Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SPOILERS: The Flash #21

Were you ever disappointed the New 52 never really followed up on Flashpoint? Me too! Now six or seven years later, we're finally vindicated!

The Spoilers:

Reverse Flash is dead and Batman is bedridden with some serious injuries from his fight, now it's up to The Flash to figure out just what happened. Even when Bruce is barely able to move, he talks detective with Barry, trying to figure out the link between Reverse Flash, the button, and the death. Neither come up on anything solid to move forward on, but Barry holds back a bit, thinking what he needs to do may be too dangerous for anyone else.

Barry detected the same radiation that the button gave off on Reverse Flash's corpse, and lots of it, so despite his swearing never to do so, he breaks out the Cosmic Treadmill in the Justice League vault (which is FULL of continuity shit you wouldn't see in the New 52) to track down the source of the radiation.

Unfortunately for Barry, Bruce detected the vault being open and insists he comes too. Barry tries, but can't convince Bruce to stay home, and off they go. The speed force is a mess and what Barry describes as a "storm" is headed right for them. Before they can leave, they see visions of the past that don't make sense to them, such as the Justice League forming (like, Silver Age… or Gold Age… Bronze? I can't keep those straight) or Identity Crisis, with Zatanna and her terrible head gear wiping Batman's memory. They initially think that these could be alternate realities, but then think that these visions could be from the stolen time Wally West had mentioned.

The two eventually crash in what looks to be a very meager Batcave, which Bruce recognizes instantly, though something's off. All comes apparent when Bruce is met with his father, in full Flashpoint Batman get up. 

The Opinion:

It is no secret that I'm all for bringing back the old DC continuity at this point, so safe to say, I loved this issue. The best part about this story is that it almost seems like this was all in the plan the entire time. I mean... clearly, it wasn't. The New 52 had bottomed out and there was only one thing really DC could do, but still! I'm glad they did this. In 2013, I would have been saying something along the lines of "DC isn't going back, if they were to try and justify doing so, they'd have to make some completely insane story, or ignore the New 52 all together, which isn't going to happen either." At the time, none of that seemed possible, but here we are, and we're getting just the right amount of insanity for continuity restoring comics, and I'm pretty happy about that.


  1. You're almost certainly correct that there was not an official plan to undo the New 52. However, there was an early issue of Justice League where Batman was shown looking at the letter from his dad, and I remember thinking there was no reason to ever reference that again unless they intended to revisit Flashpoint somewhere down the road.

    Maybe a stealth backdoor built in quietly by a prescient Geoff Johns?

    And yea that vault. I mean, there's a Rocket Red armor in there. Combine that with this week's Action Comics and 90% of the old continuity is clearly back.

    1. I still believe nothing in Justice League was planned out as well as they'd like you to think. Plastic Man... Rise of the Seven Seas... who the hell was Gold Rush?!

    2. LOL - there definitely were a ton of dangling threads in JL. (What was Batman and WW's secret connection during Forever Evil?). I do think Johns seeded all kinds of stuff in there, though, even if he never followed up on a lot of it. One day there will be a tell-all oral history of the New 52 era at DC that will be absolutely essential reading.

    3. Do you remember which issue, by any chance? I read Justice League up to Forever Evil - I had a spell were I didn't have time for comics and never managed to catch up before Rebirth - and if I saw that, it slipped my mind. But then, the first year of the New 52 Justice League was rank, so maybe I deliberately blocked it out.

      I do think they absolutely knew that one day they would go back - I think a lot of us expected it too - but yeah, I'm not sure they ever planned for it that far in advance. A lot of what they teased and toyed with as far as universe related stuff went nowhere or petered out because they had no freaking clue what to do with it. By now, I think anyone could be forgiven for forgetting Pandora was a character that existed for a while.

  2. I think it was around issue 9 or 10. Just a one-panel shot of Bruce looking at the letter in its display case.

    1. Ah, alright, so during the "Villains Journey" trade. I think I was just so busy rolling my eyes at that volume I missed it. It does seem like a curious thing to note. They probably always wanted to go back to it at some point, they just weren't sure how, when or why until Rebirth.