Saturday, August 3, 2013

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

 “God give me strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

- Nora Allen, Flash’s mom, before getting shot.

Since I already reviewed the Flashpoint graphic novel, (Reviewed here:  I’m just gonna go ahead and talk about what’s different in the animated feature, The Flashpoint Paradox. For starters, there is a prelude that wasn’t there in the comic. In it, nearly  Flash’s entire Rogues Gallery robs a museum. A similar robbery served as a prelude to the Doom animated feature, with the Royal Flush Gang, which then loosely followed the Tower of Babel storyline.

The main draw for me is that this is a good animated feature starring The Flash. DC has recently put all it’s eggs in the Batbasket, so it’s refreshing to a story with someone new. Kevin Conroy has a little cameo as Bruce Wayne, but this is mostly a Flash story. In this version, many people die that didn’t in the comic…but since it’s an apocalyptic alternate reality…I guess everyone dies when Flash restores time.

This version of Flashpoint is very dark (visually as well as thematically.) and highlights the death of Barry’s mother in the beginning, and his regret about it. When he meets his mother and tells her he’s The Flash, a superhero, she responds with confusion: “A superhero? You mean like Batman?” I thought that was funny. Seemingly, Batman is the only superhero DC seems to know.

As per the comic, Thomas Wayne Batman helps Flash recreate the accident that gave him his powers, since he never existed in this world, but his mom does. Shockingly, there is no hunt for Superman, and the rest of the film is dedicated to the war, and restoring reality when Flash realizes he prevented his mom’s death. Kevin Conroy returns as Batman for a final touching moment as in the comic.

The animation is good, but it is very dark. I was surprised by the violence, but it’s done in a very smooth almost anime style. Cyborg features prominently, as do Captain Atom and other heroes who are not Batman or Superman. It’s explained in this world that Superman’s shuttle was shot down rather than captured. So, they don’t have to chase him down.

Overall, it’s a very good feature, but a bit dark, and although it says Justice League, it’s mostly a Flash story, which is refreshing. Themes of war and death are covered, and it seems to be reflective of DC’s overall darker tone. I just wish it were a sign of things to come in the DCU movies! Sadly, no Flash is in sight anytime soon! I give it an A-, if only because it was so bold of DC to make Flashpoint an animated feature about a hero that gets pushed aside these days!

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