‘Flashpoint’ Turned The DC Universe Upside Down And Created The Wildest Elseworld Ever
The DC Multiverse is rife with various ”Elseworlds” - the company name for alternate realities and timelines - but few, if any, have proven as impactful as the one created by the Flashpoint crossover. Flashpoint has spawned a line-wide reboot of DC continuity via The New 52, been translated into the Arrowverse, and adapted into the animated feature The Flashpoint Paradox. Now, it appears set to make its long-awaited arrival in the DCEU via an upcoming Flash film.
But what, exactly, is Flashpoint anyway, and how was this alternate timeline created in the first place? As strange as it sounds, the answer is the event’s own central protagonist - Barry Allen, better known as the most popular version of the Flash. When he ran back in time and woke up in a different reality, Barry found that everything had changed - and not in a good way.
The Flash Accidentally Created The ‘Flashpoint’ Timeline When He Went Back In Time To Save His Mom
In the current continuity of DC's comics, the events of Flashpoint already happened, did not actually happen, and are somehow still occurring in some obscure corner of the Multiverse. That’s time travel for you!
The whole thing started when Barry Allen woke up in a reality where everything was recognizable but drastically different. At first, the Flash assumed that this was the work of his old time-traveling foe, Professor Zoom, but the truth was much stranger than that. Barry, as it turns out, was the one who created the Flashpoint timeline.
This occurred when, back in the original timeline, learned that it was Zoom who had murdered his mother way back in his childhood, again through the magic of time travel. Flash ran back in time to prevent this from happening, and succeeded - but when he did, he hit Professor Zoom with so much Speed Force that he effectively broke time, and thus created a new timeline where everything went wrong.
In This Reality, Barry Allen Never Became The Flash And The Justice League Never Formed
In the Flashpoint timeline, Barry Allen’s mother, Nora, was never slain by Professor Zoom, but that’s not the only major change to occur in his life. Upon waking up in his new reality, Allen was distraught to discover that he’d completely lost his connection to the Speed Force - because, in this particular reality, Barry Allen never became the Flash.
And there’s a lot of that going around. In Flashpoint, several other prominent heroes, like Hal Jordan, never gained their superpowers - and the Justice League itself was never formed. Thankfully, after a couple of false starts, Allen is able to recreate the lightning-fueled experiment that originally gave him his super-speed - with a little help from a very different version of the Dark Knight.
Bruce Wayne Was Slain In Crime Alley, Leaving His Father To Become A More Vicious Batman
The Wayne family still took that fateful stroll through Crime Alley in the Flashpoint reality, but the results were even more horrific. In this world, it was young Bruce Wayne who was cruelly gunned down in an attempted mugging, leaving his father, Thomas, to swear vengeance on Gotham City’s underworld.
Thus, it is Thomas, not Bruce, who patrols the streets of Flashpoint Gotham by night as the Batman - an even Darker Knight. Thomas’ Batman grew to be even more aggressive than the mainstream version of the character, and unlike his son, this Batman doesn’t have an aversion to using firearms.
Martha Wayne Lost Her Mind And Became The Joker
Bruce Wayne was slain in Flashpoint, and his father became a more aggressive version of the Batman - but what happened to Martha Wayne? Somehow, her fate ended up being the cruelest of all.
Traumatized by the experience of seeing her only son slain, Martha’s mind broke in an instant - before anyone arrived on the scene, she had already painted her face with Bruce’s blood and began to laugh maniacally. Though Thomas tried to treat her madness, it wasn’t long before she had taken Alfred Pennyworth's life and set out on a campaign of evil as this reality’s Joker.
She and her husband would go on to fight many times over the years, with her ultimately perishing in his arms - but not, at least, before learning of her son’s survival in another timeline.
This Thomas Wayne Would Go On To Make A Big Impact On The Mainstream DC Universe
Like everything else in the Flashpoint reality, Thomas Wayne eventually faded into nonexistence after helping Barry Allen reset the timeline - and writing a letter to the surviving version of his son - but that wasn’t the end of his story.
Due to the machinations of godly beings, the Flashpoint Batman found himself transported into the mainstream DC continuity. There, he went on a ruthless campaign to convince Bruce to give up caped crusading, a mission that involved teaming up with Bane and facilitating the demise of Alfred Pennyworth. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bruce rejected his father’s attempts and beat him down instead.
Superman Was Captured By The Government And Kept Away From The Sun
Messing with the timeline can cause all sorts of tiny historical changes to occur, and some of the smallest alterations can have major consequences - as was the case for the Flashpoint version of Superman. In this reality, baby Kal-El’s space pod landed in the middle of Metropolis rather than Kansas, and he was discovered by the US Government rather than Ma and Pa Kent.
Known as “Project One,” this Kal-El was raised in a cold and dark laboratory and never allowed to see the sun. As such, he grew to be scrawny, spindly, and withdrawn. When he was ultimately freed by Flash and his allies in the climax of Flashpoint, however, his heroic nature shone through - and he proved to be a major help in the event’s final conflict.