It was Moore's first major work which was not superhero oriented, it was highly praised for its storytelling and Sienkiewicz's sometimes brutal art. Moore received praise especially for blending the sometimes overwhelming mass of details into a coherent and effective story. Over the years there have been rumours that Moore was unable to travel to America due to the CIA being annoyed at his story in Brought to Light. However this was proved to be no more than a rumour and the real reason was due to Moore not renewing his passport.
The story of "Shadowplay" is of an unseen character (presumably representing the oblivious American public in first-person view of the reader) in a bar, where he is approached by a man-sized, walking, talking eagle. The eagle, from the emblem of the CIA, proceeds to drink alcohol and, in a drunken stupor, divulge all the bloody details of The Agency's sordid past. Early on a reference is made to the number of gallons an olympic swimming pool can hold, and the fact that an adult human body has one gallon of blood; from then on, the victims of CIA activities (directly or indirectly) are quantified in swimming pools filled with blood. Sienkiewicz's dark, erratic, and blurry images keep the mood of Moore's narration (through the boozing eagle) unnerving, and hazily nightmarish.
Credits for “Flashpoint” list Jonathan Marshall on the introduction, Joyce Brabner writing, and Thomas Yeates illustrating, with letters by Bill Pearson and painting by Sam Parsons. Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan are credited with having told the story to Joyce Brabner.
In the center is a two-page feature by Paul Mavrides, "World Map of 30 Years of Covert Action" detailing election tampering, drug trafficking, assassination, and other crimes committed by the CIA