My Personal Flashpoint Paradox
Amazingly, we are only seven months away from the theatrical release of the feature film release of the DCEU’s Flash movie. And I have heavily mixed feelings. I am no fan of the idiotic MCU vs DCEU tripe that has taken such strong root in the blogosphere; if the console fools have seen it fit to lower their weapons in their equally silly console wars, you would think that movie-going comic book fans could do the same even faster. That being said, I give a nod to the architecting of Marvel’s Infinity War, as they have spent nine years meticulously and carefully spooling up to an epic that could easily feature as many as 30 super-heroes crossing the screen in the course of the two to three hour affair. The DCEU has not had nearly as much time in the seat. The risk with the intention to have the film revisit the Flashpoint mythology is most prominent in that Flashpoint features every major character in the DC Universe. Try to pull that off, and there’s a strong chance that it will simply be too much for any director to wrangle. Add that it will require that many of those character actors, if Warner Bros tries to go that route, be in their respective super-hero skins for the first time, and you could have the recipe for a janky, kitchen-sink style movie that could be a big turn-off, even for stalwart fans.
As was the case with my concerns for Civil War, I’m not interested in seeing a movie labeled “Flashpoint” that really isn’t. There’s just no need for this marketing insult to cinema fans’ intelligence to brand it with the name of a popular comic book event arc in an effort to get people to go see it. The only people that the name resonates with are comic book fans, and we’re already going to see the movie anyway. At best, it only insults us. And the normals who are going to go see it don’t care. Still, sales of the Civil War trade paperback did absolutely and provably increase in the build-up to Civil War, so there is that.
I did not even like the name Flashpoint being used to describe the end of Season 2 and beginning of Season 3 of the CW’s The Flash television series and the remainder of Season 3 that dealt with its fallout. It was just too soon for that series as well. Here’s the thing: Flashpoint is a massive tale, and I strongly question any effort to deal with it in a single film. It’s a two-parter at minimum. And it’s huge. Massive. It is something that I feel any franchise incarnation needs to earn, or else its prominence in canon is sullied. I feel like this happened with The Flash Season 3, and it stands good chance to do the same to the DCEU.
Now, I cannot take heartburn with the notion that the intention of Flashpoint may be to reset and reboot the DCEU, a la the New 52. Maybe it’s a window to shuffle out some actors that have been miscast or to help good actors exit the franchise gracefully, if the on-again off-again rumors of whether Batfleck is in or out have any credence. But I’d really rather have those kinds of affairs be dealt with in normal Hollywood fashion and let the tabloids deal with the "why it happened" drivel that is meaningless at its core anyway.
Barry Allen is a character who represents sacrifice. Dude has allowed himself to be killed for the greater good of the overall timeline or dimensions on more than one occasion. It is his singular, defining characteristic. When Grant Gustin pulls his retcon in the CW’s Flash show, I did not feel his two seasons of fighting the good fight really warranted him taking some piece of the timeline out for himself. It was a little too selfish too soon. And here we go again. The movie will be good or bad on its own merits, just as the show was / is. But the end result of actions they have taken on the show that I worried were too soon bore out in that story failing to retain my rabid interest. The Flash went from being my most infatuating of the CW’s four horsemen shows to being the least. I’ll see The Flash: Flashpoint when it releases of course, and judge it on its own merits. This is just a thing in its setup that causes me to fret. I wish them the best of luck, with all sincerity.