March 18, 2011

What If…DC Renumbered the Flash?

Category: Flash History — By @ 2:02 pm

So haw many Flash comics have there been, anyway?

With the news that DC is canceling the current Flash series in the lead-up to Flashpoint, speculation has turned to the inevitable relaunch that we’ll see afterward.

Now, DC could just pick up the numbering where they left off, as if the book had simply been on hiatus (like many of us expected)…but that sort of puts a lie to the statement that “Issue 12 will be the final issue of THE FLASH.”

DC could also restart at #1…again. But is that really what they want to do after Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 in 2006, All-Flash #1 in 2007, Flash: Rebirth #1 in 2009, and Flash #1 in 2010?

So the prospect of renumbering raises its head again. It’s a natural with The Flash. After all, Barry Allen’s 1959 launch started at #105, picking up the numbering from where Jay Garrick’s series left off in 1949, and Wally West’s 2007 launch picked up right where it left off the year before. And with books like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and Thor adding up the totals from multiple relaunches, it seems a clear possibility.

So, if we added up all the Flash comics, what number would we be at?

350 issues of Flash Comics starring Jay Garrick and The Flash starring Barry Allen
247 issues of The Flash starring Wally West (not counting #0, #1,000,000, or #1/2, all of which would have been numbered out of sequence anyway).
13 issues of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive starring Bart Allen
12 issues of The Flash starring Barry Allen.

That’s 622 issues there, making the next one Flash #623. Though if you include Flash #0 and #1,000,000, which were part of the monthly series (but not #1/2, which was a promotional giveaway from Wizard Magazine), that would bring the total to 624, making the next one #625.

You could also make a case for including a few others:

1 issue of All-Flash, since it filled the monthly slot and bridged the gap between the end of Flash:TFMA and the 2007 relaunch.
6 issues of Flash: Rebirth, since it replaced the monthly series and served as the primary Flash book for 2009.

I wouldn’t include the annuals, or the 1970 Flash Spectacular, or the original Flashpoint miniseries, or the two Flash 80 Page Giants, or the four Flash Secret Files books. I also wouldn’t include Blackest Night: The Flash or Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge. These are all miniseries or specials that feel separate from the main Flash series, though I’d consider Blackest Night: The Flash a possible candidate.

That brings it to 629 issues.

Could we be looking at a post-Flashpoint launch of Flash #625 or Flash #630?