Flash Favorites: Pros Pick 10 of the Best Flash Stories

It's official. After an over 20 year absence, the Silver Age Flash Barry Allen returns to the DC Universe on a full-time basis in the pages of The Flash: Rebirth, which hits comic book shops this week.

With the Flash legacy whole once again, Newsarama thought it was a good time to at 10 of the greatest moments in Flash history, with an assist from Flash creators past and present, including writers Geoff Johns and Mark Waid, and artist Ethan Van Sciver.

The Flash #179 (Vol. 1) The Flash #179 (Vol. 1)

10. The Flash #179 (Vol. 1): "Flash - Fact or Fiction?" by Cary Bates and Ross Andru - Chosen by Mark Waid as one of his favorite Flash stories, Flash #179 showed the Flash inadverently stumbling onto our Earth and meeting Julie Schwartz, the editor of Flash comics.

9. The Flash #130-131 (Vol. 2) by Grant Morrison/Mark Millar and Paul Ryan - Ethan Van Sciver, artist on The Flash: Rebirth, picked this as a favorite issue, saying: "Grant Morrison and Mark Millar had a cool but all-too-brief run on Flash right about the time that I began working at DC Comics. And I remember loving these issues, which begin a larger story that's now been collected as a trade called 'Emergency Stop.' They reintroduce one of Flash's weirdest rogues, The Suit, who is apparently Iron Man without the 'Man' half of the equation.

"We get to see some great desperately heroic moments from Jay, Max and Bart, and then an utterly cool Wally West stand-off at the end of #131. Grant and Mark's throwaway ideas are great too. We get to meet an imprisoned loser named 'Double Negative,' drawn by Paul Ryan as the photo-negative of a thug with a ghostly reflection slightly above and to the left of him. I don't know, I just like that. It tickles my toes."

8. The Flash #105 (Vol. 1) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Van Sciver

The Flash #105 (Vol. 1) - (flash-10-8) The Flash #105 (Vol. 1) - (flash-10-8)

specifically pointed out this issue's "Master of Mirrors" story as a favorite. "I love the Twilight Zone style of these early Flash tales, and the way the Rogues gallery was built," Van Sciver said. "Here, Scudder gets his start as Mirror Master when he botches his 'mirror silvering' job in prison. Turns out the chemical mix-up made the mirror capable of holding a reflection for an undetermined length of time, inspiring the future Rogue to see what else might be possible with mirror tech. Infantino drew thugs as thugs. No pretty boys here!"

The Flash #193 (Vol. 1 - (flash-10-7) The Flash #193 (Vol. 1 - (flash-10-7)

7. The Flash #193 (Vol. 1) by John Boome and Ross Andru. This is one of the first comics picked up by Geoff Johns, writer of The Flash: Rebirth, and it helped inspire the writer's love for Captain Cold as a character. "It'd been written years before I was born, but I found it in a comic shop for 50 cents in some old box," Johns said. "It introduced me to Captain Cold and, while the story was great, it was the cover [by Carmine Infantino] that initially drew me in. The Flash was known for its fantastic, story-driven covers in the Silver Age. And there was something about the absolute dead-end movement of ice against the super-speed of the Flash that grabbed me."

6. The Flash #201-206 (Vol. 2): "Ignition" by Geoff Johns and Albert Dose. Van Sciver admires this story in particular because Johns and Dose "got to work resetting Flash to basics in this mysterious, Batman-styled tale."

Van Sciver said he got to hear Johns' plans for this story over the phone, so he admitted he's partial, but the artist still ranks "Ignition" as one of his favorites. "It's full of frigid, rainy Keystone City streets at night, corruption, Captain Cold, and it's a ton of fun," he said. "Albert Dose lends a minimalist, Mignola-esque hand to the pencils."

The Flash #174 (Vol. 1) - (flash-10-5) The Flash #174 (Vol. 1) - (flash-10-5)

5. The Flash #174 (Vol. 1) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino - Waid picks this as a favorite, particularly admiring the now-classic Carmine Infantino cover featuring the huge letters "F-L-A-S-H." As Waid explains, this was Carmine Infantino's last issue, which featured "Flash versus his entire Rogues Gallery." Plus, a giant reproduction of this issue's cover hangs on Waid's wall.

Superman #199 - (flash-10-4) Superman #199 - (flash-10-4)

4. Superman #199 by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan. Readers have to go back to this classic tale from 1967 to find the first Superman-Flash race, which Waid called his "all-time favorite" Flash story. "The image of Flash running up the side of a moving train, across the top, and down the other side, all in a nanosecond," Waid said, "will stick with me until the day I die."

3. The Flash #139-141 (Vol 2): "The Black Flash" by Grant Morrison/Mark Millar and Ron Wagner. After the character's official first appearance in #138, Morrison and Millar concluded their co-writing run on the Flash with "The Black Flash," a storyline that Johns named as one of his favorites. "Every story [in the Morrison/Millar run] introduces a modern-day Silver Age concept, but the Black Flash is perhaps the most compelling: A grim reaper, a dark entity from within the Speed Force that appears whenever a speedster is about to die."

2. The Flash #182 (Vol. 2) by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins - We couldn't let a Top 10 Flash list go by without mentioning Geoff Johns' pivotal work on the Flash's current Rogues gallery. The first of several Rogue profiles during Johns' run with Kolins and later Howard Porter, Flash #182 centered on Captain Cold and defined the character for a new generation of Flash fans. By the end of his run, Johns had turned the Rogues into multi-faceted characters who were both evil and somehow sympathetic.

This issue and later Rogues profiles led to another Johns story that almost made our list, Rogue War, and built characters who are now important enough to the DC Universe to carry last year's fan-favorite story Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge.

1. The Flash #74-79 (Vol. 2): "The Return of Barry Allen" by Mark Waid and Greg La Rocque. While the title alone makes it an appropriate leading story on the day The Flash: Rebirth is released, this story was named as a favorite by Rebirth writer Johns. "It's no secret that Mark Waid is one of my absolute favorite writers," Johns said. "I loved working with him on 52, I had the pleasure of getting to know him on a personal level over the years, and it made me that much fonder of his spectacular run on The Flash.

"Throughout the '90s, when I was really getting into comics, the Flash was my favorite book. He had always been my favorite character, but Mark blew me away with 'The Return of Barry Allen.'" Johns said that while he enjoyed the whole Waid run, this story remains his favorite.

"This storyline is what really launched his spectacular run on the title," Johns said. "You can see the germs within this story of everything that came afterward, including the creation of the enigmatic speed force."

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