Review: Flashpoint hardcover/paperback (DC Comics)

December 15, 2011


The DC Universe has restarted before, with a bang. With Flashpoint, the DC Universe begins again not with a whimper, but with a whisper. Flashpoint places an astounding focus on interaction rather than action; it is perhaps the most accessible of all the great DC Comics events, one that may disappoint long-time fans even as it has the best chance of standing the test of time for new ones.

[Contains spoilers]

By the end of the first issue of writer Geoff Johns's Infinite Crisis, we'd already seen Bizarro beat the Human Bomb to death; the number of deaths and decapitations would only rise before the story ended. The body count rose equally quickly in Johns's Blackest Night. Each of these stories were two-to-three issues longer than Flashpoint, and yet I believe those books had really started by the second issue (the Indio Tribe whisking away Green Lantern in Blackest Night, for instance). In contrast, Flash Barry Allen is powerless until the third issue of Flashpoint and spends most of those three issues in the Batcave talking to Batman -- almost half the miniseries -- and ultimately only engages in one or two action sequences in the entire book.

That's not wrong, necessarily, but to be sure it singles out Flashpoint as something else -- a different kind of event miniseries than Geoff Johns has delivered before.

Flashpoint does present the first appearance of the DC New 52 costumes (and some characters), but the new continuity is not its focus. Whereas in DC's ultimate continuity-shattering tale, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Golden Age Superman Kal-L famously wakes up in a world that no longer remembers him, Barry Allen never explicitly understands that the "real" world has changed (things are the same, Barry says, with a fourth wall-breaking glance at the camera, "as far as I can tell"). In this way -- and perhaps because Flashpoint's role in the DC New 52 relaunch was decided after the story's original conception -- Flashpoint is not about continuity-cleaning in the way the other events are. Flashpoint has that as its result, but not as its focus.

Instead, Flashpoint examines one of the central conceits of the DC Universe, that the death of a parent might inspire a child, perhaps obsessively, to a lifetime trying to make up for that loss. Batman is the best example of this in DC Comics, of course, and Flashpoint is very much about Batman even if Bruce Wayne only appears in a handful of pages. Superman is another, the consummate orphan even if, depending on your continuity, he never much knew his Kryptonian parents.

And under Geoff Johns's pen specifically, over the past five years or so, we've seen Superman lose his father Jonathan Kent, Green Lantern Hal Jordan's origin revised so his father died in Hal's childhood, and then Flash Barry Allen's origin revised so his father went to jail for the murder of his mother (and this is aside from Johns's creation Stargirl who dealt with her father's abandonment). It got to be repetitive, frankly, and possibly Johns knew it.

Barry Allen takes a Parallax-like turn in Flashpoint, only worse. The shocking revelation in issue five is that the alternate Flashpoint reality stems not from the villainous Reverse Flash, but from Barry himself having ventured to the past to prevent Zoom from murdering his mother, thus mucking up history but good. Barry's depression over his mother's death -- for which he's been so uncharacteristically distraught that the Flash family staged an intervention in Flash: Road to Flashpoint -- has him so unhinged that he broke superhero rule #1 and messed with time. In the context of Flashpoint, at least, Johns offers no excuses or mitigation for Barry's act -- Barry knew what he was doing was wrong, thought he could get away with it, and nearly destroyed reality instead (with consequences he himself can't perceive).

Johns suggests that this is the end of "parent's death as inspiration for heroism" in the DC Universe. Barry's sorrow over his mother's death has reached outlandish heights, culminating in Flashpoint. Hardly, we know, would Barry's parents want him to torture himself to this extent in their memory -- and if Barry's familial reason for heroism dissipates as he realizes the error of his ways, then so too do some of the others start to thin. Childhood trauma has long since stopped being an effective excuse for Bruce Wayne's nocturnal activities, and when Barry delivers a time-tossed letter from Bruce's father, and Bruce cries and thanks Barry, the reader gets a sense of something ending. These are grown men, unknowingly entering a new universe supposedly more "modern" than the one they just left, and Flashpoint brings a sweet, gentle end to childish things.

There are no absolutes in comics, of course, and even as I write these lines, I have no expectation that this is the last time we'll ever see Batman kneel before the graves of his parents and swear vengeance for their deaths. I was surprised, however, that Johns even kept Barry's mother's death "in continuity," so to speak; I imagine it might be a while before we see Johns visit that particular well again.

As Blackest Night re-established for modern audiences the friendship between Green Lantern and the Flash, Flashpoint does the same for Flash and Batman. This has so far been a juggling act on Johns's part -- Batman missing the Flash at the end of Justice League: The Lightning Saga is one of my favorite comics moments, but for the majority of the time since Flash Barry Allen has been resurrected, Batman Bruce Wayne has been presumed dead. When Barry tells the Flashpoint Batman that Bruce was one of his closest friends, we believe it to be true but in fact we've yet to see Barry and Bruce have a substantial conversation in any comic since Barry's return.

Flashpoint is essentially proof of its own hypothesis; the six-page conversation that Barry and Bruce have in the end is their first, really, and ties up a hanging thread from Johns's Flash stories. It is not the only thread that needed tying, but it does bring to a satisfactory close one aspect of the pre-Flashpoint Flash storyline.

In an interview I gave last year with German writer Stefan Mesch, I commented on how DC's growing emphasis on their most iconic characters (Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Flash Barry Allen) was at odds with the growing demand among fans for diversity; there's no escaping that the Justice League's founders are for the most part white men. I could not conceive of the plan DC already had in the early stages, to retroactively alter the make-up of the Big Seven Justice League to include Cyborg (I know one character of color does not achieve "diversity" necessarily, but it's a start). Flashpoint has a significant moment, pre-empting the changes of the DC New 52, in which President Obama addresses Cyborg as the Flashpoint reality's Superman, essentially; the Flashpoint reality may be a dystopia, but it seems to be a post-racial one, at least.

Johns does not present Cyborg very strongly in Flashpoint -- Johns's Cyborg Victor Stone comports himself well, but he's far from the dynamic breakout star of Flashpoint that Mera was in Blackest Night, and also Cyborg simply disappears with no closing arc at the end of the book -- but I thought Johns's use of Barry Allen here with Vic offered a unique opportunity. Had the Flash in the book been Wally West, his relationship with Vic would be more emotional, like Barry and Bruce; had it been Superman, his relationship with Vic would be more paternal, like hero and sidekick. Barry remarks on Cyborg's increased armor, but otherwise accepts him for who he is; there's no diminutive applied to Cyborg, but rather he's simply a hero.

This is a rare moment for Cyborg -- better, perhaps, than in the New 52, when Cyborg may be a Justice Leaguer but Superman will be back to being Superman. In a rare pointed moment, one of Johns's S.H.A.Z.A.M. kids (the real breakout stars of the book) notes that "perception is reality," and it couldn't be truer here. Cyborg's role with the Justice League may be retroactive continuity, but it's important; more so is seeing Cyborg here, if only for a moment, as the preeminent hero of some DC Universe.

Andy Kubert's art helps Flashpoint's slower moments, to be sure. His crowd scenes are no slouch, but the real power is in his close-ups, whether it's a young Barry Allen on the first pages, the gathered Flashpoint heroes on the Gotham rooftops, or Bruce Wayne with tears in his eyes at the end. It's a rare treat to have a DC Comics mega-event drawn just by one artist throughout; I very much wish DC would leave the covers for the end and let a book like this read like a graphic novel. I'm looking forward to Kubert's guest-stint on Action Comics coming up (though only one issue, sadly); it seems to me that Kubert's art in Flashpoint is slightly stronger in the early issues with inker Sandra Hope than it is later in the book (and the most important reality-warping page, in issue five, looks unfortunately quite hurried), but I'm happy to see him on other titles either way.

At the end of the DC Universe as we know it, a reader expecting Crisis on Infinite Earths will be sorely disappointed. There's not much here, either, for a reader who wants the white-knuckle action of Blackest Night; Flashpoint is closest, in terms of its self-containment, to Final Crisis, but Flashpoint is minuscule next to Final Crisis's scope. Flashpoint is instead exactly what we heard it was from the beginning but perhaps didn't quite believe: a Flash story bigger than some but much smaller than others, which mostly focuses on Flash and Batman. Despite that Flashpoint may not have some of the "wow factor" of any of DC Comics's other event stories, it wins in one crucial area -- accessibility.

Flashpoint is perhaps the most accessible event story DC has ever produced, the one I'm most sure I could give to a new reader and they'd understand it. For a long-time reader, it may feel somewhat unsatisfactory in the end -- what, no red skies? -- but at the dawn of a new DC Universe, maybe this very simple book is exactly what we need to start off a new day.

[Includes original and variant covers, sketchbook section]

Tomorrow at Collected Editions, we'll finish off the week with a Trade Perspectives column not to be missed. Be there!

Comments ( 21 )

  1. I wouldn't dare give this to a new reader. 99% of Flashpoint is relying on you knowing what the characters are like in the normal universe. Not to mention that its just not that good of a story. I don't mind Barry/Bruce teaming up and being the focus, but spending two issues in a batcave and then rushing through every other aspect brought hurts the story and characters. In the end, I just feel as if Flashpoint is Johns justifying his retcon of Barry's origin, which is exactly what he spent 11 issues doing on The Flash series. Flashpoint is easily the most disappointing event I have ever read. Johns and Kubert should have made for the greatest story ever. They should be embarrassed that the best moment was a kid being stabbed by an Amazon. The letter at the end is so heavy handed that I actually rolled my eyes at it. Half of me wants to believe I'm just a jaded Flash fan who read Flashpoint as a culmination of a hurried and depressing Flash run. The other half of me says that between this and Blackest Night, Geoff Johns should just stay away from crossovers for a long time. Regroup and retool. Take a vacation and come up with something interesting.

  2. "... Flashpoint as a culmination of a hurried and depressing Flash run." With you on that point. Having re-read Johns's Flash Barry Allen trades in preparation for Flashpoint, and especially after Road to Flashpoint, I was surprised by how depressing the stories are (and even with Manapul's generally-cheery art).

    In part, I see glimmers in Flashpoint that Johns knew how depressing Barry's stories so far had been, and meant them to be depressing, such that Flashpoint is the "crisis moment" from which Barry can only go up from there. But I recognize that's an interpretation that can only bear out completely with later stories, and Johns isn't writing Barry any more.

    I'm curious about this statement: "... between this and Blackest Night, Geoff Johns should just stay away from crossovers." Do I take it you didn't like Blackest Night? In short, what's the main thing you didn't like about it? Maybe our difference of opinion (though I'm basically with you on this) has to do with different takes on Johns's crossovers; generally I liked Blackest Night.

  3. great review. I really enjoyed most of Flashpoint, especially the Superman break-out issue, the mega-fight, and the Deathstroke/Aquaman scene. Can't wait for the Flashpoint trades to come out, haven't been this excited about reading alternate-world stories since Age of Apocalypse.

  4. Two very different reactions to Flashpoint here in the comments. Fascinating. This was a polarizing event, to be sure. Thanks for the comment.

  5. I can’t help but wonder if Flashpoint was originally planned to go longer than the five issues. Looking at the preview images for this story (I can’t bring myself to call it an event), there does seem to be some different elements shown than the way the story is finally presented. It would go a long way to explaining the strange way the story unfolds. The first three issues are almost leisurely with a frantic race to the end. It really feels like the story size was determined by the need to have the new DC 52 begin in September.
    I’m still trying to reconcile the revelation of Barry’s involvement in the creation of the Flashpoint Universe. Part of me think it’s a cheat, then again there is the brief scene in which Zoom appears to be surprised to see Barry’s mom in this altered universe, which I guess is some foreshadowing.
    In many ways this reminds me of Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse storyline. A changed timeline at the verge of a world ending apocalypse. One hero who knows things aren’t the way it should be. Plus, Andy Kubert also worked on part of Age of Apocalypse cementing the comparison in my mind.
    If anything felt unearned it was the final scene between Barry and Bruce. If the universe had reverted to the pre-Flashpoint universe, it would have felt correct. However, this is a different universe, with essentially a new Batman we have never met, with a relationship with Barry we have to assume is the same as the pre-Flashpoint universe. I wonder if this was a carryover from the ending of the way Flashpoint might have ended if the new DC 52 Universe had taken over the ending.
    It’s an odd complaint to say a Flash story need to slow down, but if it had remained in the main Flash title and had a little longer to breathe, I would have felt more invested in the story.

    Greg A

  6. I loved that last scene in Flashpoint that you mention. There's such a wonderful dissonance between art and words in that scene, something I think is a capability largely unique to comics.

    First, Barry runs straight into the Batcave; we've been *told* he's friends with Bruce all along, but we've never *seen* it until now, and it's absolutely charming in a Batman: Brave and the Bold kind of way. This is about as far from the early JLA "hh" Batman as you can get.

    Second, most importantly, Barry and Bruce proceed to talk about how things haven't changed, when the irony is that the reader clearly knows they have. This comes to a head when Barry looks straight at the camera and says that things are normal "as far as I know" -- take what you will whether this is Johns capitalizing the irony, or if we're supposed to take from the panel that Barry is lying and *does* know things have changed.

    Either way, the disconnect is important here. I think the message is that the the DC Universe is changing, but it's still the DC Universe. It's a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll -- either this is the first scene in Bruce and Barry's new relationship (convincing, because we never actually saw their old relationship) or the last scene of the old DC Universe -- or really an amalgamation of the two. It's the first/last old/new scene of the DC Universe, all at once, possibly meant to make your head spin in just the way it does.

    In my humble, respectful opinion, you're all not giving this scene enough credit. If you had to end the DC Universe, really end it, what would you do? Superman winking and flying off? Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman together at Planet Krypton? Johns goes the "Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" route -- Batman, the Dark Knight, tortured throughout his life, gets a letter, an actual here-and-now letter (since Flashpoint "is reality," the story keeps telling us) from his father. If you discard the twenty times we've already seen Bruce meet the ghost of his father, this is *huge*.

    And then the end: "Thank you, Barry." "You're welcome, Bruce." How does the DC Universe end? Batman gets some peace, and two heroes thank one another. It is not the best ending one could possibly conceive for the DC Universe, but it is *an* ending, and one with some resonance.

    ... Or maybe I'm just a sap. That's possible, too. :-)

  7. I liked the camaraderie if not the story idea...sure it's a well executed story, but how many times have we seen it before? Age of Apocalypse, House of M, Armageddon 2001. To me, this is just Zero Hour done to the max....there the heroes stop Parallax, here nobody stops Barry. It's also interesting that Green Lantern Hal was there to see Barry's fall, but Barry wasn't there to see Hal's fall from grace.

  8. I actually started reading Flashpoint without having read any of Geoff Johns' Flash stories (or Blackest Night) previously. My absolute first comics exposure to Barry Allen was in the New 52 Justice League, so for this storyline, I suppose I'd count as a fairly new reader. Accordingly, I had no real idea what was going on with Barry. It didn't strike me as depressing or disappointing, or as impressive, because I didn't have the context. I thought the ending was sweet, though. And I appreciated that aside from the two-page spread of reality altering near the end (you know the one), the book tried to end as an actual book, rather than as a big meta-marketing-event. You get the feeling you can take it as a trigger for the New DC, if you're an old reader who wants a launch point, or just take it as the last storyline of the previous DC, if you're a new reader who doesn't want the complications of past continuity.

    What really interested me about Flashpoint, however, was the actual dystopian world. I got into the storyline because I picked up an issue of Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons, and all I could think of was that for a crossover event that wasn't a crossover event (a Crisis that wasn't a Crisis?), the worldbuilding was astonishingly thorough. I had no idea what was going on. I recognized the characters, but it felt like dropping in the middle of the third season of a television series.

    I was surprised to see that Flashpoint itself was only five issues. You get the feeling that the majority of the storytelling is done in the tie-ins, like Flashpoint itself is only the highlights. It's strange to see Flashpoint on a shelf without the accompanying extras, I imagine the reading experience is completely different with and without.

    Going to review those tie-ins, CE?

  9. I definitely wouldn't call you a sap; however I would be the first to admit I'm probably too cynical for my own good and have read way too many comics in my time.

    Reading this story for the first time after all of the initial buzz had died down, my expectations were much lower. As a whole the series felt like it lowered itself to my expectations by being more like Flash issues 13-17 than the end of the DC Universe.

    Here's the thing, I don't think that final scene was originally designed to be the ending of the DCU, which why it feels like a square peg being placed into a round hole.

    Now if I were tasked to show the end of the DCU, I would have probably ended it with the Justice League going into battle (something similar to the way Angel ended) just to show their battle is never ending.

    Ultimately in my cold cynical heart, I felt the story was just okay and suffers by the knowledge that something bigger, newer and shinier is just around the corner.

    Greg A

  10. Flashpoint is certainly an atypical DC event story. Much like Blackest Night was originally planned as a Green Lantern-centric event before DC saw the popularity of Sinestro Corps War, I wonder if Flashpoint could've been developed as an arc for The Flash comic before being expanded out and tied into the relaunch.

    Given how focused the story is on Barry's perspective, it's a possibility. One of my favourite things about the execution is the sense of urgency and impending doom as Barry rushes from location to location, struggling to stop a war that has already spiraled beyond his control. The reader is so closely tied to/invested in Barry's progression (or lack thereof, sometimes) that it's easy to forgive that we only get fleeting glimpses of the larger picture. In fact, because Flashpoint treats its changes so matter-of-factly in the main narrative, it actually lends credence to the epic, lived-in nature of this reality. Who is The Outsider? Fill in the blanks yourself (or read the mini), because the Flashpoint world is gonna end far sooner than Johns has time to commit it to paper.

    Now those positive qualities are also the same reason I feel this story works as a Flash arc but fails as an event title. Because comic readers simply don't like being told that to discover the larger Flashpoint world, they need to invest in more than a dozen mini-series and one shots. What works narratively as a peek into Aquaman and Deathstroke's battle becomes an advertisement for you to pick up the arc in full. So blend it all together. If DC had figured out their plans sooner, I would've been curious to see Flashpoint get the twice-weekly treatment while Brightest Day became the mini, as one definitely needed more space while the other could've done with a little less.

  11. Your review makes this book sound much smarter than the crap that it actually is.

  12. Johns should thank you... you'll trick someone into buying his book. I bet that's your vengeance for having spent money on the HC, none-the-less.

    To me this book fails on what should have been it's main point. Stablishing a coherent reason for the differences between continuity and Flashpoint-continuity. Reality is warped all around without purpose. Action is senseless and stupid and Johns keeps on hammering his retcons. I don't understand why Flash has to be a tragic hero, he never was one, and he doesn't need to be one.

    Flashpoint is probably one of the worst events ever, and that's not because I expected Crisis and got something else... at this point I expect anything but a "Crisis" from a DC event. My problem with the book is that it is a mess, it introduces changes because it can, and never focusses on making a point, which is the reason why Elseworlds exists in the first place. There is a lot of white noise in the book and too many inconsequential tie-ins.

  13. Batman was Thomas Wayne......

  14. No, I did not enjoy Blackest Night. Great art, sure but it was basically Johns' throwing a ring at the end of every issue to every character. How embarrassing was that Rise "Bruce Wayne"! moment? Ridiculous. Everyone totes that this was Mera's coming out party. She had a good line about how The Flash is The Flash, and fought someone...just like every other hero. What's so terrific about that? I've read Blackest Night(and its GL counterparts) twice now and its still amazing to me how it gets praised at all beyond issue one. A group of white lanterns save the day with a...remind me again what they did besides run towards the bad guy? And that ending that is more setup than finale...I don't want to clog your review with an off topic rambling rant anymore than I already have but needless to say, I think Geoff Johns should find the nearest time machine and find the part of his skill that wrote The Flash: Blitz or even the guy who made Adventure Comics interesting for about 6 months.

  15. @Estaban - You wrote that Flashpoint's main point should have been "Establishing a coherent reason for the differences between continuity and Flashpoint-continuity." That basically means the story should have been about explaining changes to continuity.

    Sorry, but that would just reek of DC circa 1995. I'm *thrilled* that DC has abandoned the whole 80s/90s shackles of telling stories about its continuity. Sure - in general, I like consistency, but failing that I don't demand an in-story epxlanation for why things have changed.

    Instead Flashpoint was about how changes to history affect their most important, primary characters. And to an extent it's a quasi-examination of their reaction (predominantly Batman and Flash) Which is not to say Flashpoint was brilliant, or perfect. It had most of the same strengths/weaknesses as the rest of Johns' work.

    To that extent, it was a relatively straight-forward time-travel / alternate reality story. And for the most part a pretty effective, stand-alone yarn.

  16. Great review. It's funny to see the mixed reactions here. Honestly Flash (any version) really bored me growing up. I wanted to read Flashpoint so I bought the two Flash TPB leading up to it and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. Manapul's art is fantastic, but I also loved the stories. I didn't see depressing, I saw a character struggling with serious issues. I'm a big Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Batman fan and love to come across stories that are 5% action and 95% character like these two trades.
    Considering the lead up I thought flashpoint had a TON of action and every page was extremely entertaining. I think it's perfectly concise at 5 issues and would not like to see it stretched out. I also love any Elseworld tales so this book really hit every point for me!

  17. @Duder That's not at all why I meant. I'm sorry if I didn't express myself properly.

    Stories have to have a point, a message if you will. Life can be senseless, but stories are suppossed to exists for a reason.

    Whenever you read a good What if or a good Elseworlds, reality is changed to express an idea of the writer, whatever that might be. Superman raised as Batman would have been a cruel person. A world without Superman is a world without heroes, whatever. You don't just throw stuff because you can, they have to be part of a story, and Flashpointless has a big scenario for a very small story that doesn't need it. There are a lot of threads that lead nowhere.... it sucks... big time!

  18. I think what you're saying, Esteban, is that you like your Elseworlds to have a pervading theme or idea. JLA: The Nail, for instance, was about (I think) how the DC Universe would have unfolded had the Kents not found and adopted Clark. If that's your point, you're correct that Flashpoint didn't have the same kind of "exploratory idea" -- Barry Allen's mother didn't die, but that doesn't explain why Barry never became the Flash, or why Wonder Woman and Aquaman went to war, and so on. It's not a "What if" tale so much as a "things are just different" tale.

    As you can guess I don't necessarily mind that so much. Flashpoint for me was more of a mash-up of the kind like the Tangent Universe -- keep the names, throw away the rest, and see what happens. Obviously Flashpoint still had a "traditional" (more so than Tangent) Batman and Green Lantern, but for things like Captain Marvel, Flashpoint kept the name and basic concept but then went off in its own way (and in regards to Captain Marve, a way that I really liked). Grifter appears alongside the Demon; no pervading theme there, but a fun mash-up that I enjoyed precisely for its randomness.

    That's not for everyone, I know, but am I understanding your point a little better?

  19. Obviously (and as usual), I'm really late to the party here, but I just finished reading the full Flashpoint event, based on recommended reading orders (one of which was CE's), and I LOVED Flashpoint.

    Thanks to all the tie-ins, I really got into the Flashpoint universe. I would certainly grant that the main Flashpoint series had odd pacing if you're reading just that story, but if you're willing to jump issue-by-issue throughout the universe, the pacing is much better (I think so, anyway). I really bought into the Amazonian-Atlantean war, the love and war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I was never a fan of either, but to me Flashpoint was just as much about them as it was Flash (and Batman). Series after series built up this alternate universe, and I bought into it all. Sure, some of it I didn't care for (I thought Legion of Doom was pretty poor, and Secret Seven kind of felt outside of Flashpoint, to me), but overall I thought that they built up a fairly well defined world. In fact, from what I've read of The New 52 so far (mostly just some Volume 1's), I would say that the Flashpoint world felt more consistent, planned out, and defined than the "DCNu".

    At first I felt like the ending came kind of abruptly; there was no resolution to the Aquaman/Wonder Woman story that I felt so invested in, and as CE mentioned the "disappearance" of Cyborg, but then I realized that the whole story was really just leading up to showing how the whole world had gone horribly, horribly wrong. Barry's selfish action cost the lives of hundreds of millions of people! He knew, when he did it, that it was wrong, and he was shown just how wrong it was. He then had to stop himself from stopping his mother from getting killed! A very difficult act, but one that he knew was the better choice, given how the world had turned out.

    Really, my biggest complaint about the series is the changing artists on the various tie-in minis. Thankfully, as you mention, the main Flashpoint book was able to retain Andy Kubert the whole way through, which was a great accomplishment, especially considering that beacuse of the New 52 reboot, they couldn't afford to ship any of these issues late.

  20. Realllllly late to this but for what it's worth, the big flaw in Flashpoint is blaming Barry Allen. If the big bad had been the Reverse Flash, who is the one who mucked with time by murdering Barry's mom, then the story would have made sense. Instead Johns made the decision to turn Barry into the villain for essentially trying to correct time and stop his mom's murder. That makes no logical sense. Also Flashpoint would have been exactly the same story. Nothing would have changed in the plot. So why Johns insisted on making Barry the villain will never make sense to me.


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