How The DCEU Should Handle The Flashpoint Movie
The DC slate is absolutely packed to the brim with some awesome films, but few have us more excited than Flashpoint. Essentially Justice League 2, the The Flash's movie will offer fans a glimpse at an alternate reality in which Barry Allen's decision to prevent the murder of his mother completely warps the DC heroes into something dark and terrifying. There is a lot of potential for great storytelling, but there are still a few key aspects of the Flashpoint lore that need to be respected when the Flashpoint movie hits the big screen.
With that in mind, let's dive into the greater Flashpoint story and figure out exactly how DC should handle this highly anticipated narrative when Flashpoint finally debuts.
Show Why Flash Is A Symbol Of Hope
Although Superman and Wonder Woman (and indeed every member of the Justice League, in their own way) embody hope, Flash is arguably the hero who represents humanity at its best. He is an eternal optimist, a selfless hero and an example of what a seemingly average human can do when greatness and godlike speedster abilities are thrust upon him. Flashpoint is a story that epitomizes that idea, and the film needs to juxtapose Barry's own sense of idealism with the terrible world that he creates when he tries to go back and save his mother from Eobard Thawne.
Use Eobard Thawne As The Villain
This one may seem like a no-brainer to people who know the Flashpoint storyline, but that doesn't make it any less valuable. Although Barry's circumstances are technically the central conflict of the original Flashpoint storyline, Eobard Thawne is still the principal antagonist of the story. With no Reverse-Flash (or Professor Zoom, depending on what they call him) established in the DCEU just yet, Flashpoint will need to set up the fact that the yellow-clad speedster murdered Barry's mother. From there, the film can make him a mysterious force who taunts Barry from the shadows until his real motives come to light.
Depict The Wonder Woman-Aquaman War
With Gal Gadot now reportedly looking to reprise her role as Diana Prince in Flashpoint, it seems highly likely that the film is building towards its biggest conflict: the war between Themyscira and Atlantis. In the original story, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war when Barry awakens in the new timeline, and the two heroes have become vicious versions of their former selves, even destroying most of Europe. This is the backdrop of the greater conflict, and it establishes the apocalyptic stakes that compel Barry Allen to figure out this mystery and correct the timeline.
Explore Thomas Wayne Batman
Fans have wanted to see this ever since Jeffrey Dean Morgan stepped in for the role of Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman. In the Flashpoint version of the DC timeline, Bruce Wayne died in Crime Alley, and the subsequent trauma turned his father into a gun-toting Batman and turned Martha Wayne into The Joker. A brutal vigilante with no qualms about using lethal force (more Punisher than Batman), Thomas Wayne's Batman represents a fascinating deconstruction of Gotham's hero to ever appear in DC Comics. Morgan is already perfectly cast as Thomas Wayne, so it would be a waste not to explore that character.
Make Cyborg America's Lone Hero
In the Flashpoint version of the DC timeline, Cyborg is arguably the hero least affected by the changes that Barry makes when he saves his mom. America's lone hero who does the bidding of the government (like Superman in The Dark Knight Returns), Vic Stone is widely beloved by the American people but wholly outmatched against the increasingly overwhelming odds presented by the world-consuming war. His partnership with Batman and Barry is a vital aspect of the story, and Flashpoint gives the character a chance to take the lead in ways that we don't often see in DC stories.
Include Prisoner Superman
"What if the Kents never raised Kal-El?" It's a question that has been raised time and time again by iconic stories like Red Son, but Flashpoint's version of the thought experiment is one of the most terrifying. Over the course of the Flashpoint story, Barry, Cyborg and Batman come upon an adult Superman who has spent his life trapped in a cell surrounded by red sun radiation. With no muscles and no ability to talk, the prisoner Man of Steel represents a shell of his iconic self and a perfect example of what a hopeless alternate reality could do to even the best of us.
Embrace The Darkness Of The Flashpoint World
There's no getting around this one. If DC is going to go all in on a Flashpoint movie, then the film will need to embrace the dark elements of the story. Flashpoint pushes a PG-13 rating to its absolute limit with its violence and dark thematic elements, but that's the only way to capture the essence of the narrative correctly. The whole idea behind Flashpoint is that it's a dark and twisted version of the DC Earth in which every conceivable thing has gone wrong. People die in this story, and they die brutal deaths; whoever steps behind the camera for this one cannot be squeamish.
Building off of that idea, Flashpoint needs to make sure that by the time the credits roll, the only person left alive from the Flashpoint timeline is Barry Allen himself, not even the kids who make up Shazam. An apocalyptic story, Flashpoint takes its bastardized versions of the DC heroes and then slowly whittles them away until only The Flash is left standing. From a storytelling perspective, this represents one of the few times in which a superhero movie can kill off an entire cast of characters and get away with it, so Flashpoint needs to take that idea and run with it -- pun intended.
Allow Time Travel To Retcon The DCEU
Of course, this is something that many fans have considered now that Flashpoint is on the table. It's no secret that the DCEU has made some polarizing creative decisions over the course of the last few years, but using this time travel story will effectively allow DC and WB to hit the "reset" button and start over fresh. Flashpoint ends with Barry Allen returning to his timeline, but the impact of his journey allows the studio to retcon the DCEU and create something a bit more palatable for fans within the logic of the universe.
Don't Leave Out Minor Characters
One of the coolest aspects of the Flashpoint storyline is the fact that it features an entire army of minor characters who help show just how different the world has become as a result of Barry Allen's action. Captain Cold is the hero of Central City, Deathstroke is a mercenary caught in the middle of the war between Atlantis and Themysicra and Hal Jordan is an American pilot killed on a suicide mission against Wonder Woman's forces. These minor characters don't have substantial roles in the overarching plot of the story, but they go a long way towards helping to establish the death of the Flashpoint world.
End With Batman Receiving The Note
Flashpoint has become an iconic story arc for a lot of different reasons, but one of the most notable of the bunch is its gut punch of an ending. With Barry back in his original timeline, he goes to The Batcave to tell The Dark Knight about his adventures. Reflecting on the alternate timeline, Flash then hands Bruce a note from his father. Thomas Wayne's message reduces Batman to tears and leaves him more vulnerable than we have ever seen him before. It's an ending beloved by comic book fans, and it deserves the live-action treatment.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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