Alright, SPOILERS revealed in the paragraph below. Only keep reading if you want to know!
Last month many of us were left shellshocked, as jaws dropped to the floor and we learned Captain America had been a Hydra sleeper agent since he was a boy in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.
Thing is, in spite of what Rogers might recall from his childhood, everything is not as it originally seemed. Indeed, from the creative team of writer Nick Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz, we learn in Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 that Steve's 'memories of indoctrination' were implanted by Kobic, the sentient cube that became a girl. And the buck don't stop there...it turns out Kobic had been under the influence of Red Skull for months.
For those unaware, Flashpoint was a five-issue miniseries authored by Geoff Johns, and featuring art by Andy Kubert. Glorious art like this:
Flashpoint is the story of an alternate universe without Superman or The Flash, and with Wonder Woman and Aquaman's nations stacked up against one another on the tipping point of engaging in all-out war. And of course there was Thomas Wayne who was Batman, driven insane after his son Bruce was murdered in Crime Alley. What up Thomas Wayne?
Kind of a trip, right? Kind of awesome, right?
So, with the world pretty much f**ked seven ways from Sunday, with an ultra-violent war raging between Atlantis and Themyscira (plunges sections of Europe into the ocean..), Barry Allen being the only one who could remember a brighter, better world, pre-Flashpoint, has to muster up the strength and courage to restore his powers so he can time travel back to that fateful day and fix the mess he made.
Annd the big twist here is that the horrific post-Flashpoint world was a manifestation of Barry Allen traveling back in time to rescue his mother from being killed by Reverse-Flash.
The Flashpoint storyline was adapted into an animated feature film, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and is one of the most widely-acclaimed, best reviewed animated DC Universe movies. Check out the trailer below:
Batman: The Killing Joke might just be one of the most anticipated Batman graphic novels adapted to animation, of all time. The 1988 graphic novel was written by Alan Moore with art by Brian Bolland. Empire managed to steal some time with Mark Hamill, who provides the voiceover for Joker in the animation adaptation:
"I can't imagine how people are going to react to this, because I'm a Killing Joke purist. When they first talked about it, I said, "The only way we can do this is as a book on tape so that we honor every comma, every word, every letter, every syllable of Alan Moore's script. We can add music and special effects to enhance it." They kind of said, "What are you talking about? Nobody is doing this as a book on tape. It's not commercially viable for us to do it that way. See if you can get the rights and record it in your basement or something if that's what you want to do. This story has to be expanded." If we just adapted The Killing Joke as an animated film, it would maybe be fifty-five minutes. They've actually done a really incredible job of supplementing it with Barbara Gordon/Batgirl material."
Hamill also offered up his thoughts on how surprised he was at the edginess of Batgirl:
"Even that surprised me, how edgy the Batgirl material was. This is not your father's Batman. The one regret I have is that if I was nine years old, there's nothing I would rather see more, yet it reallyisn't for kids. I hope people understand when they say it's R-rated, they mean it."
Check out the rest of the interview featuring other cast members over here!