Flashpoint – the comic book story that inspires The Flash movie explained

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Warner Bros. The Flash, the long-developing feature film starring Ezra Miller in the title role, has reportedly wrapped main production ahead of its November 4, 2022 release. New information, images, and possibly even some footage about the film will almost certainly debut on October 16th as part of the second annual DC Fandom event.

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Although technically this is a ‘solo’ film, as most DC film fans know, Miller will share the screen with several other DC superheroes, including Sasha Calle as Supergirl and both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as Batman. reprized their roles.

Keaton’s appearance makes it clear that the film will delve heavily into DC’s multiverse concept, given the brief but playful appearance of Miller already in The CW’s Crisis on Multiple Earths 2019—in contrast to Grant Gustin’s The Flash. The hint was given during the 2020 crossover event.

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Seven years after the film was officially announced, Warner Bros. has made it abundantly clear that Flashpoint, a 2010 comic book event centered on an alternate DC Universe timeline created by Barry Allen, served as an inspiration. The film was officially called Flashpoint at one time, in fact. Although the project has undergone many changes, how much Flashpoint remains in the DNA of the current version remains to be seen.

But with Barry Allen’s father Henry Allen, reunited with Ron Livingston, and Barry’s mother Nora, played by Maribel Vardo, both playing lead roles, many elements certainly seem to be in place for the flashpoint that follows. Significantly influence the film, giving it its central place in the comic book storyline. .

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so what is Flash point? There are dozens of mysteries and twists to unpack on the DC order set in the original limited series, so we’re here to help tell you what elements of the story may play into the film, and even which may already be in place. DC Expanded Universe.

Plan

(image credit: DC)

In 2010, DC was facing some narrative stall-outs. After a segment of some of the publisher’s most acclaimed stories in decades all but its biggest series was facing a slew of welcomes from critics and fans alike.

To fix the ship, then-DC publisher Dan Didio and his editorial team came up with a plan—one that had previously worked for the publisher when DC was in a similar rut, resulting in 1985. Crisis on Eternal Earth: A line-wide reboot, with new roles, and in some cases even new originals for all of its characters, great and small. To get there, DC plans to return to the Crisis mythos by focusing its reboot on Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash who was destroyed at the end of Crisis, and who had come back to life in one. high-profile story From author Geoff Johns a few years ago.

Wisely, they came up with Flashpoint, a story by Johns and artist Andy Kubert in which the DC Universe will reach a “flashpoint”—a moment of change that creates a huge ripple effect. In this case, that moment of change was caused by Barry Allen traveling back in time and stopping his arch-enemy Zoom from murdering his mother Nora, causing sweeping changes throughout the DC Universe, which made it a point to both readers and Barry. made unfamiliar. – The one who suddenly found himself the only one who remembered him before he changed the world.

contradiction

(image credit: DC)

In the new world, Barry finds dark reflections of many of DC’s biggest heroes – especially Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Shazam! (A familiar line-up, no?) But these aren’t the heroes he knows from the Justice League. To start, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are locked in a war between their island homeland Themyscira and Atlantis, which consumes much of Europe, the two mythical nations making up territory across the continent, while Cyborg, America’s largest The protagonist tries to find a way to end the conflict.

In the midst of all this, Barry travels to the Batcave, hoping that Batman will be able to help. And indeed he gets Batman – but not what he expects. In the Flashpoint universe, Bruce Wayne was killed along with his mother, and his surviving father Thomas Wayne became a much bigger, darker Batman (keep this in mind). Eventually convincing Thomas that he is responsible for radically changing the timeline in which they exist, Barry tries to restore his powers and get to the bottom of the mystery of the new timeline.

Cyborg, along with Barry and Thomas, attempt to free the Flashpoint timeline’s Superman from government captivity – a plan that ultimately fails, as the now free Kal-El runs away in fear, powerless. The trio eventually recruit Captain Thunder – Shazam’s version of Flashpoint, in which each of his powers is controlled by a different child, all a fully powered protagonist – and Element Woman, a version of the mainstream DC character. , which has fundamental powers similar to those of Metamorpho. Traveling to Europe to intervene in the escalating Amazon/Atlantian conflict, the team learns that they must stop Zoom from completely ending the timeline before Barry loses his old world memory.

Oof.

Ultimately, the team succeeds in both missions – the world is saved and Zoom is defeated. But when Barry Allen enlists in the Speed ​​Force to stop the formation of the Flashpoint timeline, he encounters a mysterious woman, Pandora, who is trying to merge the DC Universe and the separate universes owned by DC, the Wildstorm Universe and the Vertigo Universe. Uses Barry’s power to slay, resulting in the birth of an entirely new timeline closer to Barry’s old, rather than the restoration of the original DCU. The new world combines characters and plot points from all three of its constituent worlds — but with entirely new contexts that make the whole thing start from scratch.

New World

(image credit: DC)

Flashpoint’s after-effects on the DC Universe almost can’t be overstated — remember that line-wide reboot we talked about?

After the completion of the limited series, the DC Universe was brought back as it was… Almost all of the old stories and relationships that had been established since the Crisis on Infinite Earths and were removed prior to that, DC re-released each relaunched a title—including Action Comics, which launched its entire superhero universe in 1938 and has continued unbroken numbering since then—and redefines the roles and adventures of their heroes. The resulting line, which contained 52 titles (although that number eventually fluctuated), was dubbed ‘The New 52’ continuation.

new 52 ‘Runned for almost five years – between 2011 and 2016 – when the DC course was once again right’Rebirth’, the one-shot and line-wide branding that relaunched everything with #1 while restoring the classic numbering of Action Comics and Detective Comics. And with the re-numbering came a new tailored philosophy of keeping the best of the new world and bringing in the original ideals of the old DCU that had been lost in the reboot. “Rebirth” restores many classic DC stories and relationships while balancing elements of “The New 52” — and has even brought other side-universes into the core DC Universe with stories doomsday Which pitted Superman against Doctor Manhattan and tied the Watchmen mythos to the DCU.

The ‘rebirth’ era has since given way to a brand new Infinite Frontier era, which doubles down on the multiverse concept. DC continuity now exists in an omniverse (think multiple multiverses), where every story published by DC is considered “in continuity” (we break everything down for you here).

The characters are also self-aware that they exist in reality and a timeline that is rewritten.

large screen

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Given the complexity that already exists, it is unlikely that the Flash movie will be an overly literal translation of the comic book Flashpoint story (there are too many side stories, moving parts, and twists to set up in a film).

For example, Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, is somewhat controversially written off The Flash.

However, all the pieces are in place for Flashpoint to receive the Captain America: Civil War treatment — an adaptation that includes many of the same themes and many of the same key players, while adjusting the story to fit that continuity. It is being adjusted.

DC Films has already made Flashpoint a more direct adaptation of the animated film. flashpoint paradox.

The DCEU consists of several main Flashpoint casts; Wonder Woman and Aquaman along with Shazam are the critical and box office darlings of the film series! A close contender for crop tops. Meanwhile, 2022 also has The Batman starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne — and of course the whole Michael Keaton-Ben Affleck thing. And while it’s highly unlikely at this point, hardcore fans are going to keep hoping until the final minutes of The Flash that Christian Bale will join the Bat-reunion.

multiverse

(image credit: The CW)

So what does all this mean? Well, DC’s comic stories often revolve around the idea of ​​a multiverse — a giant of worlds that exist in strange reflections of each other, surrounding core concepts and characters — and over the past year the multiverse has been its The most important feature.

It’s an approach that DC TV shows have taken as well, with The CW’s adaptation of “Crisis on Infinity Earths” to solve some of their multi-faceted entanglements – and The CW’s The Flash adapts a version of Flashpoint as well. in which Barry Allen visits his alternate history building himself to prevent the death of his mother.

As we say, we know the multiverse is coming to the big-screen DCEU. The only question is, how big and wide will it be? We know about Supergirl and the two Batmans, but the Flash is almost certainly running…

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