I'm New To The Flash!

#1 Edited by ownsin (142 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey guys, i just got interested with flash, after watching the JLA cartoon this past month, i have not read any comic for the flash! so where should i start? whats the best to read and to begin with, and understand everything from the beginning etc...? please do help!
 
P.S: I'm new to comics btw!!!

#2 Posted by moshimoshi (63 posts) - - Show Bio

Um, to understand everything you'd have to go back 60 years...
 
But with a general understanding of the charecter, which you should have I'd go with Rebirth
 http://www.comicvine.com/the-flash-rebirth/39-55893/

#3 Posted by Cosmic Sentinel (3749 posts) - - Show Bio

 Agreed, Flash: Rebirth is probably the best place to start and it's fairly recent leading into his new series. That's the Barry Allen Flash though, the JLA cartoon is Wally West. I'm not sure I can really give specific reading advice for him as I never read his solo series.

#4 Posted by iloverobots (455 posts) - - Show Bio

You could start with Rebirth, that's right if you have some understanding of the characters. What I do suggest you do (if you have the budget) is the following (that's what I did when I first got into the Flash characters) 
 
1. Jay Garrick (The Golden Age Flash Archives) 
They're available pretty much anywhere in trades, they collect a lot of  the Jay Garrick stuff. Note that most of this stuff if from the 40's and 50's so it's quite different than what's coming out today. This might not be your cup of tea. 
 
2. Barry Allen (Showcase: The Flash + The Flash Chronicles) [Pretty much the only essential part]
Showcase and The Flash Chronicles starts in the late 50's but Barry is the current Flash so if you really want to get into the character that he his today, this is a pretty good read. But again, it's kinda dated. 
What is pretty much essential though is Crisis on Infinite Earth and Final Crisis then Flash: Rebirth. The Crisis books aren't only about Flash, they're both arcs that affected the entire DCU and are amazing pieces of work by themselves, but they also represent major points in Barry's back story. 
 
3. Wally West 
Wally was The Flash in the late 80's until Barry's return. All of his stuff is collected in a bunch of trades.

To be honest you could skip both Wally and Jay, pick up some of the Flash Chronicles books, or even any trades from that time period, then jump directly into Crisis on Infinite Earth then Final Crisis then Rebirth but the Flash has had amazing stories for the last 60+ years and it's definitely worth a look. Maybe check if a local library has the archives you could borrow, or go sit in one of the big book stores (Barnes and Nobles or whatever's available in the states) where they let you read as much as you want and go through this stuff. 

#5 Edited by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio
@moshimoshi said:

"Um, to understand everything you'd have to go back 60 years...  But with a general understanding of the charecter, which you should have I'd go with Rebirth  http://www.comicvine.com/the-flash-rebirth/39-55893/ "


I strongly disagree.  Rebirth is a confusing comic that tries to cram a lot of that 60 years with thrown in retcons, time travel and Final Crisis/Brightest Day tie ins all into one mini. 
 
It is absolutely the worst spot to jump on for the Flash because it will turn off a lot of new readers.
 
 
Where you want to jump on is at one of four points: 
1) Flash: Secret Files and Origins (vol 2) #1.  This comic comes right after Blackest Night which comes right after Rebirth, both of which are long and complicated and unnecessary.  It introduces and explains everybody who will be showing up in the Flash books and leads perfectly into Flash vol 4 (Barry's 2nd series) #1.  Flash vol 4 is pretty good so far and you can pick up all 4 or so issues and the Secret Files issue at your local comic shop, right off the shelf. 
 
2) Flash: Wonderland TPB.  This is the first Geoff Johns trade and since Geoff Johns' run on the Flash is not as long or complicated as Mark Waid's and is all compressed into trade form, his first trade is a great jumping on point.  If you like that, you can go right back to the store and pick up Blood Will Run, Rogues, Crossfire, Blitz, Ignition (also a good jumping on point), Secret of Barry Allen, and then Rogue War. 
 
3) Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flash Vol 3 (Wally's series) #1.  This is the story of Barry Allen's "death" and Wally West's inheriting the mantle of the Flash.  Crisis is a good story on its own and can be found in trade in just about any comic shop.  Flash Vol 3 #1 will be a lot harder to find and honestly, you're better off just downloading the Flash series and reading that until you get to Waid's run, which can still be found in some comic shops.
 
4) Showcase Presents: The Flash 1 TPB.  This would be a collection of some early Barry Allen stories.  Campy?  Sure.  Fun?  Definately.
#6 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@ownsin said:

" Hey guys, i just got interested with flash, after watching the JLA cartoon this past month, i have not read any comic for the flash! so where should i start? whats the best to read and to begin with, and understand everything from the beginning etc...? please do help! "

Hey ownsin, based on your question I'm going to make some assumptions but feel free to correct or adjust those assumptions.  First, "which Flash to read"?  I'm not sure if you're aware but DC characters have several ages of continuity- periods of self-contained and consistent stories before they are reset or move on.  I'm sure you've intuited that by seeing the vast difference between Adam West's Batman and Christopher Nolan's Batman.  Using Superman media as a loose guideline, the Fleischer cartoons are most similar to Golden Age Superman (old fashioned just slightly fantastic, characterization targeted at children), the Donner/Lester Superman films is late Silver Age Superman (silly over-the-top powers like turning back time, finger beams, wall-repairing vision), and the one featured in the Bruce Timm cartoons is early to mid Modern Age Superman (matured characterization, more powerful than the Golden Age but less ridiculous than the Silver Age). 
 
Until recently, the identity of The Flash has been a historical bookend or clear indication of the era.  Jay Garrick was the Golden Age Flash, Barry Allen the Silver Age Flash, and Wally West the Modern Flash.  (This has been all muddled up in the last five years due to absences, deaths, and returns, but worry about that later)  The point is that based on your enjoyment of the JLU cartoon you want to start with Modern Flash.  Not only is the storytelling, the powerset, and characterization more similar but, in fact, The Flash in the JLU is Wally West. 
 
People may suggest starting with Flash: Rebirth, but that is a story that attempts to import or graft a resurrected Barry Allen (the Silver Age Flash) into Wally's era and boots... it's a very poor launch story because it relies heavily on the modern history of The Flash, a ton of supporting characters a newbie wouldn't know, relationships and historical nods unknown to the new reader, is filled with technical jargon and plot holes, significant retcons, is poorly paced, and the worse crime of all it doesn't actually introduce you to Barry's character, personality, origin, or return! (Barry's sullen through the whole book and only barely turns back into himself in the last 4-6 pages, HIS origin is never explained despite showing Zoom's three times over, and his return occurs outside of this book!) 
 
Instead, start someplace in Wally's run.  At this point it all becomes about how much you want to read and money you want to spend. 
 
Unlike a lot of heroes with chronically bad runs requiring you to pick and choose the gems or the popular heroes with such a vast array of titles and authors there's no clear line of quality (just runs here and there) The Modern Flash has been the most consistently and organically characterized character to pass from the Silver Age into Modern era having only a handful of creative teams write him up until 2005 (after which the # of writers on Wally literally doubled in 3 years after 20 years of long writer runs) who always respected the prior writers' body of work (compare to the reboot of Superman, Batman, etc and the vast number of creative teams providing inconsistent characterization)... until Johns- who literally had the world (and even the hero) forget- and rebooted the character in #201 (ignoring a lot of Waid/Morrison's run... Rebirth seemed to be an attempt to recapture it, but not well).  Wally was handled by only a handful of writers with long runs almost all of which are amongst the top names in comics now (Millar, Morrison, Waid, Johns, etc) all with coherent characterization and just about every flavor of story you might want. 
 
So it all comes down to money / time. 
 
The two best runs are Mark Waid's run and the first Geoff Johns crack at the book.  Waid arguably shaped the character and modern mythos more than anyone else, since Johns has the reigns right now his run is arguably more relevant than anyone else's.  Morrison's contained some really high end cosmic stuff to match the work he was doing on JLA around the same time.  Even so all of these runs are pretty long so there's a ton of different jumping on points depending on how far back you want to start.  Let me know how much you want to get in and I can give you some recommendations on trades.  If it's a "no limit" sort of thing I would start at the very beginning of Waid and move chronologically, if it's "Johns plus" I would pick up Return of Barry Allen, Dead Heat, and maybe Black Flash plus Johns, if it's "origins" I'd pick up Born to Run, Terminal Velocity, and Ignition... it really depends on what you're looking for....
 
If you just want to focus on Johns here are my recommendations: 
 
http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/storylines.html
http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/books.html

There are a couple of places to start: #182 begins the recharacterization of the Rogues who most credit as being one of his best and lasting contributions to the Flash legacy.

#192-#200 is the Hunter Zolomon/Zoom II arc including a bit of Grodd. This is generally considered the capstone of the first part of Johns' run. It raises the stakes so high that Johns- fairly literally- reboots the Flash world in the very next issue thus serving as the next launching point.

#201 is the beginning of Ignition which is Johns' quasi-origin reboot of the Flash as much more street level. He builds solidly until...

#220 is the beginning of the five issue finale to Johns' Flash run. Everything and the kitchen sink. If you just want Johns' last hurrah you can start here, but I wouldn't.

Best of luck... if you can actually get your hands on any Johns Flash trades you mostly can't go wrong.    
#7 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said, Mainline.
#8 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mainline said:
" @ownsin said:

" Hey guys, i just got interested with flash, after watching the JLA cartoon this past month, i have not read any comic for the flash! so where should i start? whats the best to read and to begin with, and understand everything from the beginning etc...? please do help! "

Hey ownsin, based on your question I'm going to make some assumptions but feel free to correct or adjust those assumptions.  First, "which Flash to read"?  I'm not sure if you're aware but DC characters have several ages of continuity- periods of self-contained and consistent stories before they are reset or move on.  I'm sure you've intuited that by seeing the vast difference between Adam West's Batman and Christopher Nolan's Batman.  Using Superman media as a loose guideline, the Fleischer cartoons are most similar to Golden Age Superman (old fashioned just slightly fantastic, characterization targeted at children), the Donner/Lester Superman films is late Silver Age Superman (silly over-the-top powers like turning back time, finger beams, wall-repairing vision), and the one featured in the Bruce Timm cartoons is early to mid Modern Age Superman (matured characterization, more powerful than the Golden Age but less ridiculous than the Silver Age). 
 
Until recently, the identity of The Flash has been a historical bookend or clear indication of the era.  Jay Garrick was the Golden Age Flash, Barry Allen the Silver Age Flash, and Wally West the Modern Flash.  (This has been all muddled up in the last five years due to absences, deaths, and returns, but worry about that later)  The point is that based on your enjoyment of the JLU cartoon you want to start with Modern Flash.  Not only is the storytelling, the powerset, and characterization more similar but, in fact, The Flash in the JLU is Wally West. 
 
People may suggest starting with Flash: Rebirth, but that is a story that attempts to import or graft a resurrected Barry Allen (the Silver Age Flash) into Wally's era and boots... it's a very poor launch story because it relies heavily on the modern history of The Flash, a ton of supporting characters a newbie wouldn't know, relationships and historical nods unknown to the new reader, is filled with technical jargon and plot holes, significant retcons, is poorly paced, and the worse crime of all it doesn't actually introduce you to Barry's character, personality, origin, or return! (Barry's sullen through the whole book and only barely turns back into himself in the last 4-6 pages, HIS origin is never explained despite showing Zoom's three times over, and his return occurs outside of this book!) 
 
Instead, start someplace in Wally's run.  At this point it all becomes about how much you want to read and money you want to spend. 
 
Unlike a lot of heroes with chronically bad runs requiring you to pick and choose the gems or the popular heroes with such a vast array of titles and authors there's no clear line of quality (just runs here and there) The Modern Flash has been the most consistently and organically characterized character to pass from the Silver Age into Modern era having only a handful of creative teams write him up until 2005 (after which the # of writers on Wally literally doubled in 3 years after 20 years of long writer runs) who always respected the prior writers' body of work (compare to the reboot of Superman, Batman, etc and the vast number of creative teams providing inconsistent characterization)... until Johns- who literally had the world (and even the hero) forget- and rebooted the character in #201 (ignoring a lot of Waid/Morrison's run... Rebirth seemed to be an attempt to recapture it, but not well).  Wally was handled by only a handful of writers with long runs almost all of which are amongst the top names in comics now (Millar, Morrison, Waid, Johns, etc) all with coherent characterization and just about every flavor of story you might want. 
 
So it all comes down to money / time. 
 
The two best runs are Mark Waid's run and the first Geoff Johns crack at the book.  Waid arguably shaped the character and modern mythos more than anyone else, since Johns has the reigns right now his run is arguably more relevant than anyone else's.  Morrison's contained some really high end cosmic stuff to match the work he was doing on JLA around the same time.  Even so all of these runs are pretty long so there's a ton of different jumping on points depending on how far back you want to start.  Let me know how much you want to get in and I can give you some recommendations on trades.  If it's a "no limit" sort of thing I would start at the very beginning of Waid and move chronologically, if it's "Johns plus" I would pick up Return of Barry Allen, Dead Heat, and maybe Black Flash plus Johns, if it's "origins" I'd pick up Born to Run, Terminal Velocity, and Ignition... it really depends on what you're looking for....
 
If you just want to focus on Johns here are my recommendations: 
 
http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/storylines.html
http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/books.htmlThere are a couple of places to start: #182 begins the recharacterization of the Rogues who most credit as being one of his best and lasting contributions to the Flash legacy.#192-#200 is the Hunter Zolomon/Zoom II arc including a bit of Grodd. This is generally considered the capstone of the first part of Johns' run. It raises the stakes so high that Johns- fairly literally- reboots the Flash world in the very next issue thus serving as the next launching point.#201 is the beginning of Ignition which is Johns' quasi-origin reboot of the Flash as much more street level. He builds solidly until...#220 is the beginning of the five issue finale to Johns' Flash run. Everything and the kitchen sink. If you just want Johns' last hurrah you can start here, but I wouldn't.Best of luck... if you can actually get your hands on any Johns Flash trades you mostly can't go wrong.     "

@Zoom said:
"@moshimoshi said:

"Um, to understand everything you'd have to go back 60 years...  But with a general understanding of the charecter, which you should have I'd go with Rebirth  http://www.comicvine.com/the-flash-rebirth/39-55893/ "

I strongly disagree.  Rebirth is a confusing comic that tries to cram a lot of that 60 years with thrown in retcons, time travel and Final Crisis/Brightest Day tie ins all into one mini.  It is absolutely the worst spot to jump on for the Flash because it will turn off a lot of new readers.  Where you want to jump on is at one of four points: 1) Flash: Secret Files and Origins (vol 2) #1.  This comic comes right after Blackest Night which comes right after Rebirth, both of which are long and complicated and unnecessary.  It introduces and explains everybody who will be showing up in the Flash books and leads perfectly into Flash vol 4 (Barry's 2nd series) #1.  Flash vol 4 is pretty good so far and you can pick up all 4 or so issues and the Secret Files issue at your local comic shop, right off the shelf.  2) Flash: Wonderland TPB.  This is the first Geoff Johns trade and since Geoff Johns' run on the Flash is not as long or complicated as Mark Waid's and is all compressed into trade form, his first trade is a great jumping on point.  If you like that, you can go right back to the store and pick up Blood Will Run, Rogues, Crossfire, Blitz, Ignition (also a good jumping on point), Secret of Barry Allen, and then Rogue War.  3) Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flash Vol 3 (Wally's series) #1.  This is the story of Barry Allen's "death" and Wally West's inheriting the mantle of the Flash.  Crisis is a good story on its own and can be found in trade in just about any comic shop.  Flash Vol 3 #1 will be a lot harder to find and honestly, you're better off just downloading the Flash series and reading that until you get to Waid's run, which can still be found in some comic shops. 4) Showcase Presents: The Flash 1 TPB.  This would be a collection of some early Barry Allen stories.  Campy?  Sure.  Fun?  Definately. "

I'm starting to love you guys ;) no homo lol!
#9 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio
@Zoom said:
" @moshimoshi said:

"Um, to understand everything you'd have to go back 60 years...  But with a general understanding of the charecter, which you should have I'd go with Rebirth  http://www.comicvine.com/the-flash-rebirth/39-55893/ "

I strongly disagree.  Rebirth is a confusing comic that tries to cram a lot of that 60 years with thrown in retcons, time travel and Final Crisis/Brightest Day tie ins all into one mini.  It is absolutely the worst spot to jump on for the Flash because it will turn off a lot of new readers.  
 
I agree with this.  I disagree with trying to get him into Barry-based stories right now because ownsin's only watching JLU now so it's reasonable to assume he's not looking for a way to jump into the current story and just keep up with times (otherwise he would've been the sort to watch JLU back then) but rather just good stories.  Right now Barry's modern catalog is just too shallow (too few books) and one-dimensional (only one writer with only one real goal and style) compared to the back-catalog of other modern Flash stories out there for new readers.  My biggest resentment for the repositioning of Barry's return isn't that he retook the mantel or messed up the historical milestones, it's that it hasn't been handled that well (you only get to do it once) and in some 24+ months (from the announcement of his return, but more if you consider when they began planning it) we got less than half as many Flash stories in the meantime.  I mean it took over 43 weeks for 6 issues to come out! (and that was after multi-month hiatus to the title ending in 2008!).  And the current title is already running into delays... sigh. 
 
Anyways, I'm not saying the return won't eventually be good but it's not the best place to start right now, in my opinion just for quality stories (as opposed to attempting to be current).
#10 Edited by JCJQLB (2817 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB: You love Jesse Quick, dont'cha? ;)
#12 Posted by JCJQLB (2817 posts) - - Show Bio
@mr.obvious: ;D
#13 Posted by G-Man (32458 posts) - - Show Bio
Staff
#14 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB: Cuz I do too! ;)
#15 Posted by JCJQLB (2817 posts) - - Show Bio
@mr.obvious: Nice... I lover she's my fave hero if she existed I would marry her!
#16 Posted by Zoom (14668 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB said:
"Anything with Jesse Quick maybe Terminal Velocity or Flash Rebirth "

Both stories being overly reliant on continuity and not at all suited to new readers.
#17 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB: Cool, I love all of Flash's supporting characters, including Jesse! =D
@Zoom said:
" @JCJQLB said:
"Anything with Jesse Quick maybe Terminal Velocity or Flash Rebirth "
Both stories being overly reliant on continuity and not at all suited to new readers. "
True, but both stories are still very entertaining to read!
#18 Posted by JCJQLB (2817 posts) - - Show Bio
@mr.obvious: Well she's not a supporting character she's a flash! 
#19 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB: well, she IS part of the Flash Family of Speedsters, so I guess that she's not really a supporting character, my bad! =/
BTW, do you like her new Jesse Quick costume? or do you prefer her old Liberty Belle outfit?
#20 Posted by JCJQLB (2817 posts) - - Show Bio
@mr.obvious: I lover her new costume is not too teen but I would love to see her again as Liberty Belle or even a mix of Liberty Belle and Jesse Quick and become Liberty Quick!
#21 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@JCJQLB: That's sweet =D Liberty Quick, lol!
#22 Edited by ownsin (142 posts) - - Show Bio

 Thanks guys for your posts, i really appreciate it, but i like to read things in chronological order, and i think i like Wally West as The Flash, if he's the same Flash from JLU cartoon that is!. So what do you suggest for me to read first, and get me to understand the whole story etc... ?
 
P.S: Bare in mind that I'm entirely new to comics!

#23 Posted by ownsin (142 posts) - - Show Bio

Bump!

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