One of the bigger shocks to come out of San Diego Comic-Con last month was that The Flash movie is now being called Flashpoint. The Scarlet Speedster's standalone adventure was originally intended to be released in March of 2018, but due to the departure of two directors, it wasn't able to make that release date. Following a page-one rewrite, the movie has been turned from a more traditional superhero movie into the five-issue spectacle that writer Geoff Johns and artist Andy Kubert delivered to comic book fans in 2011 (not to mention the 16 miniseries and four one-shots tying into the main story).
Flashpoint has cemented itself as one of DC's most popular storylines, but in case you've never had the chance to flip through the tale, we've provided an in-depth look into what it's about, the previous adaptations that are already out there and how the Flashpoint movie could permanently change the entire DC Extended Universe as we know it.
In The Flash: Rebirth miniseries (not to be confused with the current Flash title that's being published under the DC Rebirth line), Geoff Johns retconned Barry Allen's history so that his mother, Nora Allen, was killed when he was a child by his future arch-nemesis, Eobard Thawne, a.k.a Professor Zoom/Reverse-Flash. As The Flash, the adult Barry knew that it was dangerous changing the past, so for a long time, he refused to go back to save his mother. However, one day Barry awoke in a world where his mother was still alive. But that was the tamest of the differences, and this wasn't a parallel reality like Barry originally thought. It was a new timeline: Flashpoint.
There were a number of shocking changes as a result of Flashpoint. Bruce Wayne was killed in Crime Alley that fateful night, leading Thomas Wayne to become Batman and Martha Wayne to become The Joker. Wonder Woman and Aquaman were at war with one another, and their conflict saw the destruction of Themyscira and London. Rather than landing in Smallville and being raised by the Kents, the baby Kal-El landed in Metropolis and was quickly imprisoned by the U.S. government, never becoming Superman. Cyborg was the United States' top superhero. The list goes on, but Barry was the only one who remembered how reality was supposed to be, and he set out to fix this problem before his memories of the main DC timeline faded. Barry was able to persuade Thomas Wayne to help him by telling him about Bruce still being alive in the main timeline, and the two of them later recruited Cyborg, Element Woman, Shazam and others to help.
All of this eventually led to a gigantic battle between Wonder Woman's army, Aquaman's army and The Resistance, and it was there that the big twist dropped. Originally Barry assumed that Professor Zoom was the one who changed the timeline because he left his yellow costume in Barry's Flash ring, but during the devastating battle, Eobard showed up to remind Barry that in fact he was the one who created Flashpoint when he went back in time to prevent his mother from being killed. When Barry made that change to the timeline, it fractured the lives of everyone close to him like a bullet shattering a windshield. Now with the world on the cusp of destruction, Barry realized that the only way he could fix this was to go back in time and stop his past self from saving Nora.
He was successful, but in the process, a new version of the main DC reality was created. And thus, the New 52 was born, which rebooted a significant chunk of DC's history. Barry still remembered his time in Flashpoint upon returning "home," but from his perspective, nothing was different about his regular life.