Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox [Blu-Ray] Jay Oliva

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox [Blu-Ray] Jay Oliva
Using time travel to create a "What If?" scenario, The Flashpoint Paradox gives the DC Universe's fastest native earthling his own event story. Based on Geoff Johns's annual fulfillment of a lucrative comic book industry marketing initiative, this distillation of that paper and ink version of the cinematic tent pole follows the Flash into an alternate timeline caused by a "butterfly effect" ripple. The film opens with a classic, team-oriented scene of the Justice League foiling a plot to destroy the Flash museum. If you don't follow Barry Allen outside of his team-up stories, the villains this incarnation of the JLA face off against will likely be unfamiliar: Professor Zoom and the Rogues. What specifically goes down in this sequence doesn't really matter; it's main purpose is to set up Zoom's grudge against Allen and depict wholesome, familiar versions of our famous heroes to starkly contrast the brutal iterations of these iconic characters waiting around the corner of temporal revisioning. After saving the day, with a little help from his friends, Barry Allen wakes up in a world where everything is slightly askew: he never became the Flash; Superman didn't land in a cornfield; Bruce Wayne's parents didn't die in that alley; and Aquaman's fish people have a blood vendetta against Wonder Woman's Amazonians, to name just the most significant alterations depicted. As an exercise in pondering causality, it's a fascinating tale, with a particularly heartbreaking depiction of the Superman who wasn't. The central plot, which deals with Barry Allen's forced confrontation with the ramifications of hubris, is more mature than most of DC's animated output, and not just thematically — with graphic decapitations and gunplay, this cartoon distinctly qualifies as ultra-violent. In their feature commentary, director Jay Oliva, Flashpoint writer Geoff Johns and the film's screenwriter like to point out that The Flashpoint Paradox is a highly cinematic cartoon that could stylistically nudge the way forward for any future director of a live action version of The Flash. They're not wrong. While this amiable group chat amongst super-geeks calls attention to why a big budget Flash movie could work, "My Favourite Villain!" is a stark reminder of why it's still a dicey proposition: the villains have the lamest names in all of comicdom. You know you're in trouble when Professor Zoom is the cleverest moniker around. Only a professionally invested super-fan like Geoff Johns could explain and defend the humanistic value of characters like Heatwave, Weather Wizard and Captain Boomerang. And he does — at length. "From the DC Comics Vault" is the obligatory (and welcome) inclusion of pertinent episodes of other animated shows in the DC Universe. Now you have no excuse not to know what the Cosmic Treadmill is — other than a life. A "Digital Comic Except From Flashpoint #1" is included, but best of all is "A Flash in Time," a BBC-style mini-documentary on the history of temporal theory in storytelling, starting with Einstein and Jules Vern, and moving on to the usage of physics lessons in the early days of The Flash comics before leading into the plausibility of the time travel method presented in the very story you've just experienced. Now that's edutainment! (Warner)