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Review: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox


Justice League: The Flashpoint ParadoxHaving not read the comic, it is with great interest and dread that I sat down to watch DC’s latest attempt at an animated adaptation of a popular storyline. “The Flashpoint Paradox,” is based on the “Flashpoint” miniseries that tied in several comic book lines, and allowed for the realigning of the New 52. Essentially, it was the New 52’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, if I’ve understood its purpose, aside from the obvious entertainment of creating an alternate version of Earth Prime/Earth 1 in the DCU. Anyway, enough of the comic talk because as I said, I didn’t read it, so I’m not here to compare it as I sometimes do. I’m usually against watching stuff like this if I haven’t read it, however, in this case I was eager to watch what happened to our beloved Dark Knight, bat-fans. Be forewarned, as always:

 

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

 

Starting out, we have a nice flashback opening with Barry and his mom stranded on the side of the road. Barry yells at a passing car that they should stop for people who need help. His mother is quick to tell him not to waste energy on things he can’t control. The next scene shows Barry finding his mother murdered. Cut to Barry in the present, after his accident, with Iris by his side. He is still regretting not having been able to save or help his mother all those years ago. He is then called away to do what he does best, stop the Rogues from destroying his twin cities. That’s one thing I thought odd in this film; Keystone is not mentioned, only Central City. A minor thing, however.

 

The idea of the story is clearly presented, and any DC fan can tell where the story goes from here. Barry wakes up the next day in the Central City Police Department’s forensics office, but he is now living in the alternate timeline. Citizen Cold, formerly Captain Cold, is now Central City’s greatest hero. His mother is alive and well, much to his surprise. Not only that, he has no powers and no one has ever heard of the Flash. Also, it’s a pretty hilarious moment when his mom thinks he’s about to tell her he’s gay, when in fact he was trying to reveal his secret identity to her.

 

Many things about this world are different, including this world’s Batman. Bruce is not Bats, having died at the hands of Joe Chill when he was a child. Martha and Thomas survived. Thomas more than his wife. It is alluded to in the film that Martha is this timeline’s incarnation of the Joker, a tragic consequence. Thomas, however, upon meeting Barry (and especially after he and Barry reconstruct the circumstances which gave Barry his powers) is convinced the two of them can change the timeline back to the one Barry keeps talking about. Any chance he has to change the hell he lives in is a cause worth fighting and dying for. Thomas Wayne is voiced by Kevin McKidd, of “Rome” and “Bunraku.”

 

Just to give you an idea of the changes of this timeline, I shall attempt to list them:

 

– Superman has been kept isolated his entire life, since he landed, from human beings and is terrified of pretty much everything. He also has no idea how powerful he is.

 

– Aquaman is on a revenge trip to destroy the Amazons since Diana murdered his wife Myra. (I’ll let everyone watch that scene. I felt it was a bit confusing, as far as the circumstances of it.) His Atlantian technology vastly outmatches anything the U.S. military or even members of this timeline’s Legion of Doom can throw at him. Arthur truly shines, no matter how dark his character, in this incarnation of him.

 

– Diana of the Amazons is a bloodthirsty conqueror. She literally kills anyone that gets in her way in this. She is embodying the ideal Amazonian warrior queen, so much so that she wants to eliminate all men worldwide to show the women of the world the Amazonian way. Whether they like it or not.

 

– The Legion of Doom kicks a lot of ass. Seriously. They are headed by Deathstroke, captain of his ship the Ravager, and supported by none other than Lex Luthor. One very awesome side note is that Ron Perlman reprises his voice role as Slade Wilson.

 

Those comprise the more interesting alterations of the new timeline. Cutting to the end, Barry discovers that his old enemy the Reverse Flash( aka Professor Zoom, aka Eobard Thawne) is behind the reason that Barry can’t obtain enough energy from the Speed Force to achieve a speed fast enough to time travel and fix what went wrong. It is also Thawne that reveals to Barry that it was indeed Barry, himself, that caused this alternate timeline’s changes. As a result of Barry altering his mother’s death, the ripples in time he created caused other changes, such as Bruce dying in his parents’ place. Ultimately, Barry must make a personal sacrifice in order to save the entire world from the overwhelming destruction of the escalating conflicts between the Amazonians and the Atlantians.

 

With a very excessive amount of violence, for a DC animated film, I am surprised at the increasingly mature subject material that the folks at DC animation studios have been willing to give their fans. The last few films have been each more mature than the last. I think it is a breath of fresh air for DC fans. Overall, this film does a good job of focusing on Barry. This is about the Scarlet Speedster. To date, there have been no Flash films, though we were lucky enough to get the short-lived live-action Flash show from the '90's. However, this incarnation of Barry Allen is sharp, mentally disciplined, and incredibly inventive in his use of his speed. Barry is considered the most popular of all of the Flashes, despite his grandson Bart being considered faster than him. They even manage to fit the most popular Rogues into the opening introduction. The Top, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Heat Wave, Mirror Master, and of course, Professor Zoom. The Flash is brighty and shiny, as opposed to Batman or even Henry Cavill's portrayal of Kal-El. He is the embodiment of hope. He will never stop running to save the world. The fastest man alive. I look forward to more Flash related stuff in the future.

 

Also, one moment that I would like to point out as supremely awesome is a small one, but important to those who are fans of the Brave and the Bold (Barry and Hal). Nathan Fillion reprises his role as Hal Jordan (Will they just cast him as Hal in the live action reboot already?! I mean seriously!) and he and Barry (voiced by Justin Chambers) have a brief moment as just two friends. In my opinion, to showcase Flash again (as they should) they should make a new animated film about Hal and Barry based on Mark Waid’s The Brave and the Bold. To look forward to, DC Animated will be coming out with Justice League: War, based on first New 52 Justice League story.

 

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox:

 

3.5 out of 5 Batarangs

 

Posted by Chris Gering

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