Despite fans having massive reservations about their fan-favorite superheroes dying, sometimes their deaths are great to further up the story or a major event that will be a game changer in the long run. The Flash is one of those characters because his powers and speed force let him time-travel and have a chance to change the realities. Of course, those “missions” and efforts don’t always go well for the others, but it brings us some amazing stories. There have been multiple Flashes in the DC Universe, and we will discuss how many times the speedster died in DC Comics.
The Flash died multiple times in the comics, with few having a major impact on DC Universe. There have been at least six deaths between Wally West, Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, and Bart Allen in the comics. The most prominent deaths are during ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ when Barry Allen sacrifices himself to save the multiverse and New 52, which saw DC basically erasing Wally West and his family from reality.
Of course, each of these deaths was important, but like most comic book characters, most deaths occurred in alternate universes. If you’re interested in this topic, stay with us until the end.
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths
The most notable major event in any comic is definitely the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths.’ This major crossover between Earth-One and Earth-Two superheroes (Golden Age superheroes) showcased the impact one powerful being can have on the multiverse and how a superhero’s sacrifice can impact the media forever. It seems dramatic, but it was in 1985 when this story occurred.
Anti-Monitor is building a weapon of mass destruction, with which he wants to destroy the multiverse. When antimatter starts consuming the multiverse, Barry Allen stops the weapon, running extremely fast to repel the fatal attack. He succeeds, but his effort exhausts him to the point of death. After this event, Barry Allen stayed dead for 23 years, after which he returned to DC Universe. Of course, Wally West took over the Flash mantle from his uncle.
2. Bart Allen suffers a brutal death during ‘The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive’ storyline
‘The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive,’ which ran from 2006 to 2009, sees Bart Allen as the speedster The Flash. Barry Allen is still dead, while Wally West is presumably dead after the ‘Infinite Crisis’ crossover in 2006. Bart Allen assumes the mantle of the Flash, hides the fact that Speed Force still exists, and threatens to overwhelm him.
After trying to live his normal life, Bart sees his grandmother from the future, Iris West, warn him of the Rogues, who are trying to build a machine that will stop time and use it for their own goals.
Of course, to stop them and fight them, Bart Allen reveals himself as the Flash to the Rogues and realizes that the machine actually drains Speed Force from individuals, which automatically puts Bart in great danger. Rogues use the machine on Bart, who loses his powers, and that moment summons Black Flash, the speedster’s version of Death.
Eventually, Bart is killed by Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Weather Wizard in the #13 issue of the comic, marking the end of the third Flash. Of course, Wally West chooses his moment to return, but Bart’s death is still impactful because he stayed dead for two years before appearing again in the DC Universe, returning as a teenager.
3. Wally West and his family were erased from the DC Universe due to New 52 and Flashpoint events in the comics
One of the most controversial decisions during New 52 was to erase Wally West and his family from existence and introduce a new version of the character, Wallace West, who was the son of Rudy West and biracial. Of course, this particular detail isn’t important, but it seems that creators and writers from DC misinterpreted the wishes of their fans because they instantly disliked the character.
DC Rebirth retconned Wallace West’s origin story, making him the cousin of Wally and hinting that Wally will eventually come back. After making Teen Titans forget Wally as their teammate, the speedster finally fully returns to the DC Universe, explaining that during the Flashpoint event, Wally was stuck in the Speed Force for ten years and eventually returned as The Flash for good. Nevertheless, DC erased its most prominent character and quickly regretted its decision.
4. ‘Heroes in Crisis’ storyline sees Wally West being shot and killed in the psychiatric facility
One of the most interesting storylines in recent memory is when the Flash needs to investigate his own death. In ‘Heroes in Crisis,’ a mass murder occurs in a superhero rehabilitation facility known as Sanctuary, including Wally West. The whole storyline explores Wally’s state of mind after his return to the normal world, where he expresses sadness and confesses that he is lonely. Mental health issues bring him to the Sanctuary, where he becomes responsible for the massacre.
It is later revealed that Wally’s PTSD and trauma from no one knowing him motivated him to uncover the truth about other superheroes in the facility – he realizes that everyone also fights their trauma. Instead of feeling secure, Wally gets overwhelmed by emotions and loses control of his powers. He kills everyone and decides to cover his tracks by killing his future self. Quite a remarkable storyline that every Flash fan has to read.
5. Evil twin of Barry Allen Cobalt Blue kills his universe’s Barry Allen, and Wally West needs to stop the evil speedster
We saw the version of Barry Allen’s evil twin brother in ‘The Flash’ series, but his original counterpart from the comics first appeared in 1997, during Barry Allen’s absence in DC Universe.
Wally West is the current Flash, but while he travels the multiverse and timelines, and stumbles upon the evil twin of Barry Allen, Malcolm Thawne, known as Cobalt Blue. The villain killed Barry Allen from another timeline while Wally tried to take the deceased Barry’s place. Of course, this plan doesn’t work, so Wally needs to return in time to save the different version of his uncle. The story is confusing, but it can be cool for some readers.
6. Jay Garrick is tricked and killed by Johnny Quick during the ‘Countdown Arena’ storyline
The spin-off of another DC comic book ‘Countdown,’ ‘Countdown: Arena’ sees the supervillain Monarch organizing battles for many different characters from all over the multiverse.
Among the alternate versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and others, Jay Garrick from Earth-2 is also “invited” to the event and is put in the battle against two other versions of The Flash – Lia Nelson from Earth-9 and Johnny Quick from Earth-3. The latter is significant since he is the evil counterpart of the Flash from Earth-2. During the battle, Jay Garrick almost defeats Quick, but when he hesitates, the evil speedster uses the moment to phase his hand through Jay Garrick’s neck, ultimately killing him.
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