he Flash is a DC Comics superhero possessing super-speed. Created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (1940).
Thus far, three different people have assumed the identity of the Flash: Jay Garrick (1940-present), Barry Allen (1956-86), and Wally West (1987-present) Each of these individuals somehow gained the power of super-speed, which includes the ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and violate certain laws of physics.
The second incarnation of the Flash was among the first heroes of the Silver Age of comic books in 1956. The character featured in a short-lived live action television series in 1990. The Flash is also featured in the animated series Justice League.
The Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (1940). This Flash was Jay Garrick, a college student who gained his speed through the inhalation of hard water vapors, and who wore a winged metal helmet. He is notable for being the first speedster in comics, and one of the first to have a singular super-power as opposed to the multi-talented Superman. He was created by writer Gardner Fox.
Garrick was a popular character in the 1940s, supporting two different titles and being a charter and long-time member of the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team. Garrick's adventures in the Golden Age of comic books came to an end when Flash Comics was cancelled with the publication of issue #104 (1949), and the subsequent end of the Justice Society's adventures with All-Star Comics #57 (1951). Superheroes (and the entire comic book industry) had fallen on hard times in the 1950s, and the Flash was only one casualty.
Left to right: Wally West, Bart Allen as Impulse, Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury (background), from Flash #97. Art by Mike Wieringo.
A few years later, DC Comics decided the time was right to reintroduce some superheroes. Rather than bring back the Golden Age heroes unchanged, DC decided to recreate them as new, more modern characters. The Flash was the first such hero to be revived in a new incarnation. Showcase #4 (1956) introduced Barry Allen, a police scientist who gained super-speed when he was bathed by chemicals after a shelf full of them was struck by lightning. After several more appearances in Showcase, Allen's character was given his own title, The Flash the first issue of which was #105 (resuming where Flash Comics had left off).
The Silver Age Flash proved popular enough that several other Golden Age heroes were revived in new incarnations. A new superhero team, the Justice League of America, was also created, with the Flash as a prominent member.
The Flash also introduced a long-standing plot device into superhero comics, when it was revealed that Garrick and Allen existed on fictional parallel worlds. Their powers allowed them to cross the dimensional boundary between worlds, and the men became good friends; their respective teams began an annual get-together which endured from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s.
Allen's adventures continued in his own title until the advent of Crisis on Infinite Earths (The Flash ended as a series with #350). Allen's life had become considerably confused in the early 1980s, and DC elected to end his adventures and pass the mantle on to another character. Allen died heroically in the Crisis #8 (1986), though thanks to his ability to travel through time, he would continue to appear occasionally in the years to come.
The third Flash is Wally West, who was introduced in Flash #110 (1959) as Kid Flash. West, Allen's nephew by marriage, gained the Flash's powers through an accident identical to Allen's (this acquisition of powers has been criticized heavily by some fans), and adopted the Kid Flash identity and maintained membership in the Teen Titans for years. Following Allen's death, West adopted the Flash identity in Crisis #12 and was given his own series, beginning with The Flash vol 2 #1 (1987). As of 2005, he is the current holder of the title.
Flash latest reviews
[CaRP] XML error: undefined entity at line 70 - This appears to be an HTML webpage, not a feed.