I must disclose at the beginning of this discussion that I have not read the first four issues of Flashpoint. In fact the only Flashpoint series I have read were Canterbury Cricket (enjoyable) and Grodd of War (very lackluster). So why did I buy this issue? Simple, every review I read online stated how this story did lead directly into the DCnU. It does very well as a “one shot” for me. I knew enough to get the tension in the action. Professor Zoom did a great job of stating why was going on concerning the temporal mechanics of the event. I have been reminded of Chief O'Brian's dislike of temporal mechanics as this and the DCnU has progressed.
There is a very interesting parallel I felt as I finished reading the issue that I will share soon. What is interesting is that we have Barry Allen (who has an awesome first name by the way) facing the ramifications of his actions. To me this is a powerful motivator. As someone who is in the club of “Those who have lost a Mother” I get his pain and desire to save her. Who wouldn't do this if they could go back in time? It makes a heavy statement when Zoom tells Barry that he is the villain
Seeing Thomas Wayne dispatch Zoom was a very graphic scene. It did solve the fact that Zoom was now out of time. He was so cute pontificating on how he could now kill Barry without their being a consequence for him in the future. A sword through the chest kind of stops that bragging cold. All around we see familiar heroes and villains dying and fighting. Wayne is zapped by The Enchantress, she in turn is stomped on and splatted by Superman, and all the other chaos is astounding. It is in this mess that Barry does what the Flash is good at, he runs.
Now we come to my epiphany. The DCnU is the DC Comics Brand New Day. Instead of using one character to change like Marvel did with Spider-Man, DC has made the change affect the entire DC Universe. The one thing that is very different here in this version of Brand new Day is that Barry acts in character. Whereas Spidey choose a path that Aunt May would have slapped him for as being unlike the child she raised, Barry chooses to do what makes his mother proud of him. Their discussion of him stopping himself from saving her is very emotional. Her asking how many people are killed because she lived makes it all the more heart wrenching. She is making the heroic sacrifice we know her son has made time and time again. He honors her with his actions. This is how you do this story Marvel, e'nuff said.
Part of me sees an out for DC with the line reboot. This mystery lady that is the cause of the DCU, Wildstorm, and Milestone continuities to coalesce into what we have come to call the DCnU. Some big threat that needs this reality to fight it is a common and neat plot idea. Still, if the whole thing blows up in the faces of the executives, they have a way to bring back a close status quo. We never will have a complete return after this reboot.
So I liked this issue. The DCnU makes sense in more ways to me right now. Whether it was the correct move only time will tell. I encourage those that are jumping on or old readers who want to connect their continuity knowledge should buy this one issue of Flashpoint. It will help make the DCnU clearer.