Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Barry Allen, the fastest man on the planet, is tired of living with the personal tragedy that defined his life: the death of his mother, Nora. Instead of just accepting things as they are, Barry uses his powers as The Flash to travel back in time and save his mother, while causing unimaginable consequences for his world in the vastly altered timeline.
That’s the plot of the upcoming DC Extended Universe movie, The flashwritten by Christina Hodson (Birds of prey) and directed by Andy Muschietti (IT), but it’s largely inspired by the 2011 comic book crossover, Flash point, by writer Geoff Johns and artist Andy Kubert. It has proven to be such a pivotal event in Barry’s life and the structure of the DC Universe that the story has been adapted twice before. the animated movie, Justice League: the flashpoint paradoxwas first edited in 2013 while the third season of The flash had a massively scaled down adjustment in 2016.
Many of the core events of Flash point have remained the same in all three adaptations. However, there are notable differences in the newly released Flash trailer that debuted at CinemaCon – shortly before the film itself played to very positive response – highlighting some points of difference. And those differences could turn out to be important The flash reset the board for a new DC Universe on the big screen.
A Tale of Two Barrys…
And two batters
One of the most notable aspects of the new trailer is that Michael Keaton’s Batman shows a lot of empathy for Barry. He understands better than anyone why Barry changed the past in his mother’s favor. It’s a stark contrast to Keaton’s Dark Knight Batman And Batman returnswho was much more restrained with his emotions.
All the previous Flash point adaptations have kept things simple by merging the Barry from the primary timeline with the Barry from the newly created history. The flash takes a different direction by showing two different Barrys, both played by Ezra Miller. One Barry came from the original timeline, while the other lived in this world.
Batman’s identity was also heavily influenced by the Flash point funny. In that world, Bruce Wayne died and Thomas Wayne became Batman… after brutally beating Bruce’s killer to death with his own hands. Thomas’ Batman wasn’t the warm, friendly figure we see represented by Keaton’s Batman in the trailer. He was a literal maniac who had no problem using a gun on criminals. Additionally, in this timeline of the comic book, Martha Wayne became the Joker out of grief. But that was really a plot twist better left buried.
Ben Affleck’s Batman also pops up in the new trailer, but Affleck has already said his appearance in the movie is short-lived and he’s done with the role. Within the Flash point In the comic, Barry brings a message from Thomas’ Batman to Bruce Wayne in the restored timeline. Perhaps Batman will ask Keaton for a similar favor when he works with the Barrys.
The girl of steel
If Barry’s actions had only changed his own history… Flash point wouldn’t have been such a disaster. In the original comic, there were still some heroes. Yet the movie presents a world where most of the superheroes don’t exist at all. As seen in the trailer, the only heroic Kryptonian on Earth is Kara Zor-El (Sasha Calle), Superman’s cousin who has taken the code name Supergirl.
Superman was present in the comic book Flash point timeline, but only as an emaciated shell of the iconic hero. In that world, the U.S. government kept Kal-El of Krypton under lock and key for his entire life. He was never Clark Kent and thus never developed the strong sense of humanity his adoptive parents, the Kents, could convey.
It’s possible that the Supergirl in this movie suffered the same fate as the Flash point Superman. The first trailer for the film indicated that Kara was a prisoner, just like her cousin was in the comics. But Kara seems much better adjusted than the Man of Steel in that story.
The man who wasn’t there
The trailer in front The flash would have us believe that Michael Sheen’s General Zod is the movie’s big bad. And make no mistake, he represents a serious threat. Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel will not be making any chiropractic adjustments to Zod’s neck in this movie. Even Supergirl’s strength pales in comparison to Zod’s might.
However, this ignores an important aspect of the Flash point comical, and it may just be deception. The thing that unites the previous Flash point adjustments is that Barry’s life should never have turned out this way. Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, went back in time to kill Barry’s mother and frame his father, Henry Allen, just to make his rival suffer. Therefore, Barry felt justified in going back in time to stop Thawne.
So far there is no indication that Thawne is present The flash. However, McFarlane Toys’ Flash figures include a spoilery character (click that link if you want to know who it is) who may fill that role in the film. And it’s a character that hasn’t been glimpsed in the footage so far.
The Flashpoint Paradox
The most accurate comic book adaptation of so far Flash point has been the animated film, Justice League: the flashpoint paradox. It closely followed the plot of the comic, while cutting the story down to about 70 minutes. Yet it still managed to include things like the war between Aqauaman and Wonder Woman that pitted the power of Atlantis against the wrath of the Amazons.
Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill reportedly filmed cameo scenes The flash, who may have touched Wonder Woman and Superman in the altered timeline. Cavill’s appearance was reportedly cut from the final film, but Affleck indicated in a recent interview that Gadot still appears in the film. We may have to wait until June to see for sure.
The Flashpoint Paradox also served as a hard reboot for the DC animated movies up to that point, and led to the DC Animated Movie Universe, which consisted of seven years of interconnected movies that shared continuity, much like the Flash point comic had led to the New 52 reboot of DC’s comics years earlier. And the common thread behind these timeline reboots is that Barry Allen is never able to fully restore past continuity.
In short, you break it, you bought it, Barry!
Flash point on small screen
The Arrowverse had its own “Flashpoint” in the Season 3 premiere of the TV version of The flash. But since it was a single episode of an ongoing TV series, the scale was drastically reduced to fit the show. As in the comic and animated film before it, Barry changed the past by saving his mother from Thawne. But the world he created was almost foreign to him. His future brother-in-law, Wally West, was the Flash (or Kid Flash) of this world, and all of Barry’s friends at STAR Labs had radically different personalities.
In perhaps the ultimate humiliation, Barry was forced to release Thawne from his prison and have him kill Nora to reset the correct timeline. But this only led to more suffering, as the revamped world of Caitlin Snow made the metahuman Killer Frost, and Cisco killed Ramon’s brother in a car accident, and Cisco himself was bitter about Barry. And all these changes allowed Thawne to survive, even though he should have been wiped from existence long ago.
The big reset
The flash marks the end of the DC Extended Universe as we know it, even though Blue Beetle and Aqauaman and the Lost Kingdom — also filmed before the leadership change for DC’s movies – due for release later this year. Plans kept changing for the DCEU and its evolution over the long road leading up to it The flash to theaters – this movie was first announced in October 2014! – but regardless, the film’s storyline still provides the perfect clean break for DC Studios’ new heads James Gunn and Peter Safran to unleash their vision of a more focused DC Universe.
Gunn did indeed indicate The flash will provide a reset in the universe for what comes next, just like the original Flash point comic book story led to DC’s New 52 reboot and The Flashpoint Paradox introduced the DC Animated Movie Universe. It doesn’t matter what timeline it’s in, Flash point always building towards something new. And we’re excited to see what form the DCU takes next.
The flash will hit theaters on Friday, June 16. From there, we should have a better idea of what’s to come. In the meantime, check out GameSpot’s look at the initial reactions to the movie after the CinemaCon screening!
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