What Volume is the Flash Up To?

When I started Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning back in 1996, I’d just refer to the then-current series as “Flash.” As the site grew to encompass more historical information, I’d either leave it to context or mark the pre-Crisis books as “Flash volume 1.” This doesn’t usually matter, but if you need to clarify which Flash #10 or Flash #123 you’re talking about, a shorthand like “vol.1” is a lot cleaner than writing “Flash (1959 series) #X” every time.

Only one problem: There are several different ways to choose the breaks between volumes.

Here are the distinct chunks of series:

  • Flash Comics (1940-1949) #1-104: Jay Garrick
  • The Flash (1959-1986) #105-350: Barry Allen
  • (The) Flash (1987-2005) #1-230: Wally West
  • The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (2006-2007) #1-13: Bart Allen
  • The Flash (2007-2008) #231-247: Wally West
  • The Flash (2010 onward), starting with #1: Barry Allen

Now, here are the ways we can break it up:

Divide at Every Relaunch:

  • Flash Comics = Volume 1
  • Flash w/ Barry = Volume 2
  • Flash w/ Wally = Volume 3
  • Flash w/ Bart = Volume 4
  • Flash w/ Wally again = Volume 5
  • Flash w/ Barry again = Volume 6

Divide at Renumbering with #1

  • Flash comics & Flash with Barry = Volume 1
  • Flash w/ Wally = Volume 2
  • Flash w/ Bart = Volume 3
  • Flash w/ Wally again = more Volume 2
  • Flash w/ Barry again = Volume 4

Track Titles Separately, Divide at Renumbering*

  • Flash Comics = Flash Comics
  • Flash w/ Barry = Volume 1
  • Flash w/ Wally = Volume 2
  • Flash w/ Bart = Flash: TFMA
  • Flash w/ Wally again = more Volume 2
  • Flash w/ Barry again = Volume 3

This last one is the way I’ve decided to identify the series. It’s simpler, since we don’t need to add volumes for Flash Comics or Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, and it groups the “bonus season” on Wally West’s series with the rest of that run.

So by that scheme, what we’re getting today is The Flash Volume 3 #1.

UPDATE June 2011:

It turns out that the 2010 relaunch only lasted 12 issues, and DC will be relaunching with a new The Flash #1 (along with the rest of their line) after Flashpoint. Sticking with this same numbering scheme makes the post-Flashpoint book The Flash vol.4.

*I’ve chosen to group the titles Flash and The Flash together for purposes of clarity and simplicity. If you really want to get technical, you could break things down that way, but it seems excessive.

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9 thoughts on “What Volume is the Flash Up To?

  1. liquidcross

    Your volume numbering scheme is much the same as the one I use for my GL site. It just makes splitting up the massive amount of books so much easier and logical.

    Reply
  2. Craig

    That’s always been the way I’ve looked at it as well. However, if they renumber the new Flash series back to the old Barry Allen issues, there may be some confusion. Not that they plan to at this point, but just wait until Dan Didio asks for postcards to renumber the series to #400 for Barry. Ha ha.

    Reply
  3. Kelson Post author

    I just noticed: based on the filenames for the preview pages at The Source (flsv2_cv1_ds-copy.jpg and so forth), DC (or at least their website) is treating this as Flash Volume 2.

    Well, I guess it is the second volume since they started really doing stuff online…

    Reply
  4. Hyperion

    Yeah, general consensus I’ve seen everywhere seems to be to follow that last ordering method you have up there.

    Reply
  5. Flash Fan4Life

    I agree with everything said above. The whole renumbering a series gets to be a mess, but that last break down is how I see it. Since Barry’s series took over the nu,bering from Jay’s, that is v1. Making Wally’s v2 (including the revisit after v2 was cancelled). And since Bart’s had the extra title added to it, it’s a seperate series and not v3. So, this new one is definitely v3. Only thing that makes sense. Now, here’s the real question: what volume is Green Arrow starting when it restarts with #1 LOL!!

    Reply

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