Barry Allen, the Flash of the 1950s, more commonly known as the second Flash, has been reborn in the capable hands of Geoff Johns, DC Comics’ stellar re-inventor of superheroes. The first issue of the five-issue mini-series is off and running at retailers now. The first issue printing sold out the first day and a second printing has been delivered.
When I first heard the rumors of the possibility of Barry Allen’s return substantiated, I really didn't know how I felt. Barry Allen was the Flash I grew up with, and I’ll never forget Carmine Infantino’s elegant and unique art during his run on the series. The Barry Allen Flash run was like no other comic series at the time. It was smart, funny, and filled with scientific theories thanks to a science fiction writers like Gardner F. Fox, who also brought back the original Jay Garrick Flash from the 1940s in an issue called “Flash of Two Worlds!”
I’m also going to blame Gardner F. Fox for the whole parallel worlds problem that cropped up later. And yes, folks, that’s a joke. Personally, I enjoy multiple earths.
But there were several crises that arose from the Earth One and Earth Two conundrum involving various origin stories of heroes. DC, for whatever reason, kept trying to reconcile the idea of multiple earths and ended up muddying the whole mythology of several characters for many years.
During the crisis back in 1985, Barry Allen sacrificed himself and died. He’s been dead for 25 years, although Mark Waid brought him back for a brief run in a special Brave And The Bold miniseries that was absolutely wonderful.
With the latest crisis finally set to rest, although now Bruce Wayne is presumably dead or at least lost in time, Barry Allen has returned. Fans are waiting to see what effect that is going to have with the other Flash characters as well as the DC universe.
Writer Geoff Johns is known for his incredible talent in resurrecting characters by reestablishing the conceit that first brought those heroes to life. His work on the Justice Society of America and Hawkman has been fantastic, but he has really hit his stride on Green Lantern.
Now he’s bringing the lightning back to Barry Allen. This first issue serves as an introduction to the whole Flash mythology. All the major players are gathered here and are on stage, and they’re not all happy to see Barry Allen back among them. Bart Allen, another character that has worn the Flash costume, is back from the dead as well.