Sunday, March 20, 2011

Comic Talk ™: FLASHPOINT part II

So, yesterday I discussed the upcoming DC event, Flashpoint, and my less than ecstatic feelings toward it. This, despite the fact that I am a diehard Flash fan, paricularly the Barry Allen version, and I appreciate Geoff Johns's writing. But, it all feels forced. Like DC is going for another money grab.

Anyway. I posted my feelings - more a rant than anything - on the CGS boards (my rant having been sparked by their discussion of Flashpoint in one of the episodes last week) and David D., one of the moderators, called me on my diatribe. And he was right. So, it got me thinking a bit more about why I'm so irritated with Flashpoint, when I would expect to be excited. This is what came of that:

First, I responded to David's analysis of my post - which can be seen in yesterday's post.

Definitely a fair reading of my rant. And, ultimately, not what I hoped to get across.

I guess the problem I've had is the cavalier manner in which DC has been announcing all these mini-series (And, if DC did this same announcing of title with Blackest Night, my lack of vitriol against that event would be because Green Lantern was so far off my radar, I didn't even pick up Blackest Night until issue 5, after hearing the CGS guys talking about it). I do have a problem with the manner in which DC and Marvel deluge the market with titles, which seems to me a tactic they use to push out smaller publishers' books from the shelves. I understand it as a business tactic, but I am a person who takes issue with the corporate mindset in any endeavor.

I also understand I don't need to pick up any of these ancillary titles. I read Siege without any of the crossovers and did the same with Infinite Crisis. And the deluge of crossover titles does not mean they will be crap (I enjoyed a number of the BN minis, as stated above). That was a poor choice of words. I've read nothing about what this event or these books will entail, and have only read a list of creators in various threads, which leads me to believe that many of the books have a good chance of being better than average. So, no, crap isn't a fair descriptor.

A major reason I expect I will pass on Flashpoint will be my budgetary constraints. But, ultimately, I seriously expect not to buy any of the Flashpoint books (the Perez book excepted, but my plan is to seek it out in cheap bins or ebay) because I don't want to support these sprawling crossover events.

He replied:

Fair enough.

I do wonder- and this is a real question, not just a rhetorical challenge- what specifically has struck you as cavalier about the way that these titles have been announced (and now solicited)?

Which got me thinking more deeply about the topic.

Probably just a personal bias coupled with the fact that I really have not read anything about them, just that 15 mini-series are going to be published for Flashpoint. It feels like overkill. Combine that with DC canceling titles while announcing these 15 series, and it feels like they're just eating their own tail.

To be fair, Blackest Night really was no different. They only had 7 mini-series, plus the month of resurrected titles, but they also crossed into at least 8 regular titles for two or more issues.

(Are there plans for Flashpoint to cross into regular titles, or are these minis taking the place of those?)

I guess it's just the vantage point from where I'm standing. With BN, it wasn't even on my radar until halfway through the main book. So I wasn't paying attention to any of the lead-in to Blackest Night. And I did pick up some of the ancillary titles, including some GL books, which helped because the story did seem to weave in and out of the main book. If I am remembering correctly, some plot points were made outside the main mini-series, correct?

With Flashpoint, I was very excited for the announcement. Flash, particularly Barry Allen, is my go-to superhero. I want to see what's happening with him. But, if I'm going to need to read some other books besides the main series (and it is very possible I don't need to, but I can't count on that after Final Crisis and BN -
again, correct me if I'm wrong in thinking major plot points were shared outside the main BN book), I don't want to be forced to do that, and my budget won't allow for that.

I don't know if that answers your question. Basically, it's the different vantage point from which I am approaching this event, and probably the reality that I have an emotional investment with this character that goes back to when I first started reading comics (
we're closing in on three decades now) that has really gotten my panties in a bunch.

And, ultimately, Brian Hibbs – owner of Comix Experience in San Francisco - in a later episode in the week, put it more succinctly than I did. The problem with Flashpoint is that it looks very, very much like Blackest Night, with all the tie-ins. But Blackest Night evolved naturally from the very beginning of Geoff Johns’s run on Green Lantern, while this Flash event feels very forced, as if they are trying to recreate the success of Blackest Night (a character who’s just below the first tier heroes, written by Geoff Johns, with numerous tie-ins to the main mini-series, crossing through the DC universe).

Flashpoint feels cynical, while Blackest Night felt story-driven. And that’s what really has me irritated and disappointed with this event. An event that includes my favorite character. And one I will probably not pick up.



Dan Fleming said...

I'm with you on this Chris. Flash Rebirth wasn't as good as it should have been, the current series is good, when it ships, and now a big flash event before the series even hits #13! Green Lantern had years under it's current belt before it went Blackest Night. And I would have been cool with all the minis had they suspended the regular series for a few months. I'm only picking up the Batman mini because it has Azz and Risso. Everything else is being left behind.

Unknown said...

I don't think there is anything cynical at all about Flashpoint, nor is it that similar to Blackest Night. To me Flashpoint is closer to Age Of Apocalypse which was one of the last events I actually enjoyed from Marvel.

Flashpoint is a whole other animal than past events DC has done and that's why personally i'm so excited for it. I'm a fan of elseworld but this takes it on another level and makes the DCU we know the elseworld with Barry Allen having to fix it without the big seven.

As far as the tie-in's, again I just look at it from a different perspective. I've never been someone who's bothered by them because i've only ever bought the one's that interested me. I'm a give GL fan but I never felp compelled to buy all the BN tie-ins I just bought the one's that I liked. I ignored the rest and enjoyed it, I suggest you do the same for Flashpoint.

In the end the big two know that events sell comics, that isn't new or is going to change. You can either let that stop you from enjoying stories of your favorite heroes or you can just enjoy the story and buy what you want. Me I look forward to reading about Barry Allen in his own event for the first time ever and all the crazyness that will come from this new DCU.