DC Comics has been criticized for the sheer brutality and wholesale slaughter depicted in its blockbuster crossovers and events, where characters are decapitated, disemboweled and devoured with a frequency that approaches parody. But is it possible that Flashpoint, that concludes next week just as “The New 52” debuts, has a butcher’s bill that makes the body count of Final Crisis seem like, well, kid’s stuff?
Like a U.N. observer, Funnybook Babylon’s Chris Eckert surveyed the sprawling battlefield — no easy task, considering there’s the core title, 16 miniseries and a handful of one-shots — and emerged with a death tally that’s staggering, as entire nations fell in alternate-timeline global wars involving Aquaman’s Atlanteans, Wonder Woman’s Amazons, Gorilla Grodd’s armies, and other factions.
“Given that everything is going to be returned to The New Normal at the end of it, DC has gone hog wild with killing people off in Flashpoint,” Eckert wrote. “It’s not just ‘shocking’ death scenes for beloved intellectual property: the Flashpoint Earth got seriously depopulated.”
Sure, but just how seriously? He conservatively places the death count at about 833 million, or the rough equivalent of the combined populations of the United States, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico — on our world, in any case. (Eckert actually breaks down the figures by event, some of which require guesswork while others lead him to throw up his hands.) And that’s just on Earth; Nekron and his Black Lantern forces have consumed about one-fifth of the universe, which brings the tally to … let’s see … carry the 2 … hm. Let’s just leave it at “a lot.”
But Flashpoint isn’t just about faceless mass murder. Oh, no! For those who like their feline superheroines with their heads punched off, or their teen superheroes eaten by bioengineered crocodiles, the crossover has plenty of that, too. Okay, maybe not the latter, but Eckert assembles an impressive list — wait, “impressive” isn’t the right word — of deaths ranging from the by-now-mundane beheading to head-squishing to exploding body parts to suicide.
The under-served death-by-digestion demographic isn’t completely forgotten by Flashpoint‘s writers: Eckert notes that Cheetah is killed, and possibly eaten, by Etrigan the Demon. See, Sobek Nation? You were thrown a bone after all.