SOURCE: DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio: No 'Crisis' Events In DCnU
A lot of people have been freaking out over this point. Because it seems contradictory that all of these big events couldn't have happened. Because if Final Crisis didn't happen, then Bruce Wayne never died and there was no reason for Dick Grayson to become Batman! And if Crisis Of Infinite Earths never happened, then Barry Allen never died which means Wally West never became The Flash, which means that Grant Morrison's excellent JLA run never happened and... well, you can see the endless logic loops that this line of thinking can cause.
This is all rather silly and indicative of the general attitude most geeks have - i.e. we can't stand to be wrong about an intellectual pursuit. We hate feeling stupid and not knowing what is going on. And being thrust into a new DC Universe where everything we know is wrong is irritating. I get that, believe me. I'd be lying if I didn't say I had concerns about just how the whole of the Green Lantern saga since Hal Jordan first got the ring had been crammed into six years but I'm willing to ride it out and see where the story goes from here.
Nevertheless, I have thought of a simple, easy solution for explaining all this away. And like most confusing things, it involves Doctor Who.
Doctor Who is the longest running science-fiction show in the world, being on the cusp of its' 50th anniversary. Over the years, there have been a lot of Doctor Who comics, novels, radio plays, movies and original audiobooks in addition to the actual shows. As one can imagine, there are quite a lot of stories that contradict one-another, even when limited to a single medium. Ask a Doctor Who novels fan sometime about how Time Lords are born and get ready for much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But I digress.
There was a gap in the production of the show, with the original series ending in 1989 and a new series starting in 2005. The New Series has drawn off of The Original Series, as needed, taking what bits of the mythos it needed and moving forward from there. Some of the new series has conflicted with previous stories but the show has a grand escape-clause in The Time War - a battle which we are told warped Time and Space, causing catastrophic damage that eventually healed but left some things changed.
Well gee, that sounds an awful lot like what just happened in Flashpoint, doesn't it?
So - The New 52 books? New Series. The old DCU? Original Series. The one borrows from the other as needed and until we hear otherwise, we can't assume that anything that happened in the past happened here.
Simple. Easy. Done.