All superhero fans have a special milestone for 2023: The Flash, the movie set for release in June 2023, marking the return of the popular hero from the DC Comics universe. Directed by Andy Muschietti (It, Mama), the movie will star Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash, and it will be the opportunity to see Michael Keaton again as Bruce Wayne / Batman. But we need the proper preparation to explore the evolution of The Flash from the beginning until today, understanding how the next highly anticipated movie fits into the storyline. In this article, we will delve into the history of The Flash.
You can watch the official trailer for The Flash here on Youtube.
The Flash Through the Ages: the Evolution of a Timeless Superhero
The Flash, one of DC Comics’ most iconic characters, has a rich history that spans several decades. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the character made his debut in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. Over the years, The Flash has undergone significant changes, with multiple individuals taking on the mantle and the character evolving in various ways.
The first Flash, Jay Garrick, was a college student who gained superhuman speed after inhaling hard water vapors. Donning a winged helmet and a red shirt with a lightning bolt emblem, Garrick fought crime during the Golden Age of Comics. He was a founding member of the Justice Society of America and played a pivotal role in DC’s early superhero universe.
In the mid-1950s, DC Comics reinvented the character, introducing a new Flash for the Silver Age of Comics. This version was Barry Allen, a police scientist who gained his powers through a freak accident involving lightning and chemicals in his laboratory. Barry became the most recognized iteration of The Flash and a key figure in the DC Universe. His stories often revolved around his battles with various supervillains, as well as his membership in the Justice League.
During the 1980s, DC Comics published the landmark storyline “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which reshaped its multiverse and impacted The Flash. In this event, Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the universe, dying a hero’s death. This event marked a turning point in The Flash’s history and had lasting consequences for the character’s legacy.
Wally West, Barry Allen’s sidekick, and nephew, took up the mantle of The Flash following Barry’s death. Wally had previously gained powers similar to Barry’s after an accident involving one of Barry’s experiments. As The Flash, Wally became a beloved character and had a lengthy tenure as the Scarlet Speedster. He matured as a hero, navigated personal struggles, and played a crucial role in many DC storylines.
In the early 2000s, DC Comics initiated another significant event called “Infinite Crisis.” During this event, Barry Allen returned from the dead, resurrected by the Speed Force, the source of The Flash’s powers. Barry’s return brought a renewed focus on his character and his legacy, with him once again taking on the role of The Flash in the DC Universe.
In recent years, The Flash has expanded beyond the comic book page and found success in other media. The character has appeared in various animated adaptations, including the critically acclaimed TV series “Justice League Unlimited” and “Young Justice.” Additionally, The Flash received his own live-action television series in 2014, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, which has garnered a significant fan following.
The success of the TV series led to The Flash’s introduction into the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Ezra Miller portrayed Barry Allen in the films “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), “Justice League” (2017), and his standalone film “The Flash” (2022). These appearances have further expanded the character’s reach and popularity.
In conclusion, The Flash has undergone a remarkable evolution since his inception in 1940. From Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to Wally West, each iteration has brought its own unique contributions to the character’s mythos. The Flash’s enduring appeal as the fastest man alive continues to captivate audiences across comics, television, and film, solidifying his status as a beloved superhero in the DC Universe.