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FLASHPOINT MARATHON: Starting Line

Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011
By: Chris Kiser

Way Too Many To List
(See Left)
DC
Comics Bulletin is proud to present a new ongoing feature here: Flashpoint Marathon, where our very own Chris Kiser subjects himself to an entire DC Comics summer event. Pray for him.

The number of Flashpoint tie-in books being released by DC this summer is outright absurd. I mean, the cumulative cover price of them all could rival the GDP of a small developing nation. Nevertheless, that wonít stop yours truly from purchasing and reading each and every one of them-- all 16 miniseries and four one-shots. Even my local comic shop owner tells me Iím nuts.

While Iím busy sending his kids to college in $2.99 increments, you can read all about it every Monday here on Comics Bulletin. Iíll have a quick review of every issue of each tie-in series, the bombardment of which begins this week and continues throughout the end of August. Itís a true test of fanboy endurance that weíre calling the Flashpoint Marathon.

To kick things off, Iíve ranked each tie-in according to its probable quality. For those of you capable of managing your finances more wisely than I am, feel free to view it as a sort of buyerís guide for the upcoming books.

Predicting the worth of an unpublished tie-in is no easy task, especially when the publisher is being so coy with concrete details regarding the booksí content. The ranking below takes into account two criteria that can be applied to nearly every event book when considering your pull list maneuvers: (1) the caliber of the creative team and (2) the degree (based on what we know so far) to which the tie-in relates to Flashpointís primary story.

BEST BETS



1. Wonder Woman and the Furies written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Scott Clark and David Beaty

We already know from the first issue that Wonder Woman is a major player in the Flashpoint universe, and Abnett and Lanning are some of the most consistently solid writers in the business. They brought down the house on Legion of Super-Heroes, and itís great to see them back in the DC fold.



2. Project Superman written by Scott Snyder and Lowell Francis, art by Gene Ha

Scott Synder casts Superman as E.T. It may not be the most original concept, but you have been reading Snyderís work on Detective Comics, havenít you? Do it if you arenít already, and pick up this surefire gem while youíre at it.




3. Lois Lane and the Resistance written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Eddy Nunez

DnA tackle DCís other great female character, thrusting her into a new role as an underground freedom fighter that still seems perfectly suited to her traditional characterization.



4. Batman: Knight of Vengeance written by Brian Azzarello, art by Eduardo Risso

The last time Azzarello and Risso took on the Dark Knight, it was the superb front-page lead-in to every issue of Wednesday Comics. The time before that, though, they gave us the utterly forgettable ďBroken City.Ē Hereís hoping the pair continue their positive Bat-trajectory.



5. Secret Seven written by Peter Milligan, art by George Perez and Scott Koblish

Milligan and Perez could be doing Flashpoint: Sugar and Spike and it might still make this listís top five. Heck, for all we know, those characters are actually in this book.



6. Kid Flash Lost Starring Bart Allen written by Sterling Gates, art by Oliver Nome

Gates earned a decent reputation on Supergirl, and this book centers on a major Flash character. By our formula, thatís a combo that places you in the top tier.

FIFTY-FIFTIES



7. Citizen Cold written and drawn by Scott Kolins

Back in the mid-2000s, Kolins was money when it came to books about the Rogues. Since then, the artist has altered his style for the worse and added a writerís credit to his name. In other words, there are just too many variables to recommend this one with any degree of certainty.



8. Emperor Aquaman written by Tony Bedard, art by Ardian Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes

As with Wonder Woman, we know that Aquaman is a Flashpoint mover and shaker. Unlike with the writers on Wondyís book, however, Bedard has yet to demonstrate that he is capable of producing a particularly sharp comics script. Recent readers of Green Lantern Corps oughta know what Iím talking about.



9. Abin Sur: The Green Lantern written by Adam Schlagman, art by Filipe Massafera

In a trend youíll see repeated throughout, Schlagman is an editor-turned-writer for the purposes of churning out Flashpoint content. If heís any good, this tale of the surviving Green Lantern of Sector 2814 could be a fun one.



10. Hal Jordan written by Adam Schlagman, art by Ben Oliver

See above. You could probably flip-flop my ranking of this book with that of Abin Sur. In a race too close to call, Iím going with the character whoíll have super powers.



11. Reverse Flash (one-shot) written by Scott Kolins, art by Joel Gomez

By all appearances, the Reverse Flash is the central villain behind all of Flashpoint. Why, then, rank this book so low? Iím betting that anything significant to be revealed about the character will occur within the pages of Flashpoint proper.

LONG ODDS



12. The Canterbury Cricket (one-shot) written by Mike Carlin, art by Rags Morales

This book is definitely the leader of the pack when it comes to evoking a confused fan reaction. Given the apparent peculiarity of the character in question, it seems likely that heís actually a well-known DC figure in a different guise. My guess is Martian Manhunter.



13. Deathstroke & The Curse of the Ravager written by Jimmy Palmiotti, art by
Joe Bennett and John Dell


Itís high seas adventure, starring one of the DCUís most notorious villains. It certainly sounds fun, but also ultimately inconsequential.



14. Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown written by Jeff Lemire, art by Ibraim Roberson

Despite the acclaim heís earned in recent years, Lemireís stuff has never really grabbed me. By all means, go for this one if youíre a fan of his, but consider the likelihood that a writer other than Grant Morrison will be able to turn Frankensteinís Monstern into a viable superhero.



15. Deadman & The Flying Graysons written by JT Krul, art by Mike Janin

Poor JT Krul. He gets to write a neat looking circus book starring the original Robin, and all anyone wants to talk about are dead cats.

AVOID, UNLESS YOU'RE DOING RESEARCH FOR AN AMBITIOUS COMICS REVIEWING EXERCISE



16. The Outsider written by James Robinson, Javis Fernandez

Every unique and offbeat-looking concept with his name on it is a chance for James Robinson to earn his way back among the comics elite. Until that day, howeverÖ



17. Green Arrow Industries (one-shot) written by Pornsak Pichetshote, art by Mark Castiello

Pichetshote presided as editor over some mighty fine Vertigo comics, but as far as I can tell, this is his writing debut.



18. Grodd of War (one-shot) written by Sean Ryan, art by Ig Guara

In the regular DCU, Gorilla Grodd is a merciless villain, but in the world of Flashpoint heísÖ still a merciless villain.



19. Legion of Doom written by Adam Glass, art by Rodney Buchemi and Jose Marzan, Jr.

I have no idea what this miniseries is supposed to be about nor who Adam Glass is. Apparently he wrote some Deadpool comics?



20. The World of Flashpoint written by Rex Ogle, art by Paul Siquiera

From the looks of it, this book aims to flesh out the history of the Flashpoint universe, possibly in anthology format. Seems dangerously similar to Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps to me.

For more comic book related masochism, out the other installments of our Flashpoint Marathon:

Flashpoint Marathon:Week 1

Flashpoint Marathon: Week 2

Our Sunday Slugfest review of Flashpoint #1

Chris' review of Flashpoint #2



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