‘Fastest man alive’ zooms back into comicsWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rarely is a comic book super hero mentioned in the New York Times, but rising from the dead being a special occasion, the venerable newspaper broke the story on April 30: among the quick and the dead, the Flash will now be counted with the former.
Created in 1956 and running until 1985, the Flash is credited with kicking off what is now known as the “Silver Age” of comics, an era recognized for reviving reader interest in colorful super-heroes after the dry spell of the late 1940s and early 1950s. DC Comics has of late brought back many elements of the Silver Age, but the announcement of the Flash’s rebirth is proving to be one of the most popular and one of the most controversial.
Barry Allen, the Flash, is often pigeonholed as a “nerd,” a square guy from a simpler time. Many modern fans say Allen couldn’t possibly fit in among the darker aspects of today’s stories. Others, mostly older fans, herald Allen’s new turn on the track as sign that DC is serious about lightening up its current spate of doom and gloom. Both groups seem to forget that comic book universes are cyclical things, always returning to past glories and older ideas when companies grow concerned about losing their more matured readers. In comic books, the old adage is true: nothing new under the sun — there are just variations on a theme.
The Fastest Man Alive is slated to jump the gun in DC’s summer blockbuster limited series “Final Crisis,” beginning this week. As he died originally in 1985’s weighty story “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” it seems only fitting that another “crisis” should bring him back into the fold.