In Flashpoint Paradox, we see an alternate timeline where Bruce Wayne is the one that was gunned down in the alleyway, and Thomas Wayne survived to become a darker, gun-toting Batman. Cyborg has become the president's leading expert in a super-human task force. Superman has spent his entire life isolated in a lab after crash-landing in Metropolis. The Atlantians and Themescaria are at war with one another and quickly sending the world towards a no-win scenario.

This is explained to be the result of a "Time Boom" caused when The Flash travelled back in time to save his own mother...something that has no connection with any of these and many other changes that have occurred in the Flashpoint timeline.

How did The Flash saving his mother in the past change so many different things that were not directly related to how The Flash changed time?

  • you answered your own question: the "time boom" caused ripples in time completely removed from the event that caused it.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:49
  • @MichaelEdenfield So time just...broke? Regardless of whether events were connected in any way to what actually happened?
    – Zibbobz
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:50
  • @Zibbobz - according to Eobard Thawne, time didn't "break" so much as "shatter", thus sending changes in all directions.
    – Omegacron
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:20
  • It's like pulling a single thread out of a tightly knit shirt, it snags and bunches and pulls along the whole length not just one end. Then you shove that thread back in. That thread was Barry's life.
    – user16696
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 2:11
  • because Geoff Johns is the worst! Commented May 31, 2015 at 3:52

3 Answers 3


The "Time Boom" described is similar to ripples around a rock. Or, as Reverse-Flash says, "a bullet through a windshield". When Barry caused the paradox, it sent "ripples" or "cracks" throughout time, affecting events throughout the DC universe which had no connection whatsoever to Barry himself. True, the changes started with Barry and those closest to him... but they didn't stop there. The Waynes are one example. Another would be the time & location of Baby Kal-El's spaceship landing. Yet another would be a diplomatic meeting between Atlantis & Themyscira.

enter image description here

Most of the changes we see in the alternate FlashPoint timeline can be traced back to fairly minor changes in continuity. For instance, in the case of a mugger robbing a family, it was the child who got shot instead of the parents. After all, a crime is a very fluid event where anything could happen. But, unlike the "real" continuity where both victims died and left Bruce as the survivor, this time the parents survived. And to make things worse, after Bruce died at the scene, Martha Wayne

went insane with grief and went on to become that timeline's Joker after carving her face to imitate a smile.

  • 1
    It doesn't change your answer, but Martha wasn't shot, was she? I thought she just went nuts from losing Bruce, and it was his blood on her hands.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:56
  • @Nerrolken : you might be right, I'll have to check. For some reason I was thinking she got shot as well.
    – Omegacron
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:02
  • @Nerrolken : you appear to be right. I checked my copy this weekend and there are no indications that Martha was shot, not sure why I thought that. I updated the answer accordingly.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 14:38
  • About Martha, in the comics, did she carve her face or was it the blood on her hands like in the animated movie?
    – Clockwork
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 14:52
  • 1
    @Clockwork - it was originally blood, but she later carved the smile into her face.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 23:22

You provided the answer yourself: the so-called Time Boom. It's definitely "comic book physics", but the idea is understandable enough.

Basically, the simple act of going back in time created ripples that effected other events. So, just like wading halfway into a pool might create waves that splash over the far edge, even though you never visited the far edge, Barry's "time boom" altered events throughout the timeline, even though he never visited or deliberately changed those events.

enter image description here

Move quickly through air, and you'll create wind that moves nearby paper. Move quickly through water, and you'll create waves that topple nearby boats. Frankly, the idea of moving quickly through time without creating any disturbance is weirder than the opposite. Waves of change coming off of a time traveller is just the same phenomenon, but in a scifi setting.

This is especially true for the Flash, given how often his super-speed is shown blowing papers around, getting people's hair in their faces, and shattering nearby windows. It's pretty much the same thing: running through time "knocked stuff around" as he passed it in the timestream.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Actually, that brings up a good point. I'm gonna steal this picture for a new question.
    – Omegacron
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:09

How did The Flash saving his mother in the past change so many different things that were not directly related to how The Flash changed time?

Because The Flash didn't just save his mother, he undid and rewrote his entire life. The Flash is a very influential person, with many influential friends. Every event that he was involved in, every decision he made was changed.

Drag your finger in sand, and notice how sand falls from the high spots into the resulting line. Those grains give way to other grains until eventually it stops.

Now try to push the sand you move out, back in.

The flash changing time affected his friends. But the time boom caused shifts in his friends entire timeline, not just the immediate point, like ripples back in time. Ever try pulling on one string in a shirt? And how it pulls others with it.

  • This is true, but incomplete. It is specifically mentioned that events before Nora's death were changed as well, so it couldn't possibly be solely the result of changes to Barry's life.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:21
  • @nerrolken reread the last paragraph
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.