News Flash: Barry Allen Ranked #9 DC Character

Comics Should Be Good continues counting down the results of their Top 50 DC Characters survey, and Barry Allen comes in at #9. The reborn Flash received 1604 total points, and 27 voters named him their favorite DC character.

A Top 10 spot is a big climb from the #29 rank he took in 2007. DC Comics has clearly been successful at building up Barry Allen’s popularity in the years since he’s returned.

We’ve seen three of the four main Flashes so far, with Bart Allen and Jay Garrick at #36 and #45. Still no sign of Wally West, but given his popularity among online fans, it’s unlikely that he dropped below Bart and Jay.

With Robin (Tim Drake) ranked #8, there are seven slots left. Sure bets include:

  • Superman
  • Batman (Bruce Wayne)
  • Wonder Woman
  • Batman/Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
  • Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

That leaves two up for grabs. Based on other people’s comments and my own gut feeling, I’d say the remaining two slots are likely to be Flash (Wally West) and the Joker.

The question is: What order?

Keep an eye on Comics Should Be Good as they continue the Top 50 countdown!


16 thoughts on “News Flash: Barry Allen Ranked #9 DC Character

  1. Mike W.

    I can’t wait to see the looks on the DC editorial staff ,if they are paying attention to this in anyway, when they see Flash Wally West ahead of Barry Allen. He’ll be there and at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if he made the top five if not one of the top three. Remember the article a few months ago that came out over at where Wally West was in the top ten(number 8 spot) in a combined DC and Marvel poll. Hal has already been added to the list which means that overall Wally is more popular. I can’t wait to see the results now!

    1. Realitätsprüfung

      Mike – it really doesn’t matter. DC knows Wally West is a more popular character than Barry, amongst their core fanbase of longtime readers. They haven’t, and probably won’t, forget that. The fact Wally is off the table is evidence of that.

      But the strategy to reboot, start fresh, exploring new distribution methods means not caring too much what heavily-invested longtimers think, since there aren’t a lot of them anymore.

      It’s a lot like what DC faced in 1986, all over again.

      1. Kelson Post author

        I’m not convinced that you can call it “starting fresh.” DC is taking a concept that’s been reinvented several times over the last 70 years and going back to an older version (the one invented 55 years ago, to be specific), rather than reinventing the concept again.

        1. Realitätsprüfung

          It’s not a total reinvention, no. But it is starting fresh, in the same way the last Star Trek film, or the recent James Bond films were starting fresh.

          A new ground floor, covering material we’ve never really seen and taking the story and characters in different directions.

          Basically, starting all over. Which is actually more distinct from what came prior than Crisis attempted. There, most of the characters (notably Flash) kept *most* of their history intact.

          We’re very early into the reboot, but already it’s quite clear that very, very few of the Flash stories we’ve ever read “count”. We are in unchartered waters now.

  2. Lia

    I am depressed at how things have turned into Wally vs Barry all over the fandom (just look at the rude comments at CBR). It didn’t have to be this way.

    1. Ken O.

      I agree with you 100%. Excuse my use of Stoppard:

      It could have been—it didn’t have to be obscene… It could have been a bird out of season, dropping bright-feathered on my shoulder… I could have been a tongueless
      dwarf standing by the road point the way… I was prepared. But it’s this, is it? No enigma, no dignity, nothing classical, portentous, only this —a comic pornographer and a rabble of prostitutes.

  3. Dylan

    Well, Lia, thank DC for that one. If the situation was guided by anyone but DiDio and Johns, it wouldn’t have been this way.

    1. Lia

      DC certainly started it and fuels it with the way they’ve handled things, true, but they’re not forcing anyone to be rude on the Internet. That’s all up to the individual.

    2. Realitätsprüfung

      DC publishes books about the characters they think work best. In the 80s they killed off Barry because they thought it was best. In 2005 they shelved Wally for the same reason.

      How fans react to changes in a fictional story is 100% on them. And most react fine; most read the comics because they’re good, and drop them when they’re not. But there’s a loud minority within fandom, made up of people that *need* to have new stories with or else they turn into whiny children.

      1. Penny Dreadful

        Obviously, fans differ from the DC editors here, judging from poll results. Sounds like a majority of fans like both Wally and Barry. It’s DC editorial which has an either/or attitude (and actively, IMO, encourages it).

        Actually, I think bringing back Barry was a Silver-Age fanboy move, nothing more.

        1. Lia

          Actually, I think bringing back Barry was a Silver-Age fanboy move, nothing more.

          That seems unlikely when considering Barry made #9. He obviously has fans. Myself included.

        2. Realitätsprüfung

          That would suggest there isn’t a good reason to use Barry.

          And there are *lots* of them that go beyond being a Silver Age fanboy. Wally is in fact a continuation of Barry – or was until recently. Barry was the defining iteration of the character, from the cast, the concepts, the costume, the DCU associations, the villains and the rest.

          Wally inherited all that.

          So the same dismissal of using Barry could easily be thrown at creators for bringing in Wally in 1987, or for bringing him back again in 2007. He’s a Silver Age character too.

          “Bringing back Wally was just a bunch of Silver Age nonsense by a bunch of fanboys gone wild!!!”

          Same thing, right?

          1. Dere

            “And there are *lots* of them that go beyond being a Silver Age fanboy. Wally is in fact a continuation of Barry – or was until recently. Barry was the defining iteration of the character, from the cast, the concepts, the costume, the DCU associations, the villains and the rest.

            Wally inherited all that.”

            The reason why “Wally inherited all that” is that those elements were worth keeping. And the reason why Wally replaced Barry was that Barry was NOT work keeping. DC replaced him because he wasn’t working anymore, as characters were getting more complex and interesting, while Barry was just a dull character who belong to the Silver Age. I don’t care if Barry “originated” those elements like you say, that doesn’t mean he’s a character worth keeping himself.

  4. Kyer

    I agree some of the comments were uncalled for. It’s not Barry or Wally’s fault that whomever/s were aO’s for how they treated the speedsters.

    On the other hand I’m kind of dismayed. All it took was some (imho) mediocre angst remodeling and an major ad campaign to boost Barry up quite a lot. It kind of reminds me of the fad industry (Macarena, anyone?) where ‘favorites’ are artificially heightened by advertising. If the rise had been from 29 to the low teens rather than the Top Ten, I’d have found it more believable.

    On the other hand Wally’s being high on the list (if he’s on it at all) will be (and likely accurately) more due to fan anger than much else….where I’d rather have seen him keep his spot because he’d been in stories these past years.

    What really truly scares me is that DC Editorial will take this as a further sign that giving characters tragic backgrounds (ala Batman) and piling up on body counts is the way to go. Truly, Tiny Titans may well be the only current DC title I have any purchasing interest in anymore if this is true.


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