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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

The all-new, direct-to-DVD-movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox hits stores on July 30, but let's take a look right now!

For those who didn't read the crossover event upon which this is based, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox takes place in a darker version of the DCU. War has broken out between the empires of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and the collateral damage has spilled into the rest of the world, leaving hundreds of millions dead. So, yeah, this is a light-hearted romp!
The story opens with the Justice League (including Aquaman, voiced by The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes) helping The Flash apprehend members of his Rogues' Gallery...but then Barry Allen wakes up, and the world he--and we--are familiar with is not so familiar. The news is filled with stories of approaching armageddon, and Batman looks like a demon and stuff, with creepy red eyes!

Aquaman, of course, also looks very different, and his longtime foes Black Manta and Ocean Master aren't exactly foes. No, it's Wonder Woman who is causing the Sea King the most trouble:
From what I remember, the story from the comic book is followed pretty closely, and on that level you could say Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is a success. The voice performances are good (Kevin Conroy is back as Batman, as well as Dana Delaney as Lois Lane), as we've come to expect from these DC DVD projects.

But I have the same questions about this movie after I've seen it that I did when it was first announced: why? Flashpoint is such a violent, downbeat story, I don't really understand the appeal of transferring it into another medium. Sure, the premise made for a fun switcheroo in comics form, having all our heroes square off against one another in such dramatic fashion, but...I dunno, if they're going to make the effort to produce a movie-length JLA story, why make one where everyone hates one another? Will this appeal to anyone outside of those who read the comics? Maybe that's all the audience these things need to reach to be financially successful, and if that's the case then Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will probably be just as big a hit as its predecessors.

I mean, I will admit it was fun watching Aquaman and Wonder Woman beat the ever loving crap out of one another, and the film doesn't pull a lot of punches (no pun intended) in that arena. And, again like the mini-series, Flashpoint presents The Flash as the ultimate guardian of the Silver Age, a guy who is will simply not give up, even in the face of a totally alternate reality, which is sweet in its own way.


Shellhead said...

Sheesh, dude. SPOILERS, much?
You gave away major plot points without so much as a warning. And yes, I read the comic, but I wasn't sure what if anything got changed in the translation. Now I know Aquaman dies in the end, so thanks a lot. Jerk.

David J. Cutler said...

Shellhead, are you really not used to rob's plot summaries by now? I can't even tell if you're joking but you come across terribly.

rob! said...

It didn't even really occur to me that I was spoiling anything, because as I said its a fairly faithful adaptation of the series, but nevertheless I realize getting so specific was probably not a great idea, so I've amended the post.

I'm not going to comment on anything else, because that speaks for itself.

Tegan said...

Shellhead's comment is now the "summary" of this post on FB, and ironically gives away the plot point that Shellhead was complaining about. So Shellhead himself has spread the spoiler MUCH farther than it would have been spread if the idiot hadn't mentioned the spoiler IN HIS COMMENT. Good job, Shellhead, you jerk.

Designer Daddy said...

Rob, since you amended the post, perhaps delete Shellhead's comment, which mentions — well, something I'd forgotten from the book, and is a big spoiler?

Anyhoo, you can also pre-order the movie on iTunes!

Earth 2 Chris said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this series. It seemed to be DC's way of kind of explaining away the new 52 vs. the old continuity. Man, I wish they'd just left Barry dead. All he did was cause a bunch of trouble.


Anonymous said...

This movie was essential because it explains how the next DC Animated projects will take place in the New 52 Universe (which I believe will be the case with all the new DC animated projects, and Throne of Atlantis should be a no brainer)

And as a film it is certainly one of the very best DC has created, dark or no.

On another note Aquaman was treated worse than in the actual comic, but I guess DC didn't want to hear all the complaints about how he was beating WW like in the comic. Spineless move from DC but expected.

Anonymous said...

BTW I'm not spoiling the final battles or anything, but If you are an Aquaman fan, you'll prefer the original comic book ending (probably).

r duncan said...

Spolier alert for shellhead. A bunch of people die in the movie but at the end they push the reset button, so it doesn't really matter anyway.

Anonymous said...

Haha...man...this is getting to be a bit ridiculous. What's with all the rude jerks complaining about the Shrine as if they're paying for it rather than it being free and awesome? I'm sorry for these negative folks lately Rob. Thanks for all the great work!

Anyway, I think your anonymous commenter there hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately this is a marketing strategy by DC to push their New 52 stuff into the public eye. I agree, though. This isn't a story I'd be terribly interested in normally. I would have enjoyed seeing Aquaman being awesome, but from what I'm hearing he's been nerfed in this adaptation, which kills any motivation I might have had to see it.

I'd love to see these guys adapt some stories from the classic run, or at least the Morrison era. Perhaps we'll at least get Throne of Atlantis out of this, as someone else said.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment bentongrey

Shellhead said...

I probably came off a bit harsh and for that, I apologize. Feel free to eliminate my first post, Rob. The other guy makes a good point about it now being the spoiler that I was complaining about.

Anonymous said...

Shellhead, it takes a big man to apologize, and a bigger one to do it in the anonymous wasteland that is the internet. Good for you.

Shellhead said...

I love and support this site. I was just disappointed to see the ending spoiled to a DVD I was planning on picking up in a couple weeks.
Apologies, Rob.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman is supposed to be one of DC's most powerful heroes. Even a huge Aquaman fan such as myself would pick Diana to eventually win in a fight between the two heavyweights. I didn't read Flashpoint the comic series, but if Arthur won in that story it means Diana was shafted. And I haven't seen the Flashpoint Paradox cartoon, but if she wins there...well, that's the logical outcome.

Anonymous said...

So uh - elephant in the room - nobody's gonna bring up what Mera's outfit is here?

Russ said...

*SPOILERS* That's what happens when you step out on someone like Mera. You start World War III

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman may be STRONGER than Aquaman, but that is not all there is to a fight. I've always seen the two as pretty evenly matched when you came right down to it. Aquaman's strength is that much less than hers, and he's arguably significantly faster. He's got his telepathy, and if he can move the fight to water, well, that's all she wrote.

I'm not saying that Aquaman would beat Wonder Woman in a fight, but I am saying that it's far from a forgone conclusion!

Anonymous said...

I doubt Aquaman has faster reflexes than Wonder Woman, as she has demonstrated to be extremely fast at times, including even the deflecting of bullets from machine gun fire trick. (Technically unnecessary since the bullets would only bounce off her.)

Also, Diana was expertly trained as a fighter almsot from birth; Arthur wasn't trained to fight as a warrior until he was a teenager and found Atlantis. His father was a lighthouse keeper, not a Shaolin monk.

And just to annoy some people I'll go off-topic and say, due to experience in martial arts Karate Kid would kick Batman's ass every single time. (Val Armorr trained earlier than Bruce Wayne and has an extra thousand years plus of advanced fighting techniques mastered in his repertoire.)

Bleak said...

Loved this story in the comics and this is a pretty faithful rendition of it in animated form. However I did not like Aquaman's character design at all!