Friday, August 26, 2011

A Month Late and a Dollar Short: Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost 2 and Flashpoint: Hal Jordan 2

In what will hopefully become the first of several cases of my wishing for something on this blog causing that thing to happen, this morning when I happened to check on the website of the comic shop I frequented when I lived in Seattle, Comics Dungeon, I discovered that they now have a Comixology-powered digital storefront, so today I bought my digital comics through them. I don't know how much comic shops actually get out of this program--I fear it's not much--but buying my digital comics through a business that's done good by me in the past makes me feel a little less like a dick for going digital at the expense of the direct market. At any rate, on to the reviews:

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost 2
Writer: Sterling Gates
Artists: Oliver Nome and Trevor Scott
Release Date: July 27, 2011 (Print), August 26, 2011 (Digital)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Pixels

Although there's nothing really outstanding about this series, I find myself enjoying it just a little bit more than a lot of the other Flashpoint minis because it stars the same Bart Allen I know and love, not some unfamiliar alternate reality version of him. In this issue, for example, he references the time he flew the Batplane, he makes a joke about how no one ever believes him when he says he has a plan, and his virtual reality upbringing plays a central role in his victory over the issue's villain. He even makes references to cousin Jenni and her teammate, Brainiac 5. Not surprisingly, considering his close ties with Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates knows Bart Allen well, and as a result reading this issue feels like visiting with an old friend. The comfort this gives me in contrast with the discomfort at reading unfamiliar versions of characters that should be familiar in other Flashpoint tie-ins makes me worry just a little about the more permanent tweaking that will happen with the New 52. Several writers have insisted that regardless of changes to their histories, the characters will remain who they are at their core. I hope they're right.

Also, I kind of like the nod to Back to the Future with Bart's hands fading away as reality changes, but Oliver Nome makes it a little more gory than Steven Spielberg did:

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan 2
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Artist: Cliff Richards
Release Date: July 27, 2011 (Print), August 26, 2011 (Digital)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Pixels

So despite what I said above about wanting to read stories with familiar characters, this story was just a little too familiar. Flashpoint Hal Jordan is pretty much exactly the same as regular Hal Jordan, except without the ring. This story is your standard "Hal Jordan is a cocky, immature bastard but when duty calls he grows up and saves the day, but in his own reckless way" kind of story. So I guess I want stories about the characters I know and love, but I want them to be new stories. There's nothing wrong with this issue, there's just nothing spectacular.

Also, I think it's weird that Carol Ferris's pilot nickname is Sapphire. That would be like Hal Jordan's pilot nickname being Lantern, before he ever heard of the Green Lantern Corps. They used that nickname for her in the movie too, didn't they?

Also also, I'm officially joining the camp of people who are kind of weirded out by Barack Obama not only appearing in, but having a speaking role in DC superhero comics.

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