From the startling last-page reveal of its first issue to the growing changes its story is making to core DCU heroes, DC Comics "Flashpoint" event has proved adept at getting people talking. And with the latest round of "Flashpoint Friday" posts at DC's The Source blog, that conversation is taking some unexpected turns both in terms of the in-universe twists and the controversial labels used to promote those story elements.
"Flashpoint" talk on CBR started this week with our first interview with "Batman: Knight of Vengeance" writer Brian Azzarello. As DC CCO Geoff Johns had done the week previous, the writer behind the three-part event tie-in explained the changes in the alter ego to Gotham's dark vigilante. "He really doesn't give two shits about anything other than Gotham City. That's his main concern. He's not so much a global character as he is portrayed [in the main DC continuity]," Azzarello explained. "All I can tell you is that [The Joker's] in there. Gordon's in there. The Penguin. Selina Kyle. You get all my perverse takes on these characters. But I'm not telling you anything about who all of these characters are other than that they are there. You're going to have to read the book, man. But I promise, when you see this book, you're going to be blown away. Really. I hate to say that kind of stuff but this time, I'm going to say it."
Things took a turn this morning when the publisher posted a new map designed by writer Rex Ogle and artist Freddie E. Williams II showing the full extent of the changes to earth in the "Flashpoint" reality. When the map was posted to Robot 6, debate soon sparked there and elsewhere on the comics internet about the appropriateness of some of its terminology. Specifically, questions as to whether referring to Africa as being "Ape-Controlled" and noting a "Capital of Asia" put the best foot forward for the story. Robot 6's Michael May has a full roundup of comments here.
The traditional promotional march for the series continued over the rest of the day as The Source posted multiple interviews with "Flashpoint" mini series creators.
First up, Ogle explained the ins and outs of the globe-trotting trip Traci 13 takes in the three-part "World of Flashpoint" comic. "Here’s this young girl with an immense amount of power at her fingertips, but she doesn’t quite know how to use it in the beginning and it causes her to lose her family. I think anyone can relate to not being smart enough as a kid and making mistakes," the writer said, noting that the comic would bounce around the world from Africa and Asia to "Australia, Antartica, and Europe! Traci 13 travels to every continent. But it’s not about the locations so much as the people she meets along the way. Expect plenty of cameos."
Later, writer Sean Ryan described the story behind his "Flashpoint: Grodd of War" one-shot, of which Johns said to CBR "I don't even remember a better Grodd story." Ryan explained, "He craves power over things. I think it mainly comes from a sense that he knows he’s smarter than everyone else, so why shouldn’t he be in charge? I certainly think that’s what motivated Grodd to start his conquest of Africa. Now that the conquest is nearly over…His motivation is starting to change.
"He rules Africa not very well, but he’s not terribly concerned with running it very well. Grodd’s not really one to enact wide ranging social programs. And he’s an isolationist at the start of the story…But by the end of the story, you’ll see Grodd start to look out at the rest of the world and see an incentive for joining the bigger war, but for reasons you might not have expected."
Finally, "Superboy" writer and "Sweet Tooth" creator Jeff Lemire dug into the plans for "Flashpoint: Frankenstein & The Creatures of The Unknown." The writer said the three-issue series reveals much about the core changes to the "Flashpoint" timeline as his monster hero is "THE war hero. Frankenstein is driven to root out evil at all costs and it leads him on a pretty MAJOR mission during World War II. One that not only changes the direction of the war, but also the history of the Flashpoint Universe’s costumed heroes as well.
"Frankenstein and his team of Creature Commandos created by the mysterious Project M end up leading the charge in Europe. As a result, teams like the JSA and All-Star Squadron are not needed in the same way they were in the regular DC Universe. Thus their destinies are altered as well."