If there is one hero the fans of the DC Universe have absolutely loved seeing come to life on both film and television screens everywhere, it has to be Barry Allen, aka The Flash. Known as the fastest man alive, the scarlet speedster works as a CSI by day and the superhuman Flash by night, protecting the people of Central City and beyond.
Over the years at DC Comics, The Flash has been a crucial part of the larger DC Comics storylines, yet only a handful truly stick out as must-read storylines. Here are the ten best Flash stories.
10 The Flash Of Two Worlds
One of the first storylines that needs to be featured has to be The Flash of Two Worlds. This storyline features one of the most crucial elements to be introduced into the larger DC Universe as a whole: the multiverse. The story showcases Barry Allen as he discovers the very first Flash, Jay Garrick, is not a fictional hero but the Flash of Earth-2, while he is the Flash of Earth-1.
Traveling to Earth-2, he introduces himself to Jay, fights the Thinker and helped Barry to realize how important love is, revealing his identity to Iris West.
9 The Trial Of The Flash
This was an intense storyline, as the Trial of The Flash involved a long, two year trial that saw Barry Allen charged for a brutal crime after he broke his own moral code. After losing his wife Iris West to Zoom’s evil and vicious attacks and nearly losing his second wife/girlfriend to him also, leading Barry to snap the villains neck in anger.
The trial took so many turns, with his protege Kid Flash testifying against him, Abra Kadabra used magic to tamper with the jury, and in the end Barry found Iris alive and living in the future.
8 A Flash Of The Lightning
One of the most crucial storylines in Barry Allen’s career has to be a Flash of the Lightning, the DC crossover tie-in for the character into the franchise epic storyline, Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this story, Barry learns the evil Anti-Monitor has built a cannon to destroy each universe and moves to stop him.
Fighting the cosmic being, the Flash converts himself to pure energy, using his energy to destroy the Anti-Monitor’s weapon and delaying the Crisis. This event sees his legacy continued as Wally West, the former Kid Flash, takes on the Flash’s heroic mantle.
7 The Flash: Rebirth
Not to be confused with the larger range of Rebirth storylines in recent years at DC Comics, the first Flash storyline titled Rebirth followed the events of Final Crisis, which not only pitted the forces of good versus Darkseid and his army but saw the return of Barry Allen as The Flash.
During the Rebirth storyline, Barry learns his mother was tragically taken when he was a child and lost her life to The Reverse Flash, as a result of their future battles. He also discovers that he could not only tap into the Speed Force, but he created it.
6 The Return Of Barry Allen
One of the more unique storylines of the speedster’s career has to be The Return of Barry Allen. This story takes place years after the passing of Barry Allen, when the first Flash Jay Garrick and the third Flash Wally West have become the world’s speedster heroes.
Yet on Christmas Eve Wally is shocked when Barry Allen arrives on his doorstep, alive and well. However, it soon comes to pass that not everything is right with Barry, as he has become more aggressive and violent since his return. This story features the return of a major Flash villain, Eobard Thawne.
5 Terminal Velocity
This next storyline is one of Wally West’s more iconic stories during his time as the Flash, and also established one of the most memorable aspects of any future Flash storyline. When a cult and criminal organization headed by a madman named Kobra infiltrated Keystone City, Linda Park began to investigate and made herself a target.
With a premonition of his own demise in mind, Wally made the ultimate sacrifice and saved her from the madman’s attack, running faster than light to do so. This introduced the Speed Force into DC Comics, and gave Wally more powers than ever before.
4 Born To Run
Born to Run may be one of Wally West’s greatest stories during his time as The Flash. Written by fan favorite writer Mark Waid, the story takes place after the passing of Barry Allen during the infamous Crisis on Infinite Earth’s storyline. In this story, fans witness Wally looking back at his career as a hero.
From the moment he gained his powers to being asked by Barry to become his sidekick Kid Flash, all the way to gaining the mantle of The Flash himself, it showcased the emotional journey Wally went on after Barry’s passing to carry his legacy.
3 Lightning Strikes Twice
The Rebirth storyline of recent years not only took The Flash to new places, but the larger DC Universe as a whole. In the first Rebirth storyline Lightning Strikes Twice, Barry Allen discovers that his old partner Wally West has been trapped in the Speed Force after Barry returned from his time in the Flashpoint universe.
Pulling Wally out, they both discover that some outside force tampered with reality, taking ten years from everyone’s lives and imprisoning Wally in the Speed Force to prevent him from stopping this entity’s plans. This is a great story to get into the Flash.
2 The Button
The Button is unique as a Flash storyline in that it involves both himself and Batman teaming up as two of the world’s greatest detectives to solve a mystery of multiversal proportions. When a blood-stained smiley face button is found in the walls of the Batcave and proves to be from another universe, the two find themselves chasing it to another world after it was stolen by The Reverse Flash.
This storyline is critical to the overall story of the Rebirth era, leading to the Doomsday Clock storyline that brings the world of Watchmen into the larger DC Universe.
The most important storyline to the Flash’s history has to be none other than Flashpoint. The storyline involves Barry Allen’s pain at losing his mother causing him in his grief to go back in time and save her from Thawne, creating a new reality in which she survived, but other’s changed.
In this world, Thomas Wayne became Batman and Martha Wayne became the Joker after Bruce’s life ended in an alleyway, while Aquaman and Wonder Woman went to war with one another and Barry found himself powerless. This story ends up creating future storylines, including the larger story of Rebirth.