We’ll meet the movie version of The Flash in this fall’s Justice League, but what will he do for his first solo outing? How about….tear apart time and space?
In 2011 DC published a Flash storyline called Flashpoint. In a fit of emotional rage, Barry lost it and did the one thing he swore he’d never do, which was change the course of his life by speed-warping back in time and saving his mother. The Flash’s mom died at the hands of Barry’s arch-enemy, the Reverse Flash — until that never happened. Barry returned to his own time, only to find his mother being alive was the only good thing about the new timeline he’d created. So he had to go back and fix things again…..leading to new problems….
The real purpose of Flashpoint was to set the groundwork for the DC Universe reboot known as the New 52. Barry set in motion a chain reaction that, ultimately, allowed the DC staff to reinvent all their heroes from the ground up. Not all the changes lasted, and not all of them were popular. The New 52 version of Superman was replaced with the original last year.
It’s a fairly new story, but Flashpoint has been adapted in other media twice already: as an animated DC Universe movie, and as the launch point for the infamous third season of the Flash TV show. Unlike in the comic, Barry’s time-warping actions did not affect his own timeline very drastically, but he would find other ways to mess it up.
Now Flashpoint has been confirmed as the plotline for The Flash feature film. Based on everything I just told you, you now know what an odd choice this is. How can we feel the impact of what Barry is risking to save his mom…if we’ve never even MET his mom? How can we be expected to be startled by the changes in his family and friends if we’re unfamiliar with what they’re normally like?
The popular theory is that Warners chose Flashpoint because they would like to reboot their cinematic universe and rewrite the elements of it that aren’t popular. The DC cinematic universe, grim and depressing as it is, resembles the world Barry messed up — so it’s hard to imagine him making it even worse. Perhaps he comes back and Batman isn’t Ben Affleck anymore (yeah, I know the rumor was shot down), or Superman isn’t a nihilistic jerkstore, or Joker isn’t a Hot Topic reject…imagine the possibilities.