Friday, September 2, 2011

Comics Talk: Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1

In today's Comics Talk, I will discuss both Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 since they came out together earlier this week on Wednesday, but before I continue, time for the obligatory:


Spoilers ahead! 
If you have not read Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 
and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, 
You have been warned!

Okay, first things first, I enjoyed them both.  FP#5 had an interesting twist in that it was not the Reverse Flash that had caused all the chaos that had been going on for the whole FP limited series, but instead it was the result of something The Flash (Barry Allen) had done; which was to go back in time to save the life of his mother so that she lived to see her son Barry grow to adulthood and to succeed.  However, this one act caused a series of events to change how his "universe" had turned out, which ended up turning it inside out from what Barry had remembered.  

He still remembered how things were, but even those memories were slowly being "retconned" to reflect the changes in the universe.  So his mission was to fix things back the way they were before he forgot how things used to be.  So Barry had to fix things by going back in time to stop himself from fixing things.  Confused yet?  LOL  In other words, he stopped himself from saving his mother.  This meant, of course, that his mother was now dead when she was supposed to be (when he was about 10), but in an odd little twist, he still remembered the times he spent with her when she did live to see him grow to adulthood.  Don't think too much on this; it'll mess with your head  LOL

What this is, ultimately, was a reboot of the DC Comics franchise on par with the one they did waaay back in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths, which sought to clean up a lot of continuity issues by having all the various "earths" - Earth One, Earth Two, etc. - compacted to just one Earth.  So this time around, all the major characters will be meeting each other for the very first time in an environment that seems to be DC's answer to Marvel's Ultimate universe, with the exception that what DC is creating is their "mainline" universe rather than an alternate universe like Marvel's Ultimate line.

So - is this whole universal reboot idea gonna work?  It's a very large change to the franchise, and thus it's a big risk.  I think it might increase sales in the short term, but how things eventually turn out will depend on what they end up doing with the characters.  And that's where my fear comes in.  I'm afraid that they are going to make a kinder, gentler, more PC universe that's more in line with liberal ideology than with making a good story. 

I got concerned about this when I heard the "women wear trousers" rule that was supposed to take place in the new universe. It made me wonder what else they might do to the women to make them and their attire less feminine.  Whenever discussions come up about making characters more "relevant", it's not generally a good thing, because it's almost always code for making them more liberal.  In other words, I feared the whole lot of the DC superhero ladies becoming a superhuman branch of the National Organization of Women.  If they become a bunch of  the stereotypical whiny, "empowered" feminists, then I am dropping DC faster than Keith Olbermann at a Tea Party rally!  Or at least until the next franchise reboot!  LOL

I did notice that Wonder Woman lost her ugly pants.  Well, I mean that she now wears her bikini bottom again.  Not only that, it's not the wedgie-wear that had been drawn on the super ladies in recent decades.  While I may not desire bland costumes for the super ladies, I likewise don't want something that is more suited for a prostitute.  Practicality when it comes to costumes is not a bad idea.  For example, low heeled boots for super ladies are practical.  Fighting in high heeled boots is a great way to either break off the heels in a fight or to twist your ankles.  But just because something is practical, it doesn't mean that it needs to be ugly!

I also find it odd that DC initially had WW in pants because it was "practical", but she still had that strapless top.  Strapless tops may be sexy, but they are mucho impractical.  It's way too easy for some supervillain to simply flip her top down so as to distract her.  Well, now she is back to the bikini bottoms, but she still has the strapless top!  LOL  I am going to use how they depict WW as an indicator to the direction that DC is going to go with this new reboot idea.  If WW becomes an advocate for Planned Parenthood, then that will be a clear sign that DC will be going down the path of its ultimate demise.  Trust me on this.

As for JL#1, I found it hilarious when Green Lantern was asking Batman what his powers were.  Then when he figured it out, he blurted "Don't tell me that you're just a guy in a bat costume!"  Making me laugh like that is a good sign.  :-)  My only complaint is that they made the book too short.  Something that is meant to be the starting point of a franchise reboot should have been a double sized issue.  Otherwise, I think JL#1 was a good starting point. 

So if you haven't bought Flashpoint #'s 1 thru 5, then I suggest buying them this weekend before the new stuff starts showing up starting next week, and I also suggest getting JL#1.  They will be a good point of reference on where DC is now, and we can refer back to them once the franchise starts going down the road.  And then we can see if they deserve our lauds or our jeers. 

Man, I love comics!  :-D

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