In 1940, writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert introduced readers to the Flash. But back then, the Flash was not Barry Allen; he was Jay Garrick, the fastest man alive... thanks to inhaling some hard water vapers. That origin may not have been stellar, but the Flash's legacy has withstood the test of time over eight decades. He may not be DC's top superhero, but he is the lynchpin of the entire universe.
Jay's run as the only Flash officially came to an end in 1951. By 1956, Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino introduced a new man behind the mask: Barry Allen. For the better part of three decades, Barry carried the Flash mantle and helped usher in the Silver Age of comics. Additionally, a meeting between Barry and Jay set the stage for DC's multiverse.
Barry's sidekick, Wally West, made a name for himself as Kid Flash. But after Barry's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally became the third Flash and headlined his own series from the late '80s to the mid-2000s. Barry was succeeded by his cousin and Barry's grandson, Bart Allen, for a few years after that.
In 2010, Barry was brought back from beyond the grave and once again became DC's primary Flash. He's also the main character of both The Flash TV series on The CW and an upcoming feature film starring Ezra Miller. The future looks bright for the Flash, and his race is far from finished.
For more details about The Flash's 80th anniversary, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Behind the Panel!