Flashpoint Batman returns in the upcoming Flashpoint Beyond.
Dr. Thomas Wayne is set to return as the alternate and lethal version of the Caped Crusader in a reality created by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert in 2011’s Flashpoint miniseries. Further, one of the men who created this world – Johns – is also back for this potentially wild ride.
Flashpoint followed Barry Allen/The Flash as he inadvertedly altered the timeline by attempting to prevent his mother’s murder at the hands of The Reverse-Flash. The result was a present where he had no powers, Joe Chill had killed Bruce Wayne in Crime Alley instead of his parents, Superman was an incarcerated extraterrestrial from the point of his landing on Earth that had not yet seen the sun, and Atlantis and Themyscira have embroiled the world in their war covering up a shady romance gone wrong between Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
The standout character of this series was this very different Dark Knight. Dr. Thomas Wayne had become a murderous Batman while his wife Martha descended into madness as his Joker. Abandoning his practice and establishing a corrupt casino, Wayne draws in the enemies he seeks to surgically remove from Gotham. However, he is not the technological wizard that his son would have become, and packs lethal force more so than batarangs. He had also allowed Wayne Manor to become abandoned, left to rot, while The Batcave was a bare-bones headquarters with mementos of his former life, empty liquor bottles, scribbled chalk boards, and Chill’s gun placed under glass. He was integral in assisting Barry Allen correct his error in judgment and stopping himself from altering the past to reset the timeline.
Flashpoint Batman – Where are We Now? And Who Is the Clockwork Killer?
The miniseries served as the springboard for the relaunch of all of DC’s titles known as The New 52, later retconned under DC Rebirth and finally Doomsday Clock, the latter penned by Johns. The story was later adapted for the DTV Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, loosely for the third season of The Flash, and will be next seen on the big screen in The Scarlet Speedster’s first cinematic solo adventure.
The pre-Doomsday Clock lead-in threw Flashpoint Batman back into the spotlight. The Batman-Flash crossover story “The Button” saw Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne finding themselves in the still-alive Flashpoint reality. Writer Tom King took the Thomas Wayne variant and made him the main antagonist for his year-long story that culminated in “City of Bane.” Thomas’s vain, ruthless agenda to have his son quit as Batman by allying himself with Bane and trying to resurrect main DCU Martha Wayne with a Lazarus Pit ultimately failed. The last readers saw him, he was incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, gagged, and paralyzed by Bane in the same manner that his son had been in Knightfall. For Flashpoint Beyond, however, Johns’ story focuses on the immediate aftermath of that epic event ten years ago.
“This is for fans of big DC events and the great history of DC when it comes to comic books, ” Johns explained. “And even though this is an event, it’s focused on character over [concept. It’s] the story of Thomas Wayne Batman, a Barry Allen that could’ve been, the crimes of Bruce [Wayne. It’s] a murder mystery, a secret mission and a look into the past, present and future of the continuum of DC. And as dark as it can get in this upside down world of Flashpoint, it’s fun.”
The miniseries kicks off in the 48-page Flashpoint Beyond #0, with script by Johns and art by Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets) The main series, meanwhile, will be co-written by Johns, Jeremy Adams (The Flash) and Tim Sheridan (Shazam!) with art by Xermanico (Infinite Frontier). Adams sees this project as more than just the latest project, but a lesson in storytelling for him. “It’s been a privilege, and incredible learning experience, to work with these talented writers, artists, inkers, letterers, colorists and editors for [Flashpoint Beyond. Talking] story and character has been eye-opening, and the lessons will undoubtedly color everything I do from now on. I’m beyond excited that DC fans will get to go back to the Flashpoint Universe and experience a grounded mystery that will evoke serious philosophical questions while tugging at your heartstrings.”
Post-Flashpoint, Dr. Thomas Wayne questions why this timeline is still intact despite Barry’s trip back to prevent it. At the same time, he is forced into a manhunt for a new threat to the city: The Clockwork Killer. Oddly enough, the investigation will lead Thomas Wayne to confront Aquaman, who is a tyrant that has conquered Europe in his war against The Amazons.
As to the Clockwork Killer himself, little is known about him at this point. The name could go one of two ways. It could be an allusion to Doomsday Clock, particularly to the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan whose father was a watchmaker. Another connection could be to an antagonist created by David Hine and Moriat during their run on The Spirit. The villain was named The Professor, whose modus operandi was creating automatons with clockwork accuracy to commit his crimes. Time will tell – no pun intended – to see just what this Clockwork Killer’s background is.
In closing, Sheridan adds, “This is something that, as a fan, I’ve been waiting for a long [time: The] return to the world of Flashpoint. The] fact that I’ve gotten to be a small part of that return is just about the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me and getting to be associated with Geoff, Jeremy, Eduardo, Xermanico, and a team that’s put their whole hearts into this, has made it no less than surreal. I can’t wait for people to see these pages!”
Catch Flashpoint Beyond #0 when it hits the stands April 5, 2022.
Official Source – Thomas Wayne Dons the Cowl in FLASHPOINT BEYOND | DC (dccomics.com)