Cover to Flashpoint trade paperback.
Art by Andy Kubert.
|Publication date||May – September 2011|
|Number of issues||5 (main series)|
"Flashpoint" is a 2011 comic book crossover story arc published by DC Comics. Consisting of an eponymous core limited series and a number of tie-in titles, the storyline premiered in May 2011. The core miniseries was written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by Andy Kubert. In its end, the series radically changes the status quo for the DC Universe leading into the publisher's 2011 relaunch, the New 52.
Flashpoint details an altered DC Universe in which only Barry Allen seems to be aware of significant differences between the regular timeline and the altered one, including Cyborg's place as the world's quintessential hero much like how Superman is in the main timeline, with Superman himself being held captive as a lab-rat by the United States government within an underground facility in Metropolis. In addition, a Thomas Wayne version of Batman, whose son Bruce Wayne is dead instead of him and his wife Martha (who becomes The Joker), spends his days "running Wayne Casinos" in order to help fund his vigilante activity.
Consisting of a 61 issue run, the series crossed over with Booster Gold, sixteen separate three-issue miniseries, and a number of one-shots beginning in June 2011. DC announced that Flash #12 would be the last in the series; a thirteenth issue had been announced for sale on May 25, 2011, but was withdrawn.
Barry Allen wakes up to discover everything and everyone around him has changed. He is not Flash nor does he have powers, his mother Nora (deceased in his own timeline) is alive; his father, Henry, died of a heart attack three years ago (instead of in prison). Captain Cold is Central City's greatest hero, the Justice League is never established, and even Superman is seemingly nonexistent.
In Gotham City, Batman throws a criminal off a building. Cyborg and Batman have a conference with a group of superheroes to discuss how Wonder Woman's Amazons have conquered the British Isles, while Aquaman's Atlanteans have sunk the rest of Western Europe, and the battle between the two has caused massive death and destruction. America is similarly endangered. The heroes cannot cooperate to find a solution, and the meeting is ended.
In the flooded remains of Paris, Deathstroke captains a pirate ship in search of his daughter. Emperor Aquaman appears and stabs Deathstroke in the chest and attacks Deathstroke's crew (Sonar, Icicle, and Clayface). Sonar is able to remove a piece of the trident from Deathstroke's chest and heal him.
At Wayne Manor, Barry tries to explain to Thomas about his secret identity as the Flash and his relationship to Bruce Wayne. Barry's memory begins to spontaneously realign itself to the altered timeline and Barry realizes that the world of Flashpoint is not a parallel dimension, but an alternate reality. Barry's ring ejects Eobard Thawne's Reverse-Flash costume and causes Barry to believe that his enemy is responsible for changing history. Barry decides to recreate the accident that gave him his powers in a bid to undo the damage caused by Thawne, but his initial attempt fails and leaves him badly burned.
In London, Steve Trevor is waiting at a rendezvous for Lois Lane but is attacked by Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Wonder Woman catches him by the neck with her Lasso of Truth and begins interrogating him. He explains that he was hired to extract Lane from New Themyscira because she was sent to gather information on the Amazons for Cyborg. The U.S. president informs Cyborg that Steve Trevor sent a signal to the Resistance but was intercepted because of a traitor among the heroes that Cyborg tried to recruit. Cyborg is relieved of duty as Element Woman sneaks into the headquarters. Meanwhile, in New Themyscira, Lane encounters the Resistance.
A second attempt at recreating Allen's accident restores his powers and health. He concludes that the Reverse-Flash changed history to prevent the formation of the Justice League. He also learns that Kal-El was taken by Project: Superman. Flash, Batman and Cyborg join the cause to stop Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The three find a pale, weakened Superman at the Project and realize that he may well have been in a containment cell since he was a child—possibly never even seeing a human being before. After being rescued, Superman flies off in seeming fright in the midst of a battle with the guards, leaving the three in the sewers to be rescued by Element Woman. Flash's memories continue to change.
The president announces Cyborg's failure to unite the world's superheroes and the U.S. enters into the Atlantean-Amazon war. Flash, Batman, Cyborg and Element Woman break down the door in need of the Marvel Family's help and Batman asks Billy to use his lightning to prevent Flash's memories from changing even further. The group hears of the failed air assault on England due to the Amazons' Invisible Plane air force. Hal Jordan is the first casualty, and a giant Atlantean-generated tidal wave threatens the rest of New Themyscira. Flash tells Batman that if he fails to stop Thawne, the world will destroy itself. Despite reservations, Batman joins Flash as the group heads off to New Themyscira. Enchantress joins them en route. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are fighting one-on-one until Flash and his team arrive.
The Marvel Family transform into Captain Thunder, also transforming Tawky Tawny. Captain Thunder attacks Wonder Woman and appears to be winning until Enchantress reveals herself as the Amazon spy in the Resistance and uses her magic to restore the Marvel Family to their mortal forms. Penthesilea (who was secretly one of the conspirators of the Atlanteans-Amazons war, along with Orm) kills Billy Batson, causing a massive explosion that cripples the opposing forces.
In the wake of the devastation, Thawne appears in front of Flash. The Reverse-Flash reveals that Flash himself created the Flashpoint timeline by traveling back in time to stop him from killing Barry's mother. Barry pulled the entire Speed Force into himself to stop Thawne, transforming the timeline by shattering the history of his allies. Thawne resets Barry's internal vibrations, enabling him to remember this. According to Thawne, these actions transformed him into a living paradox, no longer requiring Barry to exist and allowing him to kill the Flash without erasing his own existence. Thawne continues to taunt Barry with this knowledge until Batman kills him with an Amazonian sword.
As the fight continues, Superman arrives and begins to aid the heroes, first by landing hard enough to crush the Enchantress under his feet. Thomas insists that Barry puts history back to normal to undo the millions of deaths. Meanwhile, Cyborg detects seismic activity which he claims could destroy the world. Waves start to approach. Now knowing the point of divergence, the Flash restores the timeline. As he enters the timestream, a dying Thomas thanks him for giving his son a second chance and gives Barry a letter addressed to Bruce. Barry then meets with his mother and bids a tearful farewell to her.
Traveling back in time, Barry merges with his earlier self during the attempt to stop Thawne. While traveling through time, Barry realizes he can see three different timelines — DC (New Earth), Vertigo (Earth-13), and WildStorm (Earth-50). A mysterious hooded figure (later revealed to be a cursed immortal Pandora) tells him that the world was split into three to weaken them for an impending threat, and must now be reunited to combat it. The DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm universes are then merged, creating a brand new DC Universe. Barry then wakes up in a similar manner to the beginning of Flashpoint, also retaining all his memories from the alternate timeline. Believing that everything is over, Barry remembers Thomas' letter and gives it to Bruce, who is still the Batman in this timeline. Bruce, deeply touched by his father's sacrifice to ensure his son's life, cries and expresses his gratitude to Barry for informing him of the events that transpired before the timeline was reset.
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1–6
- The Flash #8–12
- Flashpoint Main Series
- Flashpoint #1–5
- Booster Gold #44–47
- Mini-series: Several tie-in mini-series were announced via DC's "The Source" Blog and the creative teams were announced in March 2011.
- Batman-centric: Whatever Happened to Gotham City?
- Villains: Whatever Happened to the World’s Greatest Super Villains?
- Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1–3, written and drawn by Scott Kolins.
- Flashpoint: Deathstroke & the Curse of the Ravager #1–3, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and drawn by Joe Bennett & John Dell.
- Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1–3 written by Adam Glass and drawn by Rodeny Buchemi & Jose Marzan with cover by Miguel Sepulveda.
- Flashpoint: The Outsider #1–3, written by James Robinson and drawn by Javi Fernandez with cover by Kevin Nowlan
- Green Lantern/Superman: Whatever Happened to the Aliens?
- Mystic-centric: Whatever Happened to Science & Magic?
- Whatever Happened to Europe?
- Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1–3, written by Tony Bedard and drawn by Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes.
- Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1–3, written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and drawn by Scott Clark & David Beaty with covers by Ed Benes.
- Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1–3, written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and drawn by Eddy Nunez & Sandra Hope.
- Everything You Know Will Change in a Flash
- He Never Got the Ring
- Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1, written by Sean Ryan and drawn by Ug Guara with cover by Francis Manapul
- Flashpoint: Reverse-Flash #1, written by Scott Kolins and drawn by Joel Gomez with cover by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes
- Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1, written by Pornsak Pichetshote and drawn by Mark Castiello with cover by Viktor Kalvachev
- Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1, written by Mike Carlin and drawn by Rags Morales with cover by Rags Morales
The series is collected into a number of volumes:
- Flashpoint (collects Flashpoint #1–5, 176 pages, softcover, March 13, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3338-4 hardcover, October 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3337-6)
- Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring The Flash (collects Grodd of War #1, Kid Flash Lost #1-3, Legion of Doom #1-3, Reverse Flash #1 And Citizen Cold #1-3, 256 pages, paperback, March 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3408-9)
- Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Wonder Woman (collects Emperor Aquaman #1-3, Outsider #1-3, Lois Lane and the Resistance #1-3 And Wonder Woman and the Furies #1-3, 272 pages, paperback, March 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3410-0)
- Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Superman (collects World of Flashpoint #1-3, Booster Gold #44-47, The Canterbury Cricket #1 And Project Superman #1-3, 256 pages, paperback, March 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3434-8)
- Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Batman (collects Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1-3, Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1-3, Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1-3 And Secret Seven #1-3, 272 pages, paperback, March 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3405-4)
- Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Green Lantern (collects Hal Jordan #1-3, Abin Sur - The Green Lantern #1-3, Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1-3, and Green Arrow Industries #1, 224 pages, paperback, March 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3406-2)
The prelude titles were also collected:
- The Flash Volume 2: The Road to Flashpoint (collects The Flash vol. 3 #8–12, 128 pages, hardcover, October 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3279-5)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point (collects Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1–6, 144 pages, paperback, April 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3047-4)
In other media
The Flashpoint comic book has been adapted several times, including as a 2013 DC Universe Animated Original Movie entitled Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which closely adapts the comic's story. A series of Flashpoint-inspired alternate skins were made also available for Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Deathstroke in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us as downloadable content.
Several allusions to Flashpoint are made in The Flash television series, and the show eventually, but loosely adapts the comic book in its third season. The series first drew inspiration from Flashpoint by incorporating the character Farooq/Blackout in The Flash season one episode "Power Outage". In "Rogue Time", the Flash is warned that going back in time to save his mother's life would have a terrible ripple effect on the timeline, and in the season finale, "Fast Enough", Flash is told not to do so by his own future self, and shares a conversation with his dying mother that is similar to the one in the comic. In season two episode "Rupture", Barry re-enacts the accident that gave him his powers to regain them in a scene inspired by Flashpoint.
The season two season finale, "The Race of His Life", begins a loose adaptation of Flashpoint when Barry, grief stricken after Hunter Zolomon/Zoom kills his father Henry, travels back to 2000 to stop Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash from killing Nora and radically altering the timeline. In the season three premiere, "Flashpoint", Barry has been living in the new timeline (which Eobard, imprisoned in a carbine cell Barry built, dubs 'Flashpoint') for three months with both his parents alive and begins dating Iris, while Wally West protects the city as the Flash. However Barry discovers that Joe is a reclusive alcoholic frequently missing shifts at work, Cisco Ramon is a billionaire tech genius but is self centered and has no interest in helping Barry and Caitlin Snow is not a biologist but a pediatric ophthalmologist. Like the comic story Barry starts to lose his memories as the Flashpoint timeline starts to overwrite the timeline he's familiar with. Eobard tries to convince Barry to release him so they can fix what he did but Barry refuses to listen and tries to make things better by helping Wally stop his archenemy, Edward Clariss/The Rival. Barry succeeds in stopping Edward who is killed by Joe but not before fatally wounding Wally. Realizing the effects of Flashpoint are only going to get worse Barry releases Eobard and he takes Barry back to 2000 where he kills Nora and returns Barry to the proper 2016. Before leaving Eobard leaves a taunting hint that things aren't exactly the same (as evidenced by Eobard alive in 2016 whereas he was erased from existence in 2015 when Eddie killed himself). In the subsequent episode, differences from the original timeline include Cisco being distant from Barry after his brother died in a car accident and Barry wouldn't go back in time to save him, Iris and Joe West having a strained relationship from the discovery that Iris's mother was alive and Joe never told her the truth, John Diggle has a son John. Jr rather than a daughter Sara, Barry has a colleague in the forensics department called Julian Albert who he's been apparently working with for a year and Caitlin has ice metahuman powers that she has been concealing from the rest of the team. Barry attempts to go back to reset the timeline again, but is talked out of it by Jay Garrick, who compares the timeline to a coffee cup that has been broken as it will never be completely the same when fixed no matter what Barry does.
- "Flashpoint Thursday Noon Eastern Edition, Live from ComicsPro at DC's The Source blog". Dcu.blog.dccomics.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- "Flashpoint Friday: Everything Will Change in a Flash at DC's The Source blog". Dcu.blog.dccomics.com. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- "Flash Preview". Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- Johns, Geoff (w). Flashpoint 1 (May 2011), DC Comics
- Azzarello, Brain (w). Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance 2 (June 2011), DC Comics
- Azzarello, Brain (w). Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance 3 (July 2011), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Flashpoint 2 (June 2011), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Flashpoint 3 (July 2011), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Flashpoint 4 (Early August 2011), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Flashpoint 5 (August 2011), DC Comics
- "DC DC Rolls Out "Flashpoint" Mini Creative Teams". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Renaud, Jeffrey (May 27, 2011). "FLASHPOINT FACTS: Lemire Bolts Frankenstein into "Flashpoint"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Campbell, Josie (April 29, 2011). "FLASHPOINT FACTS: DnA Takes On "Lois Lane" and "Wonder Woman"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
- Warner Home Video issues press release, new images from Superman Unbound
- "Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Bones, Once, Homeland, Blacklist, Haven, Reign, TVD, Sleepy Hollow and More". TV Line. September 5, 2014. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- "Grant Gustin on 'The Flash': "My Favorite Character That I'll Ever Get to Play"". The Hollywood Reporter. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.