Flashpoint Beyond #5 review

We begin at the end. The end of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, whose fourth of seven issues appeared the same day as this comic. Oops.

To cut a long story short… nah, you need to see where co-writers Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams and Tim Sheridan go.

It is exhausting! Whether you explain infinite earths in terms of space, time, emotions, the spirit or cockerpoos, it basically boils down to this.

Or this.

Simples.

While the explanations are needlessly convoluted, it’s pretty funny that 2022’s official big event, Dark Crisis, is not only being spoiled, it’s being dismissed as unimportant.

In ‘The Joke’s On Me’ the World of Flashpoint Batman, Thomas Wayne, shrugs off the danger Dexter Dent – son of the recently departed Two-Face – is in as he believes their reality is about to vanish anyway, so what’s one more murdered moppet?

Batman is racing to Arkham Asylum because he’s learned that the Clockwork Killer who has been eviscerating time travellers is none other than his wife, Martha Wayne, the Joker. As he arrives at the facility, she’s been having a chat with Dexter’s mom Gilda – the Flashpoint Two Face – a woman with filicide tendencies.

As for why she killed ‘them’, it turns out Martha has been on a quest of her own.

She wants the same thing Thomas does – to have died long ago with him, so Bruce could live and become the Batman.

What this Joker doesn’t know is that even in the World of Non-Flashpoint, where the adult Bruce lives, he’s died once or twice. And in that regular DC Universe, the post-Dark Crisis Batman is alive to the threat of one who sees himself as a father figure.

It’s Ra’s al-Ghul, back from his own ride on the resurrection roundabout, and keen to help get Thomas Wayne out of Flashpoint and into Bruce’s life…

I have so many questions. Is the snowglobe in Bruce’s Batcave the Time Masters’ time bubble seen in the Flashpoint reality, or is it a matter of visual matching? Is a Joker with a time bubble really enough to overcomes the likes of Captain Atom and Reverse Flash? How does a madwoman locked up in Arkham maintain such great hair? And would Geoff Johns please stop slandering the great Martin Stein in his comics?

Flashpoint Beyond is bonkers and the only thing that would’ve made me enjoy this issue more would be a scene or two with Doomsday Clock refugees Mime and Marionette. I love those guys. With one issue to go, it’s seems Johns and co have their big finish lined up, and if Xermánico and Mikel Janin continue to draw the book it’s going to look as great as it’ll read, overcomplicated exposition and all.

As previously, Xermánico handles most of the pages, the Flashpoint sequences, while Janín looks after the DCU Batman scenes, allowing him to do a sharp, signed homage to the late Neal Adams, visual creator of Ra’s al-Ghul. Xermánico’s work is equally great, with the Joker sequence especially kinetic. Co-colourists Romulo Fajardo Jr and Jordi Bellaire use their palettes to add intensity to every page, while Rob Leigh continues to show just how much a letterer can add to the experience of reading a comic. And Mitch Gerads provides a killer cover.

I would love to hear what you made of this issue!

This review is dedicated to MO, because they demanded it!

15 thoughts on “Flashpoint Beyond #5 review

  1. I may have to read this one issue of the mini just for the Dark Comic Of Unnecessary Crises spoilers. I’d rather have head lice than touch either mini.

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  2. In #0, Bruce holds the snow globe in his hands, and there’s also the large 2-seater Time Machine in other scenes. So I guess they aren’t the same thing, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that they actually are. Probably one of them is the future version of the other, which got bigger (or smaller) and then came back in time. I mean, why not? It could happen.

    That little globe shows up in #1 and #2. Re-reading those sections now, I realized I have no idea what anyone is talking about. The watch and globe are drenched in tachyons and they are stabilizing each other? No, I don’t understand a word of it. I guess I expected it to get clearer, but the opposite has happened.

    In #2, the Time Kid is saying the globe belongs to Dr. Manhattan and he’s gonna come for it now that Bruce took it out of the Time Vault. Ooookay.

    There was a series finale to some show, St. Elsewhere I think, where it turned out the entire show had taken place in some kid’s snow globe.

    And then there was the Twilight Zone episode where a bunch of characters try to escape over the walls of some large place they are trapped in, and when they finally do, they tumble down the side of a trash can or barrel and land in the snow outside – turns out they were just little dolls that had been tossed away. This story is giving me a creepy feeling like that Twilight Zone story and its ending.

    It is, as you call it, “bonkers,” and did I read somewhere there will be a sequel? Oh, no! I wasn’t going to buy this at all, then heard it was good so I have been buying it, but I really don’t want this to become an ongoing thing, because I’m already lost enough. But can this be tied up cleanly in the one remaining issue? And what happened to the Kryptonian invasion? Is Dr. Manhattan going to show up too to get his globe back? I guess if the Flashpoint reality is terminated, it won’t matter. Otherwise, #6 may “end” simply with the announcement of a follow-up series.

    Geoff Johns wrote all of Doomsday Clock in this style. We just saw that Jeremy Adams also can’t always be relied on for clarity – the Flash worlds arc he just finished (and I think I wrote this comment before) was sort of an outline of a fantasy story but with all the details left out. Kind of the seeds of a story. And I don’t think anyone has yet developed confidence in Tim Sheridan.

    The book does look great. (I could watch Janin-drawn women interview each other on TV all day!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for thinking through this so I don’t have to, even if it has proven a waste of your valuable time. I remember the St Elsewhere business which, of true, also sets every TV show which ever crossed over with SE, even tangentially, inside the snowglobe – Cheers-therefore-Frasier, Homicide, Bob Newhart… see Poobala.com for details!

      I loved that Twilight Zone episode, chilling stuff.

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      1. The bell was the Street Santa ringing his bell – Eugène Ionesco + Kafka.
        The St Elsewhere ball probably part of the Wold Newton Universe through other TV crossovers, which then connects it to the pulp heroes & comic-book universes. Hypertime is Metatextual metaphysics – to bonkers infinity and beyond. 😀

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  3. Reading it made a lot more sense than what’s going on in Dark Crisis though thought this book was meant to be part events.

    The Justice League Incarnate associate line was a bit baffling. The obvious implication is Thomas Wayne has some implied connection to Ra’s but don’t know Batman continuity well enough to tell if this is referring to a past story or a future reveal.
    Maybe there’s an entire back history between Ra’s al-Ghul and Captain Carrot in the works.

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  4. This was a bizarre book, spoiling the main event as it did or was Johns just saying there was nothing to spoil because everyone knew what would happen.

    The follow-up to this series is New Golden Age which promises the JSA and LSH. Bring it on.

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      1. Flashpoint beyond #4 showed the post Infinite Crisis (retroboot) Legion. At a guess I would say them. Johns did introduce them after all

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  5. Just reading this review and your Dark Crisis reviews makes me glad I’m skipping both. DC just seems like an utter mess right now, at least when it comes to continuity and an editorial direction. My theory is that Geoff Johns, for better or worse, is hellbent on imposing the post-Rebirth/post-Doomsday Clock continuity he intended before whatever falling out he had that had him spending more time in Hollywood than writing comics, and made the now-departed Scott Snyder an architect of the DC universe. How else can any of this be explained? How else to explain why Johns is, post-Dark Crisis, bringing back the JSA and Stargirl and Legion of Superheroes. And yet, as was the case when Death Metal and Doomsday Clock were published at the same time, we still have two seemingly competing visions – Johns’ on this project, Josh Williamson on Dark Crisis.
    Martin, did you also catch the news that Mark Waid is working on some Dark Crisis special that is supposed to somehow sort all this out I guess? It feels like someone in DC editorial realized, “Crap! We’ve got a mess on our hands. Let’s get Mark Waid to fix it!” I love Mark Waid. I love he’s back at DC. But man, I can’t even get excited about whatever he’s gonna come up with at this point.

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  6. À propos all the stuff people are speculating about, the Friday solicits for December shed some light. It is strange, as we transition from Snyder/Johns visions, to Williamson/Johns, to Williamson/Waid, to Johns/Waid or whatever is going on.

    Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1 will be written by Mark Waid as he gets injected into the event near the end, and is referred to as “comics legend and DC architect Mark Waid.” It feels too soon to hand him the keys, but since Williamson is moving on to substack, I guess they need to find someone to lead them out of the wilderness – or, that is, someone has to fill the role of doing something that is the reverse of whatever Johns is doing?

    Anyway, in this issue Dr. Multiverse will be visiting some of the newly formed “realities” which include — Jurassic League, DC Mech, Dark Knights of Steel, and Batman ’89! ! I guess by infinite earths, they mean to sweep up every story and put it in the multiverse somewhere. It’s hard to think of these brand new Elseworld’s stories as fitting into the Multiverse, but there is precedent for it. I think many of the existing 52 worlds were home to things like the world of some animated show, for instance.

    Will there be a numbered universe for Gotham City Garage? For Bombshells?

    Meanwhile last month’s solicit for The New Golden Age #1 reads “in the aftermath of Flashpoint Beyond, those heroes and villains will have their lives turned upside down. and its past…will never be the same again. But how are Mime and Marionette connected to this? Why are Rip Hunter and the Time Masters the most unlikable heroes in the DC Universe? And who or what is…Nostalgia? Don’t miss the start of the strangest mystery to have ever plagued the DC Universe.”

    So that’s clearly the sequel to Flashpoint Beyond, and it’s bringing in the JSA, so this is all connected, though not necessarily to what Waid is doing.

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