14.4 C
Munich
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Why The Flash Needs Two Versions of Batman to Save the Day

Must read

After literal years of waiting, we’ve finally seen the first full trailer for The Flash. It’s a superhero movie that blends the old and the new of the DCEU, with two versions of Barry Allen, two completely different Batmen, a Supergirl and some familiar villains we never expected to see again.

But what exactly is the plot of The Flash? How has time itself become Barry’s greatest nemesis? And why is this threat so great that he needs two Batmen to save the day? Let’s break down this new footage in the official trailer and the Big Game spot, and learn what you can expect when The Flash hits theaters on June 16.

[note – While actor Ezra Miller uses they/them pronouns, for the sake of this article we're referring to their character Barry as he/him.]

The Flash Movie: Who's Who in the Cast

Barry Allen and the Flashpoint

The trailer basically confirms what had previously been reported about the plot of the movie. The Flash is clearly taking its cues from 2011’s Flashpoint, a storyline which also inspired the 2013 animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Season 3 of the CW series.

Whether by accident or intentionally, Ezra Miller’s Barry travels back in time and changes the history of the DCEU. In this case, he prevents the horrible tragedy that killed his mother and left his father imprisoned for her murder.

But if there’s a common thread in every version of the Flashpoint storyline, it’s that meddling with time has major unintended consequences. We see the immediate effects of Barry’s time-meddling when he encounters a younger version of himself. Based on how many scenes we see of old and young Barry interacting, it appears that Miller is playing a dual role throughout much of the film.

Another hallmark of Flashpoint is that Barry loses his speed when he wakes up in his new reality. It’s hard to tell from the trailer if the same holds true here, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Barry trying to reclaim his speed is a major part of the plot. In fact, one shot shows both Barrys being struck by lightning, suggesting they team up to recreate the original Speed Force accident and get a double dose of speed.

In any case, it does appear that both Barrys will have their speed in time for the climactic final battle, as we see a shot of red and blue speedsters coming together.

The trailer also reveals one other nifty detail that draws on the comics. Barry now has his signature Flash ring that hides his costume inside.

Revisiting Man of Steel

The trailer reveals some critical new details about the plot of The Flash. It appears the new timeline Barry stumbles into is set in the year 2013. That’s because we see General Zod and his Kryptonian army beginning their invasion of Earth. Michael Shannon’s Zod and Antje Traue’s Faora are both returning to the DCEU for this one.

Basically, Barry has blundered his way into the events of Man of Steel, only this time Superman isn’t there to defend the planet. Earth has to settle for two speedsters who may or may not actually have speed, and one grumpy old Batman (more on him later).

This is another common trope with Flashpoint. Barry’s time-meddling doesn’t just affect his family, but it causes rippling effects that alter reality both forward and backward in time. This new timeline appears to be missing most of the metahuman heroes we know from the regular DCEU. As far as we’re led to believe, there’s no Superman, Wonder Woman or Aquaman.

There is a Supergirl, however. That appears to be another major change Barry caused. In this reality, it was Kara Zor-El, not Kal-El, who crash-landed on Earth. And rather than finding a home with a kindly couple in Kansas, Sasha Calle’s Kara has landed herself in government custody.

Based on her prison shirt, she may have been imprisoned in a Russian facility, suggesting the movie is paying homage to the alternate universe comic Superman: Red Son or the Red Daughter storyline from The CW’s Supergirl. If so, it could turn out that our heroes have more to fear from Supergirl than they do Zod.

Though it should be noted that this may not entirely be Barry’s fault. Man of Steel includes a reference to a Kryptonian who escaped the ship and may have been Supergirl. Maybe Kara already exists in the regular DCEU, still languishing away in a dark prison cell.

The trailer shows a scene more than a little reminiscent of the one in 2021’s Black Widow where our heroes busted Red Guardian out of a maximum security prison in the remote mountains. It appears the Barrys are doing the same for Kara. Despite her incredible strength, being locked away from the sun for so long means she’s weakened and not ready to take on Zod right out of the gate.

But we do see a shot of Kara in her Kryptonian costume flying into battle, so expect her to follow in her cousin’s footsteps by the end of the film. Will she repeat the broken neck heard ‘round the world?

A Tale of Two Batmen

But let’s be honest. We’re all here for the Batmen. The Flash is clearly packing quite a bit of Dark Knight for not technically being a Batman film. We know both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton are reprising their respective roles here. And given what usually happens when Barry Allen races through time, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see more Bat-cameos as our hero dashes through the Speed Force.

We only see a few glimpses of Affleck’s Batman in this trailer. This is probably the Batman we’ll see early on in the film, before Barry rewrites reality. This Batman appears to have some new gear, including a motorcycle that looks and sounds a lot like Christian Bale’s Batpod. We also see a quick glimpse of his new suit. This armored getup resembles a sleeker version of the Tactical Suit from Justice League, but it appears to have a more comic book-style blue cape and cowl.

We’ll see more of the Flash/Batman dynamic in this post-Justice League era, and hopefully a proper send off for Affleck in what’s reportedly his final time in the cape and cowl. But as for whether more of the current Justice League show up, the trailer doesn’t show us.

Once reality shifts, however, Affleck’s Batman is seemingly replaced in favor of a nostalgic icon. That’s how it works in the original Flashpoint, anyway.

It appears that Barry is the unintentional creator of Tim Burton’s Batman universe. It makes sense that this would be the Batman of Flashpoint, though, because those old movies never gave any indication that there were metahumans in that universe.

Based on the shots of a dilapidated Wayne Manor and Batcave, it would seem Keaton’s Bruce has become a Howard Hughes figure in his old age. The Big Game spot shows us a glimpse of Keaton’s armory and his many old Batsuits. Those old Batman Returns figures have finally become canon.

But he’s clearly still in fighting shape after all these years. We see him don a Batsuit that’s basically a sleeker version of the classic rubber costume and leap into battle. The days of not being able to turn his head are long behind him. Heck, we may have a fight sequence to rival Affleck’s iconic warehouse attack from Batman v Superman.

It also appears that this Bruce finally built himself a new Batwing to replace the one Joker shot down in 1989’s Batman. We still don’t know where he gets those wonderful toys…

And that’s what you need to know from the Flash trailer. Does this teaser have you stoked for Barry Allen’s first big-screen solo movie? Are two Batmans enough to save the day? Let us know what you think.

For more on The Flash, check out The Flash poster that was released before the big game and the roadmap for this first phase of the DCU.


Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article