The Flash: What is Flashpoint?

Flashpoint cover

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of The Flash, titled "The Race of His Life."

In the wake of tonight's season two finale of The Flash, a lot of people are asking: what's next?

The answer, every comic book fan will tell you, is Flashpoint.

Flashpoint was a five-issue miniseries written by Geoff Johns and featuring art by Andy Kubert. It told the story of an alternate universe where there was no Superman or The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman's nations were on the brink of war, and Batman was Thomas Wayne, driven to the edge after the murder of his son in Crime Alley.

With the world hanging in the balance as a dark and ultra-violent war between Atlantis and Themyscira plunged parts of Europe into the ocean, Barry Allen was the only one who could remember the pre-Flashpoint world, and had to work to restore his powers so that he could travel back in time and fix it.

The big twist, for those who don't know it, is that the terrible, near-apocalyptic timeline was the result of Barry Allen traveling back in time to save his mother from being murdered by the Reverse-Flash.

There was a lot of talk at the end of The Flash's first season that Flashpoint could be coming, since Barry appeared poised to travel back in time to save his mother. Instead, he stayed his hand, let history run its course, and returned to discover the multiverse.

This time around, no credible voice I heard was suggesting that Flashpoint was on the horizon, so the showrunners successfully managed to fool the fan base with a tease that it could be coming soon.

The Flashpoint storyline was, in its most basic terms, adapted into an animated feature film titled Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. It's one of the best-reviewed and best-regarded of the DC Universe animated movies, and certainly worth checking out if you want to try and figure out for yourself what pieces of the story might or might not play a big role on The Flash next season...!