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3/27/16

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX - REVIEW


While the new The Flash series have done relatively well, this is a character often dismissed as limited in terms of what powers he has and the fact that most of his villains sound like B-side Batman rogues doesn't help.

With animated feature Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, we finally get proof that there are excellent Flash stories out there and that the latter most definitely earns his place as part of the iconic superteam.

The Flashpoint Paradox opens with Reverse-Flash (voiced by C. Thomas Howell) setting a trap for Barry Allen (voiced by Justin Chambers) involving a whole bunch of rogues, some gooey mud and loads of bombs set to go off and destroy Central City. Luckily, the rest of the Justice League jump in and save the day. Very soon, however, Barry Allen starts to realise that something has changed around him: familiar villains have slightly different names, his mother's alive and a world war is brewing. As it turns out, by saving his mother and changing the past, The Flash has changed the future and things are looking pretty grim for everybody: Bruce Wayne is dead and Thomas Wayne is Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are destructive villains, Superman is nowhere to be seen, Hal Jordan has died and Allen doesn't have his powers yet.

It's a mess, to say the least.

There's something very adult about this movie and its plot as it's the DC universe at its most tragic, apocalyptic and cruel. It's surprisingly violent and the idea that Batman drinks and shoots to kill because his son has died and his wife became The Joker alone is pretty heartbreaking. Other harsh moments include The Flash almost burning to death, Wonder Woman murdering Shazam's kid alter-ego, Aquaman setting off a nuke and other characters dying violently left and right. This all makes for a fascinating, nail-biting watch which leads to a surprisingly moving moment when Bruce Wayne is given a letter from his long dead father. The animation and voice acting is very good here, the cast including the likes of Cary Elwes (Aquaman), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Kevin Conroy (Batman), Michael B. Jordan (Cyborg) and Ron Perlman (Deathstroke) among others.

This is easily one of the very best DC cartoons out there so I would definitely recommend it for any comic-book fan, especially anyone dubious about The Flash as a character. This is a dark sci-fi epic that's full of surprises.

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