To Mrrr or not to Mrrr
We're already past the halfway point of Flashpoint. The Flash, Cyborg and Batman are now on a mission to get the Justice League of the regular DCU back together. They're getting their first recruit: Superman. The Man of Steel, however, is hidden away in a government bunker.
- The Pacing: The story flows nicely. The exposition about the role of Cyborg in this universe is nicely handled and neatly snuck in between important plot points. This gives it a feeling of purpose, like it is meant to be right where it is.
- The Art: While the Flash looks just the same as he usually does. Andy Kubert makes a point of drawing everyone different from their regular selves. More often than not, this works out.
- Superman: They finally had the guts to alter Superman beyond recognition, even if it's just for three issues. This Kal-El doesn't look or read anything like his regular counterpart. Even in most Elseworlds, you could still tell Superman was Superman. Here, he feels completely alien and strange. This might be down to the fact that he's not really saying much, but I think the art helps a lot too. The first shot of him we see is a very ghostly pose, with a big looming shadow behind him. Very well done.
- The Experiment, part two: In the beginning of the issue, Barry repeats the experiment that just burned him half to death a minute ago. You almost expect it to go wrong again, because this is Flashpoint and anything goes.
- I called it. I hate it when I do that. Remember how I said in my review of the last issue that the Flash's experiment will ultimately work and he'll heal at superspeed? Yeah, guess what happens? Just that. Whoopee.
- Retconning: Just because you say someone did something doesn't mean they actually did. I have read quite some Batman books in my time and I can't remember Bruce Wayne as Batman ever doing the "Mrrrr...."-thing that The Flash is now suddenly claiming Bruce is/was fond of doing. I remember Batman doing a lot of >Hhh< and >Httt< things, but "Mrrrr..."? Never
- Show, don't tell. If Cyborg was supposed to look broader and more like a tank, then show that. Until Barry metioned it, that would have been the last thing I'd associate with the Flashpoint Cyborg. Especially because he is Cyborg. If he was Batman, for example, I could see why the artist would try to stick with a regular human's proportions. But this is Cyborg. Everything but his face is machine. If you want to make him big and bulky, go all out and make him an eight foot tall behemoth of weapons and armour.
- The End: You get to the page where they finally find Superman and Batman asking about him. It's the perfect ending shot for a comic book. You would be perfectly happy with the book ending right there. I even caught myself wondering why there were still so many pages of comic left, now that the main story is over. Guess what? It isn't. They go on for another six pages of story to end it. And they end it on a far more lame cliffhanger than the one they had just a moment ago. And it's also a very awkwardly drawn final page. Something just irks me about it.
- DC apparently forgot their "Drawing the line at 2.99"-creed.
Yeah, buy it. It's very entertaining, very neatly paced and it's neither decompressed nor suffering from any of the other comic book tropes we're not fond of. It's got good art, an interesting story and good characterization. Go for it.