When you think of Batman, you see Bruce Wayne, a brooding one-man-army covering up his tracks with a playboy who always has a girl on each arm. When you hear Superman, you picture Clark Kent, nerdy reporter by day, spandex-clad hero whenever the cry beckons. But when you read the Flash, “Fastest man alive”, which persona comes to your mind? There are so many Flashes, and so many fans under every figure, it’s difficult to choose just which Flash is truly the fastest of them all.
Do you see Jay Garrick, a college student who gained the power to harness the Speed Force through inhaling heavy water vapors and becoming the first Flash, with the steel bowl on his head – or are you more of the new generation kind of fan, going for Bart Allen, Wally West, or whoever else is taking up the red suit nowadays (because there seem to be several)? While Jay Garrick, the first flash, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, was a big hit in the 1940s, the Golden Age of comic books did die out, Garrick along with all the rest.
However, DC managed to revive superheroes in the 50s, by using the Flash to jump start popularity in comic books once again, making a new hero named Barry Allen, police investigator, struck with chemicals that were hit by lighting, and effectively leading the Silver Age of comic books. The re-invention of this particular superhero also led to DC’s use of parallel universes, when Garrick and Allen met for the first time, because their abilities allowed them to pass from one dimension to the other. The Speed Force is also possibly one of the most complex powers (making the Flash the most complex superhero) in DC history. But that’s what makes the Flash so popular. So, who is your favorite Flash? And how do you manage to stay on top of this poor heroes twisting history?