If you followed Comicgasm back when RJ and I were actively writing in it, you would’ve seen an article where we did nothing but bash Geoff Johns’ mini-series Flashpoint. Too bad Comicgasm’s currently down, but here’s why we hated it so much – Flashpoint was supposed to be the comic that undoes the DC Universe that existed in 2012 and usher in the New 52. The New 52, if you’re not aware, is DC’s big reboot where everybody gets 90’s style costume and starts acting like assholes towards each other.
Okay, a reboot’s fine. DC’s been doing it frequently since 1985, and the last reboot after Infinite Crisis was, in my opinion, a pretty successful fusion of modern comics and Silver Age elements. I guess it didn’t work out well for DC sales-wise because they had to introduce a rather extreme version of the DC Universe by way of the New 52.
Now this is where my dislike of Flashpoint comes in. It’s set in a parallel timeline. Every single one of these heroes act nothing like the ones we grew up with love. This is supposed to be the comic that gives us the final story of that universe as we know it, and we ended up watching people named after our heroes butcher each other in a non-heroic fashion. We don’t even get a final glimpse of the proper DC universe before we see the New 52! We just seen Flash running, his costume morphing into the New 52 outfit and growing that stupid chinstrap, aaaand new universe.
Since I’ve already wasted three paragraphs into Flashpoint the comic, I’m pretty sure you have a general idea of what I feel about the animated adaptation. I’ll be honest: I didn’t have high expectations of Flashpoint Paradox. I hated the source material, leaving me with a huge bias against this film. I tried to watch it on its own merits and let go of my hatred of the New 52, though.
I enjoyed parts of the film – especially the opening sequence where we see Barry lose his mom, and the battle in the Flash museum against the Rogues. The Justice League finding creative ways to disarm those bombs with their own powers was a great sequence as well. But when Barry woke up to find the world in disarray, it went downhill. I just really can’t buy all these HURR DURR EXTREME versions of these characters I know and love. Granted, we have a lot of interesting storylines, I really can’t get into it.
You know what I also can’t get into? The violence. Grifter gets an arrow to the face. Superman uses his heat vison to cut Aquaman’s arm off. Batman shooting Reverse-Flash’s brains off. Wonder Woman flat out murders a kid in cold blood. A KID. I’m totally fine with violence in comics and movies, mind you, but the way it was just mindlessly thrown into an otherwise boring story just to spice things up does nothing for me.
I’m pretty glad they gave a lot of screen time to the Flashpoint Batman. He’s the only thing the event did right in the comics – read the Flaspoint Batman mini-series, you guys, you won’t regret it – and they captured him perfectly. Although I wish they were able to show more of the Joker storyline instead of just alluding to it.
Actually, that’s my big problem with Flashpoint Paradox. They tried to cram in every single detail of the mini-series and the tie-ins that the segues into the tie-in storylines, although necessary, distracted me from the main storyline. It felt disjointed, and you really don’t feel the tragedy in the Aquaman/Wonder Woman subplot.
Would I recommend you watch it? I don’t know. I don’t feel I wasted an hour and a half, even though I know DC’s come out with better stuff in the past. It’s not bad. My biases just get in the way of me fully enjoying it.
Have you seen Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox? What do you think of it?