Flashpoint #1

Like most comics readers, I’m getting weary of big events. And the promotional materials for Flashpoint did absolutely nothing to interest me in this series. I’ve never been a big fan of The Flash, the premise of the crossover was, at best, murky, and the sheer number of spinoff miniseries and specials was disheartening.

But I have to admit that when I sat down and read Flashpoint #1 (DC Comics, 40 pages, color, $3.99), I really enjoyed it. (Full disclosure: DC’s publicity folks sent me a copy.) And having found little to enjoy in the DC Universe of late, it was nice to find an enjoyable way back in.

I can’t deny that there’s a weird bit of nostalgia at work. This is an alternate universe crossover, with cool art by Andy Kubert and Bob Harras at the helm. It’s like a flashback to 1995 and the Age of Apocalypse, which was easily the most fun crossovers of this type and an archetype for Flashpoint. I doubt I’ll pick up many of the spinoffs, but I will definitely be back for Flashpoint #2.

Fear Itself #2

The other major summer event is Marvel’s Fear Itself. Again, thanks to event fatigue, I hadn’t paid much attention to the advance marketing on this book. This is a nice-looking book, with Fear Itself #1 and #2 (Marvel, color, $3.99 each) showing the Asgardians returning to Asgard, Odin being a jerk to Thor and a bunch of mystic hammers falling to Earth and empowering those who pick them up with the power to glow like Tron.

It’s OK, though my first thought was I’d already seen this kind of thing in Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s  JLA-Avengers crossover a few years back and even in last year’s Blackest Night. It also just feels more like a concept suited to a Marvel videogame than a major summer crossover, but that’s likely just me. This isn’t to say that Fear Itself is bad or that Flashpoint is good, but it is interesting how it’s the intangibles that make one stand out — even if just slightly and for a moment — over another.