Almost as an allegory for the “Flashpoint” series, Grodd is reaching for satisfaction, but wallowing in frustration. Not content with his place as one of the greatest, most feared rulers of the world – he rules a whole freaking continent unopposed! – Grodd wants more. He wants more fear to ooze from those who dare gaze upon him. Grodd wants a challenge. He wants respect. And he’ll destroy all his kingdom has become to grasp that respect and face that challenge.
While I’m sure that my interpretation might be a little deeper (or more than slightly off-base) from what Sean Ryan set out to write, the story is there: Grodd has conquered all of Africa, but he’s just not happy with it. We’ve all been there. In giving Grodd such a scenario, Ryan makes Grodd one of the most relatable characters in the world of “Flashpoint,” minus the fact that most of us won’t ever have (nor truly want) the chance to lash out like Grodd does when his frustration just gets to be too much.
With minimal human presence in this book, Ryan offers a glimpse into what might be between the covers of a “Gorilla City” book should DC decide to implement one as part of their much ballyhooed relaunch. This is a story that can only take place in the DC Universe, regardless of the impact of timeline manipulation, infinite or final crises.
Part of the fun of the “Flashpoint” stories is finding the Easter eggs – the hidden characters, places, or moments that have been altered ever so slightly as to avoid the spotlight, but still add some recognition and polish to the issue. One such gem appears in the form of Grodd’s sparring partner in this issue.
Ig Guara puts well-drawn gorillas into a very detailed story. Guara goes so far as to add nicks and dents to the threads of a chain-link fence, fills Grodd’s dais with detritus from meals the sinister simian has grown tired of, and adds the details of a conquered Capetown into the background of the issue’s final scene. Grodd’s range of emotion may be limited in this issue, but the extremes of that range a meticulously depicted by Guara so as to leave no doubt in the reader’s mind.
The final page of this book provides an interesting moment that could lead to a turning of the battle tides in the world of “Flashpoint.” Or not. It’s hard to tell what’s going to be important in this world, and it is even more difficult to find characters worth an emotional investment in this grandiose tale. With Grodd, I’ve found both. Naturally, it’s just a one-shot. The intelligent apes of the DC Universe deserve a chance to shine like this, even if it is only once in a great while.