Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 – Bryan Hitch, Writer/Penciller; Andrew Currie, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Flashpoint was one of the most significant events in DC history, paving the way for the last reboot and the New 52. Now it gets remixed for this series of one-shots courtesy of writer/artist Bryan Hitch, and a dark and twisted world becomes even more so. The point of divergence is when Barry Allen risked everything to save his mother by going back in time, and instead created a twisted alternative reality. This time, though, Barry doesn’t make it and it’s someone else waking up at the feet of Thomas Wayne—Eobard Thawne, the mastermind of this world. The Reverse-Flash wastes no time taking advantage of his fresh start and soon manipulates the entire world to his benefit.
This oversized one-shot is sort of a speedrun through the entire Flashpoint world, as Eobard encounters Thomas, the evil Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and the emaciated Superman who has been held prisoner his whole life. Having manipulated a former soap opera actor into becoming President, Eobard styles himself as the new hero of Earth, helping to neutralize the warring armies and secretly taking out everyone who threatens him. There’s just one person he’s not able to manipulate—Thomas Wayne, whose obsessive nature keeps him fixated on the idea that Thawne can bring his son back from the dead. As we know from Tom King’s Batman, this is a collision between two deeply sick people.
The visuals from Bryan Hitch are spectacular, although the story is a bit rushed as most of these are. The story picks up in a huge way towards the end, as we learn exactly how many threats are still pending and how far Thomas is willing to go. Surprisingly, though, unlike the other one-shots, this doesn’t end with a one-note bleak ending. What happens instead is that a villain becomes a hero solely for his own self-interest, and an already-doomed world gets a second lease on life that may make it more dangerous than ever. Tempus Fuginaut’s confusion at the end of the issue says it all—this story continues, and not everything is as clear-cut as “this world is screwed.” Is there anything more appropriate for an alternative world of an alternative world?
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.