July 30 2017

Flashpoint as the starting point for the Flash makes no sense

Wouldn’t it be great if you could start a marathon 13 miles in? What if you immediately had a player on third base in a baseball game? Or what about if you launch a series of movies with a very late in life storyline?

During San Diego Comic-Con Warner Brothers announced that the first solo Flash movie would be entitled “Flashpoint.” More people are familiar with this storyline than there were a few years ago due to The Flash TV series. But if you don’t know it by name, remember when Barry ran back in time and saved his mother, changing the outcome of various people’s lives? That’s Flashpoint.

In the comics it was a much bigger deal than it was in the TV show. Bruce Wayne was killed in Crime Alley causing his mother to become the Joker and his father to become Batman. The Amazonians and Atlantians were at war after Wonder Woman had killed Mera – Aquaman’s wife – for discovering the two were having an affair. Superman was kept powerless in a red sun room by the government and on and on and on.

I took a while pondering my thoughts on this project. Some people think it makes sense for Barry to immediately run back and save his mother, which is true in a real world scenario. From a story telling perspective, however, you have to earn a story like this.

What do I mean by “earn?” When you first meet a character, you’re going in cold. You don’t know this person, their dreams, their motivations and so on. To alter their life, there has to be something to alter. Even in the TV series they waited three seasons to tackle this story, and while they didn’t do an awesome job, it still felt earned. We know Barry wanted to save his mother. We knew he wanted to get his father out of jail. And, most importantly, we saw him work on his powers to where he could finally accomplish this goal.

While we have seen Flash very briefly in two films, and he will appear in Justice League , what do we really know about him?  In all of this we know nothing about this version of Barry, and you can’t expect everyone coming in to know his back story. When he runs back in time will he have had to work up to the point where he can run fast enough to break the time barrier? Will the Speed Force seek to punish him for his actions? Will the Reverse Flash be involved, and if so, what are his motivations?

Again, this is all about earning the story. If Warner Brothers wanted to do this in a second or third film I wouldn’t be saying a thing. Doing it at the start? That’s just par for the course for the DCEU. Warner Brothers wants all of the success of Marvel, but they don’t want to put in the work to get there, and Flashpoint being the first Flash movie is just like shining a giant beacon on that exact issue.

This is a bad idea on just about every front, and really is the last straw for me. The movies up to now have been painful to watch. I will still check them out, but as for me being eager or excited for them? When Warner Brothers is willing to actually put in the work to make this entire plan work, then I’ll care again.

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