The Flash is a hero to many. The DC Comics character is celebrating his 77th anniversary, and he is just as popular today as he has always been. Perhaps he is not as well-known as Batman, Superman, and others, but that only makes The Flash more precious and special in the eyes of his fans.
The problem, though, for some – and the reason this particular character isn’t out in the public eye as much as some of the others – is that The Flash isn’t just one person. The Flash is more of a persona that others can take on, a character that can be used by anyone who feels the need. And that can be confusing, unless you know The Flash back to front and inside out.
When it all began, The Flash was Jay Garrick, college athlete and all round good guy. He was The Flash from 1940 to 1951, and then again from 1961 to the present day. But in between, The Flash’s lightning speed and super hero ways belonged to Barry Allen, a forensic scientist (he was The Flash from 1956 to 1985, and then 2008 until the present day). Next came Wally West. Wally was actually Barry’s nephew, and he took on the job of being The Flash from 1986 until 2011, and then again from 2016 to the present day. And finally, the fourth incarnation of The Flash was Bart Allen, another of Barry’s relatives – this time his grandson. Bart was The Flash for just one year, from 2006-2007.
The Flash is a member of The Justice League, and this where most people will have come across him. Along with his colleagues Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman, The Flash has fought a variety of different villains in this role, including Reverse-Flash.
It is through The Justice League that The Flash first became more ‘mainstream’. Far from the comic book character he once was, The Flash has had a variety of different film and TV shows made about him. These date from 1979 when Barry Allen was played by Rod Hasse. More recently, there was a 2014 animated series specifically about The Flash, which really cemented him as a true DC Comics member. Perhaps most excitingly of all, there is to be a new Flash movie, coming from Warner Brothers in 2018. We don’t yet know the storyline or what adventures this will hold for our beloved hero, but we do know that it will be a blockbuster, box office hit. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s The Flash, after all.
If you can’t wait that long – almost two years is a long wait, we’ll agree – but there are other ways to get your Flash fix. You can go back and read back issues of the comic itself, or subscribe to new ones. You can watch the TV shows and earlier movies. You can even find online games that are all about The Flash including online slots like the ones at Mr Smith. But whatever you do, you can rest easy in the knowledge that that new movie is on its way – what a 2018 Christmas present that’s going to be!