The first solo movie set in the DC Extended Universe to star Barry Allen has been running down an incredibly long road since it was first announced, an itinerary that has seen numerous scripts, several director changes, and a delayed production date. And while the movie may not officially have a director right now, it sure seems like Warner Bros. has decided on a direction for story, and it's one not many people expected.
During its massive Hall H presentation at last weekend's Comic-Con International, Warner Bros. surprised everyone when it was revealed that The Flash's solo movie will either be titled, subtitled, or possibly inspired by DC Comics' famous Flashpoint event.
Released in 2011, Flashpoint was written by now DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, and penciled by artist Andy Kubert. It told the story of Barry Allen who, after having enough of losing, decided to go back in time and save his mother from being killed by his arch-nemesis Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash. While he started out with the best of intentions, Flash's heroic act had an unforeseen consequences: it created ripples throughout his entire universe, changing reality, completely. The Flash had inadvertently created an alternate timeline where everything and everyone he knew was completely different. His mother was alive, sure, but he had no super powers. Aquaman and Wonder Woman were at war, their respective legions of Atlantis and Themyscira waging devastating battles on a global scale. This new world was bleak, and dark, and crumbling at the seams.
So why would Warner Bros. and DC decide to set the first solo Flash movie in an alternate timeline? That's a good question, but assuming this is the case (and again, it might not be), it's understandable why some people might find this an extremely odd choice. However, should the studio make this move, it could not only deliver a character-defining yet unorthodox story; it would also finally have the chance to get Flashpoint right.
In the third season of The CW's The Flash, Barry Allen created an alternate timeline after saving his mother. But that's pretty much where the similarities with the comic book story ended. There was no dark world, no war between heroes, no missing powers. There was just Barry Allen, living happily ever after. In fact, Barry was so content, he was only convinced to return things back to normal when Wally West got badly injured. The potential for a massive story told over many episodes was there, and yet Flash only devoted one episode to the Flashpoint timeline. Fans who had their hopes up for the endless possibilities presented were instead let down by a pale reflection of the universe-shattering, reality-warping comic event.
But with an entire movie based on the comic series, we now have the chance to see Flashpoint done right. More than that, we have the chance to see a superhero movie that could be different from any that have come before. While most solo, introductory superhero movies tend to focus on the origins of a character and their coming to grasps with their abilities and what they can do with them, the Flash was never really defined by the former, and much more so by the latter. The latest Justice League trailer looks to position the Flash has a very new hero who will learn the superhero ropes thanks to his friends in the League, so there's really no need to go over that again in his own movie. Instead, The Flash movie can go right ahead and explore his limits. With such power, why wouldn't Barry decide to go back in time to save his mother? Creating "Flashpoint" would be the ultimate lesson to learn, something that would forever warn Barry about playing with time... something that the CW's Flash never seems to learn.