How Grief Leads to Alcoholism as Seen Through The Eyes of Flashpoint Paradox’s Thomas Wayne

Everyone knows the story of the young boy who walked down into Crime Alley with his parents. They had just seen a theater play or opera. They are walking in the darkness. It could be raining. A mugger comes out with a gun telling the husband and wife to give all of their valuables, including her pearls. The mugger is trigger happy and shoots them while they are trying to do exactly that. In other cases, the husband is trying to protect his wife and son by defending himself. However, eventually, the mugger, Joe Chill, kills both the husband and wife, Thomas and Martha Wayne, leaving the young boy, Bruce Wayne, orphaned without any family to go home to. The only person Bruce has is Alfred, who ends up truly raising the boy as his father. Yet, there’s a different version of that story.

In the film, Justice League: The Flashpoint ParadoxBarry Allen/The Flash travels back in time to save his mother from being killed by Eobard Thawne/Professor Zoom/The Reverse-Flash. Barry is tired of allowing his mother to remain dead, so he goes back and saves her. What his one action does is not only make his arch enemy a paradox, so he can exist at any point in time and have virtually unlimited power, but he also changes the course of Thomas Wayne’s life forever. Thomas Wayne lives after the night in the alleyway while his son is the one who is left dead. He becomes Batman and his wife turns into The Joker.

Because of the grief of losing his son and seeing his wife turn into a monster, Thomas turns to alcohol. Throughout the film, he’s seen with a flask as if he’s a soldier or veteran. He continues to drink throughout the movie, even after meeting Barry who allows him to envision a world where his son exists. That’s the thing that keeps Thomas going throughout the movie. It’s not necessarily about saving the world but it’s about saving his son and allowing his son to exist in another time. While Barry sought to save his mother and now needs to reverse his actions in the timeline, so does Thomas wish to save his son by changing time.

Thomas seems to be a high functioning alcoholic with a dual diagnosis problem. He’s able to maintain his role within his company and continues to use alcohol as a way to reduce the stress and grief in his life. He does show personality changes and is able to separate his normal life from his nighttime work as Batman. The biggest thing is his grief fuelling his alcoholism. He probably would have benefited from the best dual diagnosis treatment centers. Thomas drinks to forget the most painful experience of losing his son. It could push a man to do anything, and it’s exactly what pushes Thomas’ actions until he meets Barry.

Thomas probably would have benefited from the best dual diagnosis treatment centers. He could have achieved quite a lot if he could have changed his life around for the better. It’s not necessarily something very easy for the character probably to think of all the things he might have accomplished if his son had not passed. The pain within his life may have never been something very easy for him to deal with at all.

The chance to save his son is almost like going through rehab. He sees the chance to save his son, and it sort of sobers him up despite some continued drinking. He seems to moderate it all when Barry, ever the messenger as Bruce says later when he is presented with a letter from his father, gives him the chance to change time and save his son.

If anyone lost their son, they might develop issues and turn to substance abuse in order to seek comfort. The depression and grief could envelop someone’s life and change it forever. Yet, once you go through treatment or something that pushes you to sobriety, then you have a chance at redemption. That’s what Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is truly about. It shows the redemption of Thomas Wayne.


About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.