Flashpoint Beyond #5
The penultimate issue of Flashpoint Beyond is more than a little confusing. It opens with a conversation playing out after Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths as Mr. Terrific and Dr. Baxter pontificate on various crisis events. From there it shifts to Batman and Ra’s al Ghul having a discussion before returning to the Flashpoint universe.
This issue hits the point of information overload and it’s not clear where writers Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams and Tim Sheridan are going. Granted, the writing team has earned the benefit of the doubt to see if they stick the landing, but there’s a lot happening here.
With the focus on Thomas Wayne learning how the Clockwork Killer carried out their plan, the issue hits a stronger stride. It’s a more streamlined story with a clear hero and villain while both are working toward the same end game. The Dexter/Two-Face storyline isn’t as compelling, however.
Then there’s the present/future day events and how they tie into the larger story. These subplots clearly have to get paid off next issue although the writers have deliberately kept the non-Flashpoint Batman arc as vague as possible.
Mikel Janin has a larger role as co-artist this issue with more focus on the non-Flashpoint events. Janin’s art always looks stunning and he is an artist that handles conversational sequences better than most of his peers.
Xermanico handles the Flashpoint segments, which feature more action specifically the face-off with FP Batman and The Clockwork Killer. Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Jordie Bellaire’s color work on Xermanico and Janin’s pages respectively is stunning with both capturing the ideal tone for the art.
Flashpoint Beyond’s final issue is going to have to tie up some significant loose ends. Given the creative team involved that’s not necessarily a huge ask, but to firmly lock this in as one of 2022’s strongest DC mini-series it’s going to need a highly satisfactory final act.
Rating: 8 out of 10