Flashpoint Beyond #3 – Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, Tim Sheridan, Writers; Xermanico, Mikel Janin, Artists; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Jordie Bellaire, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: One of the most interesting parts of this series has been how it pulls the curtain back and shows us elements that were only briefly explored in the original event—case in point, this new take on Superman as an emaciated young man who was held captive by the government ever since he arrived on Earth. It was easy to just assume it was a case of bad luck and a corrupt government—but a flashback here shows that the rocket didn’t land in Smallville, but in Metropolis as part of a devastating meteor shower that killed 35,000 people. That’s led to a world more scared of aliens than ever—and as Superman makes his way into the world for the first time, he’s clearly more cautious. When he tracks down Thomas Wayne to recruit him, Thomas reacts with his typical charm—and winds up knocked out and dragged to a mysterious Oasis run by a very different Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing.
The reveal that this world’s Jor-El is far less benevolent—and that Kal-El might not have been alone—throws the entire series for a loop and raises the stakes massively. It also sort of comes out of nowhere and reshuffles the deck for the rest of the series with a major new threat far outside of Batman’s weight class. I would complain that it could overshadow the plots that have been dominating the series until now, but honestly it’s far more compelling than things like Gilda Dent predictably scarring herself and becoming the new Two-Face. The bookend segments with a time team trying to keep Thomas Wayne from derailing hypertime are intriguing as well, but I wish they got more time than two pages. This issue was a step up from the last one, but it still hasn’t reached the high of Johns’ prequel issue or the original. The key will be bringing this whole story to a satisfying close after so many odd turns for Thomas Wayne since 2011.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.