Flash Chronicles, Volume 1 Paperback – 21 Jul 2010
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
It seems quite fair to say that the Flash is one of the more widely-known superheroes gifted with super speed in comic book mass/pop culture; and Barry Allen, as the second person to pick up the Flash mantle, following the Golden Age Flash active during World War Two, has been widely recognised as the first hero to usher in the Silver Age of Comics, when old characters were reinvented for a new generation during the late fifties and early sixties. This was due to a decline in comic book sales with superheroes, where only the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were published without hiatus. However, when DC did eventually decide to reinvigorate the superhero format with a newer version of a Golden Age character, little did they know that this would result in a mass explosion of similar modern interpretations of previously used heroes, including Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Atom, amongst others.
In much similar vein to the previously released trade paperback collections of the 'Superman Chronicles' and 'Batman Chronicles', the 'Flash Chronicles' series, as stated above, is DC Comics' attempt to re-publish every Silver Age Flash story in exact chronological order. This starts in Volume 1, released on 29 September 2009, with the republication of the magazine that introduced the Second Flash in Showcase #4, which pits our titular hero against the Turtle Man, who operated criminal activities in super-slow motion as opposed to the Flash's super-speed abilities. Later issues would introduce the Flash's famous rogues gallery of themed supervillains, which have plagued the Scarlet Speedster and his successors to this very day.
This first volume of the Flash Chronicles re-publishes the aforementioned Showcase #4, along with issues 8, 13 and 14, and picking up the numbering of the original Flash Comics series in issues #105-6, from publication date October 1956 to May 1959. These stories are very simple and, as was the way within the late fifties and early sixties, utilised a more science-fiction stylised format, with a prison rocket-craft from the future carrying the criminal named Kazdan from the fiftieth century, and an individual being the last of his race being buried for millennia from before the time of humankind, who attempts to re-take the Earth populace by force using his immense mental power. Additionally, within these issues, we are introduced to such famous rogues and villains within the DC Universe, such as the freeze-gun carrying Captain Cold, Dr Alchemy, Mirror Master, the Pied Piper (who uses a lot of unintended sexual innuendo in his dialogue!), and Gorilla Grodd from Gorilla City, who is a pivotal villain throughout the Flash series of Comics and the extended universe that DC superheroes and villains reside in. Barry Allen's girlfriend, and subsequent wife Iris West, is also introduced here, alongside the rightful ruler of Gorilla City in Africa, King Solovar.
Barry gained his powers by a freak bolt of lightning that splashed certain chemicals over him, granting him the power of super-speed (which was eventually revealed to be pre-destined by Barry himself, granting these abilities to himself and his nephew Wally, from within the Speed Force, following his defeat and sacrifice at the hands of the all-powerful Anti-Monitor). Even though the stories presented here can seem rather repetitive, with a villain appearing and having to be defeated in time for Barry to keep his date with Iris for most of the time, this tome sets out a precedent for what was one of the most important introductions in DC Comic Book lore. Additionally, in later issues of Flash Comics, Barry's sidekick (alias Kid Flash) and eventual successor, Wally West, was revealed to DC's reader audience, and more speedster history was flushed out.
What is interesting about the Silver Age iteration of the Flash is that he has endured in popularity throughout the many years that DC has been releasing comic books, even after his 'death' in the Multiverse-shattering event of the mid-eighties, known as 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'. Barry Allen was in fact the individual who stumbled across the DC Multiverse in a later story, in which he vibrated his molecular structure so fast during a public exhibition that he phased into the parallel world of Earth-Two, in which most of DC Comics' war-time Golden Age superheroes were said to reside, including the original Flash, Jay Garrick of the Justice Society of America (an earlier iteration of the famous Justice League of America), who he teamed up with on occasion, and during the Society and League's annual 'Crisis' team-ups.
Barry's death during the aforementioned 'Crisis on Infinite Earths', in which the infinite number of parallel worlds were streamlined into one unified timeline, made him an unforgettable martyr within the DC superhero community, and within comic book lore in general, and he has since returned from the dead in Final Crisis, having actually been revealed to be running from 'Death' from within the Speed Force. He has also subsequently been transformed into a Black Lantern during the Blackest Night storyline, a Blue Lantern in the following Brightest Day event, and has had his history streamlined yet again in the New 52, after having a pivotal role in the Flashpoint maxi-series/event, which resulted in the DC, Wildstorm and Vertigo Universes being merged into one, in order to bring about more modern re-interpretations of pre-existing characters for a wider audience.
'The Flash Chronicles - Volume 1' serves as a great and more affordable introduction to the more widely-known iteration of the Flash, and is a nice accompaniment to the many other 'Chronicles' series published by DC Comics in trade paperback format. With the Scarlet Speedster's many adventures also collected within the 'Archives' series and the more recent 'Omnibus' volumes, these paperback collections are a great way to get introduced to the first hero of the Silver Age of Comic Books, who ushered in the reinvention of the superhero franchise, and has endured as a popular character within the public consciousness to this very day.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Look for similar items by category