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What To Know About DC's Flashpoint Before Seeing The Flash Movie

With the DCEU all but dead and James Gunn's DCU reset on the way with his upcoming "Superman: Legacy," all eyes are on "The Flash." The film has been a long time coming and has faced a number of challenges, including COVID-19-related delays, the dismantling of the DCEU, and the unfolding nightmare that was the drama surrounding the film's star, Ezra Miller. In any case, the movie is headed for theaters on June 16, almost a full 10 years after the announcement.

Most comic book films will take their lead from a book in the company's line, pulling villains and themes straight from the pages to the screens. Sometimes, this elates comic book die-hards, and sometimes, this ensnares new fans. With "The Flash," trailers have made it apparent to many fans that the inspiration for this film comes from the comic book line "Flashpoint." There is a lot that goes down in that storyline in the comics, and like most comic-to-screen adaptations, some things look like direct inspiration, while others look more like different takes on similar ideas. Looking at what we know of the film, here is what you need to know about "Flashpoint" in the comics before running to the theaters to watch "The Flash."

What happened in Flashpoint?

Out of all the options the writers and filmmakers had to pull from in developing a Flash movie for the screen, "Flashpoint" seemed the most obvious choice. It delves into the most bottomless crevasses of the character's trauma, revealing some deep-seated desires to change his past, ultimately leading to what could be the destruction of the world as we know it.

The story starts with Barry Allen charging into the past to save his mother from being murdered, only to return to a present that looks very different than the one he left behind. The first significant change is the most obvious; he is no longer The Flash and is without his powers. Captain Cold, one of his arch-nemeses in his own timeline, is the city's new hero. Superman is nowhere to be found. And Batman is a more murderous version of himself. When Barry investigates these new realities, he discovers that Batman is Thomas Wayne, as Bruce was the one murdered in the alley and Thomas beat up the criminal. The traumatic experience caused Martha to lose her mind and become the Joker. Barry and Bruce find out that Superman crashed in Metropolis and had been kept under lock and key by the U.S. government for decades.

All of this happens against the backdrop of an Atlantian/Amazonian war, with Reverse Flash pulling the strings. Nearly every central character meets a deadly end before Barry can reset the timeline (mostly) and give Bruce a letter written to him by his father. While one movie could never capture the entire story, the trailers have teased us things pulled from the comics.

Characters that are different

First, there are a few characters that are a little different, and some changes that have been made to them that fans will likely recognize right away. The first and most obvious is that Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) still seems to have his powers. That means that his journey through the storyline will differ because he will still be the same Flash we know and love.

The second difference is that, while Barry will get to see two different versions of Batman, he won't see Bruce and Thomas Wayne; he will instead see Bruce Wayne as portrayed by both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. Of course, the appearance of Keaton as the Dark Knight for the first time in 30 years is incredibly exciting, but it does mean that the incredible storyline involving Thomas and Martha on opposite ends of the Batman story won't be happening. But still, fans will get to see Affleck and Keaton in action again, maybe for the last time in both cases.

The other significant character difference will be the absence of Kal-El's Superman and the introduction of Kara Jor-El. With Henry Cavill on the outs and the DCEU introducing new characters even before their impending end, Sasha Calle appears as the Kryptonian who crash-landed in Metropolis and spent decades being held captive by the government. With all the excitement surrounding the new and upcoming James Gunn DCU, perhaps the biggest downside is the possible one-and-done appearance of her Supergirl.

Characters that likely won't appear

Now for the big list — the characters that likely will not be appearing. Of course, all comic book adaptations trim the edges of the story to streamline it for the big screen in an attempt to keep them from being bogged down with too much going on. "The Flash" seems to be doing it in a big way with two significant changes that seem to be missing from the trailers.

The first is the backdrop of the impending war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. In the comics, this is the catalyst for what becomes the end of the world, the big moment that Barry Allen/The Flash is trying to prevent. While the presence of Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman would make for some of the best head-to-head moments in the entire DCEU, their absence in "The Flash" will be felt by the fans. Their battle led to the deaths of Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern, and numerous other characters like Lois Lane, Cyborg, and Aqualad. All of which would likely be too much for one movie.

The other significant change is in the antagonist in the film. In the comics, Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash pulled the strings behind the curtain. In this film, Barry's meddling in the past causes the return of General Zod (Michael Shannon) with no Kryptonian to stop him. Of course, there is still the presence of a second Barry Allen, who could, in all likelihood, be another villain, but there doesn't seem to be evidence that Thawne will make an appearance.

Impact on the comics vs. movies

In the "Flashpoint" comic line, the events erased 10 years of DC history and set up a brand new DC Universe for the comics to do a soft reboot and start writing characters all over again. It was a useful tool to allow new writers and new artists to begin retelling stories that had already been told. In some cases, multiple times.

Warner Bros. Discover and DC look to take the same advantage of the opportunity as they will be using this film to reset the DCEU and kick off the DCU for James Gunn. With the DCEU having fallen apart in multiple areas and the studio taking strides to move on from a franchise that failed to stand up against the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "The Flash" offers a perfect opportunity to reset the film universe for the fans and give DC a clean slate to work with.

There is a lot to look forward to with "The Flash." Ezra Miller was one of the bright spots in a "Justice League" movie (movies) that were marred with controversy. Michael Keaton is a DC legend, and his reappearance in the cowl (especially uttering "I'm Batman" and "You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts") will pull on the nostalgia strings pretty hard. Time will tell if it is the adaptation that both new and old fans hope for.