Saturday, September 24, 2011

FLASHPOINT



Not to be confused with DC Comics' umpteenth attempt to overhaul their universe, this Flashpoint was a 1994 comic book series published by Straight Lines International, Inc. Co-written by Alexander E. Santos and David Hontiveros, and illlustrated by Carlo Vergara, it was one of the first independently-published Filipino comic books geared to transcend local komiks conventions and compete with the popular foreign comics of the day.





POINT OF ORIGIN

"In another dimension, on a planet called Cryphus, a war rages. A band of rebels battle for their world against a vile and cruel race called the V'Djarii. Though they fight valiantly, it is a losing war, and the rebels are well aware of this bitter fact. They are also aware of the planet known as Earth, which exists in a dimension parallel to their own."


"The V'Djarii, desiring to spread their empire across the dimensional gap, have been slowly invading Earth using subterfuge and stealth."


"With Cryphus all but lost, the rebels make a last and defiant act against the V'Djarii. One of their champions, Listrom, builds a machine that may hold the key to the enemy's defeat."


At the moment of their deaths, the six rebels' life energies were transferred into the bodies of their Earth counterparts, infusing the humans with the Cryphians' powers, as well as fragments of their memories. Together, these six so-called "Flashpoints" comprise a government-sponsored task force to combat the V'Djarii invasion.




THE FLASHPOINT TASK FORCE

ONSLAUGHT

Cryphian Name: Maraud

Human Host: Unrevealed


A military man with the rank of Major, Onslaught is the leader of the Flashpoint Task Force. Beast-like in appearance, his savagery in battle is tempered by his tactical mind.


In his previous existence as the Cryphian Maraud, he was romantically involved with his fellow rebel Kandarr, who is now in the form of his FTF teammate Gabriella.

GABRIELLA


Cryphian Name:
Kandarr

Human Host:
Gabriella Singson



A former social activist, Gabriella has the ability to produce and manipulate fire, a power fueled by the emotions of those around her. She is also capable of flight and teleportation. Gabriella is haunted by the memories of her Cryphian incarnation Kandarr and her feelings towards Maraud/Onslaught.











ANGSTROM

Cryphian Name: Listrom

Human Host: Arthur

Angstrom has the ability to detect the unique energy patterns left by other Flashpoints. A scientific genius, he is armed with a high-tech suit of battle armor.


ORO











Cryphian Name: Gahan

Human Host: Miguel Milagrosa

The team powerhouse, the Spanish-blooded Oro has superhuman strength and invulnerable gold skin.

Colors by me.

AMULETTE

Cryphian Name: Hariod

Human Host: Linda San Jose

The youngest member of the team, the shy and insecure Amulette has the power to levitate herself and others, and strikes down her opponents with telekinetic force.


The scene below from Flashpoint #2 (February 1994) has always baffled me. I used to think maybe it was a side-effect of Amulette's powers or something. Now I'm thinking she may have been suffering from Anorexia nervosa.


PASSION











Cryphian Name: Schez-Ra

Human Host: Dianne Cruz


A famous movie actress, Dianne is the star of such hit films as Gabi ng Vampira!!-God Save Us ("Night of the Vampire!!-God Save Us"). As Passion, she is an empath with the ability to control the thoughts and emotions of others.







OTHER CHARACTERS

CAPTAIN JULIET CHAVEZ


A member of the FTF's Techno Unit, and Gabriella's best friend. A normal human, Juliet also wears a high-tech battle suit in the field.


PAYASO
A mysterious costumed vigilante, introduced in Flashpoint #4 (April 1994). Unnamed in the actual story, the creators' notes in the issue's back pages mentioned their new characters, including someone named Payaso, so I assume this is him.

FRANCISCO NIEVES
A wealthy industrialist who appeared to be a major player in the series. Whether he was a good guy or a bad guy had not been revealed. Personally, though, the guy looks like he has evil written all over him.


THE V'DJARII

An imperious race of alien conquerors. Following their subjugation of the planet Cryphus, they now have their sights set on taking over Earth.



THE EVIL FLASHPOINTS

Other superpowered human/alien hybrids working on behalf of the V'Djarii.


Pictured above are:

PLUNDER
He's the big WWF reject with the Guile haircut. He possesses superhuman strength and endurance. Worst-dressed supervillain of 1994.

BLACK LOTUS
The woman in black, she can produce a black dust that puts people to sleep.

THAT GUY IN THE RED SUIT
They never did give him a name, but he has the power to fire energy blasts from his hands.


HELEN RODRIGUEZ
An award-winning actress, and Dianne's showbiz rival. She turns out to be a Flashpoint herself, with the ability to assume a monstrous form, such as a werewolf or a sphinx. Helen's latent powers and subsequent rampage were apparently triggered by an unknown intelligence.


RACQUEL QUIRINO

The daughter of a senator, Racquel also turns out to be a Flashpoint who can absorb the powers of other Flashpoints. She was also under the mental influence of the same intelligence that took control of Helen Rodriguez.


NESTOR CLEMENTE
A disgruntled environmentalist turned homeless person, Nestor discovers he has the ability to manipulate matter, and uses his newfound powers to avenge himself upon a cruel world.

CIPRIANO GONZALEZ
A lay minister suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, he sees himself as an avatar of God. After witnessing the FTF's battle with Helen, Racquel and Nestor, Cipriano views the three rogue Flashpoints as angels, and sets out to recruit them for his own mad crusade against sin and wickedness.

But more than just a madman, Cipriano seems to have superhuman abilities himself. He appears to be capable of teleportation, and has apparently caused an infant that he had found to age to adulthood in only a matter of seconds.



THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE


Religion was a central theme in the Flashpoint series. Its first issue, Faith's Fools (January 1994), involved a fake Marian Apparition staged by the V'Djarii invaders.



The second issue (February 1994) begun a projected 5-part story arc entitled Beneath the Sin. Once more touching on religious themes, it was intended to run from issues 2 to 6. Unfortunately, the series was discontinued after only 4 issues.



FLASH FORWARD

The back cover of issue #4 teased the new FTF costumes that might have debuted in the ultimately unpublished 5th issue.


Despite its untimely cancellation, Flashpoint nonetheless paved the way for later indie comics publishers who have kept the medium alive in the Philippines. Meanwhile, its creators have since gone on to bigger things. David Hontiveros went on to author a string of novels and is currently writing the Apocalyptic superhero comic (again with the religious themes!) Bathala: Apokalypsis. And artist Carlo Vergara has of course enjoyed critical acclaim for his hit graphic novel Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah.

4 comments:

  1. Hi!

    Carlo Vergara just posted on that ...fellow creators of Flashpoint are Alex E. Santos, Joseph Gohu, Marc Ambrosio, Irwin K Chua, and Ferdie Ramos.

    :)

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  2. Thanks for posting this, Aris! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aris B. PanganibanOctober 31, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    You're welcome, sir. I'm hoping to do a piece on Zsazsa in the future, too. (^_^)

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow! i finally found this one! i knew this comic since i was a kid. never thought it was an original filipino creation! amazing! just wondering if where can i buy the issues from this comics though?

    ReplyDelete