FlashPoint: The Scarlet Speedster’s Number One Tale

No comments

Flashpoint was a cultural phenomenon for comics giving us a revolutionary turning point in the DC media.  A quick reboot, if you will, in the DC universe giving us the new phase of the comics, New 52.  The story takes us through Barry’s grief from his mother’s death to an alternate reality where all we know has been flipped on our heads.  The story takes place in an alternate universe that Barry creates where Wonder Woman and Aquaman are unleashing an all out war against each other, Batman is Thomas Wayne who is Bruce’s father, Superman is held captive and tested by the government, and Cyborg is the only true hero left in the world.  The Flash believes that this was all Eobard Thawne’s fault as one of his twisted mind games of bending space and time to revamp the DC universe, you know the usual.  The Flash speeds the entire story accompanied by Batman to fix the universe and put everything back to normal.

  This was an ingenious way to start the universe again in a action packed novel filled with many turns and twists that’ll keep any reader on their feet.  This novel has developed even into a movie as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2011) is released and creates the new DCAMU universe that lasts till 2020.  We are also getting an upcoming live action Flashpoint movie with Ezra Miller as our Scarlet Speedster With amazing authors like the incredible Geoff Johns who worked on JSA & Stargirl, Andy Kubert, the ingenious artist behind Uncanny X Men & Damian: Son of Batman, and Sandra Hope who worked on plenty of Rebirth stories & the Adventures of Superman. Now as you got a good look on who these incredible minds are, why don’t we dig a little further?

MEET THE AUTHORS

The authors of this novel have a wonderful timeline of notable works that I would recommend to you, one of these authors is Geoff Johns.  Geoff Johns is most known for his works on DC novels as he started out with DCU Secret Hero Files (1999), Day of Judgement (1999), Justice Society of America (2000), The Flash (2000), Beast Boy (2000), Return to Krypton (2002), Avengers Vol. 3 (2002-2004), Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 (2004), Infinite Crisis (2005-2006), the extraordinary reboot, 52 (2006-2007), Final Crisis (2008), and Superman Up, Up, and Away (2006).  Geoff is mostly known for his JSA comics and his take on most of its characters like Stargirl and Doctor Fate with Justice Society of America (2007).  His other famous work, Sinestro Corp War (2006), was one of the first big Green Lantern stories showing us more and more of the vibrant colors of the Lantern Corp with their attributes.  Last Son (2007-2008) is a Superman story written by Geoff Johns and one of the directors for Christopher Reeve’s movies.  He then did Blackest Night (2009-2010), Brightest Day (2010-2011), and the infamous Flashpoint (2011).  Post Flashpoint he worked on Throne of Atlantis (2014), Doomsday Clock (2018), and Action Comics #1000 (2018).  He is currently working on the spiritual sequel to the Killing Joke (1989) with Three Jokers (2020), the first issue has already come out and the second is on its way next week.  Geoff is a very well known author as he has won many awards from 2005 to 2010 mostly from Spike Tv, Project Fanboy, and Wizard Fan.  He was promoted to the CCO of DC Entertainment in 2010 and retired in 2018. He is now currently working on his new company, Mad Ghost productions, that works on plenty of DC media

Geoff Johns at the Batman Vs. Superman premiere in 2016

Andy Kubert, the artist of Flashpoint, has a family history of well known artists.  His Father and Brother are both artists as well as his uncle of comics editor Katie Kubert.  His father founded the Kubert school where Andy currently works at teaching second-year classes.  His career started out with Sgt. Rock #393 (1984) and is most famous for his work on the X-men and the son of Batman, Damian Wayne.  He worked on the following: Uncanny X Men (1991-1992), Amazing X Men (1995), The Avengers (1991), Captain America (1998-2000), Conan the Barbarian (1987), Origin (2001-2002), Ultimate X Men (2001-2005), The Justice League of America (2006), 52 (2007), Batman (1985, 2006-2010), and Flashpoint (2011).  Post Flashpoint he drew for Action Comics vol. 2 (2012), Damian: Son of Batman (2013-2014), and Dark Knight III: The Master Race (2015-2017).  He has won the Quill award for Graphic Novels in 2005 for Marvel 1602 and the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Graphic Novels & Comics in 2009 for Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader.  He is a brilliant artist with a very simplistic art style that is most seen in modern comics today that still stand the test of time.  Andy Kubert, while being a very simplistic artist, gets the job done with amazing artwork in the Flashpoint comic and should be respected for his work on said novel.

Sandra Hope was the inker for the Flashpoint Graphic Novel.  Her first published piece of work was Gen 13 in 1994.  She then did the following: Stormwatch (1994), Backlash (1995), Iron Man (1996-1997), Captain America (1996-1998), Danger Girl (2001), Adventures of Superman (2002), Albion (2005-2006), Batgirl (2009-2011), and Flashpoint (2011).  Post Flashpoint she did Brightest Day (2010-2011) with Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, Convergence (2015), Earth 2: World’s End (2014-2015) Cyborg: Rebirth (2016), Green Arrow: Rebirth (2016-present).  She is most known for her work on many rebirth stories and the Brightest Day graphic novel.  She was hired from Marvel in 1997 and worked on plenty of their comics like Ironman and Captain America.  She is an incredible inker from Flashpoint to Green Arrow and deserves recognition for her beautiful work.

SYNOPSIS

If you want the full experience of this book I suggest you buy the graphic novel and read it, If however, you don’t have the time for that this is an alternate option.

“Mom if it was me, I would stop and help” was the first dialogue we hear in this tale from a young Barry Allen.  He is having a flashback of him and his mom, Nora Allen on a life lesson he learns that we quickly get cut off from before hearing the actual lesson.  We then get a little retrospective of Flash’s life story from his origin story, marriage, having a family, and the Justice League.  Flash wakes back up from a deep slumber at work being yelled at by one of his coworkers to observe citizen Cold, the hero of Central City.  Barry, confused and startled, tries to use his super speed to go encounter the conflict when suddenly he realises he doesn’t have his powers nor his suit.  He stumbles and falls on the doorstep of the Central City Police Department when someone helps him up in a friendly manner, his mother.  Nora Allen, presumed dead, picks him back up on his feet as Barry, completely shocked to see his dead mother, starts to tear up and hugs her.  He confesses to his mother on their way to a restaurant that he is the Flash, Nora questions who the Flash is.  Barry then starts to ask if she knows any other heroes like Superman and the Justice League, which then she’s now completely worried about her son’s well being.  He then asks her if she knows who Batman is when in a quick reply she says, “Who hasn’t?”.

We then transition to Batman, in a devilish looking bat suit, chasing Yo-Yo, This earth’s Harley Quinn.  Batman finally catches and commands her to tell him where the Joker is, when she says she has no idea, Batman then simply throws her off the building.  Cyborg successfully catches her from splatting on the pavement.  Cyborg goes up the building to interact with Batman about assembling a supposed group of Superheroes to protect America from the ongoing war.  Barry goes to see Iris to see if she has changed due to this alternate reality.  He enters the newspaper and sees her engage in a kiss with another man.  Barry, seeing this, decides to take his mother’s car and go to Wayne Manor to see if he can change all this.  The group of heroes discuss the war between Atlantis and the Amazons in an ongoing conflict that would destroy the world.  The majority of the heroes agree to stop the calamity and save the world, everyone except for Batman.  Due to Batman’s decline, the heroes began to understand they could not work with each other and all of them disbanded the offer.  Barry Allen heads to Wayne Manor and walks down to the Batcave.  He shouts for Bruce in a worried manner as Batman was his only hope.  Then suddenly he gets confronted by Batman in a brawl.  Barry repels him and notifies him that he needs Bruce’s help, but Batman tells Barry that Bruce is dead.  Barry comes to the conclusion that if Bruce Wayne died in that alley that night then there is only one other person that could be Batman, Thomas Wayne.

In the treacherous remains of Paris, Deathstroke leads a ship around the country to find his daughter when they are confronted by Emperor Aquaman and his goons.  Aquaman stabs Deathstroke with his trident and leaves the ship.  After the encounter, one of Deathstroke’s acquaintances, Sonar takes the trident out and heals him.  We resume Thomas and Barry’s interaction at Wayne Manor, where Barry is trying to explain to Wayne his secret identity when he has a type of anxiety attack quickly understanding that this isn’t an alternate world, but his own.  He stumbles upon his Flash ring in his pocket,  guess what pops out of the ring?  The Reverse Flash’s suit.  Barry then believes that this is all Eobard’s doing and asks Thomas for his help to fix the timeline.  When Thomas questions why he should help him, Barry replies to him that in his world, Bruce Wayne was alive.  Thomas agrees with Barry that he will accompany him on his journey so he can save his son.  In London, Amazonian territory, Steve Trevor waits at a rendezvous point for Lois Lane, but is captured by Wonder Woman and her soldiers. Wonderwoman catches him by the neck with the Lasso of Truth and interrogates him.  He confesses to her that he was sent to New Themyscira to extract information from Lois Lane to give to Cyborg on the Amazons.

Flashpoint panel art

The President informs Cyborg that Steve sent a signal to the resistance but was intercepted by a traitor of one of the heroes Cyborg tried to recruit.  Cyborg is relieved of duty as the Element Woman sneaks into the headquarters.  In Themyscira, Lois Lane is in the middle of a chase from the amazons and is saved by the Resistance.  In Wayne Manor, Barry Allen decides to recreate the lightning strike that gave him his powers to regain them.  He tries once and is ultimately burned to near death, but the second time he gains his powers, healing his wounds, and allowing him to recreate his suit.  He investigates into several old newspapers and figures out that Eobard intentionally changed the timeline to stop the formation of the Justice League, with Bruce dying instead of his parents, Nora Allen stays alive leading to the Flash never being created, and Superman being captured by the government labeled as “Subject 1”.  Batman and Flash go to meet with Cyborg to assist in his fight against Aquaman and Wonder Woman.  They then start searching for Subject 1.  In the headquarters they find a weakened, pale, and soleless Superman that’s lost all sense of humanity.  Their confrontation is interrupted by several guards as they surround the heros.  Superman after trying to save his friends and almost killing someone with his laser beam flies away during the battle. Element Woman saves them in the midst of the battle and rescues them. Flash’s memories start to change so drastically that he has a seizure identified by Thomas Wayne due to forgetting parts of his timeline completely. Thomas gives him an antiepileptic to calm him down and slow his brain’s activity.

Superman in the Flashpoint Universe. DC (2011)

The President of the U.S. announces Cyborg’s failure in hopes of uniting the support of the country and its superheroes to engage into the world war. We get a glimpse at the Marvel Family as Billy Batson discusses with his family his humiliation when he lost to Wonder Woman which was shown with the scar on Captain Marvels face.  He feels that he needs to intervene but is distressed at the thought of going against her again.  Flash, Cyborg, Batman, and Element Woman emerge through their front door as they request for help against the Amazons and the Atlantians.  Batman asks Billy if he can use his lightning powers to stop Flash’s brain from losing its memory.  During this, they hear the failed air assault on England due to the Amazon’s invisible planes, Hal Jordan (Green Lantern in the original earth) was the first death caused by this attack.  Flash confronts Batman in the kitchen as he believes he can’t just watch people die while he’s trying to fix everything back to his earth.  Despite the stubbornness of Batman, the Flash and the group of resistance members head to New Themyscira where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are duking it out in an all out last stand.  The Flash and the team finally intervene in the battle as Captain Marvel appears out of thin air and gains the advantage against Wonder Woman.  We quickly learn that Enchantress was the spy working for Wonder Woman as she casts a spell on Marvel causing him and his family to go back into their normal forms, Wonder Woman kills Billy Batson in his natural form causing a disruption blasting throughout the battlefield.  When the dust clears the Flash sees a silhouette of a figure, the Reverse Flash.

The Reverse Flash explains to Barry that he was the reason the world has fallen to such measures as he saved his mother from her death, causing a domino effect that led to a living hell of a world.  While Eobard was giving his very egotistical speech Batman comes from behind stabbing him in the chest with a sword, inadvertently killing him.  As the war escalates with the Resistance and Superman appearing trying to clean the mess up.  Thomas, at near death from Eobard beating the crap out of him, gives Barry a letter and tells him to run as fast as he can and fix all of it.  Flash runs through the speed force hoping to prevent himself from saving his mom and ultimately letting her die, which is pretty gruesome.  As he tries to stay focused on his mom he lets loose a little bit and accidentally gets sent to his mom’s house during her older years.  He tells everything that happened and pleads forgiveness for what he has to do.  This is where we learn like the Flash does that bad things happen to all of us, but we just need to push forward and not let those things define us.  Barry travels through the speedforce one more time in the comic to stop himself from saving his mother.  In the successful event that he did, the world restarts to a fresh start away from all this called the New 52. He returns back to the normal earth, except that its 3 different earths combined into a revamped universe.  Barry wakes back up in the CCPD seeing that everything has gone back to normal.  After this panel, we transition to the Flash entering the batcave and explaining to Bruce what happened and how he still remembers the events, but from both timelines.  Bruce tells him that maybe it was a gift to forget the pain of the trauma.  Barry gives Bruce a letter signed by Bruce’s dead father, Thomas Wayne. Bruce thanks Barry and starts to get emotional.  Barry replies with a simple your welcome.

MY THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSION

Flashpoint is a beautiful comic with an important standpoint in pop culture as a whole.  This book gave the Flash the popularity that his character desperately needed during this time while also staying true to his morals and ideology.  The way the authors of this book turned a very simple subject of rebooting the universe into a fully fleshed out story that stands by itself as a well renown tale is mind blowing even to this day.  This book takes into heavy consideration the way all the characters play out and really tries to give us the exact opposite of each one.   Batman is a grizzly murderer where Bruce is a morally challenged character that bends the line of justice to not be like the scum on the street.  Wonder Woman is completely ruthless and maniacal as our Wonder Woman was about peace and compromise.  Finally, Aquaman resulted in war against the over world which is very much unlike his character. As you can see through those very simple descriptions of the Flashpoint earth’s moral imbalances and what caused it to tipped over the edge, this book flawlessly gives respect to these characters.  Flashpoint, I believe deserves a firm 9/10.

WORKS CITED

“Geoff Johns.” DC Database, 2020, dc.fandom.com/wiki/Geoff_Johns. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

PeoplePill. “People Pill.” PeoplePill, PeoplePill, 2010, peoplepill.com/people/geoff-johns/. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

“Geoff Johns | Wikiwand.” Wikiwand, 2010, http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Geoff_Johns. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

‌“All American Speakers Bureau: Book Top Business, Keynote, Celebrity Speakers.” Allamericanspeakers.Com, 2017, http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/celebritytalentbios/Andy+Kubert/421121. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

‌“Key Collector Comics – Andy Kubert.” Keycollectorcomics.Com, 2020, http://www.keycollectorcomics.com/artist/issues/andy-kubert,775/. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

‌“Andy Kubert (Person) – Comic Vine.” Comic Vine, Comic Vine, 2020, comicvine.gamespot.com/andy-kubert/4040-8472/. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

‌“Sandra Hope.” DC Database, 2020, dc.fandom.com/wiki/Sandra_Hope#:~:text=Sandra%20Hope%20is%20a%20professional,title%20Backlash%20for%20WildStorm%20Productions. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

These images were used from the Flashpoint comic by Geoff Johns, Andy Kubert, and Sandra Hope. DC Entertainment and Comics (2011-2020)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s