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Written by 2:29 am Comics

Best flash comics

Best flash comics

The Flash is one of the most iconic superheroes in comics, known for his super-speed powers and bright red costume. While there have been several characters that have taken on the Flash mantle, the three main iterations—Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West—have starred in decades worth of beloved stories.

But which are the best? Let’s break down some of the top Flash comic book runs across DC history.

The Silver Age Spark That Started It All

While Jay Garrick was the original Flash in the Golden Age of comics, the character that truly defined the Scarlet Speedster and kicked off his popularity was Barry Allen. First appearing in Showcase #4 in 1956, the Silver Age Flash was a police scientist who gained superspeed powers after a lab accident. He adopted a red bodysuit with a lightning bolt emblem and the name “the Flash” in honor of his childhood hero Jay Garrick.

Writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino struck gold with their modern reimagining of the Flash. Audiences loved Allen’s sleek, streamlined costume and the creative ways the creative team came up with new uses for his speed abilities. The Flash soon graduated to his own solo series, which became a hit in the Silver Age era of comics.

One standout story includes The Flash #123 “Flash of Two Worlds,” which reintroduced Jay Garrick and introduced the concept of the DC Multiverse. This landmark issue paved the way for future crossovers between the Golden Age heroes of Earth-Two and the contemporary heroes of Earth-One.

The Flash comics were known for their sci-fi influenced stories involving time travel, parallel worlds, and outlandish super-villains using trick weapons and devices. The rogues gallery of enemies like Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and Gorilla Grodd challenged Barry Allen using brains over brawn.

Key Issues: Showcase #4, The Flash #123, The Flash #179 (first Captain Cold story)

Bringing Heart and Humor to the Fastest Man Alive

When Barry Allen was tragically killed off in the universe-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths event, his former Kid Flash sidekick Wally West stepped up to succeed him as the Flash. Launching in 1987, this third volume of The Flash by writers Mike Baron, William Messner-Loebs, Mark Waid, and others introduced a more youthful, light-hearted speedster for a new generation.

The stories balanced colorful superhero action with relatable human drama, as seen in the “Born to Run” arc (#62-65). This tale examined Wally’s relationships with his overbearing father and the villainous Reverse Flash. Other memorable storylines like “Terminal Velocity” (#0, 95-100) tested the limits of Wally’s speed while expanding on the Speed Force concept.

And Mark Waid’s acclaimed run saw the return of both Jay Garrick and a time-displaced Barry Allen. Wally also found love with reporter Linda Park, adding a romantic subplot to his heroics as the Flash. Under Waid, the Flash comics adopted a more fun, character-driven tone focused on Wally’s personal growth into the mantle.Key

Issues: The Flash vol. 2 #62-65, #0, #95-100, The Flash vol. 2 #134-138 (Mark Waid begins run)

Racing Through the Modern Age

Barry Allen made his full-time comics return in the 2008 miniseries The Flash: Rebirth by writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver. This set the stage for Barry stepping back into the lead role in the relaunched Flash volume 3 ongoing series. Johns emphasized Barry’s scientific know-how, while showcasing a more powerful set of speed abilities including throwing lightning and creating speed vortexes.

Central City also gained a larger roster of “speedster” heroes and villains like Hot Pursuit, Godspeed, and the Black Flash. Longtime Flash scribe Mark Waid even had a second acclaimed run with artist Daniel Acuña that balanced superhero spectacle with emotional drama.

As DC Comics tried new publishing initiatives like the New 52 reboot and DC Rebirth branding, the Flash series and characters remained pacesetters. Major storylines during this era included “Move Forward”, “Rogues Revolution”, and “Gorilla Warfare” which pitted Barry against a new crop of super-villains while exploring the use of his new speed powers.

Key Issues: The Flash: Rebirth #1-6, The Flash vol. 3 #30-35, The Flash New 52 vol. 1 #1-12

Flashing Back Through Time

In addition to the contemporary adventures, some of the best Flash stories explored the history of previous speedster legacy heroes. For example, writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins crafted the “Blitz” story arc across both the present-day The Flash series and the retro-styled Flash Comics series. This tale followed Barry Allen on a journey back in time where he met Jay Garrick during World War 2 on the battlefields.

There was also an acclaimed maxi-series titled The Life Story of the Flash which examined different eras of the Flash legacy from the Golden Age to the distant future. Each issue was illustrated by a different artist like Gil Kane, Jim Aparo, and Brian Bolland.

This series highlighted the enduring multi-generational appeal of the mantle of the Flash. These stories emphasized the connectivity between past and present Flash heroes, and how they inspire one another across history in a heroic legacy.

Key Issues: The Flash vol. 2 #175-179, The Life Story of the Flash #1-6

Flashing Forward at Light Speed

After the universe-reshaping events of “Flashpoint” and “DC Rebirth,” Wally West returned as the primary Flash at DC Comics from 2016-2020. This run by Joshua Williamson brought back Wally’s kids Iris and Jai West, now aged up as the hero duo Kid Flash and Impulse.

It also featured crossover events like “Flash War,” which pitted Wally against Barry Allen when their memories were altered to make them enemies. When Barry once again resumed the central Flash role in 2020, the new direction expanded on the greater Flash family across multiple titles like The FlashImpulseKid Flash, and the villain-focused Rogues.

Led by writer Jeremy Adams, this era showcased the rich legacy born from the Scarlet Speedster mythos. Major stories included the “Speed Metal” arc featuring the Flash Family racing across the Multiverse and the “Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” event with Barry leading the charge against a cosmic threat.

Key Issues: The Flash vol. 5 #30-32, #750-761, The Flash 2022 series #1+, Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1

Era Main Flash Key Writers Tone/Style
Silver Age Barry Allen John Broome, Gardner Fox Sci-fi adventures
Bronze/Modern Wally West Mike Baron, Mark Waid Fun, character-focused
Modern Barry Allen Geoff Johns, Joshua Williamson High-concept superheroics
Current Barry Allen + Flash Family Jeremy Adams, Various Legacy, Multiverse

Still Running Strong Today

For over 60 years and multiple generations of heroes carrying the mantle, the Flash has reliably delivered some of DC Comics’ greatest stories. The best Flash comics combine thrilling superhero action with relatable characters and drama.

These runs showcase the legacy begun by Jay Garrick and carried through to today by Barry Allen, Wally West, and the extended Flash Family. With continual reinvention and a timeless appeal, the Flash seems destined to keep sprinting at super-speed for decades to come.