After the dust around Comic-Con has died down, there has been one particular announcement that is keeping people talking amongst everything else – The Flash: Flashpoint.
Now, there has been many people saying that doing a Flashpoint movie is not such a good idea. Some are saying that it’s too soon for the DCEU version of The Flash to be taking on both the Reverse Flash & the Flashpoint events. Others are saying that it’s too soon since the CW TV Flash attempted Flashpoint and DC/WB should wait a while. And this is all fair criticism… But I believe that if done right, a Flashpoint movie could be a genius stroke for the DCEU!
Ok, for starters, let’s explain the concept of the Flashpoint arc for the uninitiated. If you’re not familiar with the Flash comics, the CW TV show or the animated Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (10/10 recommended watching btw!) then we’re going to give you a very quick TL;DR run down .
Flashpoint is a 2011 comic run written by Geoff Johns that became a major DC crossover event. Barry Allen wakes up to discover that the world is very different. He doesn’t have his powers, his mother is alive, Captain Cold is Central City’s biggest hero, Superman seemingly doesn’t exist, Thomas Wayne is Batman instead of Bruce and a war between the Atlanteans & Amazonians is currently ravaging Europe. Barry assumes that Eobard Thawne aka the Reverse Flash caused all of this by meddling with time in a bid to stop the formation of the Justice League; however *SPOILER ALERT* it was Barry himself preventing Reverse Flash from killing his mother that instigated this alternate reality.
All caught up? Yes? No? Don’t worry. Room for questions in the comments section.
So, on to why it would be great for the DCEU to adapt Flashpoint at this early stage in their cinematic Universe.
The Flash Character Development
We are given the impression that Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen is in the very early stages of his career as the Scarlet Speedster of Central City. One of the biggest indicators is from the latest Justice League trailer is when The Flash says “I’ve never done battle. I’ve just pushed some people and run away”. We can assume that he is to yet face many of his most infamous rogues such as Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master etc. or if he has, then they are little more than small time criminals who are not up to much against his speed. We can also assume that he may well not know very much about his powers and the Speedforce. However, by the time the Flash movie comes out (probably 2019/2020) we’ll definitely be familiar with who Barry Allen is, how he became the Flash and his general character – providing he gets a good crack of the whip in Justice League. We can also fallback on the fact that many people might already be familiar with the back story of The Flash from the CW TV show.
At this point we now need to see Barry Allen grow and discover himself. By introducing Flashpoint and putting Barry Allen/The Flash into that situation we then get to see him learn about his powers and the consequence of meddling with time travel. Barry Allen will develop a greater understanding of what the Speedforce can do and how powerful he really is, something he probably doesn’t realise at this point in time when standing alongside Superman & Wonder Woman. We’ll see him learn that he can’t just change things at a whim because it’s what he wants or because he feels it’s the right thing to do.
Thomas Wayne As Batman & More Alternate Superfriends!
One of the best parts of the Flashpoint concept is getting to see different iterations of characters we’re already familiar with. While Flashpoint & the Multiverse in The Flash TV series toyed with this and used it to intro Wally West to his powers etc.; the DCEU has the opportunity to go full hog with this and show us weird and wacky versions of the Justice League.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Thomas Wayne in BvS) has already self confirmed himself & Lauren Cohan (Martha Wayne) to appear. This means the much adored alternate reality where it was Bruce Wayne who died in the alley way that fateful night and Thomas & Martha became Flashpoint Batman & the Joker respectfully. Seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a super violent super pissed off Batman (even more so than Batfleck) would be pretty cool. You also get to see Wonder Woman taking on Aquaman in battle seen as they are waging war against one another as well as the scope to include a variation of any DC character we have seen or yet to see in the DCEU.
Let’s not kid ourselves with the thinking that the more casual audience will be completely lost in all of this alternate timeline/reality thing going on either. They’re the not the bumbling clueless idiots that some seem to make them out to be. It’s not like some of the more subtle or weirder details wouldn’t get explained along the way. We’re not going to see Barry Allen turn up at the Batcave and NOT address the fact that he doesn’t recognise this Batman or the world he is in. It’s worth remembering that one of the most beloved movie franchises of all time if the Back to the Future series, and arguably Flashpoint is kind of like The Flash x Back to the Future. Change timeline. Learn the consequences of changing timeline. Work to change it back.
Adaptation, Not Carbon Copy
The key to any good comic book movie is a good adaptation of the source material. Many will point to the fact that some of the minutiae in Flashpoint would not work in the DCEU that currently stands. We haven’t been introduced to the Reverse Flash or learned of the relationship between him and Barry/Flash for the actual cause of Flashpoint to occur. But do we necessarily have to? We don’t always need to have a carbon copy of the source material to make the story work.
Take Captain America: Civil War as a prime example of how a comic book movie can deviate greatly from the comic book it was based on and still become a fan favourite. If you read the Mark Millar story and then go watch the movie you’ll notice the blatant absence of the Fantastic Four, the Thunderbolts, the Negative Zone prison and even the Superhero Registration Act itself while Spider-Man gets a greatly reduced role. However that did not stop Marvel from making a damn good movie with what they could do with the characters they do have. Geoff Johns & the DCEU can do this with The Flash & Flashpoint.
Here’s just one scenario of how to adapt the story to meet where we stand now. We kick off with the Flash and maybe even the Justice League in battle against *insert not really important villain here* and all of a sudden a yellow streak grabs The Flash and the pair take off racing. Barry, quick minded and recalling the night his mother dies all of a sudden realises what the lightning he saw that night was and it has now come back. Barry ends up stopping “The Man in Yellow” on this occasion and BLAMMO! Flashpoint. Again we get set on the path of change timeline, learn the consequences of changing timeline, work to change it back with the Reverse Flash being the overarching villain that The Flash is trying to learn more about as he becomes a thorn in Barry’s side across a trilogy where he also manipulates the Rogues and causes Gorilla City… Just an example.
Super Soft Reboot
When you mess with time travel and time lines, we know from every single piece of film, tv or literature that has every taken it on that even when you set things right there can still be some changes. Not everything can be set right and Flashpoint would provide the DCEU the perfect opportunity to make any minor or major changes to their continuity that people might be unhappy with. Unlike the X-Men which is now catching up on its pre-soft reboot status, DCEU would be doing it on a going forward basis and as much or as little as they like. They could go whole hog and discount much of what happened in BvS or Suicide Squad for example. Or smaller details like Jared Leto’s Joker & Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor could become more traditional than we have seen before. You could even use it as a way of ensuring an Under The Red Hood Batman movie occurs by having the events of Flashpoint bringing Jason Todd back to life. The latter it would very much be worth it for.
Of course, it’s a long way off until we even get to the Flashpoint movie in whatever capacity it arrives in. We’re still without a solid date, director(s) and full extended cast so many things could change between now and the eventual release of The Flash movie. So we’ll wait and see where things go from here however as things stand, a Flashpoint movie has the Nerd Lowdown seal of approval!
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