Review: Flashpoint Beyond #1
I’ll admit that I was a fan of the original Flashpoint even oh so many years ago. Yes, it was grim and gritty, but the alternate world was interesting and shook up DC’s classic characters. It opened up a world of possibilities, not just in the story itself but what came after. Flashpoint Beyond #1 takes us back to the world but one slightly different.
Focusing on Thomas Wayne, he knows this isn’t quite the world he lived in. There’s subtle differences and there’s others that know this as well. With a mystery of who’s trying to stop Thomas from correcting things as well as something going on in the main DC universe, Flashpoint Beyond #1 mainly focuses on Thomas’ story.
Written by Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, and Tim Sheridan the comic is an interesting one. There’s some aspects that are really great and then others that fall really flat.
What works well is Thomas’ story as a whole. He knows something is wrong and must deal with a world gone mad to try to solve the mystery. His “Alfred” is Oswald Cobblepot and his “Robin” is the son of Harvey Dent. The interactions with Oswald are fantastic and what’s done while Thomas is away is beyond entertaining and almost worth the read.
Where the comic falls flat is everything else. The threat of a world war feels like it’s taken out of Watchmen. It’s missing the countdown clock and nine panel pages. Then there’s what’s going on with Bruce and something with DC’s Timemasters. It doesn’t get much time and unless you know the character he’s dealing with, it has little to no impact.
The comic overall feels like it’s using concepts and plotlines that were meant for something else. With mentions of “The Button” which goes back to DC’s Rebirth, the comic comes off as the next step for “The Button”, then “Doomsday Clock”, but each is a choppy continuation of the other. With so many rumored changes of DC’s directions, it overall comes off as a comic that’s out years after it was meant to be.
The art is the highlight of the comic. Xermánico and Mikel Jani split the duties and while the styles differ, the overall visuals are solid. With Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Jordie Bellaire on color and Rob Leigh handling lettering, there’s a nice shift in styles depending on the world. Thomas Wayne’s world is dark with a gritty dirtiness about it. Bruce’s is a bit brighter and has a more traditional look about it. The style works for the comic quite well as it makes Oswald’s moments far funnier than they should be. There’s a dark humor about it all and a lot of that is driven by the visuals.
Flashpoint Beyond #1 has a lot going for it and maybe as it goes along things come together. But, as is, the comic feels like concepts from something else reworked multiple times into this. It throws out a bit too much and it’s interesting aspects at times feel like bad background scenery. The comic feels like it’s just slightly off, which may be rather appropriate since that’s what Thomas Wayne is experiencing and attempting to investigate himself.
Story: Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, Tim Sheridan Art: Xermánico, Mikel Janin
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Jordie Bellaire Letter: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review