Pick of the Week Podcast

08.03.2013 – ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’

Show Notes

Total Running Time: 00:38:54

With a stalwart Conor lost in the time stream, the iFanboy Animation Brain Trust soldiers on, undaunted. Paul Montgomery, Chris Neseman and Ryan Haup look back on Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert’s Flashpoint comic event and the animated feature is has now inspired. A polarizing visual style and ultra-violent tone make for a polarizing departure for the long-running DC Animated line, so should prospective viewers walk or run to join the Flash for his first starring role?

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Music:
“Lightning Strikes”
Lou Christie

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Comments

  1. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    “Stop trying to sell me this bag of rotten fruit.” – Chris Neseman.

    Wow. You may not know this Chris, but we just became friends. This is how I’ve felt about the Barry Allen Campaign since Final Crisis.

    Free Wally West.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      They’re the same character!

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      I gotta agree with @Paul to an extent, the Flashes (Jay, Barry, Wally, Bart) are all the same character basically. Good guy with Super Speed who helps people. I admit that Wally is probably the most relatible, but only because nobody has made Barry that way yet.

      And I gotta disagree with this Chris Neseman guy. “Nobody cares about Barry”? “Nobody cares about Cyborg”? So everybody stops trying to make them popular? Was anybody a fan of Aquaman before Geoff Johns started writing him? Now he’s kickass. So that’s my rebuttal.

      And why does killing someone make you not a “good” person. WW killed Maxwell Lord, but I bet people still find her heroic. Spider-Man may have killed Gwen Stacy, is he not heroic?

      I have lots of thoughts on this podcast…

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Debatable.

      If that’s the case, why replace him at all?

      Closer to the point Chris was making, I’m more tired of Johns enforcing his love of Barry than I am of Barry himself. Some would argue that it’s what he did with his love of Hal Jordan, but those stories were more interesting. Maybe that’s because Hal and the other GL’s aren’t as interchangeable. That’d be a discussion worth having.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      You’re touching on my point; nobody has ‘made’ Barry Allen yet. Geoff Johns did it with Hal Jordon. Hal Jordon has a personality, Barry Allen doesn’t. You can verbalize Hal Jordon’s behavior traits, you see him do stuff and get why. “That’s Hal Jordon”. Neither Johns or Buccellto and Manapul have done the same for Barry IMHO. I call Barry Allen a “vanilla character”. He seems bland to me, just like Hal Jordon used to. But eventually somebody (Johns) took him and made him a character in my eyes. All the Earth GLs (Haven’t read about Baz so I won’t mention him) have distinct personalities. Guy and Kyle aren’t the same, and neither are Stewart and Jordon. Which is why each one can have their own series, they’re different characters.

      Why bring back Wally West? Why did Bart Allen replace him? Because the Flash is about legacy. Which was an appeal of Wally, he met his hero and had to follow in his footsteps and surpass them. But all that was because of Barry Allen existing in the first place. Take that away, and is Wally West still that great? Well, he’s got that personality and you probably grew up with him. So doesn’t Barry Allen deserve that chance, to finally grow into a full-fledged character like Hal Jordon?

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Sure, he deserves it. So let’s see it already.

      Flash: Rebirth was four years ago, for Christ’s sake.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Flash:Rebirth was terrible.

      Wally West was the Flash for 25 years for christ’s sake, four years and Barry’s out? Was Wally West the greatest Flash four years into his Run?

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Yes.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Ok, I can tell there’s not much I can say to sway you. Maybe this guy can:

      http://famousfanboy.blogspot.com/2010/07/flash-fact-wally-west-is-brilliant-but.html?m=1

      I urge you to read what this guy has to say, I think he makes a compelling argument. BTW, if you think Wally West started being great when Mark Waid started writing him; Waid started in 1992. 7 years after Wally started his Run. Now I read what was between COIE and the beginning of Waid’s run, it’s not what I would pick as the best of Wally West.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      Free Wally West indeed!

      http://www.customink.com/lab?PK=04600&cid=hvs0-000w-2j9s

      I think the reason why people worship at the shrine of Barry Allen so much is because of his sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Beyond that, he was still very Silver Age up to that point – just a good man who got incredible powers and fought bad guys. He certainly didn’t have the character arc that Wally had – which is why many of us love Wally so much. I think it’s kind of a cop-out to say there is nowhere left to go with the character. A good writer can always find something to keep it interesting and develop the character. DC really fumbled the ball with Wally in the last few series before the reboot. Even Waid’s return was bad.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Hal Jordon was Silver Age, until Geoff Johns made him cool. Yeah Wally has his character arc, Barry doesn’t and thats why everyone loves Wally West and blah blah blah. This is my original point: Doesn’t Barry Allen deserve the same chance that Wally, the JSA, and so many others had? I mean Wally was the Flash for 15+ years. He’s gone for four and everybody’s on this campaign (which I’m starting to find really annoying BTW) to get him back. And I’m saying this as a Wally West fan, he was my Flash! I loved him! But I’m ok with something NEW for awhile.

      “A good writer can always find something to keep it interesting and develop the character.” Then why don’t we apply that to Barry Allen? Wouldn’t it be great if we saw Barry like Wally did?

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      I think the question is, why hasn’t DC applied this to Barry Allen YET? What the hell are they waiting for? It’s been two years. I’ve read Flash from the WML days, but I dropped the New 52 book because the writing was not good. If it were better, it might make people care. The bar is set pretty frickin’ high, and they ain’t anywhere near it.

      Sorry if you’re annoyed, but does Wally even EXIST in the New 52? I remember in Flashpoint he was just Iris’ cameraman who was killed. Quite an ignominious end for someone who wore the red suit for 15+ years, isn’t it? I think that has some people’s dander up.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      People (like me) actually like the book. In my opinion it RAISED the bar set by the last 10-20 crappy Wally West issues. So who set the bar last? Geoff Johns underwhelming run that was just to set up Flashpoint? Rebirth was terrible, I won’t argue that. Wally was floundering with all the other teams that were working on him, Bart Allen’s Run was pretty medicore. So as far as I can tell, that leaves Geoff Johns’ original run on the Flash. That was what? 2006? 2007? Which equaled how many years of crappy Wally stories?

      You can’t snap your fingers and demand “Make this character cool” or “That character sell more”. It has to happen origanically. I’m a Moon Knight fan, Marvel has let me down a few times with the character. As much as I miss reading him, I’d rather they leave him alone than F*** him up more. And if DC brought Wally West back, would that make you happy? Him as the Flash with more modicore stories? How about if he was just a guest-star or just Iris’ nephew Wally? But as long as you had him back…

      I don’t know if Wally’s alive in the New 52. The Rogues are, and most of them died in “Citizen Cold”. So my guess is Wally is alive, and probably 8-12 again. But I think its unfair to put the source of FWW on how he died in CC. Everybody read that 3 issue mini? No, I think its just holding onto the past, man. The same people who were upset when Dick Grayson became Batman (the second time). Or when Bruce Wayne came back to life (the… Most recent time) and was Batman again.

      Just to put into perspective how I feel about FWW, imagine me starting a campaign to put Pants back on Wonder Woman. That’s how I feel about it. In my mind, they may as well be the same thing.

    • @IthoSapien – Bringing Barry back isn’t “something new.” It follows DC’s pattern of being overly reverent of their Silver Age heroes and then beating us over the head with how awesome and cool they are. Johns is the worst offender, even though it did work with Hal (before DC diluted the brand to near-unreadability). They were killed off for a reason: they were booooring. If you want to put a new guy in the costume, then put a NEW guy in there. Do what Marvel did with Ultimate Spider Man and Nova. Don’t try to cram this Silver Age nostalgia down my throat. And, hell, if you don’t want Wally as Flash anymore, let him go out with a bang! That’s just basic good mythology building. These All My Children sci-fi plotlines where people who have been dead for 20 years come back are just tired. I’ve read those stories many times over. Take me somewhere new!

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      @Itho – The last Wally series was bad, I’ll grant you that. That doesn’t mean Wally is not a worthwhile character. Why not have him as Kid Flash, or something? Why have Bart Allen but not Wally?

      DC threw the baby out with the bathwater on a LOT of their history and legacies. Sure, I know they did this to simplify continuity for a reboot to attract new readers blah blah blah… But they took something, this generational aspect, that was special and unique to the DCU and pissed it away on a gimmick. Does anyone think the brand, or the DCU, is stronger now than it was before?

      I know not everyone read CC, but that was the last appearance of Wally. It’s all we have to refer to. And I thought it was GREAT when Dick became Batman. The Snyder and Tomasi stories in that timeframe were fantastic. I’m not holding onto the past on everything, I’m just underwhelmed with Barry Allen and the current book.

      And speaking of the current book – I don’t expect DC to make Barry cool or make it sell better overnight. But it hasn’t been overnight, has it? It’s been two years. How long do I have to wait while they piddle around? What do you think a writer like Jonathan Hickman could have done with this character in two years?

      @ultimatehoratio – Well said. Better than I did.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      To both of you, I’ve never said Wally was boring or unworthwhile character. But he was Flash for 15 years, and terrible for the last few. Why not put someone new in? Because who was the last new character given a legacy title? The new Atom? And does anybody care about her yet? Silver Age characters were boring? Yeah right, tons of cool sh*t came out of the Silver Age, aside from the monkeys and sexism. And if you think Silver Age characters are boring, lemme guess; so are GOLDEN AGE CHARACTERS like the JSA, but theyre still around and popular. But theyre OLDER so they should suck, right?

      Not everybody gets a big bang out ending, because why do they need one? Wally isn’t dead, or gone or erased, so why does he need a send-off? Sounds like something from the past someone is holding onto.

      Why not put Wally as Kid-Flash? BECAUSE EVERYONE WANTS HIM AS…THE…FLASH!!! If he’s around all people are gonna bitch about is “when will they kill Barry off again so Wally can be Flash?!”. Plus doesn’t it make sense that Bart Allen be Kid-Flash since he’s y’know, related to the Flash? And Barry isn’t dating Iris anymore so why would her nephew become Kid-Flash?

      This generational thing isn’t gone, its back at square one; Superman and Superboy, Batman and the Robin(s) and Nightwing, and the Teen Titans. What was old is new again.

      And believe it or not, DC is making more money from before the Reboot, so guess what? It is working. Maybe not from 5 or 10 years ago, but 1 or 2 BEFORE the Reboot? DC’s making more, after wiping the slate.

      What do I think Hickman could do with Flash? IRREVELANT, why would Marvel ever let him go? AND HOW OFTEN DOES A WRITER LIKE HICKMAN COME AROUND ANYWAY? Do they grow on trees or something? They put newbies on the Flash, and people like it. Maybe you two don’t, fine, whatever. But others do.

      I’ll make a compromise with you; forget the Wally West thing. Just forget it. Get a new campaign going; a better writer on the Flash. Why bring back Wally if he’s going to suck again? Get someone with more cred to write Flash. Get Hickman, get Remender, get whoever. Then we’ll see if they can’t make Barry Allen cool.

    • @IthoSapien – Wally was Flash for 25 years. My campaign slogan is, “stop cramming Barry Allen down our throats. I remember the guy from my childhood and he was boring. Long live Wally West.”

      Never compromise. Not even in the face of armaggedon.

    • brendanohare brendanohare says:

      DC had such good legacy characters that were better when they got the limelight. It’s just a shame to see them get put on the back burner. Wally is exhibit A, but there are many others. When Barry made a comeback, it just killed the illusion of progress. People who grew up with Wally and John Stewart like me feel a bit like Barry and Hal are their dad’s (or grandpa’s) Flash and GL.

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      @brendanohare: And people like me who grew up on Barry and Hal are excited that they are back in the limelight. It works both ways.

    • kennyg kennyg says:

      @IthoSapien – I love the JSA and didn’t think they suck. I just preferred Wally over Barry as Flash. DC hasn’t done enough with Barry for me to stick with it. I hate what they did with the Rogues’ powers too. It’s not for me.

      The generational thing in the sense of what it was is gone. This is bigger than Robin and the Teen Titans. You don’t have the JSA mentoring young heroes. What they did to the JSA is a crime in my book. There’s no Flash family. You don’t have the mantle passed down from one generation of heroes to the next.

      I don’t think DC is making more money than they did 1-2 years before the reboot, now. I think initially, they saw a big bump in sales. But everything I’ve seen indicates it has leveled off to what it was before, or worse. Look how many titles have been cancelled.

      My point about Hickman was, think of what a writer of his caliber could do with Barry Allen. It doesn’t have to be him. But DC doesn’t seem to be interested in writing. There are a lot of good writers out there. Some of them worked for DC for a while on the New 52 and left. Some of them are probably scared off. Maybe it’s editorial, I don’t know, but they are hemorrhaging writers.

      I would welcome a new Flash writer. I see nothing wrong with the art. I just don’t find the story to be good enough to spend money on. If the book weren’t boring, I’d still be reading it. I don’t want to just keep buying it out of some perceived obligation to the Flash legacy.

    • I’d read a well-written Flash title featuring Barry, but I’d be thinking about Wally the whole time.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      It’s too bad DC changed anything at all; the Rogues have powers, the JSA isn’t mentoring youth, why didn’t leave everything exactly like it was and just go out of business?!

      Oh wait, because they found a way to make money to keep that from happening. Which is what they did. They’re making more money than before the reboot, which is why they didn’t reboot back to the old DCU. Canceled titles just really prove they’re making less money, how many titles did they have before Flashpoint? I mean I’m sure there were loads , but they didn’t sell for sh*t.

  2. LEXPRIME LEXPRIME says:

    I loved this movie….one my fav I am very surprised to hear you guys didn’t like it as much as me. I thought you would have. it was great! animated wasn’t the best true but I really enjoyed the story and action:) But I didn’t like the new frontier so lol

  3. johnegold says:

    I don’t really care who they sell me as pivotal as long as it’s a well put together story. Flashpoint’s idea was interesting but in the end it fell apart. The movie could only turn out the same.

  4. ScottE ScottE says:

    I watched this movie knowing a lot about comics but nothing about this event at all
    When the comics came out I was behind on monthly books and decided to just jump on with new 52. That said I didn’t have any trouble following the story, I just didn’t get the end part where Flash runs back in time and then there are two Flashes and they disagree and I didn’t get it. But I get today Flash wins and everything was cool again.

  5. supersnac90 says:

    Both comics and animation had potential, neither did much with it at all. However, the Flash movie before the opening credits and Zoom holding that tea cup looking boss are fantastic.

  6. RedBaron504 RedBaron504 says:

    Did someone say, “Put pants on Wonder Woman?” please god yes. I liked a lot of the books that compromised Flashpoint. The solo Batman mini was great! I liked the Outsider and Element Woman as well. The movie was decent, but I feel they should have gone full anime instead of sometimes sort of doing it. That being said Barry Allen is boring as shit and Wally West has a personality. I dropped the new 52 Flash because even though the art is beautiful the stories were bad and I hate that the Rogues have powers now. Did I mention I want Wonder Woman to wear pants and I miss Wally West.

  7. brendanohare brendanohare says:

    Every hero in Flashpoint Paradox needs to stop angrily wrinkling their eyebrows, right? Just for a second? You can angrily wrinkle them when you get hit by lightning, but don’t do it when you are reading a letter from your dead dad. I think maybe the cowls have built in furrows which force heroes’ faces to look like that all the time. I think having a relaxed face as default might contrast better with emotional faces and better sell those missed emotional beats. What do you think?

  8. Madmarva says:

    To me the point of the movie/story is that a selfish, unheroic universe was created when Flash made the selfish decision to save the life of his mother without regard to the ripples that might occur by doing so.

    Flash essentially started the DCU that we know because the character success ignited what we know as the silver-age. So it’s appropriate that his selfish decision would ultimately create a DCU that would be self-serving rather than heroic. Everyone from Aquaman to Wonder Woman made selfish choices rather than altruistic ones which left the Earth in such a crappy state.

    Barry Allen still has that heroic spark from the previous timeline and as characters interact with him, they tend to make more heroic choices. When Barry sees his action was the root cause, he makes the unselfish move to stop the interference.

    To me, I think it works storywise.

    I had more problem with the anime-inspired character design than the actual animation.

    It certainly was more violent than most of the DC movies have been despite all of them being rated PG-13, but the point of the violence was to show how unheroic the Flashpoint universe is compared to the regular DCU.

    However, DC/Warners may get some blowback from parents expecting a more kid-friendly adventure. Cartoons and superheroes still spells kiddie product to many and the movie was not kid friendly.

  9. peterPanic peterPanic says:

    This movie is currently 7.9 on IMDB, I watched it and enjoyed it. I rate this review 1 out of 5, I listened to it and did not give a damn about y’all opinions!