Volume 1, continued from Flash Comics
Starring Barry Allen as the Flash and Wally West as Kid Flash
After 4 try-out issues of "Show case" - the first being #4, which is widely accepted as being the comic that launched the Silver Age - the Flash returned to star in his own title with #105 in 1959. The numbering of the title continued from the Golden Age "Flash Comics," which had come to an end as Super Heroes went out of fashion in the early 1950's. When Police scientist Barry Allen was doused with a variety of chemicals along with a bolt of lightning, the accident endowed him with Super Speed, and he donned the famous red Flash uniform we are all familiar with. Barry was seeing reporter Iris Allen, and to ensure he kept his identity as the Flash a secret from his girlfriend, he always turned up late for their dates. During his Showcase appearances, the Flash had battled the first of what was to become his rogues gallery when he clashed with Captain Cold, and his range of costumed opponents was about expand almost as rapidly as his uniform expanded from his ring when it came into contact with air. In his opening issue, the Flash battled the Mirror Master, and in the following issue, readers were introduced to Gorilla Grodd, Solovar, and the inhabitants of Gorilla City in a trilogy of tales that ran through issues #106 - 108. Also starring in #106 was another costumed villain, the Pied Piper. The Mirror Master obviously proved a hit with fans as he was back in #109 for a re-match and in #110 the Flash encountered the Weather Wizard for the first time. The Trickster brought his tricks to Central City in Flash #113, while Captain Cold returned in #114 and another Captain - this time Captain Boomerang debuted in #117.
However, it wasn't just super villains the Flash was encountering in the early issues of his own series. In #110, Kid Flash made his debut, when Wally West was caught in a freak duplicate of the accident that had given Barry his super speed. Wally's original costume was a duplicate of Barry's (only smaller of course) but sidekicks were "in" at the time and Wally would often feature in back up stories in the Flash as well as sometimes teaming up with his mentor - such as in #120. Later (#135) Wally would receive his more familiar yellow and red costume, which would serve him for the best part of two decades. Shortly after the introduction of Kid Flash, the Flash encountered Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man in #112. At first, Barry thought the Elongated Man was a criminal, but by the end of the lead story in this issue, Ralph was exonerated, and the two men became firm friends. Editor Julius Schwartz was developing a number of friendships across the books he edited and chief among them was a friendship between Green Lantern and the Flash. The two first teamed up in Green Lantern #13 and the friendship was cemented during several shared adventures including the ones in Flash #131 and #143.
The most far reaching team -up of Barry's career was to come about in the classic Flash #123, "Flash of Two Worlds" in which the Scarlet Speedster met his "hero" Jay Garrick, the original Flash from the Golden Age of comics, and the concept of Earth Two was launched. Subsequent team ups between the two Flashes included the reintroduction of the Justice Society of America in #137's "Vengeance of the Immortal Villain," as the heroes pitted their wits against Vandal Savage. In the meantime, the villains just kept coming, as Abra Kadabra - a magician from the future made his debut in #128, Heat Wave made things hot for the Flash in #140, and the Top put him in a spin in # 141. However, it was the introduction of Eobard Thawne - the Reverse Flash (or Professor Zoom) in #140 that would have the most far reaching and long lasting effect upon Barry Allen's future.
When Barry and Iris finally got around to tying the knot, (#165), the Reverse Flash tried to take his place at the altar. Although Barry foiled his arch -foe on this occasion, history would repeat itself later in the series. After the death of Iris (accidentally shot at a costume ball), Barry was about to get re-married. Thawne was about to kill his fiance, but in order to prevent that happening, Barry snapped the neck of his enemy - an event which led to the two-year plus "Trial of the Flash," which concluded the series and led to the seeming demise of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
With science-based stories by the likes of Gardner Fox, John Broome, and Robert Kanigher, and the sleek angular artistic lines provided by Carmine Infantino, the Flash became one of the most popular and attractive books in the DC line throughout the Silver Age and indeed its impressive 246 issue run.