Review – Flashpoint Beyond #5: The Madness of Martha Wayne

Comic Books DC This Week
Flashpoint Beyond #5 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Flashpoint Beyond #5 – Geoff Johns, Tim Sheridan, Jeremy Adams, Writers; Xermanico, Mikel Janin, Artists; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Jordie Bellaire, Colorists

Ray – 9/10

Ray: From the start of this series, it’s been a big mystery what exactly is going on. When does this even take place? How do the segments involving Bruce by Mikel Janin sync up with the rest of the story? How did the Flashpoint verse get resurrected? Well, this issue makes it all clear—with a segment involving Mr. Terrific discussing Bruce’s seeming return from death at the conclusion of Dark Crisis. This could be called a spoiler of sorts, but is it really? I feel like the ship has sailed on the chance for the characters not coming back for any length of time. And it seems like Bruce may have had something to do with the return of the Flashpoint universe, as the Time Masters seem to be coming for him. But Thomas Wayne has more to concern himself with—including the return of his deranged wife, who seems to have been brought back to life and is far more ambitious than she was in the original story.

The time masters. Via DC Comics.

The characterization of Martha Wayne has always been a sore spot for many readers of this universe. Given that she was always the more stable of Bruce’s parents, it seems unlikely that she would become the Joker. However, there’s an argument that the Flashpoint Universe is just an irredeemable place that corrupts everyone it touches, so from that perspective it makes a bit of sense. While Gilda Dent remains a threat on a micro level, Martha has escalated her threat to a cosmic one and proves the theory that there are so many remnants of crises hanging around that almost anyone can become a major threat. This is probably the best issue of the series, having a truly epic scope and leaving so many things unanswered for the final issue. One thing I really like here is the way the art shifts as needed, and now that we know Johns is coming back to the DCU in a big way, this entire series seems packed with promise.

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