Lake Charles, LA
I recently started buying comics regularly again. The Dark Horse Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir series caught my attention and I gobbled up each issue. While the ending was a bit of a cop out (I’ll eventually review the series), the whole run was good enough to spark my interests in comics again.
I ventured over to my local comics shop, Paper Heroes, and started perusing the graphic novels and comic compilations in the hopes to find a book on Batman or one of any of a multitude of Marvel heroes that I’ve enjoyed over the years. To my surprise, I found myself going to the DC shelves over and over. I couldn’t make up my mind, but nothing on the Marvel shelf really spoke to me. However, the DC shelf intrigued me with titles like Flashpoint, Blackest Night, and Infinite Crisis.
I settled on Flashpoint, and was very pleased after reading the book. While the story is obviously centered on the Flash, it was the peripheral characters that really grabbed at me in this tale. The most interesting of all was Thomas Wayne as the Batman in the altered timeline in which this story takes place.
Thomas Wayne is a brutal version of his son’s Dark Knight. Instead of catching villains and bringing them back to Arkham Asylum or GCPD headquarters, Thomas Wayne doesn’t think twice about killing his enemies. Much like Bruce Wayne’s Batman, he has become a legend, an impossible creature that scares villains, but he’s much, much deadlier. I love this character and want to read more about him!!!!
Other characters that get a brilliant spin on their stories in this timeline include Superman, who is SOOOOOO much more interesting here than he is elsewhere, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg. It’s my understanding that these characters are expanded upon in other volumes in the Flashpoint story and I plan to read as many of them as I can (starting with Superman and Batman).
I don’t want to reveal too much more, but know that an event in the Flash’s past sets off the events in this story, and it’s up to him to make things as right as possible. This is a brilliant story.
Now, having been hooked on graphic novels and comics once again, I started looking for Marvel graphic novels that might offer up similar brilliance to Flashpoint. On a whim I found Captain America: The Winter Soldier and a Guardians of the Galaxy graphic novels for the wonderful price of five bucks each at a Walmart while I was working out of town. They were obviously meant to be cash ins for the recently released films of the same name (there was were Spider-Man and The Avengers graphic novels for five bucks, but I passed on them) and were also previously released novels in a new edition. I’ve only read Cap’s novel so far, and while it is definitely a good read, it doesn’t quite meet up to the standard set by Flashpoint.
In The Winter Soldier, Red Skull is mysteriously murdered and the Captain, along with Agent 13, has to find his enemy’s murderer and also thwart the plans of a once thought defunct terrorist organization. I do not yet know if I’ll pick up the second volume in this story, as I’m much more interested in the Flashpoint books now. If they hold up, I’ll probably scoop up Blackest Night next.
I’ve always considered myself a Marvel guy. In my early years I loved the colorful characters of Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc. but as I grew older, the grittier characters of the Marvel universe grabbed my attention. Now I’m swaying in a sea of doubt. Could it be that DC is winning me over yet again?????? Will Marvel win me back with a brilliant X-men story????? Who knows??? Maybe a “dark horse” like, um, Dark Horse, will steal my soul?
Stay tuned, true believers and, as always, thanks for reading!