Since 2007 DC has been releasing some pretty awesome direct-to-video films based on many of their popular characters and storylines. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, the 17th film in the DC Animated Universe, continues this tradition with an all-star cast, good storytelling and great animation. It is an adaptation of the Flashpoint story arc by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert which, in effect reset the DC Comics Universe timeline and created the New 52 continuity, a relaunched, remixed and revamped version of all DC Comics. The film opens with a flashback into Barry Allen’s origin as a young man coming home later than expected only to find that his mother has been killed. Flash forward to the present and we see Allen as the Flash thwarting an ambush from some of his rouges gallery including Captains Cold, Boomerang, Mirror Master, and The Top (editor note: The Flash has some terrible villains). Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Professor Zoom, reveals himself to be the mastermind of the ambush and Flash, with the help of the rest of the Justice League, defeats the goons. Upon his defeat, Professor Zoom gets under Flash’s skin and vows his revenge. The next day, Barry wakes to find himself in a reality where his mother is alive, he has no powers, and the world is caught in the middle of a brutal war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s respective forces.
The animation in this film is top notch and some of the best in the DCAU. Fans of the Young Justice TV show will feel right at home with Phil Bourassa’s anime influenced character designs. With the scarlet speedster blurring through the screen, to the destroyed beauty of the world in the wake of the war, and the shocking crimson dripping from a severed head, this movie is a visual delight.
You read that right, a severed head. This movie is the darkest entry in the DCAU to date. Characters will die and die in violent ways. This is not for children.
The voice work, led by Justin Chambers as the Flash, is excellent. He helps sell the audience that The Flash can and should have a star vehicle. He and Kevin McKidd as a bitter, alcoholic Thomas Wayne carry the film and have a good chemistry. Andrea Romano has once again brought together a phenomenal cast including, Michael B. Jordan, C. Thomas Howell, Nathan Fillion, Ron Pearlman, Kevin Conroy, Carey Elwes, Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Jennifer Hale, and Dana Delaney (back as Lois Lane). The entire cast gives a great performance, even if most of them only get a line or two.
With Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, DC continues to outshine all others with its animated offerings. This film is worthy to be in any comic fan’s collection.