REVIEW: ‘Flashpoint Beyond,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Flashpoint Beyond #1

Flashpoint Beyond #1 is a new comic published by DC Comics, written by Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, and Tim Sheridan, with art by Xermanico and Mikel Janín, colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr and Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Rob Leigh. In the Flashpoint Universe, which has recently returned, Batman ventures down to Atlantis to confront Aquaman, who threatens war on the surface world and has Wonder Woman hostage.

The plot of this issue is essentially a spiritual successor to Flashpoint. It is set in the same world that Flash left behind years ago, but as if time had progressed. The story’s direct placement after those events is unknown, but it isn’t very long. The pacing could be considered slow, but the writers are still reintroducing the world. The building of this world is exceptional as new details are revealed. It does take a long time to actually get underwater. However, this is due to both the past and present trying to move simultaneously. The exposition isn’t too overwhelming, allowing the information to be absorbed gently instead of everything all at once. Instantly this alternate reality appears full of potential and possibilities. 

Once we get to Atlantis, the story streamlines, and the action takes place. The tension is palpable, and the entire issue’s tone is dark and suspenseful. The action is forceful yet brief, packing weight when it does happen. The story in Flashpoint Beyond #1 acts as an epilogue to the plotlines of the original comic before leading into this fresher tale. There are many revelations at the end of the comic that raises questions.

The characters are powerful and full of life. The cast is relatively smaller for a Multiversal story, but all of them are there to demonstrate the vast differences between this world and the main one. Thomas Wayne may actually be the least interesting in the story. He is vengeful and murderous. Where Bruce in the main universe ultimately cares for people, Thomas is despondent and appears to lack emotion. What is important to him is his stuff, his property, and his city. Though taking a child under his wing in a similar, yet very different method to Bruce suggests that he does long for company. 

The other two crucial figures in this book are Wonder Woman and Aquaman. They have been warring for years, appearing to despise each other. They lead their respective people in opposing crusades against Earth. All three lack compassion or love, full of venom and lethal intent. There are glimmers of more dimensions to their characterizations, but not much. Other characters are involved by the end of the issue, but it is clear that their role will be more important in upcoming issues.

The art is simply stunning. Xermanico brings this world to life in jaw-dropping fashion. Every panel or page depicts the Flashpoint Earth from a wide-angle. This shows each location in mind-blowing detail, heightening the grandiosity of the comic. It also grounds the characters in reality and adds a sense of space. Whether it be the halls of Wayne Manor, a seaside town about to be attacked, or the throne room of Atlantis, the issue is epically illustrated. The characters have the same amount of intricate and insane detail, looking fantastic. Each facial expression is so specific that they help tell the story on its own. Xermanico’s art may be described with one word: definition. Two pages are drawn by Janín, telling us definitively that it takes place on a separate Earth.

The colors are beautiful. Like the line art, Fajardo Jr. and Bellaire have precision that works superbly with detail. The tone is rich, and there is a fantastic understanding of lighting. Whether in the shadows or the sunshine, the panels are gorgeously lit. The lettering consists of small font, but it is easy to read even with different colored backgrounds in the narration boxes.

Flashpoint Beyond #1 begins a new story by clarifying an old one. This comic taps into one of the most important subplots of the previous story, but one that was never truly wrapped up. And to do so, the script is excellent, and the art is phenomenal. Although there is an ending, that may not be the conclusion of that story, and it is only the start of something much more significant because Flashpoint possesses a great mystery.

Flashpoint Beyond #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Flashpoint Beyond #1
5

TL;DR

Flashpoint Beyond #1 begins a new story by clarifying an old one. This comic taps into one of the most important subplots of the previous story, but one that was never truly wrapped up. And to do so, the script is excellent, and the art is phenomenal. Although there is an ending, that may not be the conclusion of that story, and it is only the start of something much more significant because Flashpoint possesses a great mystery