Aquaman looks like he's dancin' on the cover of this comic book. Take that crazy scepter out of his hand, wipe that frown off his face, and bang! He looks like he's breakin' it down! Mmm-tsz-mm-tsz-mmm-tsz-mmm-tsz (go ahead and make those sounds - you'll sound like the thumpin' beat of a cri-za-zy dance club! Paris is BURNING, darlings! Move your hips.)
Anyhow....let's get down to business. There's no way they'd make something as fun as "what if Aquaman only wanted to party party party, party all the time." So what in the alternate world is going on here? I mean, the J.J. Abrams Super 8 mini-comic-in-the-middle-of-the-comic aside - what's the story?
Let me guess: I betcha it's gloomy.
Is it just me, or did this whole issue read like one looooooonnnnnngggggg recap? Like, I feel like I was getting caught up on all that had transpired, yet this is the first of three issues and part of the larger Flashpoint story that only has two issues out. (I asked.) WTF? Look, I'm not going backwards on a longstanding tradition of believing that back story is good. Back story's make for really interesting character development. But when the entire comic book is back story, it feels like I've been left out of something. And, you know, I usually feel that way anyway when I read comic books - but when I'm reading a first issue, and I'll go ahead and say when anyone, not just me, is reading a first issue, said person should probably not feel that way. Especially if it's a mini-series already. I feel like I'm trying to get started on a board game and somebody is saying "no wait, I've got to read to you about what kind of homelife the people who invented this board game had. They had to walk to school!"
And, what's funny is that a good recap - when its actually a recap - is done in such a manner that delivers all the pertinent information so that a new-to-the-story reader feels all caught up without feeling like they've been patronized to or spoon fed anything. But in this case, 21-or-so-pages of a recap, and at the end I'm still going, "Who's Brion's sister?"
Yeah, I had to ask. And I was told that she's one of the Teen Titans (in the regular universe, where she's sometimes a traitor). Why should I have to ask someone? In all that recapping, they couldn't have ever cleverly slid in something about her? And yeah, okay, there's a blank there because I have no idea what her name is, because it's not mentioned, and it's been made so consistently apparent that these Flashpoint comics really despise people who aren't well versed in their little minutiae...I mean, I just think this is so weird. Especially when these big summer event comics are designed in the hopes of garnering new readers. You gotta tell us newbies what's going on and who's who, folks! You've GOT to. Or it defeats your entire marketing team's reason for existing. These things are just so insulting without any right to be, you know? There's nothing cool about this comic, the story it tells, and when it's confusing, it's only confusing because it's too dumb to explain itself properly. I'd be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, to believe that's because it wants me to go and buy some other comic book, but if that were the case, why not point to that comic and say "read this one." What a joke. That people worked to make something like this, that people buy it--after reading something like Hellboy last week, the idea that something like this might be where somebody goes next, the way I have...a joke. That's what this is.
Maybe it'll get better in the second issue?
-Nina Stone, 2011