By: Adam Schlagman (writer), Robson Rocha & Felipe Massafera (artists), Rod Reis (colorist)
The Story: Abin Sur’s just dying to save our world.
The Review: For a lot of these tie-ins, the main events of Flashpoint have little bearing on the stories told, some of them literally avoiding the thick of the action until the very last minute. This strategy tends to have a double-edged, negative effect on the titles. First, they baffle you into wondering why they have any relevance to the Event at all, then, assuming you have any interest in the plot anyway, they detract from it with a forced mention of the storyline at large.
In Abin Sur, as in most of its sibling titles, the Flashpoint threads feel mostly like an afterthought, a shrug of concern occasionally nagging at you from off to one side, where you barely notice it. Note how each issue of this series has Abin Sur rendezvousing with Cyborg for at most a couple pages, while he spends the rest of his time flying around, babbling about his desire to save the world. Even the Blackest Night stuff, the plot’s original conflicts, largely goes unmentioned.
With the real nitty-gritty details of the two major crises (not to imply Flashpoint counts as part of DC’s Crisis series—though it might as well be) left on the backburner, what we have left is a showdown between Sinestro and Abin, a forced confrontation with little real antagonism to make it effective. Sinestro quickly devolves from semi-respectable antihero to his usual crazy person antics, a rushed development that tells you how unwise it may have been to squeeze so many plotlines into a three-issue mini.
Before you get too worked up over Sinestro’s “shocking” backstabbing, Abin puts him down in about a minute and then gets into yet another tiff with the Guardians over the worthiness of saving Earth in its most dire hour. Schlagman references War of the Green Lanterns in the blue sages’ defensive posture about their lack of emotion—nice to know some things don’t change, regardless of reality-altering hijinks—which makes you think all he’s done so far is poach material from more worthwhile series.
Probably the most problematic part of the issue comes towards its conclusion, where Abin—spoiler alert—meets with big sister Arin, who’s accompanied by the White Entity he’s been told to go after all along. As you can guess, such a meeting is only made possible by his own death (trying to stop the Geo-Force bomb), which conveniently enough makes him eligible for Entity resurrection and White Lantern status. Not that he deserves the promotion; Arin’s lecture about how one must not only protect life, but also get in touch with it, reminds you that in this respect, Abin hasn’t changed much from the outlook he held at the beginning of this title.
Rocha and Massafera’s work seemed fairly seamless last time, but perhaps due to the haste of getting this issue released on time, we now have very jarring levels of realism and cartooniness. Who knows which artist holds responsibility for the problem, but whoever it is, they deserve a sound talking-to. Cyborg looks like a really ill-crafted Transformers action figure with Vic’s head glued on. Abin’s light-generated mace resembles a gum bubble stuck with candy corn all over. Certainly these visuals do little to sell the seriousness of what’s happening.
Conclusion: Uneven art and rather unoriginal, repetitive writing makes for a title which never took the time to reflect on what it wanted to get even out of itself.
– Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: – Check out the expression on that Amazon’s face as she falls into a volcanic crevice. She looks more like a mother who just found her mischievous son’s mess in the kitchen than a person helplessly barreling towards her fiery doom.
– The Guardians have never looked more like blue Gollums. Woah! That explains the whole obsession with rings. “My precious!”