The Flash presents a new start to the DC cinematic universe


Warner Brothers

The Flash Movie Poster

Josh Sonnenberg '25, Graphics Editor

Cinema in the late 2000s were marked by the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a consistent flow of “good” superhero movies, a break from the frequently mediocre or downright bad superhero movies of the 80s and 90s, (with few exceptions).
The other main superhero universe, DC, followed suit with Marvel in 2013. They released Man of Steel, marking the birth of their new world of movies. The film received moderate reviews, but future and increasingly disconnected movies were critically panned, and failures at the box office. After Marvel’s Avengers Endgame, (a finale to Marvel’s 14 year long saga of movies), Marvel Studios is facing a similar problem as DC, with their most recent “phase” of movies and TV shows receiving poor reviews. This creates an opening for DC to claim a #1 spot as “superhero movie champion”, and The Flash aims to take that spot.
Based loosely off of the Flashpoint Paradox comic series, Barry Allen (The Flash) gets involved with multiverse shenanigans as he learns that if he runs fast enough, he can travel back in time. Barry goes back in time to prevent the death of his mother, Nora, and changes his entire universe. With the invasion of Zod, (the big bad from Man of Steel), and the loss of his powers in the new alternate timeline, Barry goes through unconventional means to unite this new Earth’s mightiest heroes, and correct his mistakes.
The movie falls for “fanservice” and random cameos of old, beloved characters, but The Flash is filled with passion and heart. Quippy one-liners land, the stakes feel impactful, the movie has things to say, and the movie serves as a refreshing break from recent superhero movies that make audiences go “meh”. The movie provides an interesting story of multiverse travel, but there are often too many things going on, and it may feel awkward and confusing for more casual audiences. But regardless of the movie itself, it represents more for the DC cinematic universe, and movies in general. The movie serves to “reset” the entire universe in a cataclysmic event similar to the ones seen repeatedly in the comics when things get a bit too wacky and writers run out of ideas.
The new co-ceo of DC, James Gunn, has announced their new lineup of movies the next few years, and the role of The Flash for the rest of the movies, rebranding other disconnected DC movies as “Elseworlds”, much like Star Wars has done with their “Legends” storyline after their Disney buyout. By introducing a multiverse, and alternate timelines allows for flexibility with story, and a way for writers to tell unique stories they want to tell.
The Flash mixes cosmic, otherworldly events with regular, human problems which synergize in a beautiful way. Barry Allen struggles with losing a parent, and seeing the other put in prison, but also sees its hero dealing with super villains who can fly. By mixing the two, The Flash is able to make people go “ hey, he’s just like me”, and serves as a great reset to the future DC lineup of movies.