DC fans have the chance to return to the world of Flashpoint in Flashpoint Beyond, and it all begins in Flashpoint Beyond #0. Thomas Wayne never thought he would wake up to this world again, yet here he is, and his search for answers will lead him to go to dark places. Written by Flashpoint Beyond #0 by Geoff Johns, drawn by Eduardo Risso, colored by Trish Mulvihill, and by Rob Leigh, the team has really started this stretching mystery of the universe in an unforgettable way. ComicBook.com had a chance to talk to Johns about the first big problem. If you haven’t read the issue yet, spoilers are coming, so you’ve been warned.
The world of Flashpoint has become a fan favorite, and it’s also one of John’s favorites. So when I had the opportunity to revisit this world, it was all and knew exactly who would be a perfect fit for this Thomas Wayne story. But what John didn’t want was to revisit a previously told story with Wayne and this universe.
“Mike Cotton was originally the original editor of the book. Andrew Marino is now and he’s great, and I’ve worked with both, but Mike came up to me and said they were talking about revisiting Flashpoint in some way,” Jones said. “And I was talking to him and I’ve always loved Eduardo Risso’s work, I’ve always loved him throughout my career. I’ve loved him all my reading career since I read A Hundred Bullets. And I told Mike, he asked me if I was going to do something, and I said, Well, I’d like to work with Eduardo on something.” What with Thomas Wayne because I like him a lot and this would be an opportunity for me as a creator. We were fortunate enough that Eduardo was interested and said, ‘Yes.'”
“It got me on board at first, and then we had lunch with Tim and Jeremy who Mike wanted to bring into the fold and were going to work on something, and we ended up communicating in a wonderfully creative way, talking about all these different things and ideas and emotional infrastructure that Bruce was involved in. Wayne and Thomas Wayne, and how to make this is not just like revisiting a story I’ve already told, but moving on to the next chapter of Thomas Wayne’s story and his world, but you have it so tightly connected to the current DC world. Then Risso came along and I found his artwork crazy. I don’t know Whether you’ve seen any of it, but she just started asking Mike if you’d be interested in revisiting this. And then once Eduardo got engaged and then fell in love with Jeremy and Tim. It just turned into a really fun project and story, and we’re excited to see it,” Jones said.
Risso’s artwork creates a vivid and at times brutal portrait of Thomas’ world, particularly in the exchanges between Thomas and Barry Allen, including one particular sequence that will surely have fans talking. However, it is far from just a story about Thomas Wayne.
“Oh yeah, I love Barry Allen too. He looked at him like an old-fashioned Barry Allen, but you can see Eduardo, his work in him is so amazing. And again, it’s a rare opportunity to work with an artist that I’ve admired for a long time. Once I’ve I got into the story we wanted to tell, it wasn’t just… I think these things can always feel like, oh, it’s a critical grab because we’re just completing a story that people already know, and I obviously didn’t want to do that,” Jones said. Nobody did, and we had a kernel of an idea and then we wanted to expand on it and it turned into something that I think is something really special. If you’ve read issue 0, you know that it probably contains some things you weren’t expecting. I guess I hope readers catch it simply expecting, oh, it’s just a new Thomas Wayne story in the Flashpoint Universe. It is much more than that.”
While it’s not just about Thomas Wayne, he plays a huge role in Flashpoint Beyond, and throughout the story, fans will clearly see the differences between Thomas and our world Bruce Wayne. They will also see what happens when someone is intent on finding a way out of a situation and the places they will go to make it happen.
Well, there’s something really primitive and tragic and violent about Thomas Wayne as a character, and I think one of the things we wanted to remind readers about is that Thomas Wayne isn’t Bruce Wayne. That’s something very different, Batman. All of us on this call have kids. He’s a man who has seen his son He gets shot in front of him.His 10-year-old son gets shot and dies in front of him, he became Batman to avenge his son, and he did it in a very violent and brutal way when he killed and killed Joe Chill, resulting in his wife Martha losing her mind.In the end he wasn’t there for her and she became the Joker Then it got even more tragic as we saw on Brian Azzarello’s series with Risso, is that Thomas eventually confronted Martha and it had a terrible ending to her,” Jones said.
“I think Thomas Wayne’s view here is that he’s not Bruce. He never would have been Bruce, even if he wanted to be Bruce, which he now experiences through Barry Allen who first told him about his son and how he became Batman and what Batman is, for Thomas Wayne, was effectively exclude it from this alternate timeline that has been around for a moment and has become this living contradiction that was within the DC Universe,” Jones said. “And at first I tried to get his son to give up being Batman and then I think he’s trying to do things differently, but in the end Thomas Wayne was Thomas Wayne and that was something I felt important to show in this story. That is this is a violent, violent guy who does things very well. Completely different. It’s more coherent. That was always the intention when I presented it in the original flashpoint that it’s a wound. It’s very tangible.”
“So, his story here is now facing, well, what if the world doesn’t change? What if this is the life I’m in and what do I do with it? And when we meet him on this issue, his goal is to do nothing but not accept this and try to figure out what It happened, who did it, and why? That’s part of the great mystery that lies in the story. And there are plenty of clues, every clue and the hint and the moment in Version Zero points to the truth. There are still plenty of cards to flip. But that is it, on I think, the center of gravity for this story. It’s about a completely different kind of Batman,” Jones said.
In the midst of all this are clues to a greater mystery and divine continuity, which are investigated by Batman and a surprising but familiar face. The clues are everywhere, and it’s not just a nuisance either, so if you comb through everything, including this one, you can find some important pieces to the larger puzzle.
“Yes. They can find important pieces here. Also like you look at the divine continuum, which has been a lot of stories about the multiverse, parallel earth, travel through the dark multiverse, the all-encompassing universe and all these things and even the dark crisis. You see that divine continuity is divided into two things, Space and time, the multiverse is space, the parallel universe is our space, but there was also a great unused concept called Hypertime introduced by Mark Waid and Hypertime is time in time travel,” Jones said. “And we look at this half of reality and the kind of fabric of what is reality in the divine continuum. We explore what is time, what is time travel, what is hypertime and these things are part of this.”
“And we felt like we wanted to dive back into these…it’s an event book with DC, and there are a lot of metaphors, I think, in these event books, and we wanted to avoid typical multiverse answers to the concepts and characters we were playing with,” Jones said. “So we’re leaning on a different side with Time Masters and Hypertime and what time actually is, how it’s different from parallel universes and dark multiverses and things like that.”
You can start collecting clues in Flashpoint Beyond #0, which is in the comic stores and digital platforms now. Let us know what you think of the issue in the comments, and as always you can talk to me all about DC and storyboards on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!