TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE: FLASHPOINT #1/ Story and Pencils by BRYAN HITCH/ Inks by ANDREW CURRIE & SCOTT HANNA/ Colors by ALEX SINCLAIR & JEREMIAH SKIPPER/ Letters by ROB LEIGH/ Published by DC COMICS
I was there. Cheese and rice, I was there. Thirteen years old and I saw a woman’s face get punched right off of her skull. The unstoppable force that was an immovable object made his way towards a veritable metropolis and laid waste to everything in his path. The inefficacy of the Justice League was measured by a beast with a hand literally tied behind his back. With a ferocious blow, Supergirl (who was really a shapeshifter called Matrix) had her face literally liquified from her skull.
This was the first time a comic brought me to tears. Not because I had any affection for Supergirl (or Matrix), but because I saw the writing on the wall. There was no Justice League. There would be no Superman. There would be no hope.
Hope. That’s what we want from stories. The darker the prose, the slightest of hopes we allow ourselves to accept. It is hope that Bryan Hitch dangles in front of us throughout the entirety of Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint. We are dropped into a reality where Bruce Wayne was shot and killed after leaving the Monarch Theater with his parents. Martha snaps and becomes the Joker, while Thomas – Bruce’s father – dedicates himself to the eradication of crime in Gotham City, adopting the persona known as The Batman.
This reality, known as Flashpoint, was created as the direct result of Barry Allen altering the course of history by attempting to save his mother from being murdered during Allen’s youth. This reality is splintered further in this story when Barry endeavors to recover his powers by recreating the conditions that initially created them. Rather than reclaiming the abilities granted by the Speed Force, he dies. As the open air crackles with energy, Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, appears! What flashes forward is a series of events parallel to the original Flashpoint storyline, yet altogether different.
Writer and illustrator Bryan Hitch pushes Thawne’s agenda while presenting him as this world’s Flash. Running him up against the likes of Batman, Cyborg, a Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and even Superman drives the reader to compete with the Fastest Man Alive to get those pages turned!
Writing for a speedster takes an elevated level of creativity and skill. Anyone can write about a man that can run. When you have an entire multiverse of practical, theoretical, and nonexistent physics at your command, the creators are challenged to present a more sophisticated story. Hitch rises to the challenge and delivers an intelligent tale of adventure and intrigue worthy of a title that elicits such a powerful emotional response.
Bryan Hitch’s detail driven pencils are backed by a phenomenal support team on this project. Inking his powerful lines are Andrew Currie & Scott Hanna, with Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper invigorating the work with their colors. The final product is fantastic!
The Tales from the Dark Multiverse series of stories are creative twists on familiar themes. If you love comics history, and maybe enjoyed The Twilight Zone, then you need to check out this book!