Trial of the Flash in 2011


The Collected Editions blog has spotted news of a new Showcase collection that, surprisingly, isn’t from the 1960s: Trial of the Flash, collecting the epic 2-year storyline that ran through the end of Barry Allen’s original series.

The story ran at least 25 issues, not counting the setup years earlier with Professor Zoom killing Iris, so a giant collection like the Showcase books is probably the best way to reprint it, even if it will be black and white.

Interestingly, the last time I remember seeing a reprint of a Flash story from the 1980s was in the original Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told…almost 20 years ago! Head over to Collected Editions to read more.

»Pre-Order from Amazon.


18 thoughts on “Trial of the Flash in 2011

  1. West

    I’ve only ever read OF this story. It might be nice to read it for myself.

    Also, I’d like to know who drew the hell out of Barry on that cover. Badasssssssss.

  2. Luke

    I know this story is not held in high regard but I am buying this for sure. I hope DC continues this trend of using the Showcase format in this method, reprinting specific eras or runs in addition to the traditional, reprint-em-all method.

    1. West

      I forgot to comment on the black and white element. It is a deal breaker for me, whether from Marvel or DC.

      I like the pretty colors.

      1. Luke

        I swallowed the hook on the black and white reprint format about 3 issues into Essential Iron Man volume 1 back when I was in college. So I’ll gladly take the phonebook version!

  3. Mark Engblom

    Save your time, folks. As the owner of every issue of the Barry Allen series, I can safely say the “Trial of the Flash” remains the worst Barry Allen storyline EVER! Really…save your money….and blood pressure…by not reading it. If you’re a glutton for punishment and DO read it, you’ll realize WHY the Flash was killed off in “Crisis”….to take him out of his (and our) misery. Seriously, though, you can feel throughout the storyline that DC had already given up on the character and were just going through the motions. Cary Bates’ writing (and editing) are awful….and Infantino’s pencils were as lazy as they get.


    1. papa zero

      Was it outlandish? Absolutely. But as a fan of the Rogues, I found it particularly gratifying to see their interaction and redemption (of sorts) which ultimately set the tone for their relationship with Wally for much of his run. Anyone reading this story arc may take note that the “fantastic” tone (including switheroos and time travel) harkened back to the era of Flash before it took on the more Marvel-esque serial superhero soap opera feel. I happened to like both and didn’t mind the return of that unique Flash absurdity.

      The covers from 340 to 349 are some of my all time favorites…

  4. Perplexio

    I’ve picked up a few of the Flash comics from that era and storyline and I’ve got to agree with Mark Engblom… Save your money! The trial storyline was really lame. At that point in Barry’s run as the Flash Wally was already starting to become more interesting and was certainly being written better in The New Teen Titans than Barry was being written in his own title. The writing on the wall for Barry’s demise in Crisis was already starting to show when Wally quit as Kid Flash in The New Teen Titans #39.

    1. Sandor_Clegane

      Perplexio wrote: The writing on the wall for Barry’s demise in Crisis was already starting to show when Wally quit as Kid Flash in The New Teen Titans #39.

      How’s that? Because the two were not connected; DC did not intend to make Wally the Flash in 1984. Wolfman had Wally retire because he didn’t want to keep him in the book; it had nothing to do with Crisis or Barry’s planned demise.

      DC planned to reinvent Flash as a female character with electricity-based powers post-Crisis. That’s why Barry was being killed off. But Wolfman pleaded with Jeannette Kahn to stick with Barry, as he felt the existing concept was better. She eventually agreed, but by that point they’d already torn his world apart, and published his death.

      That’s why they settled on Wally; he was the best-available option for keeping as much of the concept as possible, while still giving them wiggle room for a new cast. But with the same costume, same powers, same villains, same basic world.

      1. Kelson Post author

        That was one idea they had, but not the reason they got rid of Barry. They canceled the book for sales reasons, and killed him for what it would mean for the DC Universe, but they hadn’t decided what to do next. They came up with all sorts of ideas, including one who got mentioned in a New Teen Titans issue, before finally deciding to bring Wally to the forefront.

        The Flash Companion has several articles on this, covering the decision to kill Barry Allen, some of the ideas floated, and the decision to promote Wally West as Barry’s successor. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the Flash.

        1. Sandor_Clegane

          Thanks for the additional thoughts; it underscores the point I made:
          The decision to make Wally the Flash was made after,

          1. Wolfman tried to convince Jeanette Khan that they could keep Barry as Flash, even after Crisis, via his infamous loophole where Barry could come back from right before his own death, and

          2. They played around with idea of actually reinventing the character (female Flash, electricity-based powers), rather than simply putting Wally in Barry’s uniform, and thus creating the “legacy” and mantle tradition at DC.

  5. Sandor_Clegane

    The Flash mostly blew chunks after issues 310 or so. I guess I can understand reprinting the trial for its historical value, I suppose.

    The shame here is that the storyline that builds to the trial is WAY better. The murder of Iris and the issues-long battle with Zoom, from issues 270 – 284. It’s an all-time Flash story with a true beginning, middle and end. Plus, it’s FANTASTIC.

    It is THAT story which should be reprinted in color. In maybe 2 trades.

  6. Mr Maczaps

    i actually enjoyed reading this run, and have most of Barry’s series starting somewhere in the 170s thru the ending… maybe its just because i haven’t read these issues since i bought them…


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