Off My Mind: Do Batman and Flash Remember the Pre-New 52 World?

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Posted by G-Man (18916 posts) - - Show Bio

We are now nine months into the "New 52" in the DC Universe. Many felt this was something that would be reverted right away. That doesn't seem to be the case as everything is moving forward.

As we're still seeing little changes and tweaks to the characters we were familiar with for years, the big question has been, did everything that happened before actually happen? Has all the previous events simply been erased as we get accustomed to this new comic universe? Many events have still happened in some fashion but others clearly cannot have happened.

With the appearance of Pandora, the mysterious glowing pink lady, we saw at the end of FLASHPOINT that it was her intention to combine three timelines to create a new one. It was also at the end of FLASHPOINT where Barry Allen, the Flash, received a letter from that world's Batman, Thomas Wayne, to deliver to the Batman we know, Bruce Wayne. Because of the letter, is it possible that Batman and Flash know Flashpoint happened and that there could have been a different world before that?

== TEASER ==

It was Pandora's little speech to Barry that confirms the Pre-New 52 world did happen. She combined three timelines to create a new one because "the history of heroes was shattered into three long ago." Because the "New 52" stems from this moment in FLASHPOINT and this Barry Allen was from the pre-New 52 Universe, that Universe happened. So readers that are upset over certain stories being erased can hold onto the fact that they still did happen back then.

Once Barry returned to the newly created "New 52" universe, he found himself at work but made his way directly to the Batcave to deliver Thomas' letter. He informs Batman of everything that happened. That he tried to save his mother and ended up changing history. He mentioned his memories from his world started fading each moment he was in the alternate timeline just as he likely doesn't remember everything that happened during Flashpoint.

The memory of Flashpoint and the conversation they had about it can't fade from their minds. The letter that Flash delivered was from the Flashpoint universe's Thomas Wayne. Bruce still has the letter. We saw in JUSTICE LEAGUE #9 that he actually has it on display in the Batcave. Because of Bruce's nature, it would make sense that he would look into where the letter came from. He told Barry that he even thought about trying to save his parents if he could.

Knowing that Barry caused Flashpoint should arouse suspicion as to what else might have changed. Bruce even asked, "But now everything's back to 'normal'?" Are they simply assuming that the world Barry was in before Flashpoint was this same exact world? Would Batman be content with just accepting and living with that assumption? Why did he use quotes around 'normal'?

Batman is not one to sit back and accept things. This is what we saw in regards to the Court of Owls. Young Bruce was sure of the Court's existence and pursued every possible avenue to discover if they existed or not. He was wrong in his findings but he did do everything he could to find out. He would do the same thing with the letter and the world that came before Flashpoint. As a detective, it's just part of his nature.

Barry's memories about the Flashpoint world may have faded for the most part but does that mean they're completely gone or is it he just can't access them? With all the telepaths and magical allies they have, would they try to get someone to try to access Barry's memories to see what the Flashpoint world was like as well as the one before? There's just no way Batman would accept that this was the only existing world. Knowing that his father could have written him a letter in an alternate timeline, he would want to investigate the possibility that Barry's actions might have altered other things as well.

The idea of DC having a backdoor to return to the pre-New 52 world is a nice idea. It doesn't seem likely that they would actually use it based on how things are going. If that was the case, there's no reason for Batman or Flash to remember or know about what the DCU was like before. It seems suspicious that the letter was shown again in JUSTICE LEAGUE. It's just a matter of time until we see further investigation into this unless we're just to assume the possibility will never cross their minds.

#1 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13676 posts) - - Show Bio

Awwww. I love Barry. He's such a sweet guy.

#2 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

I wanna be in Bruce and Barrys' gang. They have such butch first names.

#3 Posted by Zabilac (32 posts) - - Show Bio

I say they remember parts of Flashpoint and the Pre-New 52 DCU, but not the entire thing. If that was the case, why did he start a relationship with Patty? He would've known that Iris was the love of his life...blah, blah, blah. I know I may sound like a bitter nostalgic shipper, but that's how I see things. But, both Batman and Flash might be trying to find out if this is the "normal" reality while still going on with their business.

#4 Posted by ssejllenrad (12790 posts) - - Show Bio

@feebadger said:

I wanna be in Bruce and Barrys' gang. They have such butch first names.

Badger is as butch as Bruce or Barry. :p

#5 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

in my opinion batman AND flash should especially since Hal jordan mentioned Blackest night happened. Barry Allen was an essential piece to that event. so was bruce wayne im sure he'd have to remember being revived as a white lantern and brightest day happened, batman surley has to remember that! i hinestly think DC executives and writters really didnt put too much thought into this "relaunch" they shouldve waited for everyones storys pre-52 to conclude fully before a whole relaunch. and then rewrite some histories.

but all side i think the new 52 has been good so far..just a little confusing and pointless thats all.

#6 Posted by Teerack (7455 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm thinking that "impending arrival" Pandora talked about will be the first new DC even, and will hopefully restore some memories, so that we can get back some of the things we lost like Wally West.

#7 Posted by GBrutality (190 posts) - - Show Bio

has it been made clear yet whether or not dr. hurt and that whole she-band has been wiped out entirely or not?

#8 Posted by KainScion (2969 posts) - - Show Bio

and now we are starting to see the many holes in the new dcu

#9 Posted by Green_Lima_81 (10 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems as though the letter can be a prelude to the next event that DC is supposedly planning to do. Most likely Johns will be writing the "Trinity War" so it is his nature to put elements, Easter eggs, and clues as to what's next. So maybe Bruce and Barry do remember the Pre-verse, and it will come to light when Pandora makes her presence known to the 52 DC universe. I hope that the back door will remain closed at lease for a while.

#10 Posted by EvanTheMexiJew (99 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that everything from pre-new 52 happened, just not any of the crisis', at least that's what someone at DC said (may have been Geoff Johns). Though, if Final Crisis didn't happen, Batman wouldn't have been able to come from the dead, because Dr. Hurt would've actually killed him. I'm guessing FC happened just between the League and Darkseid or something. It's too confusing to get into continuity, especially with the Crisis' and the League and especially Batman. This current arc in JL is obviously leading up to the league expanding, so at least Batman's death will have some kind of place in continuity. Like I said, I think everything happened, just a few tweaks to the timeline were made.

#11 Posted by kapitein_zeppos (338 posts) - - Show Bio

One thing has been bothering me about the new 52 for ages, is this whole "New DC" only going to last one year before they revert to the previous continuity or change it into something else yet again ? I'm not sure if it was ever meant to be something permanent as most people seem to assume ...

#12 Posted by DJ1107 (244 posts) - - Show Bio

Technically Bruce didn't die. He was blasted back into the pre-historic age while the chared corpse was a clone or something. This is why I'm afraid of Morrison he wants me to make my brain collapses!

#13 Posted by Solarflare32 (393 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it me or does. Green lanterns books still feel pre new 52

#14 Posted by JKnight77 (15 posts) - - Show Bio

There was a timeskip of 5 years after the first story arc(where they beat Darkseid). It is possible that flashpoint happened in that 5 years.

#15 Posted by cloudzackvincent (1025 posts) - - Show Bio

@kapitein_zeppos:i m sure it is going to last more than a year.... with the planned third wave hitting soon and trinity war announced for next year..there's no way they will just revert back this september..... many people must have thought the same thing about the pre new 52 universe when it first came into existence after CIOE.

#16 Posted by Lvenger (21239 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a mix of things really. DC has used the reboot to scrap some stories but leave some integral ones in. The true continuity of the New 52 universe still isn't clear given the 5 year time skip and us comic book fans are sticklers for continuity.

#17 Posted by Eyz (3042 posts) - - Show Bio

Now that would be a tiwst, if there is one!

But wouldn't Barry want to find back his nephew/Wally at some point then?

#18 Posted by Green ankh (998 posts) - - Show Bio

Anybody know what books will be part of the third wave?

#19 Posted by The Dude. (882 posts) - - Show Bio

@Zabilac: 'They'?? Bruce was never part of Flashpoint, he was never there and had no idea of it until Barry's recollection of it to him. Bruce know's nothing of FP or it even existed before Barry confronted him about it, if i recall. I'd assume Bruce know's/remember what Barry told him, but Barry is the only one who actually know's about FP and the pre new DCNU, somewhere deep in his memory.

#20 Posted by Wowlock (257 posts) - - Show Bio

There are so many holes and time-skips to handle if they want to make this ''New 52'' a solid timeline. Combining 3 ''universes'' and just throwing new characters and ideas around won't cut it if you do it for the ''heck of it '' .

From what I saw, there was little to no built for this ''universal merge'' in stories and somehow these new changes should ''feel familiar'' ? If anything, Bruce and Barry should remember those past events because one is the one who was in the middle of all that alternate timeline and basicly caused all that. The other is world's greatest detective who commited his life to solve issues like that ( with Thomas' letter etc ) . I am really curious about what Thomas Wayne actually wrote in that message, which can shed a lot of light to these events rather than being another memento.

As I said from the start, a reboot is always troubling, especially if you don't have a solid reason to back-up these changes ( other than ''wanted a fresh start ! '' reason ) . Sure they can use Pandora and Flashpoint but with holes like these , people will question the existence of this ''new 52'' even more so then before.

From all I can see, this New 52 would've been just another alternate world like Earth-2 or so without actually messing with continuity and cause these massive headaches of explaining the mess they created. Otherwise, all the past stories that we heard they said '' it happened'' kinda lose their value as we get some different 'revelation' each week to contradict with the past stories , especially with characters like Wonder Woman.

All I can hope is that they won't mess it up even more just for '' HAHA ! Did you think you knew this character ?! Here something shocking so that it will change him/her forever ! ( and possibly make the past stories invalid ! ) '' . At times this approach MIGHT work...but I doubt it work as well as it should in ''New 52'' . Heck, I would've been more understanding if they would've decide to follow DC Universe Online's story as the ''future'' setting since they have reasons to support their mmo but this reboot was questionable to begin with.

#21 Edited by CitizenJP (627 posts) - - Show Bio

That ending was so touching, maaan. Flashpoint was great.

#22 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

This is interesting...I think that Pre-52 will be found and that their are different dimensions and they together defeat Pandora...at least that's what I hope.

#23 Posted by mbembet (219 posts) - - Show Bio

fuck geoff johns! nuff said

#24 Posted by Ken982 (22 posts) - - Show Bio

can some one please tell me where did flash and batman had that conversation?

The art seems Le but I cant find it 


can some one help?

Thanks

#25 Posted by G-Man (18916 posts) - - Show Bio

@EvanTheMexiJew: It was Dan DiDio that said it.

"Yes, there have been “crisis” in our characters lives, but they aren’t exactly the Crisis you read before, they can’t be."

You can find his whole quote here.

@Ken982: The Flashpoint and letter conversation were from FLASHPOINT #5. Art by Andy Kubert.

#26 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

No, they obviously do not remember.

Barry lost his entire life, including his wife and his twins (the tornado twins) in the process. If he did remember, he would do something about it, not go on with his life and date someone else.

#27 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1512 posts) - - Show Bio

@Solarflare32: Geoff johns is definitely just continuing his story,his run is untouched by this "reboot". atleast he's doing a good job,the only downside is its not at all Synced up with Justice League.

#28 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

@EvanTheMexiJew said:

I think that everything from pre-new 52 happened, just not any of the crisis', at least that's what someone at DC said (may have been Geoff Johns). Though, if Final Crisis didn't happen, Batman wouldn't have been able to come from the dead, because Dr. Hurt would've actually killed him.

No. If Final Crisis had not happened, there would not be a Doctor Hurt to begin with. Dr Hurt is the result of Darkseid's Hyper-Adapter possessing XVIIIth century "Thomas Wayne".

#29 Posted by the_fallen11 (635 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think they remember.

#30 Posted by kennybaese (1152 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I think that Barry probably does remember the Flashpoint universe, but not the pre New 52 universe. All he talks about remembering was the things he did with his mother and the stuff he did in Flashpoint.

Bruce wouldn't remember anything, but he should know that Flashpoint exhisted. I can definitely see Bruce trying to figure out what the world was like playing into whatever plans they have with Pandora

#31 Posted by htb106 (1641 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope DC doesn't change to pre- new 52. It's the reason I started to read the proper comics.

#32 Posted by pspin (894 posts) - - Show Bio

A legitimate answer as to why they might not remember would be that there is like a psychic wall in their minds or something and either one could break it down but I think that they would only try to change it back if DC really needs the sales but the New 52 was far too successful for that to happen

Along the same line of this article, I wonder if any of them remember Marvel vs DC or the Amalgam Universe? That would be far far more interesting.

#33 Posted by AskaniSon295 (429 posts) - - Show Bio

TheNew52Earth-1 doesn't have to Die for Pre-Flashpoint Earth to Return, Just like Earth-2, Batman BeyondEarth & SmallvilleEarth DC can produce titles on multiply earths without making a crisis of the whole situation. There's no reason not to bring back Pre-Flashpoint Earth as a title in the future or as several titles DC does what sells, I think cancelling titles that don't sell and replaceing them with new ones they hope will sell is awesome I also wonder if DC doesn't have some sort of Plan to create a New52Earth with ImageExtremeStudios Superheros. Why not I'd buy a book where Superman and Supreme are the same character.

#34 Posted by BatWatch (3086 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to see the old DCU, but that will only happen if the DCNU's current sales collapse, and I don't really want to see that either. In my perfect universe, I would like to see the DCNU and DCU recombined in such a way as to allow more of the original back story to be in place.

#35 Posted by Outside_85 (10306 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say Bruce doesn't remember anything of the pre-Flashpoint world, he remembers events that happened in it as how they happened in the post-Flashpoint continuity. Barry on the other hand remembers some of it clearly, but it seems he is unaware of whats actually been changed.

#36 Posted by Zabilac (32 posts) - - Show Bio

@htb106: Really? Me too!

#37 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

new 52 are a mess

#38 Posted by jezuitx (13 posts) - - Show Bio

Sooner or later the sales on "The New 52" are going to start fizzling and DC is going to be looking for that next "big event" that the big two are so obsessed with these days. Soon as that happens you can say goodbye "New 52" and hello old timeline. As for the whole timeline thing I just try to look past it. The way I see it is that all DC books are now at random points in DC history so it's tough to get an idea if they goofed up their continuity just yet. You've got one Superman book that's covering his early years, one that's set now, the Batman books seem to be set in the now, and you get the idea. I just enjoy the stories and so far I'm loving "The New 52".

#39 Posted by Wolverine0628 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

I will just be frustrated if they go back to the old timeline, mainly because I hate Dick Grayson as Batman.
#40 Posted by notarandomguy (316 posts) - - Show Bio

Oww I have the feelings this another whole ''This will bite DC in the butt later'' like with Zero Hour

#41 Posted by Trodorne (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man: I think another point of reference that was missed from the event of Flashpoint was another character who had ties to the previous universe that Barry is also forgetting to mention or even bring it up with. Booster Gold. If anything would Barry not try to talk to Booster about the events that happened? And even when Booster ended up forgetting everything, would that not trigger something in bruce to do a deep investigation into his mind to find out what booster gold knows?

#42 Posted by hyperman (484 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarthShap said:

No, they obviously do not remember.

Barry lost his entire life, including his wife and his twins (the tornado twins) in the process. If he did remember, he would do something about it, not go on with his life and date someone else.

I absolutely agree!!!!! Could they live go on with their lives being aware of the Pre-New 52 universe? knowing that people like Wally West, Donna Troy or Garth were gone with that universe? knowing that Superman's parents were alive in that world (at least, Martha Kent was alive)? showing knowledge that The Amazons were a peace loving race and not an assassin or sucubus group of bitches? and being conscious that Superboy and Supergirl had already gotten a life with people, friends and family who loved them??? well, I don't think that Bruce and Barry could be aware of this thing, and they just sit around and do nothing. XD

#43 Posted by FinalAvalanche (46 posts) - - Show Bio

@PsychoKnights said:

I would like to see the old DCU, but that will only happen if the DCNU's current sales collapse, and I don't really want to see that either. In my perfect universe, I would like to see the DCNU and DCU recombined in such a way as to allow more of the original back story to be in place.

I feel the same way, particularly with regard to Green Arrow, the DCnU version of him just doesn't resonate well with me. To me he's really hit or miss depending on who's writing him. I think Greg Weisman's take on the character is one of my favorites. At the same time I really like certain elements of the reboot: certain costume changes, some of the new characters, and even some previous characters being deaged to some degree. Another event that mixes elements of the old DCU with the new one would be welcome as long as it's done well.

And wasn't there something mentioned about the "Flashpoint Effect" by one of the Legion of Super Heroes members? With all of the references to Flashpoint in the DCnU it's very possible that the events of Flashpoint will effect the DCnU sometime in the future, the only question is how.

#44 Posted by BatWatch (3086 posts) - - Show Bio

@FinalAvalanche said:

@PsychoKnights said:

I would like to see the old DCU, but that will only happen if the DCNU's current sales collapse, and I don't really want to see that either. In my perfect universe, I would like to see the DCNU and DCU recombined in such a way as to allow more of the original back story to be in place.

I feel the same way, particularly with regard to Green Arrow, the DCnU version of him just doesn't resonate well with me. To me he's really hit or miss depending on who's writing him. I think Greg Weisman's take on the character is one of my favorites. At the same time I really like certain elements of the reboot: certain costume changes, some of the new characters, and even some previous characters being deaged to some degree. Another event that mixes elements of the old DCU with the new one would be welcome as long as it's done well.

And wasn't there something mentioned about the "Flashpoint Effect" by one of the Legion of Super Heroes members? With all of the references to Flashpoint in the DCnU it's very possible that the events of Flashpoint will effect the DCnU sometime in the future, the only question is how.

Yeah, it does seem like DC is at least setting up the option of having a reboot reboot.

I'm not a huge Green Arrow fan, but I do hate to see any character lose their rich back story.

#45 Posted by eiderglast (65 posts) - - Show Bio

@notarandomguy said:

Oww I have the feelings this another whole ''This will bite DC in the butt later'' like with Zero Hour

Indeed!... and like every failed experiment... the creators will be kicked away as well? (johns, didio, lee).

#46 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

"The idea of DC having a backdoor to return to the pre-New 52 world is a nice idea."

Geez DC. At least wait a year before changing things AGAIN! Do you want to be like Marvel where nobody respects you due to the constant ret-cons?

#47 Posted by Emperormeister734 (819 posts) - - Show Bio

It's starting to make sense,although the explanation of GLC updates fit with the new 52

#48 Posted by cbishop (7475 posts) - - Show Bio

DC had to leave themselves a back door to reverse things to pre-Flashpoint, just like Marvel had to leave a back door to reverse things to pre-Heroes Reborn. The fact that they haven't reversed it yet means nothing. Most of the Heroes reborn titles went 12-13 issues. The New 52 has had much better reception than Heroes Reborn, so if they reverse it (and I have my doubts) we are probably looking at a minimum of two years before that happens.

#49 Edited by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop said:

DC had to leave themselves a back door to reverse things to pre-Flashpoint, just like Marvel had to leave a back door to reverse things to pre-Heroes Reborn. The fact that they haven't reversed it yet means nothing. Most of the Heroes reborn titles went 12-13 issues. The New 52 has had much better reception than Heroes Reborn, so if they reverse it (and I have my doubts) we are probably looking at a minimum of two years before that happens.

I do not think that DC would go back to pre-Flashpoint universe. Having said that, the Trinity War seems the perfect occasion to change reality once more to fix current continuity hiccups and bring back characters like Wally West. Basically what Infinite Crisis did to post-Crisis/Zero Hour New Earth for the JLA, Wonder-Woman, the Legion and Hawkman.

To me, it is definitely what Johns is trying to do here, hence the use of the Pandora character for the event.

#50 Edited by FinalAvalanche (46 posts) - - Show Bio

@Miss_Garrick said:

"The idea of DC having a backdoor to return to the pre-New 52 world is a nice idea."

Geez DC. At least wait a year before changing things AGAIN! Do you want to be like Marvel where nobody respects you due to the constant ret-cons?

I think the problem is that a number of the DCnU titles sold far below expectation from the beginning. And some titles who started with decent sales have rapidly declined, to where they're at or below pre-New 52 levels. I'm sure DC realized the reboot was risky and put the "backdoor" in as a failsafe if sales dropped below a certain point. To me the primary goal of the reboot was to attract new readers by making the DCnU more "modern" and "edgy", but in doing so some characters were altered to the point that they're barely recognizable, or where some of their most defining characteristics were changed.

The floundering sales seem to indicate that the new readers just picked up a few issues to see what the buzz was about and then didn't stick with the series'. Now DC has to decide whether to continue to move forward with the DCnU, go back to the old DCU, or create something else by merging the old and the new universes. I'm personally hoping it's the merging option, because if not what was the point in creating the new universe in the first place? And as we have all already learned from Flashpoint, everything we know can change in a flash. Hopefully DC has learned from its mistakes and if they choose to reboot the reboot, I hope it's a more cohesive universe than the DCnU.

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