REVIEW: ‘Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1

Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Bryan Hitch, art by Bryan Hitch, inks by Andrew Currie and Scott Hanna, colors by Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper with letters by Rob Leigh. When Barry Allen traveled back through time to save his mother’s life he wanted everything to be right. While he succeeded in saving his mom, everything else went horribly wrong. In our reality, Barry is able to restore his powers and fix what he broke. In the Dark Multiverse, however, something far crueler happens instead. And the world will face a far grimmer fate.

This story of time going awry opens with Barry Allen’s attempt to recreate the circumstances that originally gifted him his powers. Where things go differently here is that Barry not only fails to reacquire his powers, but he is also killed. This death comes when the experiment to give Barry access to the speed force instead results in the Reverse Flash being pulled into the time period through Barry, killing him. Now with the Reverse Flash in an already shaken world, and his career-long fixation slain, he has a question to answer: What do I do next?

Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 provides a bit of a mixed bag for me. While I enjoyed the alternate takes on the classic heroes it presents, and even Reverse Flash’s cheeky cockiness is solidly portrayed, I have a single major gripe with this book. Just how powerful Reverse Flash is here. Now to be clear, I have never been a big Flash reader. The only comic I own of it is an annual that came out this year because it featured a crossover with Suicide Squad. Having said that, if Reverse Flash is always portrayed at the power level he is here, I have no idea how Barry Allen has ever managed to beat him. Or even be aware he is up to something.

In Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 the character can literally rewrite time on a whim. He is all but impossible to kill, as just before his death he would rewrite time so whatever goes wrong doesn’t. He is everywhere at once, spying on everyone, and knowing what they are up to. At least till he doesn’t. While he is portrayed as being near-omniscient and all-powerful in the first act of the story, as the book closes in on its end Reverse-Flash seems to just forget about his ability to simply rewrite time. He manages to remember it before the end, but for a while, it felt like he was just not trying.

While this major plot point hurts Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 for me significantly, I still enjoyed a lot to do with the book. As I said, the characters are all interesting, and I enjoyed seeing them in such a different, and well-executed light. I found the characters went a long way to overcome my dislike of the main plot. Along with strong character, the writing is equally strong here. The world and all the people who inhabit it are delivered with skill and style. The emotional moments of the tale are always pushed to the front of every panel.

Furthering the art’s presence here is some truly vibrant colorwork. Lots of different locales are visited throughout the story and everyone has it’s own unique feel to it, which is brought out excellently through the color usage. Lastly, we have the letter work. The letters here deliver the story in an easy to follow manner, keeping the story clear, even when multiple off-panel subjects are conversing.

So, when all is said and done Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 delivers an entertaining, if not completely even tale. I enjoyed my time meeting these alternate versions of characters, even if the narrative they inhabit has a few stumbles to it.

Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 is available December 8th wherever comics are sold.

Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1
3.5

TL;DR

So, when all is said and done Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1 delivers an entertaining, if not completely even tale. I enjoyed my time meeting these alternate versions of characters, even if the narrative they inhabit has a few stumbles to it.