From USA Today
Flashpoint Issue 4 Exclusive Preview
Even in an alternate universe where iconic superheroes are wrecking the world, pizza, juice boxes and President Obama help ground DC Comics' event series Flashpoint in reality.
Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Andy Kubert, the fourth issue of Flashpoint arrives in comic shops Wednesday. The penultimate issue begins the story's third act, where everybody has to mobilize in order to stop the epic war brewing in Europe with Aquaman and the forces of Atlantis vs. Wonder Woman and her Amazon army.
Not only do the heroes have to fight but also regular folks, says DC's executive editor, Eddie Berganza. "You get to see where Hal Jordan would have been without his ring, and you can still see he's heroic and he's going to make sacrifices to help out."
The third issue left off with the Flash, Batman and Cyborg freeing the alien Kal-El (the guy most people know as Superman who's not exactly super in Flashpoint universe) from a secret lab and facing off with a bunch of heavily armed security guards.
And on the first page of the new issue, President Obamacalls for everyone to pitch in just as the superheroes don't seem as if they're going to save the day.
With so many characters and events a little different inFlashpoint, Berganza feels that grounding the series a little bit in realism in that way echoes for readers in the midst of everything being so fantastical.
Plus, he says, Obama's appearance points out that the stakes are high and the danger is very real and happening — something that will get pushed as DC prepares to relaunch its superhero line with 52 series come September.
The Batsons popped up in the first Flashpoint issue briefly but play a major role in the new issue, which Berganza says will be a big treat for longtime Marvel Family fans.
"They have great power but the reality they face is something that's insurmountable and in a way it's scary," Berganza says of the kids who together turn into Captain Thunder (better known as Captain Marvel). "They bring it down to the fact that there's no more pizza at the end of the day if it all goes bad, which I think is the most realistic portrayal we've had in a while."
Amid all this seriousness comes Element Woman, a charismatic superheroine armed with juice boxes and an eccentric sense of humor.
"Juice boxes are important and you need that levity, otherwise it becomes one tone," Berganza says. "She's great for that and she's going to become very important. One of the things that Geoff stressed is that some of these characters are not going to go away when everything reforms."
It won't be in September, but Berganza says that Element Woman will play a part in DC's "The New 52" as will other new Flashpoint characters such as the Outsider and a certain member of the Europe-based Resistance who will be in the new Justice League International series.
"Even characters who look like they're little walk-ons have a larger role," Berganza says. "There's a great overall plan that involves everything and some stuff just worked out nicer and grew very organically from it."
One of those who unexpectedly emerged was Penthesilea, Wonder Woman's aunt who grew to become a huge threat in Flashpoint and its miniseries. "We created this great villain, so it'll be interesting to see where and when she'll show up in the future, Berganza says.
These heroes have to deal with some dire circumstances before they get to that future, though. Someone readers have spent time with in Flashpoint will die, an old favorite returns and — naturally, for the last chapter before the finale, in stores Aug. 31 — a monumental cliffhanger.
"Everything we set up and introduced, you go, 'Oh man. Wow.' A lot of stuff becomes clear and there's a big question raised and you'll really want issue 5 fast," Berganza says. "It's nice that it's within the same month."