Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flashpoint: Green Lantern (comics)

Writers: Adam Schlagman, Jeff Lemire, Pornsak Pitcheteshote
Artists: Cliff Richards, Joe Prado, Ig Guera and a metric ton of others
Collects: Flashpoint: Green Lantern #1-3, Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries, Flashpoint: Frankenstien and the Creatures of the Unknown #1-3, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1-3

So, the actual title is supposed to be "Flashpoint: World of Flashpoint starring Green Lantern", but screw that. Kind of long and a little redundant. Anyways, with all the New 52 reviews, I took a look at my trade stack and figured an interlude was in order. What better than a tie in from the event that led to it?

In theory at least; most of what's collected here really isn't that interesting.

Green Lantern has top billing for this volume, since six of the ten issues collected star the character. They're kind of underwhelming. Abin Sur survives the crash and the consequences of that turn out to be exactly what you expected. Neither series goes in any new or unique directions, which is a complete waste of the concept; this is, of course, an alternate universe that would temporarily replace the normal DCU, so it isn't like they had to worry about breaking anything. The writing is iffy at times - Hal Jordan holds together a bit better than Green Lantern - but more than that it's really not that interesting. Considering these two comprise over half the book, you can probably guess my score just as easily as you could the plot of either miniseries.

Green Arrow Industries does better for itself. Ollie never really grew up in this universe and ended up manufacturing weapons, all the while feeling like he was meant for something better. Time and again he fails to make the right choices. I liked some of the ideas - Flashpoint Ollie deciding to steal the gimmick weapons of villains and reverse engineer them into his own designs is a nice touch I'm surprised no one has done in the regular DCU - and it was a decent read. Unfortunately, the main plot kind of falls a bit flat; the comic could easily have survived as a character piece on a man who has lost sight of his better nature and become the supplier for a devastating war.

Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown, however, is where it's at. This three issue miniseries is a joy from start to finish. Ever want to see Frankenstein kill some Nazi's? Maybe decapitate Hitler? Beat the crap out of a military robot, all while flanked by a vampire, werewolf and merwoman? If you don't, imagine me looking at you funny. Why it was collected with Green Lantern is a mystery to me - Green Arrow at least has a connection beyond color, given that he and GL are basically best friends normally - and frankly I'd rather it had been put in with better material. Great as it is, it sadly cannot buoy a lackluster trade all by itself.

The art's barely worth mentioning. There isn't a single consistent artist for anything in here. It's pretty much a different artist for every issue. There isn't anything particularly bad to be found, but it feels like a patchwork quilt of different styles. I don't get why it happened either. As I recall the miniseries all had no more than three issues spread out monthly.

My Opinion: Skip It

There's little reason to bother with this volume. It isn't technically bad, all told, but it wastes the opportunity to tell different stories in a world gone to hell. Definitely get Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown, but you don't need to buy this volume just to get it. Pick it up in single issues.

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