Naming Flash Eras

I’ve been trying to work out how I can best break down appearance lists with the repeated Flash relaunches. Assuming that Flash: Rebirth sticks, I can categorize them this way:

  • Golden Age: Jay’s series, 1940–1951
  • Silver/Bronze Age: Barry’s series, 1956–1986
  • Legacy: Wally’s series, 1987–2006
  • One Year Later: Bart’s series, Wally’s relaunch, and Flash: Rebirth, 2006-2009
  • Post-Rebirth: Whatever we end up with starting next year.

I originally used the term “Modern Apperances” for 1987+, but with Infinite Crisis marking a major relaunch, I clearly needed to rename it. I picked “Crisis Era” on the idea that it was bounded by Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis. But with DC overusing the term “Crisis” lately, it doesn’t seem to fit that era anymore. I think “Legacy” has a better sound to it, and since DC did a lot of legacy characters in the 1990s (some with greater success than others), it fits.

As for the period from Infinite Crisis through Flash: Rebirth, I’m thinking “Musical Chairs Era” might be the most accurate, but I’m going to stick with “One Year Later” for now.


6 thoughts on “Naming Flash Eras

  1. Heatwave the Rogue

    I’ve been thinking about this myself of late and here are my thoughts on it:

    Flash: Rebirth should probably be the start of the new era next year. If everything we are hearing is true, it will start an era featuring all of the Flash characters including Barry Allen this time. Regardless of whether or not Rebirth sticks, it’s definately a major era change by returning the Silver Age Flash to the ongoing DC universe.

    I would classify Bart as part of the “Legacy Era”. It was clearly a legacy situation, and the decision most likely had an impact on the ending of that era.

    Let me know your thoughts when you get a chance.


  2. Kelson Post author

    There’s a definite break at Infinite Crisis, though. You have a long, solid run, canceled during a Crisis, followed by a new series, a new face under the mask, etc.

    The period from Infinite Crisis through now is distinctly different from what we had before IC, and looks like it’ll be distinctly different from what we’ll have coming out of Rebirth. It doesn’t line up exactly on Barry/Not Barry/Barry boundaries.

    If I’d called the main Wally era something other than “Legacy,” would you have wanted to include Bart’s series in it?

    As for Flash: Rebirth, I’m sort of looking at it as the transition. Once the relaunch gets going, I suppose we’ll see where it fits better.

  3. Heatwave the Rogue

    I can see what you are saying. That’ makes sense too, and you might be right that if you had called Wally’s era something other than “Legacy” I might have come to exact same conclusions/classifications as you.

    After some more thought, I do feel that with Wally West being a successful replacement during an era of a lot of replacement heroes (Kyle Rayner, Firestorm, The Atom, Blue Beetle, and so on…) it is fair to classify that era together and include Bart Allen in with it (Bart was a potential “4th” degree replacement too). Barry Allen being the separator is actually logical in this case. Barry Allen’s return, to some degree, changes the replacement legacy direction that DC had established after the original Crisis (although a case could be made that Hal Jordan did this first, I feel that in his case it was less relevant because he is in a corp and not traditionaly a solo hero). I do think that because Bart’s run as the Flash was so sort, history will end up classifing it with either the previous or following eras, the the first era would be the more logical of the two. How many eras do you think of that lasted 2 or 3 years? That’s not an era, that’s a footnote in Flash history over 50 years. Debatable for certain, but at least that’s how I feel.

    On the other hand, if DC had decided to NOT bring back Barry Allen at this point, it could still symbolize the changing of an era. First off, because if DC had not brought back Barry Allen at the end of this Crisis, I believe that he would NEVER have been brought back ever. Second, it might have been the era of Wally West and family with a Fantastic Four/Incredibles feel to it? This could still happen in addition to Barry Allen’s return; Barry Allen’s return adds more weight to my hypothisis of era change.

    Where you are classifing the eras all by man beneath the mask/Crisis related, I am trying to classify the eras by what the characters represented. Barry Allen’s return does symbolize something more than just Barry Allen’s return, although I could be pulling the trigger too early on that one since he’s not even really back yet.

    I would like to think that my Barry Allen bias is not playing a factor in this. It’s probably tough to judge one’s own bias so who knows for sure?

  4. Aaron Poehler

    Stumbled across this old post and had to chuckle to myself a little at “Assuming that Flash: Rebirth sticks”. Sure seemed like a reasonable assumption at the time though, right?


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