Articles, Blog

Debunking Flashpoint! [The Flash]

The Flash, Barry Allen. Most of us know his story by now. His arch nemesis, Eobard Thawne A.K.A. Professor Zoom, went back in time, killed
Barry’s mom, his dad was blamed for the murder, and Allen dedicated his life to finding
the true killer which is why he became a forensic scientist. This leads to him getting struck by lightning
in his lab while mixing some chemicals which transformed him into The Flash. To prevent the death of his mother, The Flash
traveled to the past to stop Thawne from ever hurting her, but as a result, the entire universe
was messed up, creating the world of Flashpoint. WRONG! So many of you guys are probably thinking
“Drake, how could this possibly be wrong? It’s literally there in the comics, TV show,
and animated movie!” Like okay yes, this IS what actually happened,
but Barry going back in time shouldn’t have had such disastrous results, especially since
Allen’s mom was alive for decades! And to explain why, we need to rewind. But before we get too far into things, I want
to give a big thank you to our sponsor for today’s video, Manscaped. With the holidays right around the corner,
Manscaped’s Perfect Package 2.0 makes an excellent gift. It includes such things as The Plow 2.0 safety
razor, the Lawn Mower 2.0 trimmer, and my absolute personal favorite, the Crop Preserver
ball deodorant. This and so much more is available in the
Perfect package 2.0 and I’m actually going to be giving one of these away which is an
insane value for people that retweet this video on Twitter, @TrailerDrake. Give one to your partner! Give one to your bro! Or if you want a new sibling then I guess
you could like give one to your dad. But anyway, if you want to get in on this
for yourself, make sure you go to the link in the description and use the code “COMICD20”
at checkout for twenty percent off and free shipping. Anyway, thank you guys so much for sponsoring
the video and now, let’s get back to it! Now I’m going to be throwing a lot of events
and dates at you so in order to keep track of things, I made this handy dandy chart. So the origin of Professor Zoom killing Barry’s
mom was introduced in 2009 in a series called The Flash: Rebirth. Before then, Barry actually had both of his
parents and can we just take a second to appreciate just how rare that is for a DC hero? No Crime Alley, no Krypton, no exploding plane. The Allen’s family life was actually pretty
good. Now The Flash was seemingly killed off in
the iconic event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story that rebooted the DC multiverse for
the first of the two times that it ever has. This led to two distinct periods of continuity,
Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis. In this new continuity, a LOT changed so some
readers might just think that Thawne being involved in The Flash’s origin is just the
Post-Crisis lore. After all, Barry was pretty much gone from
all of comics from his apparent death in 1985 before fully coming back in 2008. However, this is incorrect. Let me introduce you to Malcolm Thawne. He is, and I kid you not, Barry Allen’s
secret twin brother! So yeah, when Barry was born, he was delivered
by a doctor who had come into work drunk. That same night, the doctor messed up the
birth of another woman who came in named Charlene Thawne. Well Nora Allen was able to give birth to
healthy twin boys, but the doctor decided to “set his mistake right” by telling
the Allens that one of their babies was stillborn and secretly gave him to the Thawnes. This was Malcolm. Malcolm’s family abused him while he was
growing up, but they eventually told Malcolm that he was adopted, which prompted him to
run away and find the identity of his true parentage for himself. When Malcolm tracked down the Allen’s house,
he could see all three of them having a wonderful time, showcasing the life that he was deprived
of. Now while I would love to go on and on and
on about how Malcolm later went on to become a supervillain named Cobalt Blue, that would
be better saved for a different video. What’s important for this subject is that
age that that Malcolm saw the Allens alive and well. He was seventeen. And since Barry and Malcolm are twins, this
clearly means that Henry and Nora Allen were alive when Barry was seventeen years old. In every single depiction that we get of Professor
Zoom killing Nora, Barry is a little kid, not a nearly legal adult. Now I COULD see the argument that Thawne could
have still killed Nora after this scene of seventeen year old Barry, but then DC later
retconned it to make Barry even younger, but there’s just one small problem with that
idea. It was already cemented in canon that both
of The Flash’s parents died AFTER he was lost in Crisis on Infinite Earths which also
means that this new origin isn’t a result of the new Post-Crisis continuity. However, even though it would be decades before
the DC universe was rebooted for the second time, there were still other events that changed
its continuity such as an event called Zero Hour. Yet that came out in 1994 and with the Malcolm
story happening in 1999, that would be impossible for this to be the event that changed The
Flash’s origin. Could the change have been a ripple effect
from Superboy Prime punching reality year later? Maybe. I mean, it brought Jason Todd back to life
so I guess anything’s possible, but there’s been no word from DC that even slightly implies
that this would be what happened so this seems like grasping at straws. Okay so I know I have been throwing out a
lot names and details so let’s take a look back at the timeline and review real quick. Post-Crisis continuity, check. Barry’s mom was alive at 17. Check. The first time that we hear about Thawne killing
Nora Allen was after The Flash came back. Check. With this data, I think it’s safe to say
that Professor Zoom did the deed around this time and as a result, this new origin snapped
into place and rewrote all of history. That’s pretty sound logic so far. Then in 2011, The Flash goes back in time,
saves his mom, and then he creates the brand new and crazy Flashpoint timeline. Simple enough, but here’s my question. Why is that when Professor Zoom went back
in time, the only significant change was just the death of Nora Allen? Is it because Thawne is just that much better
at time traveling and affected the timeline with the precision of a scapple? I mean, yeah, that’s possible. Yet, if this was the case then logic would
dictate that since this was the only change to the timeline, then The Flash saving his
mom would bring the world back to how it was BEFORE the retcon, not create a MASSIVELY
altered universe. When The Flash TV show had a Flashpoint of
their own, they kind of met in the middle. Barry changed the past to save his mom, which
led to multiple changes in the world, but nothing was so significant that it would affect
the lives of normal everyday civilians. Oh wow, Wally West is The Flash and Cisco
is rich now. That is nothing close to like Atlantis and
Themyscira going to war! Now, the canon explanation is that The Flash
was very sloppy when he changed time and like a bullet going through a windshield, the cracks
that he left in the timeline affected the lives of those closest to him and since they’re
these big powerful superheroes that take part in massive global events, then the world changed
dramatically as a result, but to me, this is kind of just inconsistent writing. You see, Barry’s been able to time travel
before and we have never seen ripple effects on this scale and I mean this is at the very
beginning of The Flash’s career when he would be the most sloppy and this is even
BEFORE he invented the Cosmic Treadmill, which is a device that allowed him to have better
control over his time travel abilities. Unless DC is retconning all of that too then
it would be ridiculous that The Flash would be such an amateur time travel and changing
the past! When Barry went back in time to save his mom,
the Flashpoint timeline should have never existed. He should have just saved her life and then
the timeline would have reverted back to what it was before Thawne’s initial meddling. But look, we all know that the main reason
as to why this happened is that this is what the writers and editors over at DC wanted
to be canon and those demands are simply just a lot more powerful than any previous abilities. With a little bit of technobabble, they can
justify whatever actions in the canon regardless of any previous books. I mean, if we really wanted to nitpick things
further then I guess we could say that Barry’s emotions were high and that’s why the time
travel was sloppy or hell, you could just say that time travel is so wonky that there’s
no certain rules or consistency to it in the first place. But before I get angry DC fanboys all up in
my comments, as if they haven’t already done that, let me make something very clear. I’m not saying that Flashpoint is a bad
story or anything like that. I mean heck, I really like it! And I know this entire video is just me being
a mega nerd that’s obsessing over continuity, but I really do enjoy this updated backstory
for The Flash. It’s certainly a unique origin story, was
a solid foundation for the TV show, and it led to a legitimately entertaining comic book
and movie adaptation. I’ve read Flashpoint several times and this
thought only just now occurred to me on my most recent read through. This entire video could be (and honestly,
probably is) a complete load of crap, but the fact that it made me think about all this
this much is one of the reasons why I enjoy comic books that are set in these old and
dense continuities. I wholeheartedly think that DC and Marvel
comics get better and better the more you read because as I become more knowledgeable
about these worlds, I find myself taking away new thoughts and details upon re-reading. I mean sure, there are plenty of movies where
I notice things on subsequent watches or I have wildly different playthroughs on some
video games, but the experience of comics unfolding themselves more and more as you
learn about their worlds, characters, and even editorial histories is an experience
that I have never felt replicated in any other medium and this is one of the many reasons
why I have this channel, to encourage people to give comics a shot. That’s all I’ve got for today, but if you
liked this video then why not consider subscribing or even watching another one? And if you enjoyed this then chances are that
you like The Flash so you might want to check out this playlist that I have on every single
one of my Flash videos, but anyway, I hope you learned at least a little something new
and hopefully, I’ll see you next time!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “Debunking Flashpoint! [The Flash]

  1. Me: Who would win, Flash vs ____?

    Flash. He would go back in time and…

    Me: Youve never read flashpoint huh?

    Drake: I T N E V E R H A P P E N E D

  2. Flashpoint for me was always such a bad story. First, I hate "butterfly effect" type of stories. Why would Barry saving his mom make Bruce Wayne die and his dad becoming Batman and his mom becoming Joker? Why would that change the landing of Superman's shuttle? Second, I really hate that such a shitty story was responsible for the reboot of DC, a reboot where most was pretty bad.

  3. Yeah it's interesting to just explore the continuity of comics cause these days it's getting harder to keep track of all changes and there were those extremely wacky times for comics especially Batman in the sixties. What were your favourite stories about Batman from that decade?

  4. Hey Drake, I was wondering if you make a “best comics of 2019” video like you did last year, could you include a segment talking about comics that came out/are going to come out that would be good jumping on points for new readers.

  5. Interesting take on the flashpoint story and honestly I agree Barry’s actions for him going back in time to save his mom shouldn’t have caused this must damage to the timeline however I kinda like the animated movie explanation on flashpoint because that adaptation actually had reverse flash tell barry yes this was his fault but also explained break the time barrier time boom ripples of distortion causes changes to the timeline that’s the explanation I go up with, now as for reboot to the new 52 yeah that’s another can of worms in itself.

  6. I always disliked that they made his mom die in the comics. In my opinion it takes away from his character. Instead of just being a man who has good morals and wants to help people just because he wants to do the right thing. They made him a carbon copy of all the other heroes who have to have a trouble past for extra drama

  7. Didn't Doomsday Clock establish that the Earth-0 universe (AKA the metaverse) has a degree of sentience? Doctor Manhattan noted that it fought back against his alteration, which resulted in the return of Wally West. Perhaps the metaverse was reacting badly to Barry's attempt to restore the previous timeline.

  8. LOL! Good effort trying to make sense of DC continuity, Drake. I look at it like a Dr. Who storyline. Barry's mother's death is a fixed point in time and changing it has disastrous consequences throughout time and space.

  9. I feel like the change in Flashpoint was more due to the affects on the speed force than Barry’s life itself. So the biggest change in flashpoint is actually the crash landing location of Superman. How does the flash effect the trajectory of a independent space craft. So what if the speed force was never created is along my thinking for such a huge change. I believe the parent living is less important than Barry never becoming the flash. And how does that affect time travelers that use the speed force as well. So the finite life of flash could reach well into the decent past and future with the possible domino effects. But hey I’m not dr. Manhattan so who knows

  10. Didn’t DC just establish that Dr. Manhattan took advantage of Barry traveling through time to change the DC Universe?

  11. My theory is that it was Dr. Manhattan, he did create the new 52, so it could mean that he also created the Flashpoint Timeline

  12. I also find it weird that flashpoint states that the speed force is finite even though before and after its stated that the speedforce is infinite. My headcannon is that Barry being absorbed into the speedforce and then returning messed up the way he travels through time considering we haven’t really seen anything happen like flashpoint since the new 52 in terms of time travel. So yeah, my guess is somehow flash being inside of the speed force somehow affected the way he interacted with time in a catastrophic way.

  13. No, it was quite obvious from the first read. Even if you are not familiar with DCU time-travel laws, the continuity changes don't make sense.
    I'd add that Flash doesn't need personal tragedy. Maybe just a good arc.

  14. Have you EVEN SEEN DC's Legends of Tomorrow. They CONSTANTLY change time with no consistency or consequences. ITS THE WORST TIME TRAVEL SHOW EVER! The sometimes make rules only to ignore and break them later. So this is a blip compaired to that.

  15. Lots of people are pointing out that Dr. Manhattan and Pandora are the reasons why the timeline changed. Yes, that is why the post-Flashpoint universe exists, bu that is NOT what this video is about. This is about the creation of the Flashpoint world itself, not the New 52 or anything else that came as a result of Barry stopping himself.

  16. I didn't like Flashpoint, and I agree that it didn't make much sense how saving one woman would cause so many changes across the globe.

  17. I like to think that Eobard created a sort of chronological tripwire. He chose that precise moment to do he job because it was – for whatever reason – the most fragile. With surgical precision he did something he knew Barry would try to undo, and in essence would force Barry to let his mother die, and be forced to watch her die three whole times.

  18. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!There have only been a couple videos on how Barry use to have his parents and only lost them after the crisis. Also on why flashpoint was how it was and why it just didn’t go back to the things were. I love videos like this and your channel is awesome keep up the great work!!!!

  19. 2:09 And yet the CW show is going to do crisis and "seemingly kill him" (I mean really, the season of his show won't even be over then) after Thawne killed his mom. Makes perfect sense.

  20. Yeah I was more than a bit annoyed with the retcon of Barry's mom being dead. Him having living parents during his run helped make him special. It's the same reason I prefer Clark's parents being alive and part of his supporting cast.

  21. I thought the explanation was that the ripple effects started was because he absorbed all of the speed force in order to initiate the time travel

  22. That always bugged me too, but they have Manhattan Ex Machina to explain all that now.

    Also, do the Cobalt Blue vid….loved that character, always thought Eddie was gonna come back as him in the show.

  23. My personal head canon is that Thrawne was lying through his teeth and used Barry traveling back to save his mom as a way to do major time alterations with no one the wiser.

  24. When i really went on to understand the story better and all other things, like the Flash and other heroes, i was like”Hold on a second there. You telling me that him saving his mom would change everything so much that a robber shots Bruce instead the parents, Superman somehow does not make it really, the atlandians and the Amazonien(?) going at war with each other and so on and fourth”. Yeah, it does not make sense at all, but its a cool story, thats for sure, but still, why like this?

  25. I think Linkara put it best in his review of Flashpoint, this a great Flash story but not a good event/crisis story. I also just wanted to say that I appreciate this channel and your enthusiasm for comics it’s refreshing.

  26. What if thawn orchestrated the event such that flash saving his mom would have these consequences.
    He could have easily predicted that flash would try to go back once he discovered time travel and planned ahead.

  27. Great video, but Flashpoint wasn’t contingent on his mom’s death. Thawne pointed out that, just like the sound barrier, you create a time boom when you break the time barrier. This creates ripples through the timeline that change things a tiny bit, but enough. Instead of landing in the Kent Farm, Clark’s ship landed in Metropolis. Instead of the waynes being killed, Bruce was killed. So on and so forth.

  28. Man, I remember trying to get into comics back when Flashpoint was happening. The first one I read was the conclusion to the arch and I was considerably confused.

  29. The easy answer is that Thawne rigged it to play out this way, knowing Barry would try to save his mother. I don't think there's any actual evidence of that, but it seems like something they'd throw out as an explanation.

  30. Ugh. Timelines rewriting pretty much always is sloppy mindfuckery. I wasn't able to enjoy any of the Flashpoint animation because of this nonsense.

  31. I am confused when he went back in time to save her what did her do with him past self shouldnt that mean it would be 2 of him in 1 timeline

  32. Isn’t there an explanation that the Negative Speed force that Thawnye uses does not mess with time continuity like Barry’s Speed force does?

  33. I think it could be somewhat explained by the explanation that he was extremely sloppy and emotional. It's not perfect, but it's something.

  34. I initially felt the same way about Flashpoint, that Barry saving his mother should have put his history back the way is was before Thawne changed it. (he did more than Kill his mom by the way. he did many things to make him miserable). but then I remembered, this is actually a variation of the grandfather paradox. you see when Thawne changed Barry's past he changed Barry and the changes now became part of Barry's personal history. so now Barry couldn't change it because it was part of his personal past. f it was a simple as Barry saving his mom sets things back then he looses that past and the motivation to go back to change it back. just as if you time travel to the past, then kill your grandfather before he met your grandmother then you cant exist to go back and do that in the first place.
    on Doctor Who there was a simple line that best sums it up. he called it 'the Destiny Trap; you cant change the past if you are a part of it' and for Barry the death of his mother IS a part of his past since he learned Thawne was her killer.
    as to when Thawne did that deed? in rebirth he mentioned he has his own resurrection coming up and that happened at the end of Blackest Night. the first thing he did at that time was go to the past and made the changes to Barry's past that made his life less pleasant. starting small with Pushing down a set of stairs when he was child, letting Barry's dog out to get run over by car, erasing his best friend from existence etc.. up till he killed his mother. then travel to the time of flash:rebirth for the events of that story.

  35. I have a friend who, as soon as a show, movie, comic, Book, whatever mentions Time Travel, his eyes roll back into his head and just says "Fuck you Barry".
    Although, he excused Endgame because it "Made sense" lol

  36. This is why I don't like Time Travel in any medium, the only piece of entertainment that has done it any sort of logical justice would be 12 Monkeys, beyond that. Time travel, alternate universes, etc. is just a lazy cash out for writers…

  37. If Reverse Flash went back in time to kill Barry’s mom. It means that in the original timeline, Barry’s mom didn’t die and Barry’s dad wasn’t in prison. So does that mean that the Flashpoint timeline is the original timeline? Is that the way it was in the original timeline?

  38. I appreciate how J.M.S wrote Barry Allen, he kept him chipper and heroic instead of being angsty.
    In a modern Brave and the Bold series from pre-Flashpoint Barry Allen traveled back in time to team up with the freedom force that are Black Hawks (I forgot the name), when he told them he was the Flash one of them their leader mentioned Jay Garrick's fashion choice not being similar to Barry's.

  39. Eonard Thawne is Not "Professor Zoom". He is Actually The Reverse Flash. You must have been confused in the beginning of the video.

  40. I think there are a number of writers who have come out stating they don't let continuity get in the way of telling a good story, or they just like sticking it to the people that have to keep continuity in check…… in that case….. well….. damn.

  41. DC tried to make time travel harder post-Crisis. They pointed to things such as Barry hopping on his treadmill and effortlessly traveling through time (not to mention Iris' soul being called back to her native (!) 30th Century by her parents upon her death at the hands Professor Zoom, himself a time traveling villain).

    Like most things post an event it was forgotten about and time travel became easier and easier.

    We could say that a reality warping event might create ripples temporarily affecting time travel. Thus, making Barry's trip through time have dire consequences in the wake of Final Crisis, where all time was condensed to a single moment (at least that's what I think happened. I like Morrison, but his comics do make my brain itch). Sure, Thawne beat him to the punch but (a) it's established the effects of time travel work differently on those who first traveled back from the future (Bart, for example having his memories in the Flashpoint timeline) and (b) perhaps the dire consequences for Thawne was the creation of the Negative Speedforce he began to draw from.


  42. The issue is that the Cosmic Treadmill still exists in canon, he used it in a different storyline. So it occurs to me, that you are correct.

  43. Here's my theory, actually. The reality punch is what lead to Eobard being revived as a White Lantern in the first place. It is the then revived Eobard who then goes and Kills Nora Allen, but before he appears in Flash: Rebirth since he states that his past self is about to be brought back

  44. It could.just be because after thawne changed the timeline and killed his mum the timeline went so long with out being reverted and changed the timestream permanently in that earth so when Barry changes it for flashpoint the timeline has no memory of the previous timeline and creates a new one

  45. Simple answer on why they changed Barry’s origin. It makes Barry more compelling to most and ties him into his nemesis.

  46. Thawn says this in the flash TV show, that Barry has been extremely lucky with his early time travel shenanigans. So you could apply that to Barry's early time travel in the comics. He wasn't skilled as you say, just extremely lucky and didnt even know until later that altering the time line could have such adverse effects on it.

  47. I was always curious why this attempt of time travel caused the time boom (like a sonic boom, but instead of breaking the sound barrier, it broke the time barrier) and affected both the distant past such as where Superman landed, the past such as Nora Allen living, and the present with the Atlantean/Themyscira war.

  48. The best explanation is probably by thawne from the animated movie. He says the when you break the sound barrier you cause a sonic boom. Barry broke the time barrier so there was a time boom. It created ripples of distraction throughout time and changed history drastically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *