World of Flashpoint #2 review

When last we met, Traci 13 learned that dad Dr Terry Thirteen and his HIVE colleagues were set to unleash death from space on the Atlanteans and Themyscirans – killing millions of blameless Europeans in the process. This time she quests around the world, guided by the tarot cards of late mentor Madame Xanadu, looking for someone who can help.

She meets a lonely Red Tornado in Japan; a Nazi-hunting Natasha Irons in Brazil; Beast Boy, a tragic pawn in Grodd’s gorilla invasion of Namibia; Guy Gardner, only wanting  a quiet life in Australia; Circe, a bitter captive in a cave in Antarctica; and Jason Todd, Gotham priest.

It’s a whirlwind tour, an economic snapshot of the horrors held by the World of Flashpoint. Traci faces exhaustion as she teleports from spot to spot, unable to find someone who can and will help her. Pleasingly, for those of us who remember the good kid he once was in the regular DC Universe, it’s Jason who puts the jigsaw puzzle together for Traci, sending her back to Dr Thirteen’s satellite and a knockout climax. 

This is efficient, stylish storytelling. Writer Rex Ogle speedily sets up the issue’s parameters, then fills them with entertaining detail. He demonstrates that in any reality, urban magician Traci 13 deserves to be recognised as a top-flight heroine. She’s caring, tough, talented, a shoo-in for some future Justice League line-up. For now, though, she’s all alone, facing a massive challenge.

Artist Eduardo Francisco has fun playing with the visual spins on familiar faces, though it’s sad to see Changeling in such a sorry state (mind, I thought he was the Garfield who died in last week’s Canterbury Cricket one-shot). There are characters here I didn’t expect to see in the Flashpoint event, but here they are, all with a part to play in the hero’s journey of Traci 13.

The stunning cover comes from Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse and is the perfect capper to a pleasing chunk of crossover goodness.

8 thoughts on “World of Flashpoint #2 review

  1. I confess, Traci is a character I didn't know much about. I did not pick this one up because of that though I did enjoy the Coven of Three back up in Titans (more than the main story I may add). I may go back and pick this up. Her powers could make her a great additional to the JLA since she does not appear to be as powerful as Zatanna


  2. I find it all a bit plotless, but I suppose that's not the point. Like you, I appreciated that Jason Todd was used in a positive way. It's practically his only appearance ever that I haven't intensely disliked him


  3. Marvelboy, have a look at Traci's 13 Wikipedia page, there are some interesting things in there – see how fellow Homo Magi Zatanna isn't the only JLA-er she's linked to:

    Aw Novelty, I thought folk might like a shorter, zippier take … I'd gone even longer than usual on last Wednesday's comics! Enjoyable as the book is, there actually isn't much requiring discussion – the review would have wound up being mainly precis.

    Rob, the only Flashpoint comics I've really not liked are Canterbury Cricket and Grodd of War. Secret Seven has lost me …

    Martin, I agree – must have in the sense of adding to enjoyment rather than necessary to understand the main book, I'd say.

    Siskoid, did you read Jason's original appearances by Gerry Conway, Don Newston, Gene Colan and co? I loved them.


  4. I did read them, but a very long time ago now. I was not a fan of the character even then, but less because of his personality than because they made his origins too close to Dick's. It seemed forced to me. Hindsight has only made things worse, but I am perfectly willing to revisit the original stories and perhaps get a new appreciation based on your recommendation.

    In fact, it could make for nice blog fodder.


  5. The first Jason origin was indeed a shameless rip-off of Dick's, but the Conway/Newton/Colan stories were terrific mainstream comics (especially that 'Tec anniversary issue).

    I liked Jason, and there were pointers towards superficial differences that might indicate a different personality – red hair, the jester-necked costume, the name Bluejay. Sadly, they all vanished as Jason was made a generic Robin, before having his origin, hair colour and personality tweaked by Zerro Hour. I understand that instead of ripping off Dick's background he took on Junior Tracys?

    I'd love to see your take on those books after all this time.


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