Flashpoint: DC Resurrects Their Fan-Favourite Timeline
Updated: Mar 9
The DC multiverse is full of all types of alternate universes and timelines with variations of iconic heroes such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but there has arguably been no alternate reality that has had a bigger impact on DC Comics in recent years than Flashpoint.
The original 2011 crossover event, written by Geoff Johns with art by Andy Kubert, introduced a different take on the main DC universe after The Flash, Barry Allen, travels back in time to save his mother thus sparking huge ramifications on the DC universe as he returns to his present day. Thomas Wayne as Batman, Wonder Woman and her Amazons at war with Aquaman and his Atlanteans and Superman imprisoned by the US Government are some of the many changes that occurred after Flash’s time-meddling antics. However, the timeline is making its grand return with a brand-new mini-series dubbed ‘Flashpoint Beyond’.
(cover by Dexter Soy via DC Comics)
Original Flashpoint writer Geoff Johns is returning to the world of Flashpoint alongside co-writers Jeremy Adams (The Flash) and Tim Sheridan (Teen Titans) to dive deeper into the world of Flashpoint and continue the story of perhaps it’s most tragic figure, Thomas Wayne Batman. Johns will also be teaming up with ‘Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance’ artist Eduardo Risso for Flashpoint Beyond #0 which will be focusing on the twisted alternate reality Dark Knight and he circumstances surrounding the mysterious return of the Flashpoint universe.
After the pilot issue, the three writers will be joined by popular artist Xermanico (Infinite Frontier) as Flashpoint Batman will be hunting down a mysterious new villain known as Clockwork Killer. Johns and his fellow writers had this to say about the upcoming mini-series:
"In addition to having a story to tell with Thomas Wayne, it really started with Eduardo Risso," Johns says. "I’ve wanted to do something with Eduardo since I was introduced to his work back in 100 Bullets. Eduardo was one of the few artists left on my list that I’d never gotten to collaborate with, so when we were first talking about re-visiting Flashpoint, I said I would love to work with him – and he was interested and jumped on board. Along with the story, that sealed it for me."
Johns continues, "And it was also Jeremy and Tim, who I’ve loved collaborating with. Jeremy has such a passion for DC lore and exploring it in such an enthusiastic way (I love his Wally) and Tim is always coming from such a wonderful place of emotion. [Former DC editor] Mike Cotton originally got us all together and we brainstormed what going back to Flashpoint might look like. We knew if we were going to do it, we had to have an event story that was in the spirit of the original – emotional, epic, surprising and impactful – centered around the great DC Universe, pointing into the future and focused on character. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Xermanico’s unbelievable work on the series. It’s dripping with power and emotion. It’s just magical."
"Jeremy and I have been friends and colleagues for years - we came up together writing for TV and film - and I’ll work with him any chance I can get," Sheridan says. "We had pitched a half-baked event idea (that we knew would never fly) to DC, but it somehow got us talking about Flashpoint; once we knew that Geoff was considering opening up that world again in Flashpoint Beyond, it all started coming together."
The writers then went onto to talk about Thomas Wayne’s Batman saying:
"In the first Flashpoint, Thomas fixed the timeline. His son grew up, became the Batman we know and love, and what’s more – Thomas saw the fruits of his sacrifice," Adams says. "So, imagine thinking that has been taken away. He is back in the nightmare of that world still existing without his son…It’s the driving force behind his motivation for the series."
(art by Eduardo Rise via DC Comics)
"Thomas has now seen so much of the world beyond that you have to wonder if, in those intervening years, he took in enough of the light to help him see clearly now that he’s back in the darkness that once enveloped and consumed him," Sheridan adds. "I don’t think that question has an easy answer, which is why it’s in many ways at the heart of Flashpoint Beyond."
"This is a man who became The Batman because his child was murdered," says Johns. "Losing a child is obviously a very different emotional pain than losing a parent. A horrific one. But will what Thomas has seen beyond Flashpoint give him hope when he finds himself back in it? Will he fall into his old ways? How violent can Batman be? And what will he stop at to find The Clockwork Killer? The answer: nothing. Because if everything’s going to change anyway… what does it matter what sins he commits?"
(art by Mitch Gerards via DC Comics)
The Clockwork Killer
Johns has confirmed that ‘Flashpoint Beyond’ is a “direct sequel” to the original Flashpoint however the question of how the Flashpoint timeline is still standing remains to be seen after it supposedly being destroyed at the end of ‘The Button’ by Tom King and Joshua Williamson. But this plot point seems to be a key part of the story alongside the aforementioned Clockwork Killer that Johns and co will be telling as they went on to say:
"The Clockwork Killer is a single story," Johns says. "A mystery that will affect Thomas Wayne and all of reality. There will be new characters and concepts between the panels, things that will appear as throwaways at first… but it’s all tightly woven together."
"A lot of the fun for me in writing these events has always been the opportunity to introduce and re-introduce DC characters that aren’t always at the front of the line," says Johns, pointing to the introduction of the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle in Infinite Crisis and how the original Flashpoint foreshadowed developments like Cyborg's rise to prominence in the New 52 and the reinvention of the Shazam family. Flashpoint Beyond will be no exception.
"In Flashpoint Beyond, there’s an unlikely character that will get some focus: the son of Harvey Dent, Dexter Dent, who was first seen in Brian and Eduardo’s Batman story," Johns teases. "Also, although they aren’t front-and-centre, I’ve been diving into the Time Masters – Rip Hunter, Bonnie and Corky Baxter and Dr. Jeffrey Smith – looking at both their series that spun out of Showcase way back when and Bob Wayne’s later work on Time Masters (Dan Jurgens’ too). There are other characters, including versions of heroes and villains we never saw in the first Flashpoint, but we’ll save those for the book."
"That’s part of the joy of playing in the Flashpoint sandbox," Sheridan says. "Geoff’s premise allows us to look at characters we think we know inside and out, but through a different lens. Or, in some cases, in a funhouse mirror. These are still the same people we know, but their circumstances have shaped them, bringing certain traits to the surface, maybe suppressing others, and often tricking us into thinking we’re looking at totally different people. But it’s still Kal-El, and (though it’s Thomas) it’s still Batman…I think the reminder is that we’re all nurtured by the world we create — and that’s not always for the better."
Flashpoint Beyond #0 hits comic shelves on Tuesday, April 5, with issue #1 following two weeks later on April 19. To get all caught up on the events that unfolded before this upcoming series you can pick up ‘Flashpoint’, 'Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint featuring Batman' and ‘The Button’ down below:
Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint featuring Batman - https://amzn.to/3r16N0i
The Button - https://amzn.to/3nTcXh2
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Are you looking forward to the expansion of the Flashpoint universe? Will you be picking this comic up? Let us know in the comments down below.