Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Flashpoint Beyond #5 Review



Written by: Geoff Johns, Tim Sheridan, Jeremy Adams
Art by: Xermanico, Mikel Janin
Colors by: Romulo Fajardo Jr., Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Mitch Gerads
Cover price: $3.99
Release date September 6, 2022

Flashpoint Beyond #5 explains Hypertime, the Omniverse, how Martha Wayne is still alive... all of it. The results just may shock you.

Is It Good?

Despite the ups and downs of DC continuity in recent years, you could always count on Geoff Johns to deliver a banger of a story. However, some cracks in the continuity may be too big to overcome as Flashpoint Beyond #5 is the issue where the title goes off the rails.

Why? Because Flashpoint Beyond #5 takes everything that's gone wrong, left, and sideways with DC's deteriorating continuity and tries to explain it to you. The outcome is both saddening and tediously painful to try to understand.

We begin with Mr. Terrific sitting in on a talk show interview two days after the end of Dark Crisis(?). Through the Q&A, Terrific explains in excruciating detail everything about the Great Darkness, Hypertime, the Omniverse, how they coexist, where they don't, and everything in between. Now, I may not be as smart as Mr. Terrific, but I'm no dummy, and this explanation, though probably accurate, is a head-spinning mess. If you so choose, you could say the explanation is a self-aware indictment of how far DC Editorial let continuity get out of control.

Elsewhere, Bruce/Batman visits Ra's al Ghul without setup or explanation. The scene comes out of nowhere with no pretext. Why is Batman visiting Ra's? Unknown. It comes off as a convenient plot device to get Bruce to his next step in the investigation when Ra's reveals he has files on the Time Masters via Justice League Incarnate, and he tells Bruce he can still save Thomas Wayne. Why would anyone in the Justice League Incarnate give intel on the Time Masters to Ra's al Ghul? Unknown. Why would Ra's al Ghul care if Flashpoint Thomas Wayne lived or died? Unknown.

Meanwhile, Thomas/Batman races to Arkham to find and stop Martha/Joker while Dexter Dent is busy breaking his mother out.  When Thomas and Martha reunite, we get an exposition dump that boggles the mind and strains credibility on every level.



Martha/Joker didn't die at the end of Flashpoint. Her wounded body washed up in an underground section of Arkham. She used her time in seclusion to track down anyone familiar with time travel to steal their knowledge so she could build a time machine. In short, not-dead Martha/Joker restored Flashpoint by stealing time tech. Yes, it's as contrived and eye-rolling as it sounds.

One of the criticisms I've leveled at this title is the lack of justification for its existence. Unless the story takes a radically different direction in the next issue, not only has this title not justified its existence, this issue may have doomed it.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts or click here for podcast links and more: https://campsite.bio/weirdsciencecomics

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Flashpoint Beyond #5 starkly spells out everything wrong with DC continuity and confirms why this title hasn't justified returning to the Flashpoint timeline. The big reveal surrounding who, why, and how is so shockingly dumb that it boggles the imagination. The art is great, but the story is repellent.


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