The Flash

This question uses Wikipedia's wording to introduce the character. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it looked to me like another example of Wikipedia's tendency for overkill in the matter of subject definition. How can you have several superheroes with the same name?

The answer, of course, is that DC Comics can do what it likes with its superheroes. To try to make sense of it might seem to be taking it just a tad too seriously, but I am not one to leave a story half told.

Here's what I've managed to work out.

The original Flash was Jay Garrick, who was introduced in 1940. He was discontinued in 1951, but re–introduced in 1961 with an updated persona. He is still active as the Flash, and a member of the Justice Society.

Meanwhile, in 1956, a second flash was introduced. Barry Allen named himself The Flash after his childhood hero, Jay Garrick. Wikipedia informs us (with an apparently straight face) that "Barry sacrificed his life for the universe in 1985 ... and remained dead for over twenty years ... Barry returned to the DC Universe [in 2009] ... [and later in] a new volume of The Flash ongoing series, where Barry's adventures as the Scarlet Speedster are currently published."

While Barry was dead, his nephew Wally West (originally introduced in 1959 as Kid Flash) "took over as the fastest man alive". Wally left Earth in 2011, with his wife Linda and their twins, "for an unknown dimension". He returned in 2016, and is apparently still active.

While Wally was The Flash, Barry's grandson Bart Allen took over the role of Kid Flash (having previously been known as Impulse – a teenage sidekick of one of the other Flashes). In 2006 he actually became The Flash.

Wikipedia lists (and describes) six other characters who have "carried the mantle of The Flash". At this point however I am losing the will to live.

In summary: DC Comics has created several characters with the power of superhuman speed, and they have all used the name The Flash. Turns out Wikipedia was right after all.

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