First things first: I am not enamored with the idea of “Flashpoint.” I see the concept and the execution as a misfired version of an “Elseworlds” story. Originally, I had no intent whatsoever to even think about getting any of these books. Then it was recommended to review this book (among others) as a service to you, kind readers. So know this: I do this for you. Because I care.
It is exactly that kind of emotion that emanates from Abin Sur, billed in this book as the Green Lantern. Lectured on the importance of life at an early age, Sur takes the lecture to heart and allows it to fuel his service to the Corps. It’s a powerful message and a natural (if not ironic) path for this story to take. After all, Abin Sur died the first time we ever saw him. Of course life is special to him.
The main action of this story is a warped version of “Blackest Night,” pitting the Green Lanterns against the Black Lanterns, but adding the Manhunters to the mix. Tasked with retrieving the White Lantern from the war-torn Earth, Abin Sur heads out to do the bidding of his masters, the Guardians of the Universe. Schlagman makes the story a straightforward hero’s mission, but sprinkles in enough familiar elements of the Green Lantern legend to make this story immediately familiar despite its assignment to be otherwise. With the exception of one notable error in the form of a dialog blunders (“You have will retrieve the white entity. . .” which makes me wonder if who edits the editors) this is a smooth read that offers enough intrigue to invite me back for another go.
Schlagman’s art partner on this issue is Felipe Massafera, whose work, while dynamic and strong, brings out the best and worst of photo-referencing. Massafera’s Thaal Sinestro could not bear a stronger resemblance to the widescreen interpretation given life by Mark Strong without involving lawyers and use of likeness agreements. All the same, Massafera’s Abin Sur bears more than a passing resemblance to Temuera Morrison.
Staying off of the world of “Flashpoint,” this story offers just enough of an “Elseworlds” feel to be enjoyable, and save some distinctions otherwise could easily be a tale from the adventures of Abin Sur before he died and passed the ring of Sector 2814 to Hal Jordan. This issue is an intriguing glimpse at what could have been, given a surreal focus when directed through the lens of designs of the “Green Lantern” feature film.