Aug
26

The Flashpoint Death Toll: Remembering the Fallen

Posted by Chris Eckert on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 02:41:46 AM

Everybody’s talking about THE NEW 52, which must be exciting for everyone working on those books at DC Comics. Unfortunately, they’ve spent the past few months still publishing THE OLD 50-SOMETHING, which seem to have largely been forgotten by all parties. It’s not surprising, given the fact that most of them are last-gasp inventory stories or pointless follow-ups to deflating, now-meaningless “events” like Brightest Day or JMS is Writing A Comic Just Kidding Ha Ha.

What’s mildly surprising is that no one seems to be talking about Flashpoint — good or bad. I certainly had my problems with the first couple issues, and droned on at length about in a roundtable at Savage Critics earlier this summer. Maybe everyone else kept thinking about the event during the summer, but I sure didn’t! Not just because I didn’t care for it, but because even DC’s marketing machine quickly abandoned it in favor of the long stream of hype about The New 52. We’ve been told the titles and creative teams, shown the covers and logos, been told about the Day & Date Digital, been given questionnaire answers by the creators, and very soon we’ll be offered the actual comic books that are part of this Bold New Era of DC Comics. But what about Flashpoint? It’s the big Summer Event that leads into this Bold New Era, and while it’s far from over — there’s still the final core issue to come — it hasn’t particularly gotten anyone talking. Maybe it’s event fatigue. Maybe the Flash just isn’t as bankable as Green Lantern, even with Geoff Johns at the helm. Or maybe it’s because Flashpoint is a glorified Elseworlds/What If?/Age of Apocalypse rehash where it seems like the creative teams forgot halfway through that the elevator pitch is The Butterfly Effect and not A Warmed Over Riff on Warren Ellis’s Ruins.

Regardless, it has one thing in common with those other stories. DEATH. GLORIOUS DEATH. 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. It’s not just “shocking” death scenes for beloved intellectual property: the Flashpoint Earth got seriously depopulated. It’d be Ra’s al Ghul’s dream, if he weren’t a little kid who only appears in one panel of World of Flashpoint for some reason. Forget boring decapitation of superheroines, Flashpoint has it all!

  • Gorilla Grodd conquers the continent of Africa, killing “over half” of all humans en route to a planned extermination of all of them (Death Count: 500,000,000 and rising)
  • Aquaman sinks the majority of Europe, including Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portgual and parts of Austria, the Czech Republic, etc. (Death Count: Let’s be conservative and say 300,000,000)
  • Wonder Woman raises the United Kingdom up to form a mountain fortress, systematically exterminates all males, apparently kills a lot of women in work camps/Mengele experiments too (Death Count: 30,000,000 males, presumably a few million females)
  • A three mile swatch of Chandigarh was wiped clean in India (Death Count: “Hundreds of Thousands”)
  • The Chandigarh event drives India and Pakistan into prolonged conventional war (Death Count: “Countless” but let’s just say 2,000,000)
  • “Anarchists” in Brazil and the surrounding area have been at war with an occupying Nazi force from 1945-2011 (Death Count: How do you even estimate that? How does that even work?)
  • Superman’s rocket hits Metropolis rather than Smallville, destroying a swath of the city (Death Count: 35,000)
  • Alaska is apparently entirely overrun by zombies, does not warrant a mention beyond a map in the background (Death Count: 700,000)
  • 627 sectors of the Universe (out of 3600, or about 17%) have been consumed by Nekron and his Black Lanterns, with half of the surviving sectors suffering “incursions” (Death Count: Let’s say one fifth of the Universe)

That’s a lot of death! Enough that it starts to lose all meaning. But don’t worry, Funnybook Babylon has cataloged a list of all of the ninety or so named characters — many of them beloved DC properties, many less so — that have been graphically murdered throughout this event. And we’ve still got one issue to go, who know knows? We might even get to see something really exciting, like Batman getting his heart ripped out and fed to him, or Superman’s head exploding! The Flashpoint braintrust really like those sorts of deaths.

dead-homies

Alfred the Butler: Beheaded in England by invading Amazons
Amethyst: Murdered either by Enchantress or Shade
Animal Man: Framed for the murder of his wife and children, made a prison bitch by Atomic Skull, nose bitten off and subsequently curb-stomped by Heatwave
Aqualad: Framed for the murder of Hippolyta, thrown off a balcony, stabbed through the chest
Arsenal: Killed by Oliver Queen and Vixen’s illegitimate daughter
Artemis: Punched in half by Britannia
Atrocitus: Head exploded by Sinestro
Atom (Ray Palmer): Lost a leg to cancer caused by his shrink-belt, head squished by Heatwave
Batwoman: Part of Grifter’s “Team 7″, killed by terrorists in Afghanistan
Black Adam: Ripped in half using a teleporter by Martian Manhunter
Black Orchid: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man
Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes): Recruited by Canterbury Cricket for his “Ambush Bugs” team, killed by Amazons on first mission
Captain Marvel (Billy Batson): Depowered by Enchantress, stabbed through the heart by Wonder Woman
Catman: Killed by Grodd, skull and spine ripped out and paraded around
Cheetah: Killed and possibly eaten by Etrigan the Demon
Citizen Cold: Killed by Iris West
Clayface: Dragged into an ocean trench by Aquaman, presumably dies after having his skull collapse and eyes pop out from the water pressure
Cluemaster: Killed when Plastic Man bursts out of his throat
Cockroach: Recruited by Canterbury Cricket for his “Ambush Bugs” team, killed by Amazons on first mission
Congorilla: Beaten to death, head ripped off by Grodd during a sparring match
Count Vertigo: Pierced through the heart by an Amazon’s spear
Dr. Fate: Pierced through the heart by an Amazon’s spear, apparently a favorite pastime of Amazons
Deadman: Killed by a building falling on him as Amazons Attack
Doomsday: Hooked up to a cybernetic helmet that allows other to “pilot” him, compelled to rip own ribcage open
Firefly: Recruited by Canterbury Cricket for his “Ambush Bugs” team, killed by Amazons on first mission
Firestorm: Jason Rusch burned alive by Heat Wave
Flash (Jay Garrick): Apparently killed in the accident that was supposed to give him his powers
Flash (Wally West): Killed by Citizen Cold to preserve his secret identity
Geo-Force: Transformed into a weapon by Aquaman, used to sink most of Europe
Giganta: Hal Jordan shoots her eyes out with cruise missiles
Golden Glider: Killed by Fallout in revenge against Citizen Cold
Commissioner Gordon: Throat slit by the Joker after being duped into shooting a little girl
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): Goes on suicide run to detonate nuclear warhead into England, leaves engagement ring for Carol Ferris with his suicide note
John & Mary Grayson: Murdered by Amazons trying to obtain the Helm of Nabu
Green Lantern (John Stewart): Part of Grifter’s “Team 7″, killed by terrorists in Afghanistan
Hippolyta: Murdered by Artemis pretending to be Aqualad to spark a war for some reason
Adolf Hitler: Killed and presumably decapitated by Frankenstein’s Monster
Hush: Killed off-panel by Batman
Icicle: Head exploded by Jenny Blitz, frozen eyeballs shot at viewer
Isis: Tossed off the top of a train while pregnant by the Outsider
Joker: Is actually Martha Wayne, falls into the Batcave and dies
Kid Flash: Was trapped in the 31st Century disappearing like Marty McFly, then travelled back in time to somehow become the Black Flash, then I guess he ran so fast he became a White Flash, then disintegrated for some reason
Kilowog: Killed by Nekron in an alternate flashback to Blackest Night
Killer Croc: Stabbed in the skull by Batman
King Shark: Dies defending a circus from the Amazons
KGBeast: Shot to death by Ray Palmer piloting an Amazo
Klarion the Witch Boy: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man
Krypto: Starved as a government test subject, psychically manipulated into attacking a young Lex Luthor, put down with a Kryptonite shotgun
Hawkgirl: Stabbed to death by Grifter
Heatwave: Severely injured/scarred by Cyborg, presumably murdered off-panel by Plastic Man at conclusion of mini-series
Lois Lane: Shot dead by Amazonian soldiers after broadcasting news of their war crimes, ALSO killed by Subject Zero in a separate mini-series
General Sam Lane:Either choked to death or head crushed by Subject Zero in a rare tasteful off-panel murder
Lady Blackhawk: Part of Grifter’s “Team 7″, killed by terrorists in Afghanistan
Lock-Up: Eyes plucked out by Plastic Man
Machiste: Decapitated by Aquaman
Madame Xanadu: Dies for some reason so that Traci 13 can hear her dying words
Magog: Part of Grifter’s “Team 7″, killed by terrorists in Afghanistan
Man-Bat: Killed when a knife is shot out of a crossbow, through his heart
Martian Manhunter: Cut in half using dimensional teleportation by the Outsider
Max Mercury: Drained of the Speed Force and turned into a skeleton by Bart Allen/The Black Flash
Mera: Decapitated by Wonder Woman
Mindwarp: Had his manifested soul shattered by Enchantress, resulting in his physical body exploding into a fountain of blood. A new character
Miss X: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man. Last appeared in Action Comics #43
Mr. Freeze: Killed by Citizen Cold to preserve his secret identity
Mr. Terrific: Cut in half by a magical living statue in the Outsider’s headquarters
Mrs. Terrific: Decapitated by a magical living statue in the Outsider’s headquarters
Jimmy Olsen: Killed when Aquaman sinks Europe
Queen Bee: Recruited by Canterbury Cricket for his “Ambush Bugs” team, killed by Amazons on first mission
Poison Ivy: Killed off-panel by Batman
Ragdoll: Killed by an Amazon utilizing Lex Luger’s patented Torture Rack submission to its ultimate end
Raven: Had her manifested soul shattered by Enchantress, resulting in her physical body exploding into a fountain of blood
Rising Son: Has hole punched through chest by the Outsider
The Rogues (Fallout, Mirror Master, Tar Pit, Weather Wizard: Killed by Citizen Cold
Scarecrow: Killed off-panel by Batman
Scavenger: Broken in half over Aquaman’s knee
Sgt. Rock: Part of Grifter’s “Team 7″, killed by terrorists in Afghanistan
The Shark: Killed by Hal Jordan by colliding two jets
Simon Magus: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man. Only known previous appearance in Justice League of America v1 #2
Sportsmaster: Heart ripped out by Plastic Man
Steel: Killed off-panel at some point, making his niece Natasha a “fatherless” anarchist general attempting to overthrow Nazi-controlled Brazil
Stiletto: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man. Only previous appearance presumably in Detective Comics #630
Subject Zero: Human soldier given Kryptonian and other alien DNA, driven mad, killed by Superman
Tattooed Man: Stabbed by Ocean Master, accidentally electrocuted by Scavenger, explodes
Terra: Killed by Ocean Master, maybe
T.O. Morrow: Died at some point in the indeterminate past, dumbass Red Tornado robots do not realize his skeletal remains are not alive, await his instructions
Trigon: Driven to suicide off-panel, probably by Shade the Changing Man
Trickster: Murdered by Mirror Master for assisting Captain Cold
Vixen: Burned alive by Etrigan, presumed dead
Wicked Jenny Greenteeth: New magical cannibal character introduced, burned alive by Amazons
Zatanna: Body reduced to ashes after using “death spell” in a futile attempt to kill Enchantress

Exciting stuff, eh? Which death was the saddest for you? Are you Team Disembowlment or Team Decapitation? Tell us in the comments!

Posted in Articles · Read more by Chris Eckert

18 Responses

  1. Lois was actually only killed once. The last thing we see in her mini is BOOM, which is directly continued as Kal-El busting through the wall to take out the Amazons and save her in the Project Superman mini.

  2. [...] a U.N. observer, Funnybook Babylon’s Chris Eckert surveyed the sprawling battlefield — no easy task, considering there’s the core title, [...]

  3. It’s very telling how many Flashpoint tie-ins starred villains. Was there any point in Flashpoint: Legion of Doom except for the gratuitous violence?

  4. Despite that huge death toll, there is a ridiculous degree of restraint in Flashpoint when it comes to depicting on-panel violence, in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most restrained event comics I’ve seen in years. There is ONE graphic depiction of Barry Allen laying on the ground and third -degree burns and the depiction is so mild that it actually comes off as comedic rather than gorey. For all the gloom and doom, Johns has kept it all in mostly good taste by just having characters allude to it rather than show huge double-spreads of charred corpses and shit.

    The shitty-editor and Z-List written tie-ins are however, a completely different story.

  5. I’m tempted to say Martian manhunter since I’m pretty sure cutting him in half wouldn’t kill him. But I’m going to have to go with to morrow since it rips off red dwarf, and that’s a pretty good show, so it got me thinking about something not shitty for a few seconds.

  6. Oh, NOW I remember why I stopped giving half a deuce about super-heroes.

    – MrJM

  7. The Animal Man death is pretty tragic.

    And Team Heartstab.

  8. The philosophy of ten years ago: Bam! Pow! Comics aren’t just for kids anymore!
    The philosophy of today: Gore! Porn! Comics aren’t for normal, psychologically healthy people anymore!

  9. [...] wie sie nicht alle starben. René schickte mir da gestern diese Liste, die einfach mal alle Tode bei Flashpoint aufführt. Und sie ist wirklich endlos. Dafür aber sehr unterhaltsam. Ich habe ja auch wirklich [...]

  10. You missed listing Wally West in the deathcount, frozen by Captain Cold.

  11. … oops, sorry; missed the entry. I plead brain numbing depression from scanning the tally.

  12. [...] events, Crisis on Infinite Earths, off the spinner rack at the newsstand. Maybe because the death and destruction of Flashpoint made me cringe. But really, I suspect it’s because it’s the same old guys [...]

  13. THE OUTSIDER was my favorite FLASHPOINT book (followed by FRANKENSTEIN and KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE).

    I know this is really off the wall….

    I’m reading THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL for the first time (it’s brilliant!!!) and I keep getting a kind of Michael Desai vibe from Mengele in the book.

    Maybe it’s just the white suits….

  14. [...] didn’t do a hell of a lot for me. Between the insane body count and the fact that somehow Kim Kardashian is more competent at pulling off a wedding than Wonder [...]

  15. [...] Flashpoint initially made me think of House of M, which for the most part was better. In terms of the idea, the big difference is that one was about everyone getting what they wanted while the other was about everyone ending up in a dystopia. The idea of heroes fighting their way out of their own Heaven instead of their own Hell had more potential and the comparative body count definitely has a hand in it. Most of the deaths in House of M came long after the fact when Christos Gage started doing minis about that reality (ie. House of M: Masters of Evil, which came out years later). With Flashpoint, Chris Eckert shows just how much slaughter DC’s given us. [...]

  16. In defense of the Lois Lane team, we coordinated with them closely on the Lois Lane arc. They did NOT kill her: that was a cliffhanger, a la the 1940s Captain America weekly B&W movies where he’s in a car driving over a cliff. They specifically left her fate to the Project Superman team and the editors. They had NOTHING to do with her death. If you count “There’s no body, but he must be dead” as conclusive you’ve never read a Fantastic Four story with Doctor Doom.

  17. Also, what Johnny B said.

  18. [...] Everyone has been feeling the end coming, even if only as an instinctive notice of the drop in air pressure before a storm. Sometimes, it was a thinly-veiled metaphor for real-life happenings. Other times it was an obsession with grisly death — as Chris Eckert points out, the FLASHPOINT miniseries leading up to the DC reboot was a gorefest that would make a Grand Guignol play look like My Little Pony. [...]

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