My name is Dave the Herald, and I have the fastest Flash reading order introduction alive.
Where to Start With Flash Comics?
I) Golden Age Flash Comics (1940’s to 1950’s)
II) The Flash of Two Worlds – Flash kicks off the Silver Age of Comics (Late 1950’s through early 1980’s)
III) After Crisis on Infinite Earths – The Mark Waid Era of Flash (Late 1980’s to 1990’s)
IV) Geoff John’s Era of Flash (Early 2000’s to 2009)
V) Flash Rebirth & Flashpoint (2009 to 2011)
VI) New 52 Flash (2011 to 2016)
VII) DC Rebirth Flash
It all begins with Jay Garrick, the fastest hat alive.
Collects: Flash Comics #1 to #17
Collects: Flash Comics #18 to #24, All-Flash Comics #1 to #2
You can also check out Golden Age Flash’s appearances as a member of the Justice Society of America, in the likes of the All Star Comics Archives below.
All the way up to…
Enter the era of Barry Allen, the fastest man alive.
Collects: Flash Comics 104; Showcase 4, 8, 13, 14; The Flash 105-108
Collects: The Flash #109 to #116
Collects: The Flash #117 to #124
Collects: The Flash #125 to #132
Collects: The Flash #133 to #141
Collects: The Flash #142 to #150
Following Flash Archives Volume 6, collected Flash editions basically skips the whole gosh darn bronze age (approximately the 70’s). You can essentially mark a close to this era of the Flash with:
Collects: Flash #323 to #327, #329 to #336, and #340 to #350
In 1985, DC Comics launched the largest event in their history with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It’s a fascinating macro-event, with all sorts of continuity and editorial universe mandates, but most importantly for our purposes, it features major ramifications for The Flash.
As in, we’re going to need a new Flash. Enter the era of Wally West.
It’s worth noting here that there are over 60 issues of Flash comics from 1987 to 1992 that are uncollected, and weirdly almost never discussed. Whereas Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman saw some of their most iconic comics in the wake of Crisis, Flash wouldn’t reach the acclaimed Mark Waid run until issue #62.
Collects: Flash #62 to 65, Flash Annual #8, Speed Force #1, Flash 80-Page Giant #1
You can also enjoy Mark Waid’s run on Flash, now collected in full-size trades from DC as The Flash by Mark Waid Book One.
Collects: Graphic Novel
Sums up pre-Infinite Crisis Barry Allen Flash stories.
Collects: Green Lantern #30-31 & 40, The Flash #69-79, The Flash Annual #6, Justice League International Quarterly #10
The second expanded trade collecting Mark Waid’s run on Flash releases May, 2017. It will feature the previously uncollected Flash #69 to #73. Note that Flash #74 to #79 includes overlap with The Return of Barry Allen trade collected below!
Collects: Flash #74 to 79
This is as good a time as any to mention that if you work according to available collected trades, you’ll actually miss a sizable chunk of Mark Waid’s run on Flash. This is a darn shame, and until a much sought after omnibus edition is released, is simply the way of the trades. From what I can tell, the majority of this Flash run is available digitally.
Collects: Flash #92 to #94, Impulse #1 to #6
Collects: Flash #0, #95 to #100
Collects: Flash #108 to #111, Impulse #10 to #11
Here’s the Dead Heat crossover order:
Flash #108 to #109
Collects: Flash #112 to #118
Collects: JLA #1 to #9
I’d recommend reading the first 9 issue story arc from Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA here. Wally is a major player on the reconstituted JLA. If you want more, you can check out the Justice League reading order.
Grant Morrison & Mark Millar, two of the most well-known comics writers in the game, put together a co-written 12 issue stint on Flash from issue #130 to #141.
Collects: Flash #136 to #141, Secret Origins #50
While Geoff Johns is now just about the biggest name in DC Comics, his earlier work includes a long, sustained, and generally very solid run on The Flash.
Collects: Flash #164 to #169
Collects: Flash #170 to #176, The Flash Secret Files #3, The Flash: Iron Heights #1
Collects: Flash #177 to #182
Collects: Flash #183 to #191
Collects: Flash #192 to #200)
Collects: Flash #201 to #206)
Collects: Flash #207 to #211, #213 to #217
Collects: Flash #1/2, #212, #218, #220 to #225
Infinite Crisis is a DC Universe mega event penned by Geoff Johns. There’s a whole big reading order just for Infinite Crisis, and it’s a pretty major commitment if you’re just here for the Flash.
Final Crisis is another mega DC Universe event, and although I’m typically a Grant Morrison fan, it’s currently the second lowest rated comic on my best comics of all time rankings.
That said, there is a three issue ‘Rogues Revenge’ miniseries which is a good read for the Flash fanatic.
Blackest Night: Flash #1 to #3
Another DC Universe mega event to close out the era, this time penned by Geoff Johns as part of his 2000’s Green Lantern epic. There are some fairly important Flash ramifications here, most notably detailed in the three issue Blackest Night: Flash tie-in.
When DC references their long and storied history of classic ‘Rebirths,’ they’re basically talking about Geoff John’s work on Green Lantern: Rebirth with Hal Jordan, and then the next era of Flash on our list. This will lead all the way to Flashpoint, the most Flash-centric event of DC’s 2000’s, and the impetus for the controversial New 52!
Collects: The Flash: Rebirth #1 to #6
Collects: The Flash #1 to #7, The Flash Secret Files
Collects: The Flash #8 to #12
Collects: Flashpoint #1 to #5
Collects: Grodd of War #1, Kid Flash Lost #1 to #3, Legion of Doom #1 to #3, Reverse Flash #1, Citizen Cold #1 to #3
Collects: Emperor Aquaman #1 to #3, Outisder #1 to #3, Lois Lane and The Resistance #1 to #3, Wonder Woman and The Furies #1 to #3
Collects: World of Flashpoint #1 to #3, Booster Gold #44 to #47, The Canterbury Cricker #1, Project Superman #1 to #3)
Collects: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1 to #3, Deadman and The Flying Graysons #1 to #3, Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1 to #3, Secret Seven #1 to #3
Collects: Hal Jordan #1 to #3, Abin Sur #1 to #3, Frankenstein and The Creatures of the Unknown #1 to #3, Green Arrow Industries #1
If you want the full DC New 52 Reading Order, or want to see how each of these Flash issues fits within the New 52 as a whole, check out the full DC New 52 Reading Order!
Collects: Flash #1 to #8
Again, I’d encourage you to check out the complete New 52 reading order if you want very specific placement for all 6 issues of the Forever Evil Rogues Rebellion tie-in comics.
Collects: Flash #48 to #52
At the time of publication, DC Rebirth brings a new status quo for all things Flash (and the DC Universe as a whole). As a matter of (flash) fact, the Flash family is at the center of DC Universe Rebirth #1, in some thrilling and poignant ways. The launch of this entire new universe makes a whole lot more sense if you have this Flash reading order under your belt.
You can check out the full DC Rebirth experience with Comic Book Herald’s complete DC Rebirth reading order.
Collects: The Flash: Rebirth #1, The Flash #1 to #8
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