With last week’s 75th Anniversary of all the first appearance of The Flash, we wanted to add some thoughts from a few of the crew here at SpeedForce.org about why we love these stories so much. Here are some quick tributes from Greg, Lia, and Ed, just after the jump:
I’ve always been inspired by the concept of super-speed and the challenges and potential of such power. Flash comics stretch the limits of time and reality while remaining grounded in a world of human boundaries. This, combined with the pure and natural qualities of the design elements at the concept’s core, makes for an endlessly enjoyable experience from almost any perspective. Flash and his psychedelic nemeses are now thrilling millions on Tuesday nights, which is not surprising when you consider the freedom and inspiration behind inimitable ideas like The Reverse-Flash, Grodd and super-speed time-travel.
Flash comics also serve as a gateway to so many great ideas and stories, from theoretical physics to the finest in sequential art, to the DC Universe itself! If I was giving someone a comic book for the first time, no doubt it would be a classic Flash to feed the imagination and guide curiosity. My favorite stories are those that come from a place of excitement and the unexpected, and Flash delivers high velocity fun in every medium.
Happy 75th, Flash! Thanks to the writers and artists who shaped a character that defines everything great about superhero comics.
Why I follow the Flash
Well, first of all, I fell in love with the Rogues. So naturally I started reading a lot of Flash comics to learn all about them, and then realized I really like Barry Allen. And through reading more issues, I discovered I really enjoy the Flash Family and its long legacy. It’s pretty wonderful that it extends many centuries, and I love all the speedsters that make up the Family (to be honest, I feel we lost a lot when most of them disappeared in the reboot). The sense of continuity has always been enjoyable, what with Jay Garrick continuing to run and mentoring his successors, and each Flash acting as a role model for the one(s) who take on the mantle after him.
And of course there are the villains. I love the Rogues and Reverse Flashes, and they’ve kept me reading even when the story didn’t appeal to me much otherwise; they’re compelling characters and endearing in their own right. I’m having a lot of fun watching new Flash fans learn about the Rogues and Zooms for the first time because it reminds me of when I first got into the Flashverse, and I think there’s something to be learned from newcomers’ fresh perspectives.
So, if I had to sum up, I follow the Flash because of the characters and the lore. It’s a unique corner of the DC universe, complete with its own oddball physics and a distinct sense of fun. And the reason I love the current television series so much is because the show manages to capture these aspects very well — it distills what’s important about the Flashverse and is helping new people to discover it. I hope we can enjoy the show for a long time!
The Flash has been my favorite comics hero for a little over 50 years (and yes, I realize that means I’m fairly old). What grabbed me about The Flash was that Barry was a geek like me – not an athlete, not a rich guy with a bunch of expensive weapons, not an alien from outer space, and not a person with a tragic backstory that drove him in grim-dark directions (in those days Nora and Henry Allen were very much alive and had not been ret-conned into today’s version of the story). Nope, Barry was just a guy toiling away in the police science lab before CSI was cool; an awkward, always-late-for-everything, ordinary guy. But, when he was given this amazing gift of speed, he chose to use it for good. Here was someone with whom I could identify who was still brave and noble and heroic and good – an inspiration that let me know I could be someone special too when I grew up.
Because of that, I really got into his stories…and not just Barry’s either. I loved the crossover stories with the JSA because they introduced me to Jay Garrick, the first Flash whose first appearance gives us this 75th anniversary. I was introduced to his Earth 2 Golden Age version, and through him learned about other speedsters like Johnny Quick and later Jesse Quick and Max Mercury. And, as a kid I bought the first appearance of the Teen Titans in The Brave and The Bold, and remain to this day a Wally fan, whether as Kid Flash or The Flash himself. There have been great stories for every Flash, and no matter which speedster wore that lightning bolt, I’ve been a big fan. Btw- I still have my copies of the original Flash v. Superman races and still consider them a highlight…although let’s be real, NO ONE is faster than “The World’s Fastest Man”…unless you want to have a race between the different Flashes, and I’ll leave that debate to all of you. To this day, The Flash is my favorite hero, and it is an honor to get to share that with everyone here. Happy Anniversary to all those who have worn the mantle of The Flash!
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