Who is the Best Flash?

Posted by No_name_here (1225 posts) - - Show Bio
 The family that runs together, uh... arrives together.

Who’s the best Flash? The greatest ever? For a name that brings with it the reputation of fastest man alive, this mantle hasn’t actually experienced that much turnover in all the decades since FLASH COMICS #1 hit spinner racks. Barry Allen has, of course, returned just recently, but Wally West’s total tenure still isn’t actually that much shorter than his. It’s even a bit of trip to get my mind around Barry’s comeback, since he was dead and gone and Wally was the Flash, for sure, since the very year I was born. The scarlet speedsters’ legacy is a little unique amongst the major heroes’ in this respect, because the answer to who’s the best Flash isn’t as clear cut as it is for, say, Green Lantern or Captain America. Actually, once you start comparing and contrasting all the Flashes to figure that out, you’ll also start noticing that this family of the fast is unique in a lot of ways. 

Between Johnny Quick, Jesse Quick, Max Mercury and XS, there are too many names to cover all the speedsters, so I'll keep it to the Flashes. Though, maybe I'm then remiss for not including Flash Gordon or Flash Thompson here?  == TEASER ==

JAY GARRICK  

(First Appearance: FLASH COMICS #1)

The uniqueness starts with Jay who, between all the retcons he's undergone, has always been more like a local hero than a super one. He first used his super-speed to be a star college football player and, when he did turn to crime fighting, he handled small potato threats like blackmailers and then didn’t even bother trying to keep a secret identity. Look at his costume. Without the flair of the helmet and the winged boots, It’s really not too far from being just a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He's thus looked a little out-of-place whenever he's tagged along for the really far-out, metaphysical threats that heroes of later generations have taken on. In a lot of ways, he's almost like a weekend warrior whose hobby would be taken and turned into a profession by his successors.

BARRY ALLEN  

(SHOWCASE #4)

Barry's debut marked the dawn of the Silver Age and, out of all the DC heroes who were active then, he's really the most emblematic of the era. Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen may have gone through dark periods, but Barry's noble character has never been compromised. Actually, he’s probably the most well-adjusted hero out of the whole pantheon. Where Superman went through 60 odd years of courtship with Lois Lane before making it official and Batman's had one volatile love affair after another, Barry married Iris West only a few years after his debut and established a family legacy that's repeatedly been shown to survive well into the future. Often stressed to be a simple Midwestern guy doing right for simple reasons, Barry is very much a rock of stability (even as he's moving constantly.)

WALLY WEST  

(THE FLASH #110, Vol. 1)

The unusual streak continues with Wally, one of the few major heroes I can think of who's gone through a measurable arc over his career. Like a child actor, he started off as a chipper sidekick, turned into a bit of a jerk as a young man (after he gained the mantle post-CRISIS) and then went on to grow in both power and character as an adult. He was the one who discovered the Speed Force and he was the one who tapped into it to ratchet his abilities up higher than anybody really could've imagined. I was almost going to include him twice on this list by spotlighting the Dark Flash, Wallace West - - his grizzled alternate future doppleganger who briefly replaced him during one of his deaths.

BART ALLEN  

(THE FLASH #92, Vol. 2)

The theme of acceleration goes hand-and-hand with all of this, so it’s probably appropriate that the fourth Flash’s career would seem very much like a fast-forwarded recreation of the third's. He went from Impulse/Kid Flash to actual Flash rather quickly, by comparison, and had a brief (only 13 issues long!) run with the mantle before, well, running into his own demise. Did he get a fair shake? It’s hard to say. I’ll confess to finding him more appealing as a bratty junior speedster with a short attention span over a more mature adult, but that could've changed with time. Considering we have five Green Lanterns flying around, I'm sure he'll another shot eventually.

JOHN FOX  

(THE FLASH 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL)

Another Flash to buck convention, John’s a future successor who wasn’t just part of a one-off story - - he’s shown up repeatedly and become an established part of the mythos. What's more, his already-crazy origin in the 27 century got a wilder twist in DC ONE MILLION when he ran ahead to the even-farther future of the 853rd century. While he’s got a cool, spacy costume and a shock of gray that makes him (pun intended) a bit of silver fox, the de facto future Flash is probably the least likable of this bunch (or the one with the biggest personality problems to surmount, at least.) A violator of time travel law, his career actually began out of jealously as he tried to steal Wally’s life.  

 
Who deserves the mantle of being the best Flash and why?  
#1 Posted by Renee (10289 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally. <3

#2 Posted by Gokujam (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally. No contest. He's the Flash I grew up with and he took the character/mantle to new heights.

 


 

#3 Posted by darkrider (457 posts) - - Show Bio

BARRY ALLEN
#4 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

although I always liked the comedic touch Wally brings with him, Barry is the legend.

#5 Posted by Black Lantern Mar-vell (2040 posts) - - Show Bio

You forgot to mention the Tangent female Flash.  But I'm gonna say Barry is the greatest Flash, since he sacrificed himself in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

#6 Edited by CrimsonAvenger (1162 posts) - - Show Bio

Jay Garrick not only was he the first but he created the legacy of The Flash and inspired Barry Allen as a kid to become a superhero.

#7 Posted by Dr. Detfink (460 posts) - - Show Bio

  

  
 
C'mon, it's Flash Gordon!
#8 Posted by arrowfan237 (465 posts) - - Show Bio

Barry Allen. No contest.
#9 Posted by batmanbeyond8 (41 posts) - - Show Bio
@darkrider said:
" BARRY ALLEN "
Agreed
#10 Posted by The Fastest Man Alive (77 posts) - - Show Bio

it has to be wally west but i also like barry allen

#11 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

Barry or Wally I like them both equally

#12 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West, it's not even a question. The fastest, the most powerful and the best character of the lot. Wally ftw.

#13 Posted by MuadDiab (331 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a big fan of the new Flash series and love Manupal's art so much. This series is the first time I've read the Flash, besides Rebirth, so Barry is my favorite. It seems to be building up to something big so I wouldn't be suprised if Barry is established as the best Flash in this universe as the arcs go on.

#14 Posted by DarthStorm (131 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West. Hands down.

#15 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

barry allan and wally west
#16 Posted by longbowhunter (7301 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Wally is probably the best. But my favorite is Jay.
Online
#17 Edited by Miss Marvel (117 posts) - - Show Bio

It's hard to say, all the Flashes are pretty awesome... 
But senss i'm a Bart Allen fan i'd pry have to go with him just as a character but if we're talking as the Flash then i guess Berry's more of the orginal classic, but Wally has the prettiest eyes =)

#18 Posted by tensor (4652 posts) - - Show Bio

i like them all

#19 Posted by caesarsghost (559 posts) - - Show Bio

chanting BARRY BARRY BARRY  
 
But I do love Wally as well, as he was the one I grew up with in the cartoons.  
 
While both incredile, Barry Allen will always be the original Flash to me (even though Jay was technically the Flash before him, Barry was the one who gave the character the iconic look etc...)

#20 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio
@darkrider said:
"BARRY ALLEN "
#21 Posted by Virus_Warning (206 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West
I like Bart too, but more as Kid Flash/Impulse
-Virus

#22 Posted by humanfly26 (1488 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally!

#23 Posted by cold_fuzion (167 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally >Jay > Bart ~ random hobo in spandex > Barry
 
Sorry, but Barry was never interesting before. He was always so two-dimensional and wooden. But so were a lot of the silver age heroes.  I don't care for the retcon to make him interesting that they pulled in rebirth. Too gimmicky. If he needed the whole Batman-lite origin to make him compelling then why did they need to bring him back in the first place?
 
I thought Wally's journey to grow into the Flash legacy built him up as a much more solid character and gave the reader a real reason to actually care about him. I would like the super-powered twins thing burned from my memory, but otherwise Wally wins this hands down in my book.

#24 Posted by Mas (99 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally made the title his own. He deserves to enjoy being the Flash. Jay started the whole thing so he will always be the Flash, Barry should find a new name, and personally Bart should name himself Mercury when he gets older (after Max).
#25 Posted by C2 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Walter West, the Dark Flash :) I thought he rocked

#26 Posted by Chris207 (118 posts) - - Show Bio

"The Best Flash" title goes to...whomever the reader grew up reading. That means Wally for me. He had to grow up quickly after Barry sacrificed himself in COIE even though he could only go the speed of sound at the time. He had the HUGE responsibility of carrying on the Flash legacy, and did so wonderfully. Barry will most likely win, but he left some massive soles to fill.

#27 Posted by spidey182 (15 posts) - - Show Bio

i like bart the most as a character but he shouldn't have been the flash because it didn't suit him, so i think wally is the best flash

#28 Posted by NewCapA (18 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53OyPYa7SEI

#29 Posted by Soldier zero (250 posts) - - Show Bio
@Chris207 said:
" "The Best Flash" title goes to...whomever the reader grew up reading.
Agreed that of Flash (Flashes?) has always been a family business, every generation added something to it. Jay pretty much created the whole image of a "working class hero", Barry made it into a icon with his heroic sacrifice and wally pretty much pushed it another step further with the discovery of the Speed Force.
 
I think that Barry will always remain the most iconic of the Flash, but cut is very close here.
#30 Posted by Frobin (97 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West for sure ...  I still see no need for Barry Allen's rebirth. The Flash universe was perfect with Jay Garrick, Bart Allen and Wally West & family. Now Barry is the odd man out.
 
It's pretty lame of DC to just repeat the rebirth idea of Green Lantern. It worked well with Hal Jordan (though Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner are ok too - but they never got the same contour like the character of Hal Jordan). But Wally West has been much better than the classic Flash and the character of Wally West has imo much more substance than Barry Allen.
 

#31 Posted by jointron33 (1902 posts) - - Show Bio

BARRY!!!!!!!!! BARRY!!!!!!!!!!! BARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#32 Posted by GothamRed (2564 posts) - - Show Bio

I know it's just going to come down to barry or wally, though I do like bart, albeit not as the flash, but I guess I'd go with Wally cause I grew up with him

#33 Posted by weapon154 (339 posts) - - Show Bio

Barry Allen, he died, came back and defeated Reverse-Flash, he was the second and most enthusiastic about the idea while Wally had to grow into the role, starting out as Kd-Flash.

#34 Posted by Outside_85 (9555 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally, no comepetition.

#35 Posted by GundamHeavyarms (701 posts) - - Show Bio

Its going to come down to either Barry or Wally.  If that person grew up with Barry, they'll say Barry, if they grew up with Wally, they'll say Wally.  Personally I like them equally.  Theyre both great in their own way.  Barry comes off now more as a Cop whose trying to be a superhero (I know that Barry didn't really have a personality, but no DC silver age superhero did.)  Where as Wally continued that everyman tradition as a married father.

#36 Posted by Ms. Omega (4505 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West was always my favorite

#37 Posted by speedlgt (2109 posts) - - Show Bio

wally is the BEST the most powerful most skilled and best personality overall hes the best character to ever be the flash. 
 
Barry is too goody good and he was gone way too long to matter now.
#38 Posted by xander_cole (109 posts) - - Show Bio

wally is the most experienced one

#39 Posted by Justize (328 posts) - - Show Bio

WALLY WEST > BART ALLEN > JAY GARRICK...and Barry Allen
 
After Barry was brought back, Wally got shafted even though Wally is a much better Flash. It is established in the DC continuity that Wally West is the best Flash to ever carry the mantle. He could do tricks that Barry could only dream of.
 
The only time I ever liked Barry was in a Marvel comic, when a strange character (who bore Barry's likeness) named Buried Alien raced against other Marvel speedsters.

#40 Posted by chewt0y (7 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have to say Wally.  The Waid / Wieringo run is still the definitive Flash in my eyes.

#41 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm going with Wally. I like that he's kinda silly and i like his costume better (even tho they're near impossible to tell apart unless they're facing left (since Wally's lighting bolt waistline is symmetrical and Barry's isn't). Plus he's the fastest of the Flashes. 
 
As for Barry being stable and never being evil, didn't he just become Parallax?! (I don't know I've only seen cover art, not read those books)

#42 Posted by karrob (4280 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gokujam said:
"

Wally. No contest. He's the Flash I grew up with and he took the character/mantle to new heights.

 


 

"
#43 Posted by GenesisX (78 posts) - - Show Bio

Well if you mean best "good flash", it'd be Bart! I liked him as Impulse, and he's the most likable now, and the most humorous. If you're talking about "evil flash", than Black Racer or Reverse-Flash.

#44 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm gonna have to go with Barry Allen.  
 
Bart makes a better kid flash, his flash run was horrible

#45 Posted by ZacCooper (106 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West first, Barry Allen close second

#46 Posted by DanSaka (7 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally!
#47 Posted by Foolkiller (168 posts) - - Show Bio
@primepower53 said:
" @darkrider said:
"BARRY ALLEN "
"
@batmanbeyond8 said:
" @darkrider said:
" BARRY ALLEN "
Agreed "
@arrowfan237 said:
" Barry Allen. No contest. "
@darkrider said:
" BARRY ALLEN "
#48 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally. <33

#49 Posted by TDK_1997 (14985 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm saying Barry Allen and Wally West

#50 Posted by mightiness (291 posts) - - Show Bio

Wally West is the best. 
 
I can't be wrong cause i made it rhyme

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.