Since his publication 80 years ago, The Flash has remained an icon in DC Comics history. Like any good superhero, Flash has had many costume changes. Some have been great, some have been not so great. The Multiverse also gives us the opportunity to check out the threads of Flashes from other worlds, so the list isn’t exclusively Barry and/or Wally.
Here we get to take a look at the best and worst of The Fastest Man Alive’s closet. (Note: Just because a costume isn’t on this list does not mean it is not a great costume, there just weren’t enough entries on the list. Sorry Jay!)
10 Worst: Formula I (Earth 35)
Astro City is a comic book series created by Kurt Busiek and originally published by Image Comics It is heavily influenced by the world of the DC Universe. Earth 34 in the DC Multiverse is supposed to be a parody of Astro City. The speedster from Astro City is named MPH, and Earth 34’s Flash is called Formula-I. He seems cool enough, but his costume is probably the least creative on this list. It’s a simple pilots uniform with a Flash symbol embroidered onto the chest. It’s definitely not the worst on this list, but it’s not creative, sleek, or colorful, three words that are supposed to describe the Scarlet Speedster.
9 Best: Future Flash
Future Flash is one of the more recent costumes on this list, and served as the inspiration for the CW’s interpretation of Savitar. This is a Barry Allen who couldn’t rescue Wallace and stop Iris from being paralyzed. He decides to go into the past as a more ruthless speedster, killing villains and even fighting himself. His suit is the classic suit except the color scheme is blue and white, and the lightning is a light blue color that looks incredible with Brett Booth’s design. He was eventually defeated by present day Barry, but we wouldn’t mind if our Barry took on that costume as a hero.
8 Worst: Speed Demon
The Amalgam universe provides us with a unique combination of DC and Marvel’s most popular superheroes, and most of the combinations make sense. With the creation of Speed Demon, it seems like they just randomly decided to throw two heroes together, and the design is not much better.
The costume obviously comes speeding out of the 90s, with Ghost Riders leather and spikes combined with the Flash’s crimson coloring. He doesn’t even have super speed! Luckily, the Amalgam character Mercury, combination of Bart Allen and Quicksilver, came out much better.
7 Best: Elseworlds Finest Finest
Not much is known about this alternate Flash, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a fan favorite costume. Appearing in only a single comic for one panel, the costume was released as a DLC skin for the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. He was also a playable card in the Injustice app. For his comic appearances he was a member of the Justice Society, but had no speaking parts. We’re not even sure if it’s Barry or Wally under the cowl, but we hope to see him appear again soon.
6 Worst: No Rules To Follow
The story of No Rules To Follow comes from the pages of Justice League International Annual 5. Here, there are ten superheroes in the world who are feared and loathed by most of the population. They try to do their best to help people, but have absolutely no guidance nor support to help them in their heroic careers. Wally’s costume almost resembles the costume of Juggernaut, except with blood red and bright yellow colors flashing across the pages. The puffy gauntlets and the giant helmet are anything but sleek, so its odd to see the fastest man alive where something that just looks so clunky.
5 Best: Dark Flash
Created by Mark Waid, Walter West is an alternate version of Wally from an earth where he lost his wife, Linda Park. After the events of Chain Lightning, our Wally was presumed dead and Walter took on the mantle of The Flash for the mainstream universe. His suit is a variation of the classic speedster suit, with a color scheme of dark red and white. He has a single white lightning bolt spread across his chest, and as he runs white lightning crackles all around him. He’s also a more powerful version of Wally, and teaches the original some new abilities.
4 Worst: The Dark Knight Returns
The Dark Knight Returns is not only one of the most popular Elseworlds stories, but Batman stories as well. The story takes place in a possible future, where Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement to don the cowl of the Batman again. Barry Allen was a former superhero, but was imprisoned by the United States government.
He was forced to run on a hamster wheel and provide the United States with power, until he was freed by Batman. The color sequence itself isn’t bad, the black replacing the normal scarlet. But the shorts and short sleeves, exposing hairy arms and legs, it just doesn’t seem necessary at all.
3 Best: Rebirth Wally West
One of the most controversial changes the New 52 made was replacing our classic Wally West with a new Kid Flash. Fans rejoiced when Wally returned to the DC Universe during DC Rebirth, and he had a great costume to match the hype. His cowl is a throwback to his Kid Flash costume, so his scarlet hair flows through the wind as he runs. The lightning is white, which symbolizes Wally’s deep connection to the Speed Force. There’s just something about the lighter color lightning that makes the character that much cooler, and Wally’s rebirth suit is not only a great Flash costume but one of the best costumes in comics period.
2 Worst: 1997 Justice League of America
When you talk about the Justice League movie, it’s probably the 2017 film that comes to mind. However, not many people know there was a CBS Justice League movie created 20 years prior. The League has a strange cast of Flash, Martian Manhunter, Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, and The Atom. You definitely can’t say The Flash costume isn’t comic accurate, but sometimes artistic vision should definitely come into play. The suit is skin tight against the actor, the cowl is chunky, and the symbol looks like it was painted on. It looks about as good as a low budget TV movie could make.
1 Best: Scarlet Speedster
Of course, nothing could beat the original scarlet and gold threads. Along with the moniker, the costume has been passed down throughout the generations, from Barry’s ring to Wally’s speed force creation. No matter how far you go into the future, every Flash has this costume with a slight variation, sometimes a color change or sometimes the lightning design, but you can always trace back the similarities to the classic suit. An icon is an icon people, and we just love seeing the red and gold blur past on the comics we hold or the shows we watch.