With The Flash premiering this week on the CW, this season looks to focus on a major event from the comics known as Flashpoint. This event has had multiple iterations already. One of those adaptations was the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. This film adapted the comic event in several interesting ways. There are some lessons the TV show could adapt into its own storyline.
Barry Grows And Moves On
While Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox was a Justice League movie, it was a story centered on the Flash. Flash is the one constant that bridges the two time streams together. Stretched out and explored over the course of several episodes, the series could emphasize Barry’s struggle to maintain his memories as the world falls apart around him.
This story arc should ultimately be one of regret and growth. Barry must finally and emphatically learn that every action has a reaction, whether positive or negative. Actions that appear good can cause disastrous ripples through the time stream. Maybe this will end the use of time hopping that the show has repeatedly used throughout its run. It needs to be the last major reference to Barry’s dead mother and her traumatic murder.
Flash No More
In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Barry Allen never became the flash and therefore is powerless. As we’ve seen from promo material, Wally West will be assuming the role of Flash in this Flashpoint story arc. As Barry continues to remain in this new timeline, his memories from the past are further lost to him. This creates an interesting dynamic. Now, a powerless Barry is forced into a race against time itself.
In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Barry seeks the aid of Batman to help him regain his abilities. That timeline’s Batman was different than the one Barry knew in his timeline. Of course, the CW hero-verse doesn’t have the luxury of the caped crusader at their disposal. Could Green Arrow step in and feel that role? Perhaps it’s best to leave Oliver Queen alone for the time being. Regardless, all characters involved should be in vastly different places in life. It would be nice if the reliable Harrison Wells isn’t the genius scientist we’ve come to know and love.
Ripples Through Time
Flashpoint could be a great crossover event for all CW superhero shows. It doesn’t appear that any of the shows are heading down that rabbit hole, but this could still be accomplished on a smaller scale. The Flash has been known to utilize its 'rogues’ gallery of second-tier villains well, and this is an opportunity to see those characters again in a different light. This is also an opportunity to see different versions of minor characters from CW’s various superhero shows.
One of the best parts of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox was the use of various known characters in different scenarios. Villains were acting on the side of good, while heroes had given in to their darker nature. While we’ve kind of already seen this with Season 2's Earth-2 storyline — this is an opportunity to explore another, alternate timeline, expanded further with the inclusion of cameos from minor characters seen in Arrow and Supergirl.
Up The Stakes
The repercussions of the shift in the timeline had global socio-political effects. Flash doesn’t have the budget or resources to mimic most of those plot points, but the stakes should be just as high. The time stream has been altered and because of it, something ominous needs to be on the horizon. While a global war involving metahumans isn’t likely, at least the fate of Central City must be at risk. The stakes in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox were high and now the TV show needs to bring the same amount of intensity, raising the stakes within a logical narrative.
A Reversed Fate
The Reverse Flash is perhaps the flash’s greatest nemesis. Eobard Thawne was the first season’s Big Bad. He was able to make an appearance again in Season 2. Now that Barry has changed history (and therefore the future, but let’s ignore the time paradox situation this creates) that means Thawne never died. As Flash’s greatest foe, and with his central role in the event that created the Flashpoint story arc, it would be nice to see the villain reappear once again. The Reverse Flash appeared in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox just to gloat in what he believed was Flash’s final moments. A return of the Reverse Flash would be amazing, even if it would just be for one final showdown.
Gone In A Flash
All of these characteristics could make the flashpoint story arc in The Flash really interesting. There is still one factor that the series could learn from the animated movie: The story arc needs to be short. This isn’t an arc that needs to carry on all season long. Instead, this plot line should be wrapped up by the middle of the season. Flashpoint should be a transition to the new status quo for this series. After all, more than anything, flashpoint is about the long term repercussions of Barry’s actions.
If you're still an episode behind on The Flash, then you might not want to watch the video below, otherwise, check out a sneak peak at the first episode of Season 1:
So what do you think about the possibilities of the Flashpoint story arc on The Flash? Comment below and let me know.