Entry #24: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

The perils of Time Travel are on prominent display in this adaptation of the 5-issue DC Comics series, Flashpoint.

This 2013 made-for-DVD film is an adaptation of the Geoff Johns comic series Flashpoint, which was published in 2011. It is very faithful to the events of the 5-issue mini-series, with few exceptions. The movie starts with some exposition explaining who all these superheroes are. We get to see each of the Justice League members in action, while focusing on The Flash (Barry Allen) and his standoff with Reverse-Flash. This preamble seems necessary in the film to frame the story, as comic readers are used to picking up stories in media-res or at least, knowing who the characters are to seem extent.

From there, it gets right into the story. Barry awakens to find himself in a similar, yet strange world. He has no powers, his mother is alive, and the superheroes he used to know are not the same at all. The film is spent with Barry trying to get his powers back, and figure out what’s been going on. He teams up with the Batman from this world, against the dangerous duo of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, both rulers of their peoples, and both having taken over parts of Europe in a bid to rule the world!

It’s not until the very end of the film, when all is of course its darkest, that we discover that Barry is actually to blame. All the time he was blaming the Reverse-Flash (Eobard Thawne) for the evils of this world, when in reality Barry’s attempt to save his mother turned his life upside down. That moment caused ripples to spill out in the time stream affecting things drastically. In the end, he chooses to run into the past and stop himself from making the same mistake again; putting right, what once went wrong.

Eobard Thawne stepping out of the shadows.

Eobard Thawne stepping out of the shadows.

All in all, this film is way more of a superhero film than a time travel film, but it goes on to show the perils of messing around with one’s own timeline, even if that choice isn’t revealed to the viewer until the end of the film. A hidden sort of time travel as it were. This film marks a change in the way these DC direct-to-DVD films were being planned. It was the first film to step into the New 52 continuity and was followed up with the Justice League: War film, adapting the first 6 issues of the new Justice League series.

These films, even though they are animated, are not for kids. They all carry a PG-13 rating, and have amped up the violence, gore and language to the appropriate level. Don’t think me a prude, but this level of “adultness” is not really needed and carries some of the action scenes on unnecessarily long. Many of the violent imagery could be left further to the viewers imagination, creating a much more cinematic film. But other than that, this is a great film featuring The Flash!

Is that Rorschach from the Watchmen, proclaiming the end?

Is that Rorschach from the Watchmen, proclaiming the end?

If you are interested, you can listen to Josh and myself discuss the movie, along with storyboard artist Adam Van Wyk, on the most recent Summer Special from Scarlet Velocity: A Flash Podcast.

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