The Flash 100 Greatest Moments Best 80th Anniversary Celebration of the Character

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Flash 100 Greatest Moments

Of my forty-five plus years of reading comic books, my list of favorite characters has never really grown beyond two. The first to make my list was Batman. I've always told myself it was because he was just a normal guy who proved you could do anything with the proper training, mindset, and a billion dollars laying around, but truthfully it was because the television show kept me glued on my little four-year-old butt every time it came on.

The second was The Flash. The iconic yet simple costume, the thinking that went into the multiple applications of what was essentially a single super ability, and the Flash Facts that instilled a curiosity for science.

Robert Greenberger once again takes on the unenviable task of distilling eight decades of adventures into a concentrated list of 100 greatest memories, a task made even more daunting when taking into consideration the fact that there have been a handful of people to wear the mantle of the scarlet speedster.

Greenberger begins, appropriately enough, with the origin of Jay Garrick in FLASH COMICS #1. But in the blink of an eye, we're already up to SHOWCASE #4 and the introduction of Barry Allen. But don't worry -- this isn't a chronological listing of events -- there will be plenty of Jay and the Justice Society to come, including the historic moment in FLASH #123 that introduces the parallel worlds theory that would set DC Comics apart from any of its competitors for years, including the reformation of the Justice Society, leading into an annual tradition of super-team crossovers.

Speaking of team-ups, there are plenty of them that get visited here, some perhaps not ones I'd have selected (the Flash / Wonder Woman team-up wasn't quite as memorable as the Golden Age Flash / Wonder Woman story that happened in WONDER WOMAN #239) but that's just me. The most notable of these are the seemingly incongruous pairings with Green Lantern and the usually indeterminate races between Flash and Superman (although Flash did later confess to Superman in one chase that he had been holding back all those times, before leaving Superman in the dust).

Probably the other thing that has placed Flash and Batman on my favorite heroes list is that, of all the superheroes in the DC pantheon, these two had the most diverse and colorful rogues galleries. And as you might surmise, the Flash villains make off with a good sized chunk of this volume. While Jay Garrick had a few -- from The Shade to The Fiddler to a Rival Flash who had speed like his own -- it was Barry Allen's crew who came at him, rapid fire, from the minds of John Broome and Julius Schwartz: Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, Weather Wizard, Trickster, The Top, Captain Boomerang... the list goes on and on, each with their own dazzling array of weaponry (very few of them, aside from Grodd, had inherent super powers) that bedeviled The Flash at every turn. And while the ranks have expanded over the years, it's still the originals that stand out as inspired icons of vainglorious villainy.

The volume ends with events about the Speed Force -- one of the things that still irks me since it was introduced into the Flash mythos as an unnecessary. An absent moment I might have included would have been when Wally thought Barry had returned, only to find out it was an amnesiac Eobard Thawne in disguise. I'd have also had to have reserved a slot for the FLASH: REBIRTH series by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver that brought Barry Allen back to the DC Universe for good. But, as I stated going in, there's only so much you can do when limiting yourself to one hundred moments for a character who has had so, so many great moments in comics.

This volume is highly recommended to each and every Flash fan. You're going to love it. And that's a Flash Fact.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0