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DCU Spotlight: Review: Flashpoint #3


Flashpoint Spotlight

 

When we last saw our hero, Barry Allen, he was one crispy critter. After trying to replicate the lab accident that turned him into the Flash, Barry was laying on the ground, sizzling, while Thomas Wayne looked on.

 

We open with Cyborg, speaking to the President of the United States. The President is saying it's time to send in the true heroes. The fate of Steve Trevor is left ambiguous, as the President says he's signal went dead and the resistance never received his message. He suggests the Outsider might be the traitor, but Cyborg doesn't think so.

 

As the President thanks Cyborg for his services and relieves him from duty, a Metamorpho-like character materializes in the background.

 

Back in Batman's lab, Barry lies on a surgical table, bandaged from head to toe. He says he needs to try again before he forgets. When Batman asks him what he's going to forget, Barry tells him his memories are aligning with the new reality. Soon, he won't remember his old life, his wife, or Batman's son. As rain falls outside, he begs Dr. Wayne for help.

 

They make their way back outside and soon enough, the lightning strikes Barry again. As Batman flies through the air, Barry's eyes pop open, lightning bolts in both eyes. He catches Batman moments before he hits the ground and says "told you."

 

Meanwhile, in New Themyscira, Lois Lane frantically flees from the Amazons, imploring Cyborg to help her find the resistance before she stumbles over them. For those not reading the rest of the series, we met The Resistance in The Canterbury Cricket one-shot, and we see them again, welcoming Lois Lane.

 

Batman continues to examine Barry, marveling at how fast he's healing. He says it proves Barry is the Fastest Man Alive, but it doesn't prove his story. Batman gives Barry Reverse-Flash's suit to wear, but Barry declines, deciding to just create a new one from chemicals and materials at the Manor. He reappears a moment later, dressed and almost completely healed.

 

They go to the computer and get down to business. Batman asks why Flash can't just change the past, and Barry has to explain the effect a change in the past can have on the future. Barry realizes Reverse-Flash must have tried to take out the Justice League, because that's who Barry would turn to. Hal Jordan, a test pilot for Ferris Air, never became Green Lantern, so Barry looks for Superman.

 

When Batman explains a rocket crash landed in Metropolis when Martha was pregnant with Bruce, Barry realizes no one knows Superman, despite the fact that he's obviously on Earth. He and Batman turn to the one person who can get access to the information regarding the current whereabouts of the rocket.

 

We cut to Batman and the Flash taking to Cyborg. As Flash starts to introduce himself, Batman cuts him off and offers to be the strategist for Cyborg's army, provided he can do things his way. He demands the first person they recruit is someone who came out of the rocket that destroyed Metropolis. They convince him he's the only person who can get the information on the rocket. When he asks what made Batman change his mind, Batman doesn't answer.

 

Flash wants to know why Batman didn't just tell him the truth, and Batman tells him to quit being naive. Cyborg wouldn't help if they told him the truth about the timelines. He reminds Flash that this little lie won't matter once everything is fixed.

 

Cyborg interrupts their conversation, telling them the reports are mostly destroyed, but that Subject 1 was recovered from the rocket and moved to a facility deep under Metropolis and he's taking them there. They make it in and Cyborg thanks Batman for changing his mind, finally giving Cyborg the opportunity to make his father proud. They pass Krypto's skeleton and make it to the holding chamber. After Batman knocks the two guards out, they open the door to reveal a gaunt man, with S1 on his chest. Batman sneers at the idea this is the most powerful man on the planet.

 

Cyborg blasts open the containment cell, but the blast hurts S1 and Flash realizes he's never seen the sun, and therefore has never been charged. Batman doesn't think he's even seen another human, let alone the sun. Guards begin pouring in and Cyborg ponders if S1 was imprisoned for a good reason. Flash reassures him that no matter what, Superman is a good person. They reassure Superman they're going to get him out of there and he agrees to go with them.

 

Using the same underground tunnels that led them in, the foursome escape to a sewer and climb out into the daylight. Superman murmurs "beautiful" as he sees the sunrise for the first time. He begins to fly away, until the head guard orders the remaining guards to keep Subject 1 alive but shoot to kill with the others. His head whips around and his laser vision sears the head guards arm before he even realizes what he's done.

 

Cyborg, Flash, and Batman watch him go before wondering "What now?" as the guards surround them and train their guns on them.

 

As with the last two issues of Flashpoint, a lot seems to have happened here. The mini-series do help to explain a lot of what's going on in the background with the war between the Atlanteans and the Amazonians, but the main title is almost entirely devoted to Flash and Batman and the two of them trying to fix whatever Reverse-Flash changed.

 

With the explanation of time-travel and the butterfly effect Flash gave to Batman, I'm thinking it's one key event that Reverse-Flash went back to change, but I can't quite figure out what it could be.

 

I love the cliffhangers this series ends with, even if I do bemoan the fact that I have to wait another few weeks before I can find out what happens to the trio. No spoilers here, but I'm almost positive the escape will involve super speed. The art in this issue, particularly the Superman/S1 design, was stunning. The slow transformation of Barry from burn victim to fully-healed Flash made shiver just a little bit.

 

Flashpoint #3:

 

 

Reviewed by Melinda Hinman

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