Western Animation: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Everything you know will change in a flash... again...
"No matter how fast you run, you can't save everyone." —Professor Zoom
What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered that everything around you had changed, so much so that even the familiar is so alien, they are almost unrecognizable? And not only that, but this new world is teetering on the brink of superpowered war? This is the world which Barry Allen finds himself in; this is the world of Flashpoint.Superman is nowhere to be found; in his place, Cyborg is the world's greatest hero. Likewise, Barry's enemy Captain Cold - or rather, Citizen Cold - has filled his spot as Central City's protector. Batman is uncharacteristically brutal. And most pressingly, Wonder Woman is at war with Aquaman with the former conquering the United Kingdom and the latter sinking the rest of Western Europe into the sea; if left unchecked the Amazons and Atlanteans will devastate the world.Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is a movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line and an adaptation of Flashpoint. Voice Actors include Justin Chambers (Grey's Anatomy) as the Flash, Kevin McKidd (Rome) as Flashpoint!Batman, C. Thomas Howell (Criminal Minds) as Professor Zoom, Michael B. Jordan (The Wire) as Cyborg, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as Aquaman, Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Sam Lane, and Sam Daly stepping into his dad's shoes as Superman. It also features the return ofKevin Conroy as Batman, Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, and Ron Perlman as Deathstroke.The film was released on July 30, 2013.
Provides examples of:
Adaptation Distillation: When the Flash flashes back to a Justice League fight against Starro, Cyborg is included in the League roster despite the fact that Cyborg has never been on the League during any of its Starro battles in the comics. He was probably included in this version of the fight instead of Martian Manhunter for the sake of preventing questions due to the random introduction of a character otherwise irrelevant to this film.
Also shows up in numerous other places; many characters have their roles merged and adjusted to make the plot more streamlined.
Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The film ends just like the original comic, with the Flash rebooting history into the New 52 timeline. However, the movie omits how this is possible, since in the original comic, this was caused by Pandora tricking the Flash into merging the DC Universe with the Vertigo and Wildstorm universes. Both Pandora and the merger sequence ended up Adapted Out, so there's no explanation given as to why Flash and Batman suddenly have new costumes at the end of the film, besides the implied possibility of For Want of a Nail.
Adaptational Badass: Yo-Yo—in the original comic, she is just shown running away from Batman and panicking. Here, she not only gets a very elaborately choreographed fight scene (where she matches Batman move-for-move), but when she loses she keeps her composure for a lot longer despite Batman's threats.
Some characters are more heroic because their stories from the comics are cut down. We don't see Citizen Cold murder anyone, and Ocean Master, Artemis, and Penthesileia (who may not be in the movie) weren't responsible for the war. Also, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke and Lex Luthor (who died at age 10 in the comics), along the entire crew of the Ravager are trying to stop Aquaman's weapon instead of looking for Slade's daughter.
Flashpoint Captain Atom. In the Flashpoint comics General Nathaniel Adam never went through with the Dilustel experiment and is the devious and harsh director of "Project Six".
Adaptational Villainy: Both Flashpoint Aquaman and Wonder Woman. To elaborate: instead of being manipulated into war, the war started because Aquaman and Wonder Woman had an affair. When Mera attacked Wonder Woman, she (Wonder Woman) mailed her head to him. Also Comic Wonder Woman didn't kill Billy Batson - in fact, she is shocked when Billy is murdered in the comics - may not have killed Steve Trevor, and tried to stop the war when she realized she'd been deceived.
Adapted Out: Due to the many tie ins the comic story had, this was inevitable.
Henry Allen, Barry Allen's father. In recent versions of Flash's backstory, Zoom went back in time, killed Barry's mother Nora, and framed Henry for it. This motivates Barry to become a forensics scientist, since he wants to find evidence to clear his father's name and catch the real killer. In this film however, Henry is completely missing and it seems like Nora was killed by a random burglar anyway.
An Arm and a Leg: Aquaman loses an arm to Superman when he tries to kill Cyborg.
Annoying Arrows: Averted with Grifter taking multiple arrows for the torso despite his body armor, although he keeps fighting until he gets an arrow straight through the head... and even then, a seeming unconscious-reflex shot while falling headshots the Amazon who'd shot him, also in the head.
Arc Words: In the opening scene, Barry Allen's mother teaches him a variant of the Serenity Prayer (here bowdlerized to remove reference to God). Of course, Barry's always had trouble with this particular lesson, we find out.
As You Know: Cyborg explaining the war that's going on to Batman.
Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus - if you look really closely in the scene when Zoom makes his appearance, running by the Rogues, you can see his tiny bombs appearing on Captain Cold and Heatwave exactly at the time he ran past them. He is actually facing the Rogues to plant the bombs rather than facing the Flash.
A literal one, on display in FP!Batman's Batcave. It's the one he later uses to kill Professor Zoom.
Chekhov M.I.A.: when Cyborg tries to recruit Batman, there is a mention of Captain Atom going missing after trying to get into the war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. A captive Captain Atom is actually Aquaman's WMD.
Co-Dragons: Ocean Master and Black Manta to Flashpoint Aquaman.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Even if you have no foreknowledge of the cast, from the very instant he appears, you know Professor Zoom's a bad guy, what with his costume inverting Flash's colors and his black-and-red eyes.
Steve Trevor. In the Flashpoint comics is implied that he was made prisoner by the Amazons. In the movie he is personally strangled by Wonder Woman, his Love Interest in many incarnations.
Deathstroke dies in an altercation with Aquaman in Europe. In the comics, Sonar heals him, but here, he simply dies.
Abin Sur. In the Flashpoint comics he still is alive and he still is the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Who is the protector of Section 2814 in this movie is unknown.
Aquagirl shows up as part of Aquaman's army, and ends up killed during the final battle. She wasn't even present in the original story.
Demoted to Extra: Inevitably, due to Adaptation Distillation, several characters including Citizen Cold, and Elemental Woman and The Enchantress, who play an important role in the Flashpoint comics. In fact, The Enchantress is The Mole of the amazons between Flashpoint Cyborg's forces in Flashpoint, and the one who personally kills Grifter instead of it being a random Amazonian.
Despair Event Horizon: Thomas Wayne is implied to have crossed this with his son's death and his wife becoming the Joker.
Flashpoint Ocean Master being killed by the Amazons is this for his brother, Flashpoint Aquaman. The latter is swiftly defeated by Flashpoint Wonder Woman thereafter.
Determinator: Barry's first attempt to get his superspeed back results in him being covered with third-degree burns. He bandages up and does it again.
Why did Aquaman and Wonder Woman kill millions and pretty much destroy the entire world in their war? Because Wonder Woman killed Mera.
More so on Professor Zoom, why is he allowing this to happen? Because he just hates Flash that much, even though by his own admission Zoom did none of this, he's just perfectly happy to keep things so bad for the sake of Flash's distress.
Fantastic Racism: Both Flashpoint Aquaman and Wonder Woman show absolute disdain by everyone who isn't Atlantean or Amazon.
For Want of a Nail: Barry saving his mother creates a "temporal boom" that ever-so-slightly influences events past and present. Bruce Wayne dies instead of his parents, Superman's ship craters Metropolis, and a multitude of other tiny changes snowballs into hell on Earth.
Fusion Dance: This version of Shazam is actually Billy Batson and several friends.
Gendercide: Flashpoint Wonder Woman speaks of wiping out all the men and raising the Atlantean daughters, but her actions through the movie make it clear she's just out to kill everyone who isn't already an amazon. Plus it's mentioned that the Amazon invasion of the UK killed 32 million people...The population of UK is 64 mill. Half the population the male half! was exterminated!
The Ghost: Flashpoint Joker/Martha Wayne, who is only seen in flashbacks but never in the present.
Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted. Most of the major injuries are hidden throughout the movie (Black Manta getting shot in the head is blocked by the remains of his helmet, for instance), but several happen offscreen and then the aftermath is plainly visible like Wonder Woman holding up Mera's head after decapitating her. As the movie nears the end a few important ones are shown in very full, grisly detail, culminating in a lingering shot of a bullet hole through someone's brain.
Green-Eyed Monster: One of the main reasons for the war and a part of both Wonder Woman's and Mera's motivations when they fought. Even though it was in self-defense on her part, Wonder Woman then beheaded Mera, sent her headless body back to Atlantis, and wears Mera's helmet as a trophy.
Flashpoint Batman is very prone to using it; first with Yo-Yo, later with Barry Allen.
Bizarrely, Flashpoint Wonder Woman also uses it; in her first scene she strangles someone with the lasso of truth while asking them for information. While the character in question does resist the lasso, it still comes off as sadistically redundant.
Kill 'em All: Even before Aquaman's WMD goes off, pretty much every notable character in the Flashpoint universe is dead.
Killer Yo-Yo: Used very effectively by the Flashpoint Villain Yo-Yo, an expy of Harley Quinn.
Making a Splash: Mera's technique of combat. Atlanteans in general seem to use it.
Manipulative Bastard: Thawne (doubling as The Chessmaster), who is willing to do anything and exploit anyone to make Flash suffer. The first instance of this is the opening scene in which he leads a handful of Flash's Rogues Gallery into the Flash Museum as a distraction to set up a handful of bombs meant to raze a portion of the city to the ground. And when he's thwarted anyway, he makes sure to take a moment to take a jab at the Flash.
"No matter how fast you run, you can't save everyone."
Mêlée à Trois: the final battle: the Atlanteans vs. the Amazons, with Grifter's resistance and Cyborg's team fighting both sides.
Missing Mom: Flash's mother in the original timeline. Also the indirect cause of the Flashpoint timeline.
Mistaken for Gay: Flash's mother's first reaction to her son wanting to confess a secret was to ask if he was gay.
Mood Whiplash: When bound by the lasso of truth, Steve Trevor's description of Lois Lane somewhat humorously includes "one of the most beautiful women I've ever met", and Wonder Woman replies with "Until now, you mean." Then she strangles him. Graphically.
Flashpoint Batman flat out calls the group Cyborg is putting together a Suicide Squad.
Aquaman losing his right arm.
Flash first starts realizing he's in an alternate universe when he hears about the Elongated Kid (as opposed to Miss Alchemy in the comic), a superhero he's never heard of, being murdered. In the DCU that took place in the pre-Flashpoint continuity in the comics leading up to the event (Thawne did it).
"No matter how fast you run, you can't save everyone." is accompanied by a scene of Wonder Woman looking fierce and pointing a futuristic gun at someone. Turns out she's trying to use Captain Cold's freeze gun to disarm a bomb.
"World War Three. Maybe I could have stopped it. If I just run a little faster. Faster!" These lines are combined from multiple scenes. The middle sentence refers to normal kid Barry regarding his mother's death - but at the end of the film he had to catch up with his also superspeeding past self to stop him from saving his own mother.
Zoom is shown clicking a detonator followed by an explosion, then Flashpoint Batman shielding himself from blinding light - it is actually Wonder Woman throwing the bomb into the sky where it can't cause damage. The last scene is completely unrelated.
"War's over. Everybody lost." "No!" had another huge explosion - another explosion high up and didn't cause damage.
"You'll be amazed the monsters this world can create" - spoken by Flashpoint Batman, shown with normal Batman and Flash. Flash is shown running into the distance followed by an ominous flash of lightning, and the line brings Clock Roaches and other Eldritch Abominations to mind but it is not a climax scene, Flash is just running away to clear his head (at that time everything was still normal).
Noodle Incident: The fight between Flashpoint Batman/Thomas Wayne and Flashpoint Joker/Martha Wayne was probably pretty epic. Too bad we didn't see any of it. Of course, if Flash succeeds in his plan, none of it would have happened and his son will be alive.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: the final battle between Barry and Professor Zoom. They are evenly matched, however, Zoom impales Barry on one of his legs, in the process limiting Barry's Super Speed; this leaves the Flash an easy picking for Zoom.
Aquaman vs. Cyborg as well.
No Sell: Main universe's Superman dispose of one of Zoom's bombs by containing the blast between his hands. Flashpoint Superman catches an exploding missile without flinching.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Whilst, the consequences were exceptionally tragic it is implied that one hell of a fight occurred between Flashpoint Wonder Woman and Mera. It starts with Mera attacking Diana in her room, who is sharpening her sword. Mera controls the water from a nearby fountain to use as a weapon, whilst Diana charges with her sword... And when the scene cuts back, the entire room has been wrecked, with some of it being on fire, whilst Diana's bloody sword lies on the ground, with her holding Mera's decapitated head and taking her crown.
Palette Swap: The reporter that reports on Captain Boomerang is basically a palette swap of Cat Grant's model used in Young Justice (although for all we know, she could be Linda Park, Wally West's girlfriend - and later wife - who is a television reporter for Keystone City).
Reality Ensues: Barry and Flashpoint Batman's first attempt at recreating Barry's Superhero Origin (i.e. a chemical dousing and lightning strike) simply results in full-body third-degree burns.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Thawne condescendingly and joyfully rips into Barry for his decision to save his mother and how it screwed everything up.
Zoom: "Oh, Barry. That's the beauty of all this. I didn't do any of it. You did. Think, Barry. Isn't there some little thing, some little good deed, you might have done?"
Flash: "I saved someone."
Flash: "I saved her. I saved mom."
Zoom: "That's right."
Flash: "No…no! It wouldn't have changed all of this. It wouldn't have changed what happened before her murder. Bruce's parents…Clark's landing…"
Zoom: "Oh, but it did. Break the sound barrier, and there's a sonic boom. You broke the time barrier, Flash. Time boom. Ripples of distortion radiated out through that point of impact, shifting everything just a tiny bit. But enough. Enough for events to happen slightly different."
Flash: "I just wanted to save her."
Zoom: "Her hero. How noble. Oh, wait. You didn't stop JFK from getting assassinated. Or make sure Hitler stayed in art school. You saved your mommy. You missed her. And in a supreme act of selfishness, shattered history like a rank amateur. Turned the world into a living hell moments away from destruction. And I'm the villain?"
The war between Flashpoint Aquaman and Wonder Woman started because Mera discovered the two of them were having an affair and she went to attack Wonder Woman over this. It resulted in Wonder Woman killing Mera by beheading her with a sword and keeping her crown as a trophy. She then sends her corpse back to a furious and grieving Aquaman. Cue war.
Professor Zoom hates Flash so much that he's willing to see the entire world suffer as a consequence.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Subverted. At first, Flash does remember the old timeline. However, the longer he stays in the new one, the more his memories are altered to fit. Combined with the coming apocalypse, this makes fixing things as fast as possible even more pressing.
Rock Beats Laser: The Antlanteans march into war with advanced, high-tech armor, laser weapons, and tanks. The Amazons bring a few creatures from Greek Mythology, simple bows and arrows, and hand-to-hand combat. Both sides are relatively equally matched.
Spared by the Adaptation: Lex Luthor...sorta. In the Flashpoint comics he was killed at age 10. In the movie he is still alive in his adulthood and is a member of the crew of the Ravager...until he is killed by Flashpoint Aquaman.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Flash does one to Flashpoint Batman, who promptly lampshades this fact:
Taking You with Me: Flashpoint Wonder Woman and her Amazons end up defeating Flashpoint Aquaman and his Atlantean army. Rather than let her taste victory, however, Flashpoint Aquaman activates his doomsday weapon, which would kill them all and destroy the world.
Time Crash: Invoked by Professor Zoom to explain how Flash going back in time to prevent his mother's death affected events preceding it or completely unrelated, including the location of Kal-El's ship landing.
Timey-Wimey Ball: It's never quite explained how Flash is able to remember both timelines, and still carries Thomas Wayne's letter at the end. Flash even debates this with Batman at the end.
Token Evil Teammate: Flashpoint Batman for the good guys, who clearly has no qualms about killing in this version.
Tragic Hero: Flashpoint Captain Atom. In his case, his Fatal Flaws apparently were overconfidence of his powers and impulsiveness in his actions. He eventually becomes the weapon of mass destruction of Emperor Aquaman.
Undying Loyalty: With the exception of Doctor Vulko, the rest of the Atlanteans follow Aquaman unquestioningly.
World's Strongest Man: Flashpoint Superman is an illustration of why Supes is this. He is mentally and physically broken by all the abuse he was subjected to, just a shadow of what Clark Kent was. He doesn't know how to fight - or how to hold back. So after just a day out of captivity, one burst of his eyebeams takes off Aquaman's arm - and Aquaman here was not even scratched by everything that the good guys threw at him previously.