The multiverse is all the rage in Hollywood today – from Marvel Studios’ emerging Multiverse Saga to the recent release of Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse. Now it's time for DC to join the party with their upcoming film, The Flash, set to hit theaters on June 16.
To make sure you’re prepped for all the multiversal excursions that will take place, we’re running through a deep dive into the comics run that will inspire the newest film: Flashpoint.
The Flash movie: Flashpoint explained
Flashpoint was a reboot event in DC Comics that ended the continuity of New Earth, which was the mainstream reality of the DC Multiverse. When getting into the specifics, this timeline ran between 1986 and 2011, until Flashpoint created the start of Prime Earth and the New 52. The latter is about the relaunch event of its entire line of comics with the publication of 52 new comic series.
These seismic changes occur after the Flash uses his Speed Force to travel back in time to save his mother. After Barry Allen wakes up in an alternate timeline that is highlighted by his mother Nora being alive, and one in which the Flash, the Justice League, and Superman do not exist, he soon comes to realize that he is the only individual aware of the differences the main timeline and this altered one.
After embarking on a mission to discover the root cause of this alternate timeline by working with various reimagined heroes, it is revealed that the Flash himself created this alternate “Flashpoint” timeline by traveling back in time to stop his mother from being killed. To correct these ramifications and restore the correct timeline, the Flash must once again go back in time and merge with his earlier self at the moment he caused these changes.
After successfully traveling back to merge with his earlier self, Barry believes that everything has been set right and that any ramifications have been taken care of. However, it’s soon revealed that an entirely brand new DC Universe has been created in merging with his early himself and rectifying these alternate timelines. Years of events have been removed from various staple DC heroes, thus making the “New 52.”
How will the film adapt Flashpoint?
The Flash is expected to take elements of the Flashpoint storyline to usher a new era of DC Comics on the big screen, coinciding with James Gunn and Peter Safran helming the DC Cinematic Universe in the future. Like its comics counterpart, Superman (Kal-El) is replaced with Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), while this universe’s Batman is represented by Michael Keaton’s portrayal in the 1989 film. In the comics run, Thomas Wayne dons the role of the Dark Knight rather than Bruce.
With Gunn and Safran already confirming that the DC Extended Universe will cease to continue, its means that character portrayals such as Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will likely be reimagined on the big screen.
Similar to how Barry established the main timeline in the comics run and subsequently established New Earth and the New 52, it feels applicable that upon the conclusion of The Flash, a new DC Universe on the screen will, in turn, be formed going forward. The film's events would help explain the shift in new actors portraying these iconic DC heroes.