Things are moving forward in Flashpoint Beyond after last issue’s zero-issue re-introduced us to the world of Flashpoint. We know Thomas Wayne (aka Batman) doesn’t want to be in the world of Flashpoint and even went as far as kidnapping that version of Barry Allen to try to force The Flash to happen. Sadly, Barry didn’t get super-speed — instead, he was murdered. Now Thomas is on the hunt for his killer, which deepens the mystery created by Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, and Tim Sheridan.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Flashpoint Beyond #1!
The writing team has crafted quite a mystery, and the fun of it is that the characters they present are entirely new for this world of Flashpoint. For us comic fans, however, we can recognize them from their place in the DC Universe. I enjoyed that the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans is still a significant plague on the world and that trapping is what causes Thomas to suspect Aquaman as being behind the killing of Barry. With that, Thomas is off on quite the adventure.
In this story, Thomas goes back to being the Dark Knight as his actions show a man with nothing left to lose who embraces violence. There is a page where Thomas, as Batman, arrives at the holding location of Wonder Woman; he pops out of the water and lands a double kill on the guards with headshots to both. That moment shows just how desperate Thomas is to prevent the world of Flashpoint from continuing to exist.
There are moments of action that allow artist Xermanico to shine perfectly. Xermanico captures intensity very nicely with his body language and facial expressions. The way he draws Thomas Wayne is bold, creating a man who is aggressive and moves directly to get his goals met. Batman is an intense character, but Xermanico makes Thomas a dynamically cold man, both in and out of costume.
The script and art also allow for bits of humor that we get to see with Oswald, who in the mainstream DCU is the Penguin, and Dexter Dent as they interact with each other. Sadly, Dexter is living his nightmare of having just lost his father and is now in the care of Thomas, which I think will lead to us to seeing a Flashpoint version of Robin. Oswald is captured nicely in Xermanico’s art, looking a lot like Colin Farrell’s portrayal in The Batman.
In this issue, Thomas is dead set on believing that Aquaman was behind the murder of Barry, which he then chooses as his reason to confront Aquaman. That murder leads to Batman getting involved in the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans, and his actions help the Amazons’ stance. Whoever the Clockwork Killer is, they played Thomas to attack his Casino, which helps to elevate this villain to a higher level as they just tricked Batman.
The issue does serve to drive the story along and lays out some clues for us. When you read names in this issue, look them up if necessary as you’ll see their connection to the main DCU. The issue entices you to continue with the series as the last two pages bring us back to our Bruce Wayne and set up some questions; namely, “what did he do” and “why is he doing this?” The storyline is quite a puzzle with the pieces of Flashpoint, Doomsday Clock, Batmen, and the Time Masters all involved.
Flashpoint Beyond #1 is an entertaining issue that helps drive along what is happening in the world of Flashpoint and gives purpose to Thomas Wayne’s actions. Stunning art helps keep you turning the pages of mystery as to who the Clockwork Killer is and what their motivations are.
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