The Flash: Flashpoint
I’m not sure why everyone seems divided on this one. Probably because it introduces DC’s New 52, which is still something I have yet to touch. Flash wakes up in an alternate reality where Superman and The Justice League don’t exist, and Wonder Woman and Aquaman have started World War III, and his mother, not father is still alive. Sounds cool enough for me! In an effort to understand what went wrong he zooms off to contact this alternate reality’s Batman.
However, this reality’s Batman is Thomas Wayne, and Bruce got shot in the alley. So, when Flash calls him Bruce, he is freaked out and attacks him. He stops when Flash deduces that he is Thomas. Thomas is intrigued that his son lived in another reality and agrees to help Flash get back to his world. However, when he opens his Flash ring, the suit that flies out is the Reverse Flash. Okay, I can see why this is a little annoying, since it’s just everything happening in opposite style, but there’s a cool war angle, and eventually Flash learns to stop saying “This isn’t real.” He says this isn’t his world, but it’s the only world he’s got. Flash rescues this world’s version of Superman, being held captive in a government lab, and unites the world’s heroes into a sort of Justice League.
Themes of responsibility, physics (my favorite part of any Flash graphic novel!) and psychology are always in play. Memories of the other reality keep colliding with his old memories due to him temporarily existing in both time streams. Fortunately, Thomas Wayne invents a serum and tells Flash. “Remember my son. Don’t forget my son.” Flash and Thomas Wayne visit war-torn Europe. Western Europe is drowned by Atlantis, and the UK is occupied by Amazons! Meanwhile, Cyborg is back in the USA, which is on the verge of defeat.
In Europe, after duking it out with the villains Aquaman and Wonder Woman with his allies, The Flash encounters The Reverse Flash! He tells him that in this reality, he’s the villain. Since, if he would’ve let The Reverse Flash kill his mom his world, this one wouldn’t exist. Now, I know, it’s a little cheesy to link mass genocide to Flash’s mommy issues, but the interplay of memories between the two realities recalls Flash’s origin in mythology: Hermes, messenger of The Gods. As well as including theoretical physics and string theory. After taking a letter from Thomas, Flash destroys himself by convincing himself not to save his mother, and returns to the normal timeline, letter in tact via Batman serum.
At the end of the act, we have a teary-eyed Bruce Wayne reading his dad’s letter, and telling Flash “You’re one hell of a messenger.” Also, in the end, there are Flash Facts about how mirrors work by refracting light (Thanks to Mirror Master!), and how the ancient Romans believed mirrors could trap souls. Via Captain Boomerang, we receive a lesson in boomerang physics and friction! The friction pushes back on the curved ends to send it back to the thrower! But, anyway, why am I talking about Flashpoint?
Because it will become the basis for DC’s newest animated film The Flashpoint Paradox! I’m most eager to see Kevin Conroy return and do Batman! But, perhaps most interesting for me is Carey Elwes will be voicing Aquaman! The dread pirate Aquaman leaves no survivors! While the comics may be controversial for setting up The New 52, the voice cast has me pumped enough to believe it will be well worth a watch! Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will be available June 20th this year!
(The Flashpoint Paradox)
(Flash and Batman confront Reverse Flash!)
(I can't resist: "Have fun stormin' the castle, Aquaman!")