Flash: 100 Greatest Moments
The latest book from the 100 Greatest Moments of DC Comics series, which has explored the greatest moments of the Justice League, Super Heroines, Super-Villains, and Batman, is Flash: 100 Greatest Moments. Written by Robert Greenberger, this is a beautiful, 304-page volume, full of classic comic book pages and modern day art.
These "100 greatest moments" are organized into six categories:
The Fastest Man Alive
The Cosmic Treadmill
The Flash Museum
The Speed Force
Author Robert Greenberger was hired by Dick Giordano as an assistant editor at DC Comics in 1984, working with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman. This was during the era of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Greenberger is credited as "Plotter" for issue number one's story, The Summoning. The following year, he was promoted to editor and assigned responsibilities for Star Trek, Suicide Squad, and Doom Patrol. I therefore consider him qualified to write this book.
To provide an example of what we get with each "moment," I'm going to randomly pick one featuring one of my favorite characters. This comes from Chapter 4: The Flash Museum, and it's #45: Team-Up with The Atom.
This particular moment is described in only one page, the bulk of which is the splash page of The Brave & the Bold #53, written by Bob Haney and drawn by Alex Toth. The caption reads:
In a rare super-heroic tale by classic artist Alex Toth, two heroes of science find themselves exploring a strange new world.
In the image, Flash is tied to the ground like Gulliver and the Atom leaps over him to battle a tiny rocket fleet.
Greenberger uses text for other "moments" that are perhaps more complex or meaningful to Flash history. For example, if I flip to page 139, I can read four paragraphs about #48: First Flash & Superman Race, including fun notes such as this:
As comic fans began debating issues such as who was cooler, sexier, and stronger, they also included who was faster: Flash or Superman. Teenager reader turned writer Jim Shooter had similar thoughts and decided to see what would happen when he wrote the first such matchup for 1967's Superman #199.
The entry extends beyond the one race, mentioning subsequent races, including the one between Henry Cavill and Ezra Miller in a post-credits scene in the movie Justice League (2017.)
Including material from as recently as The Flash #50 (September, 2018), Flash: 100 Greatest Moments includes other characters besides Barry Allen. I was thrilled to see plenty of entries for Jay Garrick, the original Flash, as well as later versions, including Wally West, Bart Allen, and Wallace West.
As you can imagine, there are plenty of guest stars, as well. Besides the aforementioned Atom and Superman, we can also read about meetups between various Flashes and Green Lantern, the Elongated Man, the Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman, to name a few.
If you can't tell, I love this book! Sad for my wallet, but good for Chartwell Books, I'm now going to have to purchase the other volumes in this series. Are these "the" greatest moments for The Flash? I don't know; I suppose one of your favorites could be missing. But that's not the point. These are 100 great moments and I enjoyed revisiting them in this format.
First appearing in 1940 and represented by a slew of different speedsters, the Flash has been a DC mainstay for most of their publishing life. He’s been part of the Justice League, Justice Society of America, and Teen Titans. Able to break the barriers between dimensions and to reverse time when he’s runs fast enough, to say that the Flash is going (and has gone) places doesn’t even cover it.
Speedsters are powered by the speed force and while there are a slew of superheroes faster than the average man in the DC Universe, the particular mantle of ‘The Flash’ has been donned by Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, and Bart Allen. Each of them are represented with their own moments to shine and they each bring a new perspective to the character over the Flash’s decades long run.
Enclosed in these pages are 100 moments that chronicle all the Flash’s greatest feats. Flash’s loves, his children, the allies like Batman and Superman that help him out in his time of need, the Rogues that give him the most trouble, other nefarious speedsters villains like Reverse Flash and Professor Zoom, and many more key characters are paid homage. Flash has been a key player in events like Flashpoint and Crisis on Infinite Worlds, making him integral to understanding the worlds built by DC Comics.
Although Flash has been on the big screen, syndicated television, and cartoons, a lot the iconic moments seen on screens found their origin in his comic books. Whether you need a recap (in a flash) or you’re curious about the comic book events that inspired your favorite TV and movie moments, Flash: 100 Greatest Moments will guide you through all of the Scarlet Speedster’s history.
Flash: 100 Greatest Moments by Robert Greenberger
Published October 13, 2020 by Chartwell Books
Hardcover, 304 pages
$24.99 US, $32.99 CAN