Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Andy Kubert
Flashpoint is a DC Comics event centered around Barry Allen, as known as the superhero the Flash and Batman.
It all begins when one day Barry wakes up to find himself in a new and distinctly alternate timeline, one far different then the he knew. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war. Hal Jordan never got his Green Lantern Ring. Superman landed not in Smallville but in Metropolis, causing millions of deaths and has been locked away by the government. In Gotham a Batman reigns, but more violent and troubled then the one Barry remembers. Cyborg is the most respected hero of the World. And as for the Flash, well there never was a Flash.
Powerless but with memories of the old timeline, Barry is shocked to discover his mother is still alive. She had years prior been killed by Barry’s mortal enemy, the Reverse-Flash but now she is alive again. Barry decides to visit the Batman to get answers and discovers that its not Bruce Wayne behind the mask, but instead it is Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father.
In fear of ever-escalating war between Aquaman’s Atlanteans and Wonder Woman’s Amazonians Cyborg tries to gather the heroes to defeat their coming threat. But without Batman on Board none want to have anything to do with it.
Barry tells Thomas Wayne what had happened originally the night that Bruce had died; Bruce had survived, Thomas, wishes for this ‘better’ universe and agrees to help the Flash. Upon the room of the decaying ruins of Wayne Manor the Flash recreates the accident that created his powers in the beginning.
His powers returned Barry Allen and Batman go to get Superman, along the way gaining the help of Cyborg. Deep below Metropolis the Three find Subject 1 (we would know him as Superman), a sick and pale man. But after the breaking him free Superman just escapes, leaving them behind. Batman agrees with Cyborg to help lead the Heroes in fighting the Atlanteans/Amazonians in what is left of Europe.
The Battle for the World Begins. And there on the Battlefield the Flash finds the man he holds responsible for this degrading world, the Reverse-Flash. But the Reverse-Flash has a secret, he didn’t do it! It was Barry Allen, the Flash himself.
Stricken with grief Barry Allen had gone back through time in hopes of stopping the Reverse-Flash from killing his mom. And he succeeded, and “like a bullet through a windshield” the Flash broke time, fracturing it. But in so doing the also freed the Reverse-Flash, no more was he tied to the Flash, no more does he have to keep the Flash alive for himself to exist. Now he is a paradox, now he can finally kill the Flash. But, the main rule in warfare is to never stop moving. The Batman, using an Amazonian sword stabs the Reverse-Flash and tells Barry to fix this.
The Flash leaves the battle and visits his mother, explaining to her what he has done. She tells him to fix it; all these people shouldn’t have died just for her. Tearfully the Flash re-enters time and stops himself from stopping the Reverse-Flash. But as he returns to the present the Flash watches as three timelines merge into one. A New world welcomes the Flash, a New DC Universe.
And so we witness the birth of the DCnU. Some things are the same, some are wholly different. But now, let’s have a history lesson.
The first time that the DCU was fully rebooted was in 1986 with the event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Worlds lived, worlds died, and the universe was never the same. Coming of the first Crisis most (if not) all DC Characters were rebooted. Superman’s story was retold by John Byrne, Batman’s origin was retold by Frank Miller in Batman: Year One, Wonder Woman was rebuilt by George Perez. The list goes on and at first things seemed to be working. The Crisis had made things easier for new readers to jump on board. But soon cracks started to form. About 10 years after the Crisis DC released Zero Hour: Crisis In Time.
While not being a full frontal reboot like Crisis, Zero Hour instead it just reformatted the timeline to clean up the supposed issues. But really Zero Hour didn’t take; its band-aids peeled off and tossed aside. Finally in 2005, on the 20th Anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths came Infinite Crisis. While billed as a reboot comic it didn’t really reboot much. In fact they never clearly stated just what had been rebooted. Sure some stories came after its changes, but stuff still fell back into their old patterns. So in 2008 came Final Crisis.
Oh, Final Crisis, the beautiful mess as I call it. The more I research into it the more I come away with the conclusion that DC set this bad boy up to fail. First, against the wishes of the author, the actually showed the war of the gods of New Genesis and Apokolips (Grant Morrison wanted you to come in after the war to find that evil had won.) Then there was the weekly comic book series Countdown to Final Crisis which was to set everything in order for Final Crisis (But honestly it didn’t, it just made things even murkier.) Then those goof-balls actually made him change his ending. It turns out that it was suppose to be Final Crisis that was to reboot the DC Universe, not Flashpoint. But some top guys shot it down because they felt that they had “just did a reboot with Infinite Crisis.” (If you ever do read Final Crisis, keep this last tidbit in mind, stuff start making sense, at least better sense, if you remember this attempt by DC to screw their writers.)
Okay rant over.
Anyways, Final Crisis didn’t reboot anything, and the aftermath of the event was very limited. So limited was it that in fact that it almost felt like it didn’t happen.
But then, the big guy who shot down the reboot of the Universe with Final Crisis stepped down. It was now open game on the continuity. And so we come to Flashpoint.
Flashpoint is, honestly, well written. At times I wondered why we wasting pages on some stuff (really it just to show the new world of Flashpoint) and there is one scene that I felt could have been shorter and wouldn’t have wasted pages, but other then that it was in fact very tightly written. The art is also well worth the price of admission, but then again I would marry Kubert art if I could.
But does Flashpoint work as a reboot?
So far I would have to say yes. It plausible showed how it happened. No Superboy-Prime punching a wall (don’t ask) or a power mad old Green Lantern or a dying Darkseid dragging us into a universal pit. A superhero (who has time-traveled before) attempts to save his mother from dying, now that makes sense.
Only time (haha) will tell whether of not it actually works not though.