WARNING: This article contains minor SPOILERS for Justice League
The Flashpoint Batman joining the DCEU may be every fan's dream, but Justice League proves that a Cyborg team-up is what the solos Flash movie really needs. We're as surprised as any DC fan to say it, since the idea of 'Thomas Wayne becoming Batman in an alternate DCEU' sells itself. The studio obviously agrees, with Geoff Johns describing Flashpoint as a "Batman story." But as exciting as it may be for fans to dream of how the Flash solo movie may reset DC's entire universe, it seems a shame to throw out the chemistry and potential in Barry Allen's friendship with Victor Stone.
As one of Justice League's undisputed bright spots, the scenes shared between stars Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher show why rumors of a Flash/Cyborg team-up movie surfaced so early after casting. Given the state of DC's movie universe, it only makes sense to build on that partnership in Barry Allen's solo story. Whether or not the movie Flashpoint reboots the DCEU, Barry Allen will need a friendly face beside him when he does it.
There may be a role for Thomas Wayne to play in the Flashpoint movie, but if Cyborg takes on the spotlight next to The Flash instead, DC can succeed in making BOTH standouts for the future. Allow us to explain how.
The Original Flashpoint Teams Barry With Batman
As any fan of DC Comics will be quick to explain, Flashpoint may be a Barry Allen adventure - but it's the alternate universe Batman who challenges him for the spotlight. In fact, it's the Dark Knight who demonstrates just how much carnage Flash wrought by traveling back in time to save his mother's life... but not the way readers would expect. When Barry finds his way into the Batcave to seek assistance from one of his best Justice League friends, he's shocked to find himself attacked instead of embraced. The alternate universe Barry created is one in which he never became a speedster. Never met Batman, either.
But when this timeline's Batman is revealed to be Thomas Wayne, Barry understands that due to the ripples of his one change, a boy and his mother died in Crime Alley instead of a future hero's parents.
The story shows how important Bruce's character really is to him becoming a disciplined vigilante, since Thomas Wayne is consumed by anger and grief, channeling his rage into greater violence and darkness than his son ever did beneath the cape and cowl. Eventually, the promise of a world in which his son survives convinces Thomas to help Barry get his powers back and set the universe right. And in a heartfelt final twist, provides Barry with a letter from Thomas to his dead son - to deliver to his son, having never really known his father.
It's that kind of emotional story and resonance throughout the DC Universe that makes Ezra Miller want Flashpoint Batman to be a part of the story. And for his part, Jeffrey Dean Morgan wants to play Batman anywhere, anytime.
Thanks to Zack Snyder's casting, adapting this specific Flashpoint story means Morgan would play a major role as Thomas Wayne's version of Batman (with the Watchmen star even suggesting Zack Snyder intended him to be Batman in just such a twist). And when it was confirmed that DC's planned Flash movie would share the title, Morgan joked that he and co-star Lauren Cohan knew what Flashpoint meant for Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Remember when we said Martha Wayne also died in that alley? We mean that the woman she was ceased to exist. Her grief drove her into murderous madness, becoming the Flashpoint timeline's version of The Joker. So yes, a Flashpoint movie could introduce yet another version of The Joker to DC's movie universe.
A Cyborg Team-Up is Easier & More Powerful
Yes, we know: there's already a role for Cyborg in Flashpoint. But considering that role is helping Flash and Batman track down a captured and malnourished Superman to help end a global war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman, we would suggest the story needs some streamlining. Unless, of course, DC Films wants to turn this Flashpoint movie into a Justice League sequel filled with nightmare versions of beloved heroes (seeming less and less likely these days). And as compelling a character as the Flashpoint Batman may be to fans, we would point out that Flash's strongest connection in his Justice League debut was with a different hero. One that makes a lot more sense for him to seek out upon arrival in Flashpoint - and whose own story seems too rich and meaningful to pass up.
How do you use Flashpoint to build on the friendship between Barry Allen and Victor Stone, while maintaining the themes of Flashpoint? Simple: have Barry meet a version of Victor that never became Cyborg at all. That isn't to say that Thomas Wayne should be removed completely, but his meaning to the core Flashpoint story doesn't take much time to get across (and his reason to assist Barry isn't one to wrestle over). Victor Stone, on the other hand, is a brilliant university student who would believably be Barry's only hope of grasping and unlocking his superpowers and repairing the timeline.
A timeline correction that means very different things to these two men. As Victor and Barry note in Justice League, they are "the accidents" of the team, transformed into superhumans against their will. But with Flashpoint, that involuntary fate is placed in their own hands.
Barry needs Victor's help to recreate his accident so he can get back his life... which dooms Victor to the horrible accident that completely destroys his own. Barry giving up his mother in the original story is heartbreaking, but add in Victor giving up his hopes and dreams - again - and you've got a premise that could make BOTH heroes shine.
Based on Justice League and the actors' chemistry in person, there's little doubt the two could carry a film (with some help from a Wonder Woman cameo or a Thomas Wayne Batman to show audience the real stakes). And with our proposed premise, DC could kill two birds with one stone, using Flashpoint to show what two Justice Leaguers are willing to sacrifice instead of one.
Now the only question is whether DC Films is even willing to tackle a premise so poignant, or avoid such drama entirely for an action comedy, instead. And perhaps most importantly, if they're confident enough to choose not to include Batman in a DC adventure.
Place your bets now.
Header Image edited from MayDayPayDay @DeviantArt
- The Flash Movie release date: Nov 15, 2018