What If…DC Renumbered the Flash?

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?


13 thoughts on “What If…DC Renumbered the Flash?

  1. Steve

    If it were up to me, I’d relaunch it as the Flash #363 and the Flash: Speed Force #248 for Barry and Wally…………oh who am I kidding if it were up to me I would kill Barry again and we would have the Flash #248 starring Wally West.

    1. Mr Maczaps

      Barry doesn’t need to die, just retire! Or play the detective only to Wally being the Flash… Or, like in the #70s of Wallys run, you can have Jay, Barry & Wally all at once… even if it wasn’t really Barry…

    2. Richard Guion

      I like Barry, but somehow I think Wally West is the superior character. Wally had a lot of flaws that he overcame on his own. The only thing wrong with Wally was that they had him get married and have kids–kryptonite for a comics character.

  2. collectededitions

    Got you thinking, didn’t I? πŸ™‚ #625 sounds like the right kind of milestone number for a restart; that’s my new favorite guess.

    Used to be low numbers on a title were valued; I find it interesting we’ve got all these titles in the 600-pluses now.

    1. Kelson Post author

      We’ve come full circle from the days when comics would avoid putting a number on their first issues so that kids weren’t afraid to risk their hard-earned dime on an untested concept.

  3. Perplexio

    Man you’re making it even more complicated than Chicago did with the numbering of their albums. They started counting greatest hits albums and re-releases in the numbering sequence of later albums creating a grand confusing mess.

    If DC does that with the Flash it will just muddy and complicate things. I HOPE that DC picks up with #13 after Flashpoint. However given Dan Didio’s maniacal glee with #1s something tells me after Flashpoint they’ll just start over with yet another #1. And hopefully there will be the “Speed Force” team comic #1 issue shortly thereafter for those of us who are still jonesin’ for more of a Wally, Bart, Max, Jesse, & Iris fix.

  4. Richard Guion

    I just listened to Comic Geek Speak’s interview with Brian Hibbs. He discusses a lot of problems with Flashpoint. One being that DC wants to duplicate the success of Blackest Night, but forgetting that Geoff Johns built up to that event over the years in GL. Hibbs sees low interest in Flashpoint (and Fear Itself) compared to BN or other events.

    1. Perplexio

      So, the same time Geoff Johns was laying the groundwork for Blackest Night in GL over the past few years was the same time that DC was royally botching the Flash titles time and time again… Retiring Wally, prematurely aging Bart 4 years to become the New Flash, only to kill him off, bringing Wally back but only long enough to set the stage for Barry’s return? Aye carramba! If they’d put as much care and time into the Flash title over the past few years Flashpoint might actually have generated/be generating the same level of excitement and interest surrounding it that Blackest Night did.

  5. Rahadyan Sastrowardoyo

    1970 Flash Spectacular? Did you mean the 1990 Flash Special with Manfred Mota/Atom Smasher?

    1. Kelson Post author

      Actually I meant the 1978 Flash spectacular — but yeah, I wouldn’t include the 1990 special either, for the same reasons.

  6. Eyz

    We sure did get a lot of #1 these last couple of years…
    A re-numbering would be nice, but since I’m mostly a post-crisis reader, it seems a bit useless too.

    But numbering-wise, could they aim for the issue #700 anniversary special that way?


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