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Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Andy Kubert
"I've been up against worse and won, Batman." - The Flash
The world changing Flashpoint series comes to a head in this penultimate issue of DC's summer event. Coming in only 5 issues, much shorter than a typical crossover event miniseries, it isn't surprising that a lot of the story gets crammed into the few pages that the creative team has to work with. Typically, the second to last issue in event storylines is something that lead up to a cataclysmic climax, one which makes the reader thirst for the final issue. With Flashpoint being only 5 issues, this should maximize this fact, but it unfortunately leaves the reader wanting more, but in the wrong way.
This issue's page count is much longer than the typical DC comic, which is the reason for the inflated price, but there seems to be a bit of a void of engaging content throughout the pages. The Flash rallies the heroes together to end the War in Europe, but everyone goes through the motions without much personal direction. Johns definitely hits the mark as he usually does with dialogue, giving every character a distinct voice, and diverse personalities, with great interactions between them, and if that's all this issue was, it'd be a much better read. However, with all of the characters being jammed into such a small amount of time and an already busied plot, the pacing becomes too jarring to fully enjoy.
Flashpoint #4 also properly introduces the utterly forgettable Element Woman seems out of place in this dystopian storyline, with Johns using her character to provide comic relief from the dark tone of the story. She comes of as extremely unlikeable, making the reader want to skip over any contributions to the story she may have. However, even with these detriments, it's not entirely unwelcome, as she does bring a bit of diversity to the male dominant superpowered team up.
Andy Kubert shines on this book, giving a look that is both his own, while emulating a bit of Jim Lee's style in the faces of many of the characters. It is a technique that works very well in this book, and one that is a testament to Kubert's immense artistic talent. While the story rushes on at the breakneck speed mentioned earlier, Kubert gives each panel great attention, providing a strong visual for each beat.
It really isn't the fact that the book isn't well made, it's simply that it serves only to lead into the fifth book, without providing any really meaningful insight into the characters and setting. Nothing terribly earth shattering occurs, and many of the intriguing interactions between the characters are overshadowed by the plot's constantly intrusive nature. The dialogue is strong, and there are some great character moments, especially the relationship between Batman and Flash, but it really begs to be part of the eventual trade, rather than a stand alone story.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Review by: zombielovepony