Why I Like the Flash Contest Entries, Part Three

This is the final installment of the wonderful reader-submitted entries for our “Why I Like the Flash” anniversary contest. The other entries can be seen here and here.

From Gatbru:

Hi guys! My name is Bruno, I’m from Barcelona, Spain, and I love Flash (any) as a concept. Being capable of running through time, because you’re that fast is something I find amazing. I send you a draw I made few weeks ago. Keep following your blog!!!
Thanks!!!

Bruno Brosseta Drawing

 

 

From Tony Laplume:

The Flash is a superhero creation of unimaginable potential. When you think about it, the ability to run really fast doesn’t seem to be that impressive, given that a lot of other characters get a lot more powers to play with. In the wrong hands, the whole concept could be a one-trick pony. Fortunately, the Flash has been in many, many capable hands. Unimaginable potential is what results from a well of considerable inspiration.

In the beginning there was Jay Garrick. No offense to fans of Jay Garrick, but it wasn’t until his successor Barry Allen came along that things really got interesting for either of them. Both of them to that point where known simply as speedsters. When they met, it exploded their limits forever, and altered the course of comics as a whole. Not a bad start, right?

The whole idea was that Barry knew about Jay because he’d read Flash comics as a kid. The idea of alternate realities was merely a starting point. The very fact that Barry reads Jay’s adventures in the comics broke the fourth wall. It gave the reader a new vantage point, a new level of participation. If surrogate characters like Robin and Spider-Man were created for a more literal approach, this was a signal to the reader that it wasn’t just about silly adventures but rather real sources of inspiration, the idea that if someone formed a positive impression in a comic book, it was okay to use them as a role model in real life.

And yet, that was just the beginning. Decades later Mark Waid came around and further expanded on the concept of the speedster family. I used to take this at face value, appreciate those stories simply for what Waid was doing. I think it was in Geoff Johns’s Flashpoint where I realized just how far the legacy went. Here was another Barry Allen tale, one where he battled arch-nemesis Professor Zoom across alternate realities. Readers were once again challenged to view his adventures in a more intimate way. Everything changed around him, and the results forced other writers to examine other heroes from the pivotal personal points that defined who they were, not just as heroes but people.

It’s not just in these big moments where the Flash inspired me. Time and again, the speedster in all his incarnations revealed just how far a pretty basic concept could go, in large and small ways. To me, that’s the whole point. The Flash is the best representation of the superhero I’ve yet encountered. I don’t know how else to put it.

 

From Rick Kester:

I have many reasons that I love the Flash. First and foremost, it is the general concept of someone very ordinary placed in an extraordinary circumstance. Whether it is Jay at college, Barry at work, or Wally just trying to live out an everyday life. Each character has had their own way of dealing with trials beyond those of regular people, yet they find a way to handle their gift with grace and humility.

My first official contact with The Flash was his appearances in the original Super Friends cartoons with Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog. I know that dates me a bit, but I loved the way they showed him running from the Hall of Justice to Cairo, Egypt in 5 seconds flat. I kept an eye on him through the other versions of the Super Friends and he got better with each one and I was pleased to see that he had a prominent role in the Justice League TV shows of the 90’s and 2000s. I wish they would finally make a solo Flash DVD instead of just Justice League ones, but at least the next one is centered around Barry.

I will say that the reason I got hooked on Wally’s run on the Flash and the need to collect every issue of Barry’s original run was the CBS TV series in 1990. I wish the series had lasted longer because it was well produced and I enjoyed how John Wesley Shipp and the rest of the cast handed their roles. I still have all of Bart’s solo run and all of Wally’s second trip on the scarlet road and I now own all of Barry’s issues since he came back leading to the New 52.

The main reason that The Flash is my favorite character over all the obvious choices is that no matter where he goes or what he does, The Flash has to keep himself constantly grounded and by doing so, it makes him stay in contact with the rest of the world around him. Since the majority of the Justice League is made up of Meta-humans or out right aliens, it is nice to know that there a few of them that try to make themselves accessible to the general public by showing off their more human qualities. One more thing, I have too admit that I would love to be able faster than other people and avoid punches instead of flight or many of the other feats that the characters in the DC Universe can do because it would feel so cool to be able to go anywhere in a blink of an eye.

 

From Dallin Turner:

I was 5 years old when Batman: The Animated Series debuted, and since then, I have feasted on a steady diet of superheroes through cartoons, movies and video games. However, I didn’t begin reading comics until I turned 21. I threw myself into an amazing world of graphic novels, trade paperbacks, encyclopedias, blogs and podcasts. I became enamored with long-time collectors’ tales of runs, boxes and triangles. They nostalgically talk of reading historical events and literary masterpieces as they were coming out in monthly installments. I longed to be a part of current comic book event that kept me coming back every month. I dreamed of collecting an epic story that I could love — that I could call my own. But where to begin?

After several years of searching and sadly failing, I was finally given the perfect jumping-on point: DC’s New 52. But even then, I hadn’t quite found what I was looking for. Throughout my few years of reading comics, I gradually learned what I liked and what I didn’t. Although I couldn’t articulate it very well, I had developed a very clear idea in my head of what a superhero should be and what a comic book should contain. Finding a book that matched that image seemed impossible at first. Until, in a near-fit of desperation, I turned to the Flash. I came in for the art. I stayed for the story. And I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

I love the Flash because he embodies the perfect image in my mind of what a superhero should be and how a superhero should act. He is kind; he is thoughtful; he is pure; he is brave. He is exciting and powerful. He isn’t ashamed to be a superhero, and his villains aren’t ashamed to be super villains. Flash adventures are fast, fun and colorful. The Flash comics by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are everything that I want to see in comic books. They understand the medium and perform things that can only be achieved in said medium. They tell a series of exciting, intriguing stories, and all those stories connect together to form one large, impressive narrative. Each issue is a beautiful work of art that not only makes me feel like I got my money’s worth, but has me eagerly anticipating next month’s installment. This is the comic book I’ve been looking for. This is the hero I have always wanted, although I didn’t always realize it.

I love the Flash because he ended my search for the greatest superhero.

 

From Kevin Bradley:

I’ve never stopped to analyze why I love the Flash, I just always have. I am in my early 50’s, and Barry was the Flash during my early comic buying days, and Wally was Kid Flash (and in Teen Titans!). I remember when Wally used to wear a copy of Barry’s red suit, and also remember the story that changed his outfit to yellow. But it goes deeper than that, as I have also loved Jay Garrick’s original Flash, too. I especially like the Hermes/Mercury-style winged helmet.

I do know that I was a chubby kid, and a bookworm, who rarely got picked for sports. But when I did, it was the Flash I saw in my head as I tried to run the bases in softball or kickball. It was the Flash that I saw when I found I could pedal my bike faster than the other kids on my street. It was the Flash I felt like, when I learned to run on just the balls of my feet, touching the ground ever so lightly.

Simply, the Flash had the power I most wanted: To be fast. I think kids never get enough of that idea. Life sometimes seems so boring and slow and you wish that you could speed through a slow day at school, or a long week before Christmas. How many times have we, as kids, said something takes “FOREVER?” Many times when I was growing up I wished I could speed through cleaning my room so I could play. Or zip through my homework.

Speed is intoxicating: The faster you run, the faster you want to run. Then you add phasing through solid objects and time traveling? I’m there, brother, I’m there.

Flash Forever,
Kevin

Life is locomotion… if you’re not moving, you’re not living. But there comes a time when you’ve got to stop running away from things… and you’ve got to start running towards something, you’ve got to forge ahead. Keep moving. Even if your path isn’t lit… trust that you’ll find your way.
–Barry Allen (The Flash)

 

That’s all for the contest entries, and I hope readers enjoyed them as much as we did! Which ones struck a particular chord with you?

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About Lia

Lia is a Canadian fan of the Flashes and the Rogues. She's particularly interested in memorabilia of the Rogues and Reverse Flashes, collecting art, and memorizing a whole lot of pointless trivia. She may be the world's only diehard fan of the Top due to a love of hopeless causes, and she runs a fan blog on Tumblr, known as gorogues or The Rogues Kick Ass.

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