This page is for the original Flash, Jay Garrick.
For the second (and current) Flash, see Barry Allen.
For the third Flash, see Wally West.
For the fourth Flash (currently Kid Flash), see Bart Allen.
When Jason Peter "Jay" Garrick was a young boy he read many pulp magazine stories all about the super-hero, Whip Whirlwind. Little did that young Jay Garrick know that one day he would gain the same super powers as his childhood hero, Whip Whirlwind.
Jay Garrick attended Midwestern University in Keystone City. Jay double majored in both physics and chemistry. Jay was also a really big football star. He was conducting an experiment in his junior year, the experiment he was conducting was an attempt to purify hard water without any residual radiation in a cyclotron. Jay worked late into the night, as it got very late he began to get tired. So he sat back and enjoyed a relaxing cigarette but as he leaned back on his chair, he knocked over the whole apparatus, releasing dangerous, intoxicating fumes. These fumes knocked Jay out. Jay lays in bed for weeks in a state between life and death. Shortly after he awakes he sees the young woman whom he had been pining after for a while, Joan Williams, outside his window. In his anxiousness to meet her, he speeds down the stairs past the other patients in the hospital like a hurricane, learning then that what the doctor had said, that he would be the fastest thing that ever walked on Earth, was indeed true.
The Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, was created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert. Jay Garrick made his comic book debut in January of 1940 in the pages of Flash Comics #1.
Golden Age: Earth Two
When Jay Garrick learned of the powers he had gained he put them to good use on the football field. It was whilst courting a young woman, Joan Williams, that he witnessed a drive-by attempt on her life. Jay quickly sprang into action to save Joan's life, Jay caught the bullet and saved the girl. Jay then learns that this was all part of a scheme, plotted by the Faultless Four to get to Joan's father, whom they have captured, to tell them the location of the secret base of the atomic bombarder. Jay tracks down the hideout of the Faultless Four and saves Joan's father. He is later confronted once again by the Faultless Four. Jay easily gets the upper hand on them and as they retreat he follows. Sieur Satan sets off a trap to kill the Flash but the Flash is too fast and it only results in killing the other three members of the Faultless Four. Sieur Satan attempts a get away by car but once again the Flash is too quick, forcing Sieur off the road and into a chasm where Sieur falls to his death. Thus began the heroic super-hero career of The Flash. Jay went on to hold the mantle of the Flash for years to come.
Jay Garrick is one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America. He went on to serve as chairman of the JSA. Jay continued to be a prominent member of the JSA for a number of years until he retired. The American government wished to investigate if there are any Communist activities going on in the JSA. They request the JSA to reveal their secret identities, the JSA refused. Jay couldn't handle all of this distrust and doubts of patriotism and retires from his career of super-heroics. Settling down with his longtime girlfriend Joan Williams and marrying her. Jay goes on to work for Chemical Research Incorporated, soon after this he created Garrick Laboratories in Keystone City. Jay soon comes out of retirement to rejoin the JSA, a decade later. He comes into contact with Barry Allen who tells him that he, Barry Allen, is from Earth one whilst Jay Garrick was from Earth two. After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths all these different "Earth's" merge into one, New Earth. This is how Barry and Jay came to be in the same reality.
Modern Age: New Earth
Jay has most commonly been seen amongst the Justice Society of America since the Crisis On Infinite Earths event. In this JSA incarnation, he takes up a more fatherly and mentoring role to several other characters. When the Justice Society of America reformed to help the JLA against an imminent threat rising from the 5th Dimension. While fighting the mad imp, LKZ, Jay and his JSA teammates helped to free The Spectre. This, in addition to the untimely death of longtime ally, Wesley Dodds (the Sandman), prompted the remaining JSA members to fully come out of retirement. Flash worked alongside contemporaries Alan Scott and Ted Grant to train a new era of heroes upholding the legacies of veterans such as Mister Terrific, the Star-Spangled Kid and Hawkgirl. One of the adventures of the revitalized JSA included a battle with an old foe named Johnny Sorrow. During this incident, Jay had his first true brush with the Speed Force. He used his super-speed to trap Johnny Sorrow inside the force, but the battle propelled Jay three-thousand years into Earth's past. He arrived in ancient Egypt, where he met Teth Adam, the sorcerer Nabu and Prince Khu Kha-Tarr (all three of whom were analogs to Jay's future-teammates, Black Adam, Doctor Fate and Hawkman). With the aid of a device known as the Claw of Horus, Jay was able to return to his normal time period.
A short time later, Jay and his wife, Joan, took young Jakeem Thunder under their wing. Longing for the child they never had, then Garrick invited Jakeem to stay in their home in Keystone City. One of Jay's most harrowing battles in recent history involved an old war-time foe, the Dragon King. The Dragon King gained possession of the legendary Spear of Destiny, and used it to take control of Jay's mind. He forced Jay to engage in a brutal fight with his close ally, Wildcat – a fight that cost Wildcat nearly all of his nine lives. Recently, a major battle with the Gentleman Ghost, as well as the aftershocks of the Infinite Crisis event destabilized the ranks of the Justice Society. Jay Garrick has joined with charter members Alan Scott and Ted Grant in an effort to reform the Justice Society of America. He has also devoted a portion of his time towards aiding Bart Allen – the latest inheritor to the legacy of the Flash, with protecting his home town Keystone City. Recently, Jay has been helping Bart Allen against the crazed efforts of his former friend, Griffin Grey. Griffin stole a device from S.T.A.R. Labs designed to steal the Speed Force from Jay’s body. The intense radiation produced by the machine weakened Garrick to the point of death. However, Bart Allen found him moments later and channeled lightning from the Speed Field to restart Garrick’s heart.
Major Story Arcs
Crisis on Infinite Earths
For Further Information: Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths was a major event for Jay Garrick as it was after COIE Jay Garrick ends up on "New Earth" when all the different "Earths" merge.
For Further Information: Zero Hour
During Zero Hour, all the members of the JSA were aged to their chronological ages by the villain Extant, including Jay. He stripped himself of his Flash symbol, giving up. Soon, however, he was back in action with Wally West. Wally brought in Jay to help teach Bart the ways of super-speed, an adventure that soon transformed into a fight against Kobra. Jay was unable to participate for long, however, because of sheer fatigue.
For Further Information: Infinite Crisis
During Infinite Crisis, Jay and the rest of the Flash family, Bart Allen and Wally West, pull together to attempt to entrap Superboy Prime in the speed force. During their attempt Superboy Prime tries to hit Wally in the face with his heat vision but Jay at the last moment blocks the beams with his helmet, but in doing so stumbles and so when the other members of the Flash family send Prime into the speed force leaving Jay as the last remaining Flash on New Earth.
One Year Later: Flash the Fastest Man Alive
For Further Information: Flash the Fastest Man Alive
After this incident Jay states the speed force has disappeared. Jay is the sole crime fighter of Keystone City and Central City, this is until Bart Allen returns. When Bart returns, Jay helps him at first with his battles against Bart's former friend turned villain the Griffin. Later though he takes a back seat approach allowing Bart to be the Flash of Keystone City and Central City. Jay comes back to be the Flash of Keystone City and Central City though when Bart moves out to California.
World War III
For Further Information: World War III
Jay Garrick is seen amongst the other members of the JSA, during the event World War III, as they prepare to make a last stand to stop Black Adam.
For Further Information: Final Crisis
During Final Crisis, Jay and Wally go to the old Central City Community Center. The Flash, Wally West, has the idea to fire a bullet backwards through time. Jay Garrick goes to touch the Mobius chair the new god Metron used to get around but as Jay does a lot of feedback is produced and a portal is opened in which we see Barry Allen running from the Black Racer.
For Further Information: Blackest Night
In the Blackest Night story, Jay Garrick is seen with the other members of the JSA fighting Black Lanterns. He notably fought the black lantern Johnny Chambers.
JSA: Thy Kingdom Come and One World under Gog
For Further Information: JSA: Thy Kingdom Come
With the coming of Gog, Jay along with the rest of the JSA are very apprehensive of the deities motivations. When it appears that Gog's actions are becoming highly questionable a argument ensues between the JSA members who thinks he is a good and benevolent being sent to help the earth, and those who don't. The team becomes fractured as they decide to learn more about Gog.
When the rebellious half of the JSA shows up to tell the other half what Gog is doing to the planet, a battle ensues. For the JSA's defying of Gog and his will, he undoes all the "miracles" he has done for them. Gog decides to punish the JSA starting with turning Jay into lighting, so that he could power and entire continent. While he was saved from the effects by Superman's Intervention the process had already started to take place causing him to move at high speeds and turning his body into pure Speed Force. Dr. Mid-Nite suggests they slow him down before his body disperses and fails.
Justice League: Cry For Justice
For Further Information: Justice League: Cry For Justice
In issue #2 of Justice League: Cry For Justice, Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash meets up with Captain Marvel and Atom to investigate the theft of Cosmic Treadmill technology from the Flash Museum.
Garrick establishes the new JSA headquarters at Monument Point after he became mayor of the town. However, Senator Eagin who has resented the JSA since the 50's wants the JSA out of Monument Point because there is a government secret that is located under the JSA's new base and Eagin fears the possibility of someone discovering it. First, Eagin tries to scare off the JSA by hiring Doctor Chaos but when that doesn't work, he uses his political pull to make things difficult for the newly elected Jay Garrick.
Jay's new staff come at him from all directions with different problems. Apparently, 95 % of the repair work for the JSA's headquarters wasn't compliant according to the town's municipal code. The labor unions in Monument Point have issued a grievance with NLRB because the JSA is not unionized. Eagin also instructed the state governor to remove 3 million dollars of the federal fund from Monument Point. Without that money, the town can't hire more police and to make matters worse, the JSA's presence has caused a rise in petty civil rights complaints (race cards, brutality brought on by meta-human law enforcement, etc).
Jay interrupts the mass of complaints by saying that he and his staff were elected to solve problems. Jay knows that every politician or elected official is worried about being reelected and they are always looking out for their own self interests but he assured them that this is not how things are going to work anymore. First, he addressed the issue about the unions and the permit bureaucracy. If any of them wish to issue a grievance then they can come and see Jay. Jay would explain to them that Monument Point couldn't simply wait to go through the proper channels in order to fix the city.
As for the police, the JSA would act as Monument Point's local law enforcement until an agreement on the pay rate for officers could be reached. Jay reiterates that heroes like the JSA defend the innocent without any financial compensation and police officers should follow the same motivation. Lastly, the money problem would be dealt with by buckling down and putting an end to wasteful expenses but maintaining offices like education, medicine and sanitation. After Jay's stirring speech, his associate Dennis Hogan pulls him aside to show him what Senator Eagin has been hiding from the JSA. Hogan guides Jay down a series of tunnels which leads them to a gigantic door with unusual alien markings.
Jay Garrick made his debut in the New 52 Second Wave book called Earth 2. Jay was out on a walk during the night of his break-up with his girlfriend Joan when thought seeing a falling star but turned out to be Mercury of Olympus. He told him that he is dying and that Earth will face even bigger menace than Darkseid and gave him his powers. After having powers he tried them and went on a tour around the world but one day he was stopped by Hawkgirl. After they had a little conversation between them two, all kind of nature around them started dying and they found out that the reason for that is the guy that is attacking the capital. Finding out that Grundy is the attacker and they try to stop him, but he can regenerate and Hawkgirl sends Jay to save people and she will be the one that would fight with Grundy. The media has dubbed him "The Flash." Along with Hawkgirl, Green Lantern and Atom who had previously been at odds with them they defeated Grundy and Hawkgirl suggested forming a team but Green Lantern refused while the fate of Hawkgirl and Jay will be seen soon.
The Tower of Fate
Khalid along with Jay Garrick and his mother are transported to Nabu's Realm by Wotan, a mage who resents Nabu and wishes to take his powers. Wotan has tasked Khalid and Jay with obtaining Nabu's Helm from within the Tower of Fate, and bring it to him, using Jay's mother as leverage.
The two enter the tower and begin the ascent to the top, however are confronted by a great beast that acts as a guardian to the tower. Jay manages to run himself and Khalid to safety before deciding to turn back and fight the beast head on, leaving Khalid to climb the rest of the tower alone. Jay's courage inspires Khalid, and as he reaches Nabu's Helm he accepts the responsibility even knowing it will probably drive him insane. Willingly he puts on the helmet and becomes Doctor Fate, rushing to Jay's aid by defeating the beast guardian.
Doctor Fate and Flash exit the tower, and Fate begins to fight Wotan, stating that Nabu's powers will never be his. With Wotan hurting Doctor Fate, Nabu tells him that Wotan has been in his realm for too long, absorbing it's power. Fate then opens a portal to Earth, transporting everyone from Nabu's Realm through it. Using his new found powers by listening to Nabu, Khalid manages to defeat Wotan, teleporting him to another dimension. With The Green Lantern appearing at the scene, Alan suggests leaving quickly due to the incoming World Army. Doctor Fate manages to teleport the three heroes to hide out at Alan's home, where Fate informs them to turn on the TV and learns of the impending war with Dherain.
The initial invasion of Dherain by the Wonders of America went rather well as they easily decimated Steppenwolf's forces. However, Steppenwolf sent his Hunger Dogs to confront both the Wonders and the World Army. Steppenwolf's Hunger Dogs easily defeated both teams with Dr. Bedlam possessing Red Arrow to shoot Jay in the shoulder. Although they were defeated, the Hunger Dogs didn't kill them. Jay waited for the rest of the Wonders and World Army eventually wake up. Khalid Ben-Hassin healed them of their injuries and teleported them to the battlefield where Steppenwolf and his forces had decimated the World Army who had ordered a retreat. Instead of Jay trying to attack Steppenwolf, he instead allowed Khalid to open a another portal to allow him to transport injured soldiers for medical aid, before they could all return, Alan Scott went to attack Steppenwolf, while he initially had the upper hand he was attacked from behind by Brutaal and proceeded to be beaten up by the combined might of Steppenwolf and Brutaal, meanwhile the Wonders of America could only look on as their leader was defeated.
Powers & Abilities
"Faster than the streak of the lightning in the sky ..... swifter than the speed of the light itself..... fleeter than the rapidity of thought ..... is The Flash." have been shown are:
- Super-speed- Jay Garrick could run and move his limbs at superhuman speed. Jay is able to run so fast that he is able to run on water or on buildings. Also, he could create a wind vortex by running in circles very fast. Without the speed-force, he can run at the speed of sound. However, with the speed force, he can run near or at the speed of light although he is not as fast as the other flashes as he is a meta-human and his connection to the speed-force is not as strong.
- Speed steal-Wally West taught Jay Garrick how to steal speed. Jay is able to steal speed from other people to render them motionless like a statue.
- Speed lending- Jay can lend speed to other people so that they can move faster.
- Speed force aura- The speed force aura surrounding Jay Garrick protects him from being killed or affected from the speed that he is running at. It also protects him from punches which he dishes out at super-speed.
- Increased processing of information- Jay Garrick can process information at super-speed, allowing him to react at super-speed.
- Decelerated Aging : his absorption of chronal energies early in his career, decreased the effectiveness of time and age on his body slightly.
- Vortex Creations: By running in a circle at a certain speed, Jay Garrick is able to create a vortex with a variety of affects. One effect is pulling the air away from the center in order to suffocate an enemy. Another effect is levitating whoever and whatever was in the center. Some other effects are acting as barriers to movement or funnels for toxic gas's.
- Phasing: Like Barry Allen Jay can vibrate his molecular structure to pass through solid objects. The only time this has been used in print was during the Ultra-Humanite arc in All Star Squadron, when he and Johnny Quick do this to take several team mates into Ultra's lair. He has also used this to blur his facial features to protect his identity.
Jay Garrick possesses the normal human strength of a man his age who regularly exercises.
New 52 Powers
After the reboot Jay got his powers from the dying messenger god Mercury.
Superhuman Speed: After he was granted his powers from Mercury he outran a world army helicopter, he went from America to Poland in a matter of seconds, and he ran a god The Beguiler into oblivion.
Superhuman Stamina: He covered all his distances wthout feeling tired, he even covered an hemisphere and was still peak condition saying he does not need sleep.
Quick Regeneration: When beguiler was torturing him she said she has not seen anyone like him that he regenerates faster than anyone she has tortured.
Subconscious Suit: His costume comes on when he needs it, and comes off also when he is of no need of it, he used this to renew his costume when it was torn after fighting Wotan.
Jay's costume consists of his father's World War I helmet, a red jumper with a lightning bolt symbol on the chest, blue trousers and winged shoes. The winged helmet and shoes are inspired by the God of speed, Mercury. The red jumper is inspired by his Middleton university football jersey, with a lightning bolt on it rather than the Middleton M.
Jay's helmet can be used as more than a trendy piece of headgear, Jay can use the helmet as a throwing disc or Jay can also use the helmet as a shield as seen in the "52" epic and Infinite Crisis. During the cobalt blue storyline a future version of Wally's daughter Iris is seen and when she sees Jay she asks why he is wearing her father's helmet. Obviously Jay passed the helmet down to Wally so it may be seen as a torch to be passed down along the Flash line when they reach a certain age.
Whilst Jay's costume featured no face mask he was still able to maintain a secret identity by vibrating his face so to any onlooker his face would appear blurred.
Earth 2 from 52
For Further Information: 52, Countdown Arena
In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-Two now called Earth-2 to distinguish the two separate realities. Included in one panel showing is a new counterpart to Jay Garrick among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear , but is later specifically used in the
" Countdown: Arena" series where the new Earth-2 Flash is specifically identified as JayGarrick and does not allow others to call him "Flash" in the series, opposed to openly using "Jay Garrick". Despite being an almost exact duplicate to the original World War II Garrick, it is shown that the new Earth-2 Garrick is much younger, having no gray hair at all Some suggest that this Post Crisis Earth-2 Jay Garrick is the son of the original Garrick who died in the New Earth history which would explain his drastic youth in comparison to the New Earth Garrick Flash.
The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive
For Further Information: The Flash The Fastest Man Alive
A second young Jay Garrick lives on the unspecified Earth that Wally West moved to, with his young children, at the beginning of Bart Allen's tenure as the Flash so he wouldn't interfere with the new Flash's career. The Jay of this world is different and separate from the young Post Crisis Earth-2 Garrick. This point is made clear as the Post Crisis Earth-2 superheroes make no mention whatsoever of Wally West or his children being on their Earth.
JSA: The Unholy Three
For Further Information: JSA The Unholy Three
In the Elseworlds book JSA: The Unholy Three, Jay Garrick is portrayed as a post-WW2 United States intelligence agent stationed in Russia, working under the code-name Mercury. He is instrumental in bringing down the story's rogue Superman.
Justice League: The New Frontier
For Further Information: Justice League The New Frontier
Jay makes a cameo appearance in the opening credits of the animated movie Justice League: The New Frontier.
For Further Information: Justice League
A character named The Streak appeared in the two-part episode "Legends" of the Justice League animated series. John Stewart and other members of the Justice League travel to an alternate universe and meet the Justice Guild of America, whose members are modeled after Golden Age versions of the Justice Society of America. The Streak is an homage to Jay Garrick and wore a retro football helmet, obviously a throwback to Jay's amateur football career in college.
For Further Information: Smallville
Jay appeared in the hit CW television series Smallville, played by Billy Mitchel. He had a cameo appearance in the episode "Absolute Justice, Part 1."
The Flash (1990)
Although the regular Jay Garrick does not appear in the 90's CBS The Flash, a version of him appears as Barry's older brother Jay Allen. Like his brother and father, he is part of the Central City Police, but is killed on duty. Jay's death inspires his brother to use his new found speed powers to fight for justice.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
For Further Information: Batman The Brave and the Bold
Jay appears in the popular cartoon "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." Jay makes his debut as he and Batman fight Scarecrow in the opening segment to the episode "Trials of the Demon." He later appears as a member of the Justice Society of America in several episodes. Another significant episode is "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster" which features three generations of the Flash as they travel through time to stop Professor Zoom.
For Further Information: Young Justice
Jay appears in several episodes of the cartoon, Young Justice, including "Downtime" and " Bloodlines."
Justice League Heroes
Jay makes an appearance in the game Justice League Heroes as an alternate costume option for the Flash.