Project #46: The Flashpoint Paradox

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj, welcome to another edition of Animation Bang. This is when I take a look at an American animated show or movie and see if it was good or not. What’s the one cliché almost all superheroes have in common? The tragic backstory. Almost every superhero has some form of tragedy in their life that plays a huge part in who they are. The tragic backstory has often served to help the reader feel compassion for the hero and make them seem more human and realistic. We’ve seen it played out a lot in comics with heroes blaming themselves and thinking that if they were as strong as they were then as they are now they could have saved that person. This idea has been played out in a lot of comics but one of those comics that does it so well is DC’s Flashpoint. Getting started back in May 2011 it was a short 5 issue series written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert. The story follows The Flash aka Barry Allen (who is often considered to be the strongest and fastest of The Flashes) as he journeys back in time and saves his mother from dying and alters the timeline greatly. While the series was short it received an overall good amount of praise, had a number of crossovers with other comics, and is the comic series responsible for resetting the DC universe and starting the New 52 series. Because of its success and importance to the DC universe it warranted a movie based off the series this year called The Flashpoint Paradox. This movie marks the 17th movie of DC’s direct to home video project. It has a lot of voice actors reprising their roles from other DC movies such as Ron Perlman (Deathstroke/Slade), Dana Delany (Lois Lane), Dee Bradley Baker (Etrigan), and fan favorite Kevin Conroy (the goddamn Batman). This movie was directed by Jay Oliva who has worked on a number of DC movies in the past and even directed Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as well as a few episodes from Young Justice. Well, we got a good team of voice actors and an excellent director let’s see if they can do The Flash justice as we take a look at The Flashpoint Paradox.

We open up with a young Barry chasing down a car asking for help because the car his mom was driving has broken down and everyone is ignoring them. Barry’s mom grabs him and drags him back saying that you can’t change other people and that it’s a waste of energy (*sarcasm* wow good lesson mom. Anything else you wanna add to that) but she follows it up by saying accept the things you know you can’t change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to tell the difference (so she basically just contradicted herself). Fast forward a few scenes later and we see young Barry running home from school to wish his mother a happy birthday. He arrives home and finds that someone has broken into his house and killed his mother (I imagine this wasn’t the kind of birthday gift she was expecting). Fast forward again to many years later and we see that Barry voiced by Justin Chambers (nice first name) is still mourning over the death of his mother and blaming himself for it because he didn’t arrive home fast enough (honestly, what is with superheroes blaming themselves for the deaths of those closest to them when they were kids? Batman blames himself for his parents’ death, Spiderman blames himself for Uncle Ben’s death, and now this. You were kids and you can’t control outside forces. Stop blaming yourselves). He receives a distress signal coming from The Flash museum and goes off to the museum to fight his rouge gallery (still not as good as Batman’s rouge gallery but still a good cast. Scene here: https://youtu.be/P9fJm0rVr14). He gets capture and it gets revealed that man behind this meeting of villains is Flash’s archenemy Professor Zoom (who thinks that wearing the same outfit as Flash only in yellow makes him look menacing. *Whispers* It doesn’t, it makes you look like a poser. . .and a douchebag). He plants a bomb on Flash and his rouges saying that he’s going to blow up the city along with Flash but Flash traps him and tells him to disarm the bombs but he refuses (well if you’re gonna die you might as well take the guy you hate down with ya). The rest of the Justice League shows up and they each take a villain and disarm the bombs. The Flash also disarms his bomb in a pretty clever way. They send all the rouges to prison but not before Professor Zoom taunts Flash about not being able to save his mom (scene here: https://youtu.be/ehyN2wlVFEQ). Flash saves face and runs off where he goes back in time and stops his mother from being killed.

Barry wakes up the next day as a policeman where we see that Captain Cold is now a hero and taking on Flash’s rouges, his mother is alive, he no longer has any super powers, and he’s possibly gay (scene here: https://youtu.be/xZ9_8OK4cyc, the first openly gay superhero? Never thought I see the day). He tries to tell his mom that he’s The Flash but she has no idea what the hell he’s talking about. We than cut to Batman fighting this world’s version of Harley Quinn a woman by the name of Yo-Yo and we also see that this world’s Batman is somehow grittier, more brutal, and more violent than the Batman we’re used to seeing that he has no problem using guns (WRONG! THIS IS WRONG) and killing people (EVEN MORE WRONG! Scene here: https://youtu.be/5Di19SF0Ywc). Cyborg shows up (who is now an agent of the government. Seems logical) to recruit Batman to join him along with other superheroes to take down Aquaman and Wonderwoman. It turns out that in this universe Wonderwoman and Aquaman had an affair (now there’s a couple I thought I would never see way to upgrade Aquaman). Aquaman’s wife Mera finds out about the affair and decides to take Wonderwoman’s life. The two have a fight with Wonderwoman chopping off Mera’s head (there can only be one) and delivering Mera’s body to Aquaman. Aquaman swears vengeance for his beloved wife (which he wouldn’t have to do if he didn’t act like a man whore) and thus both of their countries are at war with each other which seems to be consuming the planet (or countries in Europe. Hey as long as we have Japan and North America we’ll be fine. Or at least I will be) but Batman just waves them off and leaves not giving a damn. Barry decides to go to the one man in the world that can help him make sense his situation Bruce Wayne. He goes to Wayne Manor and enters the Batcave where he gets a nice warm beating from Batman. We quickly find out that Bruce died in this world and instead his father Thomas Wayne is the new Batman (well. . .this explains the lack of Kevin Conroy in the character). We also see that Martha had that one bad day because of Bruce’s death and becomes the Joker of this universe. Thomas doesn’t believe Barry’s story but once he hears that Bruce is still alive in Barry’s universe he starts to trust him a little (scene here: https://youtu.be/V9w8Ke-ETIs). Barry also gets his Flash ring and sees that the costume inside the ring is Professor Zoom’s costume. He quickly pieces together that Zoom did something to the time line to cause this change but why? WHY (scene here: https://youtu.be/hA4145Uqd_M)! They realize they have to fix the timeline but in order to do that Barry must repeat the experiment that allowed him to become The Flash.

While that’s going Deathstroke who is a pirate in this world (looking for One Piece eh Deathstroke) has teamed up with Luthor to track down Aquaman’s ultimate weapon which is responsible for drowning a part of Europe. They find the source but get attack by Aquaman’s army where they put up a good fight but wind up losing and getting killed (at least they didn’t go out like some punk ass bitches). We also find out that Cyborg’s team of metahumans is asked to step down by Obama because they couldn’t get Batman to join them (so even Obama knows that without Batman they have no chance of winning) and we see that the power source behind Aquaman’s weapon is Captain Atom (Atlantian technology is made from Captain Atoms~). Also Lois Lane gets saved by the resistance group in Europe (Scene here: https://youtu.be/JIoThzmM8gQ, awesome he rhymes). Getting back to the plot Barry tries to recreate the science experiment that turned him into The Flash by strapping himself to a chair and surrounds himself with chemicals (OF SCIENCE) while outside in the middle of a thunderstorm hoping to catch lightning (what the hell kind of experiment was he conducting!? Seriously, what kind of experiment requires a man to strap himself to a chair and surround himself with dangerous and lethal chemicals? The conclusion won’t be good I promise you that). Barry eggs on for the lightning to strike (Barry: Come on you son of bitch strike me! STRIKE ME!) and it strikes him but instead of giving him super powers it instead gives him 3rd degree burns all over his body (oh hey look its The Human Torch). He miraculously survived thanks to Thomas and decides to do the experiment again (if at first you don’t succeed try, try, and try again until your body dies on you from the constant burning). The experiment works this time (why didn’t it work the first time he didn’t change anything) and gets his super powers back. Thanks to the speed force his body heals up completely but he finds he isn’t fast enough to break the time barrier because Zoom is interfering with his speed. But Barry thinks that another way pass Zoom’s interference lies in Superman but according to Thomas, Superman doesn’t exist in this world. They meet up with Cyborg and have him hack into the government files where they find out that Superman did crash land on Earth 30 years ago and has been kept prisoner in a bunker underground (man this world does not take well to aliens does it). They break into the bunker, knock out the guards and find Superman in a sad state that makes you wanna cry (Good Lord what the hell did they do to Superman!? He looks a stick figure I used to draw back in elementary. He looks like what would happen if Mr. Fantastic went anorexic on us). Once outside the government open fires on them trying to take out Cyborg but Superman accidentally kills them and flies off (scene here: https://youtu.be/aPouO4iQJ9c). Meanwhile Hal Jordan (who doesn’t become a Lantern in this world) is assigned a mission to fly in alien space craft carrying a nuke to take out Aquaman. He tracks down Aquaman’s ship but Aquman tricks him and he gets swallowed by a giant sea monster setting off the nuke and killing himself (https://youtu.be/rX7wtNOkuHo, *laughing* okay, I know I should be sad by this but Aquaman got him good how can I not find that funny). With all of their options gone and the final battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman drawing near Barry, Thomas, and Cyborg rally all of the metahumans they can find (and by that I mean they just gather up the kids who help create Shazam in this world) and head to the battlefield to take on both sides. They crash on to the battlefield where both sides are going at each other in a pretty violent but awesome fight. Aquaman and Wonder Woman meet on the battlefield and go at it (scene here: https://youtu.be/wi3Xnb3s8l8). The group comes in to interrupt the fight with Barry, Thomas, and Cyborg taking on Aquaman and Wonder Woman taking on the Shazam kids (https://youtu.be/19ZpqNbYaNc. What is this woman talking about!? Look that’s Captain Marvel or Shazam or whatever they’re calling him today. And did she just murder a child off screen). Thomas gets separated from the others and gets into a fight with Black Manta where he kills him but gets shot himself. Cyborg takes on Aquaman by himself getting overpowered by Aquaman and dies (scene here: https://youtu.be/cOpiSt-7kw0. Nice save Superman but you need to work on your timing more). Barry gets Thomas to safety so that he can treat his wounds but Zoom shows up and the two fight (scene here: https://youtu.be/xpWOO9nRvIU. Boom! Headshot for the win. See Superman learn from Batman). After Aquaman gets his arm taken off he runs off where Wonder Woman finds him and kills him but not before he activates his doomsday device which is killing Captain Atom and having him unleash atomic destruction on the world. With Zoom dead there’s now plenty of speedforce for Barry to use and he begins to run to break the time barrier and undo everything (scene here: http://youtu.be/vgraIqIsq74?t=27s). He wakes and finds that everything has returned to normal (well as normal as things get in the DC universe) and goes to deliver a letter to Bruce (https://youtu.be/A-J11AQNBwk, this movie is worth watching just to see Bruce cry). We end with Barry running through the city and reminding us that he is The Flash the fastest man in the world (that’s what she said. Ha! I bet you thought I wasn’t gonna make this joke).

Final Thoughts

This was a very epic movie. The animation is excellent, the story is great and follows closely to the source material with a few changes here and there, and awesome action scenes which I heard are actually more brutal and gruesome than the comics which makes them even better in my opinion. I like the voice cast for this movie, everyone matches up well with their characters and Justin Chambers does an excellent job making Barry come to life I hope he stays around as his voice actor for a while. I also like the respect and chemistry the characters have with each other like that last seen with Barry giving Bruce that letter it shows that there’s a great deal of respect between not just the two characters but the voice actors as well. I also like that we never see the face of the murder that killed Barry’s mom, this leaves us room to imagine who the killer is and come up with our own ideas. I personally think it was Zoom who killed her just for the amount of hatred he has for Barry. The only complaint I have with the movie is how Barry’s mom living alter the world so much. How does her living cause Bruce to die, Superman to be captured by the government, World War 3, and Barry possibly being gay change the world so much? If it had been tiny changes I wouldn’t mind so much but these big changes while interesting are kinda hard to really accept. That’s like me being an entirely different person because I bought an Xbox One instead of a PS4 (PS4 FTW). Other than that this was a very good movie.

Final Score

The Flashpoint Paradox earns an 8/10 with a muust watch stamp of approval. This movie bought The Flash as a front man for DC and showed that just like Superman and Batman he too plays an important part in the DC universe and shouldn’t be overlooked. I hope DC notices how good this movie was and takes more risk with other heroes like Green Lantern and The Martian Manhunter and comics such as The Blackest Night or The Killing Joke comics I would love to see those turned into animated movies. But until than well just have to wait and enjoy Flashpoint along with the other DC movies. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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Thanks for reading. As always feel free to leave a comment or send them along with requests or feedback to iamprojectnitsuj@gmail.com.

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