In what is unfortunately becoming a rather regular occurrence with the “Flashpoint” comics, “Flashpoint: Hal Jordan” has lost its original artist in-between the first and second issues. (No doubt Ben Oliver is now hard at work on “Batwing” premiering in September.) Unfortunately, Oliver’s art was in many ways the glue that held “Flashpoint: Hal Jordan” #1 together.
Cliff Richards isn’t a bad artist, he’s just a less awe-inspiring one. The big two-page spreads of diagonal panels are gone, replaced with much more standard layouts. His characters come off a little stiff and posed on occasion, but overall he provides a soft, gentle look to the characters. It’s a little odd, though; what works well for Carol Ferris’ face ends up making airplanes look less like real crafts and more like toys.
As for the story itself, it’s just as content-free as the first issue. These are really just extended character sketches, lacking in any particular drive or pep to the plot. You’d think a comic involving a huge creature smashing a city would grab your attention instantly, but Adam Schlagman’s script is curiously free of any sort of menace or energy. This should be “Top Gun” meets “Clash of the Titans.” Even not being a big fan of either movie, I think each had more excitement.
Ultimately, “Flashpoint: Hal Jordan” is rapidly falling into the realm of several of the “Flashpoint” mini-series, where it’s hard to see why exactly this is being published. Maybe Hal’s mission in the final issue will connect with “Flashpoint” itself, but even then I’m not sure we are going to have needed this much back story over how a pilot with a weapon was chosen to lead an attack. With Oliver gone, there’s no longer anything driving me to see how this ends. In a serial format, boring can unfortunately be a larger crime than bad. There’s nothing particularly wrong here, but there’s nothing to keep reader interest going either.