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The Evolution of ‘The Flash’ (1940 – 2009)

What’s The Flash you may ask? Kian from Holland Park School has put together this detailed account about this timeless comic book hero.

In the 1940s ‘The Flash’ was introduced to the DC Golden Age universe featuring a college football star called Jay Garrick. He accidentally inhales hard water  vapours after taking a smoke break in his laboratory  as a result, he finds that he can run at superhuman speed and has similarly fast reflexes. He acquired the ability to move at superhuman speed and chose to fight crime as a costumed vigilante, calling himself “The Flash”. After World War II, superheroes declined in popularity. ‘Flash Comics’was cancelled in 1949 after issue #104, marking Garrick’s last Golden Age appearance. Garrick would not appear again for ten years, and never got a solo series.

In 1956 ‘The Flash’ was rebooted by Barry Allen, the second flash in the DCU, in Showcase #4 which marked the start of the Silver Age. One Night, as he is preparing to leave work, a lightning bolt shatters a case full of chemicals and spills all over Allen. As a result, Allen finds that he can run extremely fast and has matching reflexes. Barry Allen gets his own solo title in The Flash #105 which carries on from the Golden Age. The final issue of Barry Allen’s run as The Flash was issue #350. In Crisis on Infinite Earths the Anti-Monitor capture Barry from the 30th century and takes him to 1985. Allen escapes and foils the Anti-Monitor’s plan to destroy the Earth with an anti-matter canon, creating a speed vortex to draw the power in, but dies in the process as the power becomes too much power for his body. It was said that Allen travels back in time and becomes the very same lightning bolt that gives him his powers. After Allen’s death, Kid Flash Wally West, his nephew and sidekick, takes up the role of the Flash.

Wally West’s first solo title was The Flash#1 in 1986. During a visit to Central City police laboratory where Barry Allen worked, the freak accident that gave Allen his powers repeated itself, but the lightning hit Wally this time, now possessing the same powers as The Flash. Wally West’s run as the Flash ended at issue #247 in 2009. In Final Crisis, the character was reunited with Barry Allen, who had returned to life. Which lead to The Flash: Rebirth where Barry Allen was settling back in Central City after 23 years in Speed Force.

Kian

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