Comic book fans likely already know why DC Comics and Warner Bros. have decided to turn the "Flashpoint" limited series into an animated feature; being one of the most critically-praised and universe-altering crossover events from writer and DC Entertainment exec Geoff Johns, it seemed inevitable. But the regrettably-named DCU: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is going to be unlike previous films in several key ways.
The Justice League members will still be featured, but they won't be the ones entrusted with carrying the plot and giving fans more of the heroism they know and love. This is Barry Allen's show, and the newest peek behind the scenes gives a brief rundown for those unfamiliar with Barry's backstory, while highlighting the impressive voice cast assembled for the adaptation.
Name aside (we're just going to refer to it as Flashpoint), there is reason to be excited for the film. Even if The Flash isn't your favorite superhero, that doesn't mean he's one to doubt in a leading role - a fact that the filmmakers are likely trying to prove with this feature. A live-action Justice League film, or for that matter, a standalone Flash movie are far from possibility, but there's no reason to not to show that heroes other than Superman and Batman can headline a film.
And if you're trying to tell a gripping, imaginative tale to get viewers into the mind of Barry Allen, "Flashpoint" is the tale you're looking for. One of the only superheroes capable of bending time (thanks to his mastery of acceleration), Barry Allen faces a moral dilemma every day that his colleagues do not; Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter all lost their family, but Barry is the only one with the ability to feasibly bring them back.
In The Flashpoint Paradox, that's exactly what he does. By rescuing his mother, Barry warps the world in ways he can't even comprehend. The ripples through time turn crime-fighters into crime-lord, villains into heroes, and Europe into a devastated battlefield in the war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
There's only one way for Barry to set things right in a world where he never became The Flash: get Batman to help.
Not the Batman fans are familiar with - although Kevin Conroy will be voicing Bruce Wayne as well - but rather Thomas Wayne, a less-brilliant, more tortured dark knight. Allen's voice will be supplied by Justin Chambers, with his Grey's Anatomy co-star Kevin McKidd voicing the elder Wayne, Dana Delany reprising her role as Lois Lane, and Nathan Fillion once again supplying a cameo as Hal Jordan.
Of particular interest is the new voice of Superman: although Matt Bomer (White Collar) is lending his talents for the big blue Boy Scout in Unbound, Warner Bros. has tapped Sam Daly for the role in Flashpoint. Since Tim Daly was - and remains - the voice of Superman for an entire generation of cartoon fans, it seems poetic that his son will take up the mantle.
Take a look at the official synopsis:
When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for The Flash and his family, the ripples of the event prove disastrous as a fractured, alternate reality now exists where a Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Teaming with a grittier, more violent Dark Knight and Cyborg, Flash races to restore the continuity of his original timeline while this new world is ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans. With breath taking action and an all-star voice cast, it’s a bold, emotional vision that will forever change the landscape of the DC Universe.
Warner Bros. isn't straying too far from their tried-and-true strategy for the time being, with Superman: Unbound being released before Flashpoint. Whether this feature is a sign that more DC heroes will be getting their chance to shine or not, the future could be bright for DCU animation. Provided they keep up their standards.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, On Demand, and digital platforms July 30th, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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