By: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Eddie Nunez (penciller), Don Ho (inker), Hi-Fi (colorist)
The Story: All the single ladies, all the single ladies—put your hands up! You’re under arrest!
The Review: Considering the overwhelming span and scope of these Big Events, DC has made a laudable effort to ensure the numerous Flashpoint tie-ins are as reader-friendly as possible. After reading about a dozen or so of these, I can safely tell you they can each stand on their own, even if you never read a page of the main series. This comes with a catch: every tie-in has to commit a certain amount of time briefing you on the primary Flashpoint facts.
Like a good half of the tie-ins, this issue starts off with the five to ten obligatory pages devoted to the Amazon-Atlantean conflict and its most infamous fallout, the sinking of Western Europe. DnA manage to make the event somewhat more immersive than usual by virtue of placing Lois Lane right in the middle of the disaster, but even so the horror of the situation seems taken for granted. Aside for a handful of fleeing people and some surfing cars, you just don’t see enough of the massive flood’s effects to feel suitably sympathetic with it.
And it all takes time away from the real substance of the story, where Lois Lane takes us into the Amazonian world order in New Themyscira, formerly Great Britain. You get a few interesting bits: segregation of men and women, female reeducation camps, the conversion of select ladies into full-blooded Amazons (and possibly ogre creatures—a potential side-effect of the Super Soldier formula, girl version, I suppose). All of these can make good, misandrous reading.
Unfortunately, DnA has Lois Lane deliver all this information rather quickly (two pages) in a fraught series of “Dear Diary”-type epistles to her boss, Cyborg—hardly any fun at all. All the adventure of reporting comes from the lengths the reporter will go to get his story. And here you have the archetype of the dauntless reporter in Lois Lane, and you never even really see her at work, which discredits her reputation and saps the plot of its action in favor of chattiness.
You just can’t escape the hurried feeling that plagues most of this issue (in stark contrast to the plodding pace given to the early, 2012 parts of the story), as you can sense at points DnA haven’t thought certain things through completely. The Amazons demand all their new arrivals to “Surrender all possessions.” That they’d allow Lois to keep a gaudy, oversized, clearly tech-ridden bracelet seems a gross oversight or double-standard on their end (as 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon says, “Women are allowed to get angrier than men about double-standards!”)
I have to say, I’m not an enormous fan of the cartoony style of comic book art that turns all the female characters into various versions of sorority girls (with all that toga wear, Lois looks like the perfect candidate for the Kappa Kappa Kappas). On top of that, Nunez’s work gets infected with Top Heaviness Syndrome, making you wonder if a requirement to join the Amazons is an unhealthy endowment in their upper bodies (Hoorah for feminism!). None of this helps give weight to what should be a ground-level, spy thriller.
Conclusion: DnA clearly have a promising story in mind here, but poor pacing and completely inappropriate art drags the enjoyment down considerably.
– Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: – A really fun detail that gets kind of thrown out the window before it even really takes off is Jimmy Olsen as Cyborg’s informant. Even in the Flashpoint world, Jimmy gets to be Superman’s pal.
– Speaking strictly as a Vietnamese-American kid who grew up with way too many Paris by Night shows, the name Don Ho always strikes me with a shudder (no offense to the inker, who does fine work).