When The Flash returns with its third-season premiere in less than a month, audiences will be introduced to the world of "Flashpoint," an alternate reality created when Barry traveled back in time at the end of season two and prevented his mother's murder at the hands of the Reverse-Flash.
Longtime fans of the comics were excited to see Barry save his mom, and curious as to just how they would pull off a TV version of the popular Flashpoint story which, in the comics and a direct-to-DVD animated movie, saw a dark, violent reinvention of the DC Universe where Bruce Wayne was dead and his father was Batman; Superman was missing in action entirely; and Wonder Woman's nation was at war with Aquaman's.
The world teetered on the brink of oblivion, with metahumans ready to push us all over into the abyss.
On The Flash, though...not so much.
"All of that stuff is not at our disposal, which is fine with us, because we really wanted to do something personal to Barry," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg recently said in an interview. "The stakes in the comic book in Flashpoint were global and the stakes in this episode are very much just about Barry, his existence, and the people that he loves."
Given the relatively limited scope of the story -- producers have said it will only last a few episodes, although the impact of "Flashpoint" will reverberate throughout the season -- it's arguably not that surprising that a global cataclysm featuring dozens of characters isn't in the cards for the season premiere...but that doesn't mean there aren't some pretty cool ideas from Flashpoint (the comics) that can be brought into "Flashpoint" (The TV episode).
Here are our candidates...!
GREEN ARROW INDUSTRIES
Yeah, we're not going to get a full-on Stephen Amell-as-bad-Oliver story, but who says we can't just Easter egg this baby into the background?
In the world of Flashpoint, Oliver Queen was a brilliant inventor and military contractor -- but too greedy for his own good. Just being able ot create cool new things and make millions wasn't enough, so he and his team of ex-military "Green Arrows" started stealing tech from supervillains to take the company to the next level.
There's really no good reason why, even if Amell wasn't able to make a cameo in the role, there couldn't be a News 52 reference to Green Arrow Industries or something like that.prevnext
WHY NOT IRIS?
Lois Lane had a major role in Flashpoint, and when we think about how that could translate in a Lois-less Arrowverse, our first thought is that it could be Iris West who takes on the role of crusading reporter who speaks truth to power and puts herself in harm's way.
How's that different from what she usually does? Well, first of all, we haven't really seen a ton of that from Iris yet. A parallel world where fans have to actually fear for her life might make a cool place to explore that element of her.
Second, in the world of Flashpoint, Lois got herself tied up with some of the most dangerous people on the planet -- and did so without Clark to "rescue" her since he didn't know her or have his powers, really. That general notion is something they could play with.prevnext
SCOPE AND SCALE
We want the world of Flashpoint to feel "bigger" than just another episode of The Flash.
This is probably the biggest single thing about it: even though they've scaled down the stakes so that it's a bit more personal for Barry, Flashpoint should feel like a unique and memorable experience...and ideally one that will impact the greater CWverse if Barry doesn't "fix" it.
Time travel makes even minor stories potentially earth-shattering (think Back to the Future Part II), so there's really no reason they can't address this, even without blowing the whole thing up into Earth-2-or-bigger proportions onscreen.
There really just needs to be a sense of scope, scale, and importance so that after two solid seasons of waiting, "Flashpoint" doesn't feel like a disappointment in the end.prevnext
In the world of Flashpoint, nearly every major DC hero (and a handful of minor ones) had a doppelganger.
This is not entirley unlike the Earth-2 episodes on The Flash last year, when characters like Deadshot, Cisco and Caitlin had radically different personalities.
The biggest one -- and, let's be honest, the most likely to actually show up in his Flashpoint role, given how much the producers seem to like the character -- is Wentworth Miller's Captain Cold, who in the world of Flashpoint was Citizen Cold, a superhero who fought on behalf of Central City.
That concept took root with enough of the audience that Cold would go on to be a part of the Justice League in The New 52.prevnext
In Flashpoint, they managed to plant the seeds for some cool concepts and characters which would be paid off in The New 52.
Whether it was Thomas Wayne as Batman (seen in Earth 2), Element Woman, or an increased role for Cyborg, Flashpoint has been a gift that keeps on giving...and it would be really nice if some of the concepts introduced in the season three finale stuck around for the rest of the season.
This one, like the last one, already seems to be in motion since we know that Tom Felton's character is introduced in the world of "Flashpoint" and then will apparently carry over to the post-Flashpoint Arrowverse.
"I'm still trying to figure out all this timeline/Flashpoint stuff," Felton told ComicBook.com during Comic Con this year. "I don't want to misquote anything here, but as far as I know, i didn't exist in the previous timeline, so I'm glad that he has changed something, so now I'm alive! One of the really cool things about the show is that nothing's solid. Nothing is concrete. Anything can change. You can come back tomorrow and literally play a different version of yourself."prevnext
In Flashpoint, one of the big issues Barry and company were facing is that the superhero community was trying to do their thing without Superman. At first Barry believed that Superman had simply never landed, but instead it tunrned out that the government had intercepted him and had him in seclusion under red sunlight for pretty much his whole life. The result was that when he finally got out, Superman was an unstable weapon of mass destruction .
We know that Superman will show up on Supergirl this season, and that there will be yet more crossover between The Flash and Supergirl as well.
What if Barry were to discover that, among the other changes to the world in Flashpoint, there's a "Project Supergirl" or "Project Superman?" He wouldn't even have to free the Kryptonian and have them play a decisive role -- much like Green Arrow, this would be a cool one just to allow to exist in its own context, as an Easter egg.prevnext
A FULLY-REALIZED WORLD
This one is maddeningly general, but it's also probably the most important.
In Flashpoint, one of the reasons that so many of the miniseries really worked is that the world they established and the ground rules it operated by were consistent and made sense.
The cohesion between the numerous Flashpoint miniseries gave the world a feeling that it wasn't half-assed, and it felt like less of a stunt as a result. Even though you knew from the start that the world of Flashpoint wasn't going to be "the new DC Universe," it was clear that they spent time, effort, and energy building a timeline, rules, logic, and the sequences of events that brought the world to where it was when you opened the comic for the first time.prev