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 . . .