Comic Book Investing Guide: Flashpoint
I don’t delight in the recent Flash film being a complete failure. I’m a lifelong comic book fan – in 2014, WB (now WB Discovery) announced a Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and other projects would arrive soon. The Flash film was supposed to debut in March 2018. It would take too long to explain, but this film was been rewritten and revised too many times for it to succeed. (Ezra is a criminal who doesn’t deserve grace – no further comment) The Flash was supposed to reset the failed Snyderverse and introduce a new era of DC Comics-based films. Instead, it flopped and we are waiting for the DCU Gunnverse to begin. It’s a shame because the original plot for The Flash was based on a 2011 comic book event called Flashpoint.
While The Flash does have some minor narrative elements cribbed from Flashpoint, due to development delays, Miller’s extended and practically unpunished crime wave, and many other factors, we got never got to see the original vision.
The Flash film that just got released was more heavily influenced by the Back to the Future trilogies, which is odd because The Flash comic books have over 83 years of canon and storylines to pull from.
But the past is the past.
Flashpoint (May 2011) DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Andy Kubert
Sandra Hope: Inker
Alex Sinclair: Colorist
Mick J. Napolitano: Letterer
Flashpoint TPB (Collects all 5-Issues) $14.99 at Amazon
Flashpoint: The 10th Anniversary Omnibus (Collects Flashpoint and over two-dozen other connected miniseries – over 1,500 pages) $93 at Amazon
What I want to stress to you is how interesting the Flashpoint comic book is. It’s a five-issue miniseries from 2011 that was also a prelude to DC Comics canceling all of their comics, revamping them, and launching all-new comics featuring the old characters in an initiative called the New 52.
In Flashpoint, The Flash goes back in time to prevent his mother’s death, an event that he witnessed as a child, an event that has haunted his entire life.
As the Flash, a superhero, a member of the Justice League, and a brilliant police forensic expert, Barry Allen understood that changing the past is wrong and could create incalculable consequences. Some of his friends and relatives warned him against doing it.
He did it because he could, he missed his mother and didn’t care about the consequences.
The Flash went back in time and stopped his arch-nemesis, Reverse Flash, from killing his mother. After returning to the present, nothing changed. But Allen wakes up one day sometime after this even to find his mother Nora alive, the world doesn’t have a Superman, there’s a different Batman, and the Justice League doesn’t exist.
Allen now exists in an unknown world with growing international threats he can’t do anything about.
Also, now he has no speed powers. Now, Allen must ally himself with a new Batman to figure out a way to undo everything he has done, undo saving his mother, and return reality to the way it was before he went back in time to save his mother.
Wouldn’t you have rather seen that film?
Here is what you need to know about the Flashpoint comic book miniseries, why you should read it today, and why if you are a collectibles investor, you ought to invest in Flashpoint #1.
First Appearance of Flashpoint
Flashpoint #1 of 5 (May 2011)
It is important to stress that this is the first appearance of the Flashpoint storyline. The Flash is a character (several characters have used the name) that first appeared in comic books way back in January 1940.
Brief Bio and History: Flashpoint
You could read this five-issue story without reading anything else, but it might be a little confusing at points. Just consider it akin to a Twilight Zone or Black Mirror episode.
All you need to know is that before the first issue of Flashpoint, Barry Allen used the Speed Force, the dimensional energy force that gives speedsters their powers, to go back in time and save his mother from being murdered by Reverse Flash. After Allen did this, nothing changed. Unknown to Allen, his actions cause time fissures and paradoxes to occur in the timeline that would eventually destroy his reality.
At the start of this story, Allen wakes up to find that his reality has completely changed. He remembered his old reality, but he was in a new one. His mother is alive. Allen has no superpowers and is a normal human. There is no Superman and Cyborg is the world’s most famous hero. Wonder Woman and The Amazons are at war with Aquaman and Atlantis.
There is a Batman, but it is not Bruce Wayne. And there is a Kryptonian alive in this new reality, but they are incapacitated. The world will soon end, so Barry needs to get his powers, enlist the help of superheroes who don’t trust him, undo saving his mother and letting her death occur, and reset the timeline back to the way it was before he changed time.
After Allen resets the timeline, he creates a whole new reality, which ties into The New 52. After Flashpoint, all the DC Comics of the era are reenvisioned to entice new readers to join, since the old comics were bogged down by decades of canon. But that is another story.
The Review: Flashpoint
Geoff Johns made Barry Allen a relatable character, made the Flash’s powers interesting (all dude does is run fast), and created a vibrant supporting cast of characters that are still popular today, like the alternate Batman of this story.
This is one of the best Flash stories ever told.
I loved how Johns excels at world-building – the Amazonians and Atlantians at war, Cyborg fills the Superman role, Batman is not the Batman you know, and there is a world-ending threat that becomes more impending with each issue.
Allen learned that actions had consequences, lost his powers, and had to convince people who don’t trust him to do so. And, Allen has to fight in this strange reality to undo saving his mother’s life, something he did before that got him into this mess.
It is also awesome how well Johns can shift the motivations of fan-favorite characters and make variant versions of well-established heroes.
The character work is top notch and Johns keeps readers interested.
Andy Kubert is one of the best artists in the business. He is great at drawing dynamic action scenes and displaying emotion and mannerisms in his work, which is not easy for an artist to do.
The Not So Good
Sometimes Johns world building does take away from Allen’s story. It feels like he used remnants from other unused story ideas and pitches that did not get green-lit and put them in this story.
The politics of the Amazons and Atlanteans at war get a lot of airtime and it is sometimes too much. If you are a long-time comic book reader, it is not a problem. If you are a casual reader, then any time the focus is shifted from Allen’s plight to supporting characters, you may get confused and struggles to care.
Verdict: Buy It or NOPE
Buy it right now.
Current Market Price: Flashpoint #1
A copy of this issue with a CGC grade of 9.8 is worth $218. Any copy with a CGC grade between 4.0 to 9.2 is worth anywhere between $55 to $116.
This eBay seller is trying to sell a CGC 9.8 copy of Flashpoint #1 for $449 – and it’s a second-printing version.
If you’re considering investing in Flashpoint #1, it’s essential to consult a reliable comic book price guide to understand its current market value and potential for appreciation.
There is a demand for this story, even after 12 years. If you are a collectibles investor, I recommend that you get it. And if Hollywood can ever make a good Flash live-action film, then this issue could jump in value in the future.
Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.