Could someone explain the DC universe to me?

Since I've only read comic books after the New 52 (perhaps 2 or 3 prior to it but not enough) I'm not really familiar with key event in the DC universe. I'm mostly curious about how the New 52 happened. It was a doing of the flash right? Who was he fighting? Or did just too many heroes die?
Also, is the new DC universe more light hearted than the previous one? Because before, some messed up has happened from what I know. Like Barbara being crippled, all the Robins dying left and right, etc.

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  • 52 Started with flashpoint.
    In flashpoint, Flash travels to His childhood to Safe His Mom from beeing murdered.
    He then travels Back to His time only to find that Things are very different.
    No Justice League. Batman is not Bruce, but Thomas Wayne (ya know.. His father) and so much more. (There is a nice animated movie to it and there is also a flashpoint Episode or two in the TV-show "The Flash")
    He then trys to reset the Timeline by letting His Mom get killed, and the Timeline changed again to what we now know as the new 52.

    Its Not more ligjthearted, but the structures are a little loose.
    The JL is Not that Well organised Team anymore, the Teen Titans were different etc. PP.

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    • Ah I knew about his mother but I didn't know that that was what started tge New 52. Really disappointing... I was expecting some grand battle with huge losses or a destruction of the universe but nah. Just Barry.
      by the way, does he remember the past as it was? I haven't heard him mention it in the comic books. On the animated films neither actually.

    • He does.
      Its mentioned in the Movie, it is the Scene befor He gives Bruce Wayne the Letter.
      And it was a huge Part of the Story in the Comics with Kidflash, the Green lanterns, the Teen Titans and i believe even with Dr Manhattan.

      I haven't followed all Story lines, Just some

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