. We get a glimpse of what is to come, and bit of a mystery to look forward to down the road. Then, with one final scene set in this new version of DC reality, we are reminded about how human our heroes are, and how human they need to be because that is how we can relate and connect to them.

DC launched their new universe, but it’s good to see that the characters we know and care about are still there.