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Flashpoint Beyond # 3 Review | Batman News

Flashpoint Beyond # 3 Review |  Batman News

[Review is currently without visual aid; images will be added as soon as possible.]

“The plot thickens!”

If you think about it, the expression is a little funny. I have heard it so many times that I have never really taken the time to decipher the meaning of it, but it is a particularly interesting word choice. On the one hand, the story becomes more dense, interconnected and complex the more you add a book: the more layers there are in a story, the thicker it becomes.

On the other hand, the “plot thicker” can be interpreted very literally: several things are added to the plot to make the paperback book thicker, with seven editions of paper instead of six. Flashpoint Beyond # 3 thickens the plot in both of these ways.

In the middle of the investigation, Thomas Wayne is approached by Superman, who takes him to Oasis: a version of Fortress of Solitude covered by nature, a sanctuary for people in need. When we see Superman in the original Flash point, he does not have much time to be the hero he usually is; most of his life was spent experimenting in captivity. Here we see how he is like Flashpoint Universe man of steel! He’s not really DC’s most interesting alternative Superman, but it’s nice to see his morale survive the jump between universes. We see different versions of Poison Ivy and Swamp stuff here, which was also a nice surprise. All of this is good, and it makes the Flashpoint world seem interconnected and more “real”.

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That said, I can not help but wonder if it takes from the story of Thomas. Issue # 2 was at its best during his confrontation with Gilda Dent (shown in this issue!). When Superman starts talking about alien invasions, I feel like it’s moving too far away from what’s interesting about the book. It’s too early for me to judge anyway – a subplot is a subplot, and the quality usually has to be judged by how it blends in with the main story – but I don’t think the book needs to add a “world end”. Plot to be engaging. Thomas becomes more and more lost in his own mind as he hints at a murder mystery that spans time and space? That’s such a great idea! Do we really need to take our attention away from it? Even in this issue, the best content is still related to the murder mystery (like the surprising ending). Let’s hope the Flashpoint world continues to support Thomas’ character arc, instead of taking it away.

The art continues to be amazing, but there are absolutely zero surprises there. Both Xermanico and Janin get several perfect spreads on one page this edition, which looks phenomenal and really emphasizes the scope of the story (although it also fills the page number). That said, I noticed one or two examples that dialogue does not really correspond to art. For example, there is one panel in particular where Superman points with his mouth open – but Batman is clearly the one speaking. It’s not a big deal, but I noticed it. It makes me wonder how many draft books this one goes through, and how much they edit it even after the art is done.

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Recommended if:

  • The world of Flashpoint (and all its characters) is a selling point for you.
  • You are looking for an event that is a little more small scale and character focused.
  • You do not mind the expanded scope of Thomas Wayne’s story – I guess he hair already hosted Justice League Incarnate.

All in all

For better or worse, the plot becomes really thicker in this story: the world that Thomas once thought was dead expands more and more before his eyes, and he risks losing himself in it again. I can not say yet whether this expanding scale will be good for the story or not, but the layout is fine enough. With some exciting teasing for what’s to come, I’m inclined to be optimistic Flashpoint Beyond know what it is doing.

Score: 6.5 / 10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.

Author’s Twitter: @ObnoxiousFinch

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