Time is one of our most precious resources. Our supply of it is limited, and once we lose it, we can never get it back. That’s why weekends are so important, because it’s when our time is our own. We have time for family, time for rest and time for comics. But what comics should you spend it reading?

Well, for this weekend, we’re recommending Flashpoint, a storyline that’s all about time. In many ways, it’s the superhero version of Back to the Future, and with The Flash racing into theaters this summer, it’s the perfect time to read the storyline that inspired the film.

Flashpoint can be read in its original five issues, or in its trade paperback collection. The entire limited series is also available on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. (As a bonus, if you want to dive deeper into the storyline, the DC UNIVERSE INFINITE Flashpoint hub also contains the various tie-in comics, many of which are excellent.)

The Premise:

Barry Allen has woken up in a world he doesn’t recognize. His superhero allies are all very different than the ones he knows and even worse, seem to be at odds with one another. He’s no longer married to his wife Iris, and to top everything off, his superspeed is gone. But this world has something his old reality didn’t have—his mother. Years before he became the Flash, Barry’s mother was murdered and his father was framed for the crime. Now Barry’s mom is standing before him, which means this world can’t be that bad…right?

Yes, it is. In fact, it turns out this world is on the brink of destruction, and as the Flash investigates his new timeline and tries to find a way to set things right, he realizes success might mean saying goodbye to his mother. And what happens when Barry learns who the true villain of Flashpoint is and how the world was created? The answers aren’t easy, and when the dust settles, the DC Universe will be changed forever.

Let’s Talk Talent:

Flashpoint is written by Geoff Johns, who has written some of DC’s most consequential stories of the 21st century, including Infinite Crisis, Blackest Night, DC Universe: Rebirth and Doomsday Clock. With Flashpoint, Geoff Johns does something extraordinary. Johns is able to tell a grand story about a reality-altering event, while simultaneously penning an intimate and emotional comic about the Flash accepting his mother’s death. It’s a difficult line to balance, and Johns does it effortlessly. The result is a tight story where the action is nonstop, but the emotional stakes are still high.

The limited series is penciled by Andy Kubert, the son of legendary artist Joe Kubert. Andy is a talented artist in his own right, receiving critical acclaim for his work on stories like “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” and Dark Knight III: The Master Race. Kubert’s work shines throughout Flashpoint, as he brings some truly memorable images to life (some of which get echoed in the upcoming Flash film). You won’t soon forget seeing Batman strapping Flash to an electric chair, or the fierce, violent battle between the Amazons and Atlanteans. Flashpoint broke all the rules of established DC history, giving Kubert freedom to design a whole new world. He ran with that mission statement, resulting in some truly spectacular artwork.

A Few Reasons to Read:

  • Are you looking forward to the Flash movie? The film takes a lot of inspiration from the Flashpoint storyline, but don’t worry, it also goes in its own direction. This means that reading the comic will give you a deeper appreciation for the movie without spoiling it.
  • This storyline introduces the Thomas Wayne version of Batman, who has gone on to become a major player in the DC Universe. Dr. Wayne was an important part of Tom King’s Batman run and recently starred in the Flashpoint sequel series, Flashpoint Beyond. Thomas is a different kind of Batman, which makes for an entertaining story.
  • If you love Back to the Future, then Flashpoint will really speak to you. Geoff Johns has called the 1985 time travel classic his favorite movie, and you can see its influence in this storyline.
  • Since the timeline has been altered, we get to see some vastly different versions of our favorite DC Universe characters. What would Superman be like if he was found by the government instead of the Kents? What if Aquaman and Wonder Woman were locked in a bloody war? Villains become heroes, and heroes become tyrants. In the Flashpoint world, anything goes. (If you find that you enjoy this aspect of the story, then you should definitely check out all of the tie-in comics, which give these versions of the characters their own multi-issue storylines.)
  • This isn’t one of those alternate timeline stories where everything is returned to normal and the events have no consequences. Far from it. Flashpoint is one of DC’s most consequential stories. The fallout from the event led to the New 52, which rebooted the entire DCU from the ground up.

Why It’s Worth Your Time:

Whether you’re a seasoned DC fan or a new reader, Flashpoint is an enjoyable storyline. It introduces us to some often-shocking versions of our favorite heroes, but manages to find a heartwarming message at the end. You’ll tear up during the final conversation between Barry and his mother, and don’t even get me going on the letter that Barry brings back (IYKYK). It’s time travel, superheroes, alt-universes, epic battles and shocking twists from start to finish. What more could you ask for?

Flashpoint by Geoff Johns, Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope is available in print and digital as a trade paperback and can be read in full on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.