100 Issues Ago July 2011

I came across this “100 Issues Ago” panel in an old JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and thought I’d tidy it up and re-purpose it. If one month = one issue, what was I reading 100 Issues Ago?

I’ve been doing these 100 Issues Ago posts for about eighteen months now, but it’s only in the last year that I’ve managed to keep them to a regular, monthly schedule. A couple of times over the recent ones, I’ve mentioned about DC titles starting to wind down their plot lines in preparation for the New 52; regular commenter Calvin has mentioned what’s coming on more than one occasion . . . and we’re finally here.

Most of the time, I think back to the issue I’m featuring, but for this one I dug it out of its comic box and re-read it for the first time since 2011.

Barry Allen wakes up in a Central City Police Department that’s in a totally different world from the one he’s expecting; there are a number of small reveals/mentions before the big one: his mother is alive and well. As much as he likes that idea, he knows things aren’t right and so sets off to see Batman.

The Dark Knight, meanwhile, is a lot meaner in this world, willing to let villainous side-kicks die if they don’t provide useful information. He’s approached by Cyborg who asks him to join a group he’s putting together to fight Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Both those heroes in this world have caused massive loss of life when they attacked parts of Europe, but Bats refuses to team up and, without him, Cyborg’s group falls apart.

Finding his way to the Batcave, Barry’s astounded when Batman doesn’t know him – hardly surprising as it’s Thomas Wayne, not Bruce, beneath the cowl.

FLASHPOINT #1, taken on it’s own as the start of an event mini-series, works quite well. Barry plays the fish out of water, with hints about the new world being dropped in (mostly) naturally in dialogue, although the Cyborg/Batman conversation is a little exposition heavy, and the big reveal on the final page – that of Thomas Wayne being Batman – works well.

It sets up the mystery of how and why this world’s in existence and, honestly, makes you want to find out more. Unfortunately, DC decided to more than satisfy the appetite with the plethora of mini-series that would spin out of this over the coming months.

And after this was over, would come the New 52 . . .

4 thoughts on “100 Issues Ago July 2011

  1. For me, the whole would’ve worked better had it simply been an Elseworld’s tale or something to that effect. Like a lot of stuff Johns was doing back then, it may have started out strong, but he the finish was weak AF and severely lacking. The fact that it they used Flashpoint as the reason for the reboot shows just how much dumb they all were and still are. “Hey I know, let’s reboot the DCU for the umpteenth time and blame it on Saint Barry! That’ll sell like hotcakes. Oh wait, now it’s Pandora’s fault. No wait, it’s….”


    1. From memory, the whole New 52 thing was tacked on to FLASHPOINT late in the game; that’s why storylines in BRIGHTEST DAY were never followed up – FLASHPOINT was meant to be a big, alternate history event type thing but not the launch pad for a line-wide reboot… until it was.

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  2. The only Flashpoint mini-series I tried was Secret Seven, because George Perez was supposed to be drawing it, and weird combinations of characters interest me. Issue 2 was the only one I wound up getting, so i had no idea what was happening, and Perez didn’t even draw it (probably because they were going to give him Superman in the New 52, only to drive him off it within 6 issues from heavy-handed editorial crap.)

    Other than that, in terms of new things, there was one issue of a Fear Itself mini-series I bought because it was going to involve Nighthawk, Howard the Duck, She-Hulk, and Frankenstein’s Monster, but it was a mess, so I didn’t buy any more issues.

    There’s this odd “From the Marvel Vault” one-shot of Defenders where Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley had done a possible fill-in issue like 10 years earlier for Kurt Busiek and Erik Larsen’s Defenders series. They didn’t end up needing it, but the art was all done. Nicieza couldn’t remember what the story he’d come up with was, and neither did Bagley, so Busiek just made a story up based on the art. Just for the story behind the issue, it was worth it.

    But the top new thing is July was the first issue of Mark Waid’s stint writing Daredevil, with Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin as the two artists. Where Waid tries the novel approach of not having Matt Murdock be miserable all the time, and the Matt’s actively trying to be more upbeat and swashbuckling. And the book was just gorgeous. This was my favorite ongoing series like 3 years running.


    1. Secret Seven was okay, from memory – I’m no real fan of Peter Milligan’s stuff but back then I clearly had more money than sense as I bought every one of the mini-series and one-shots.

      The one-shot you describe sounds interesting – Busiek’s pretty good so I hope the story he came up with was worth it.


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