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Comic Book / The Flash (Rebirth)

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Barry, with Godspeed behind him, and Captain Cold, Iris, and Kid Flash below him.

The Flash is a 2016 comic book series published bimonthy by DC Comics as part of their DC Rebirth rebranding initiative. It is written by Joshua Williamson, and drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe.

The series continues Barry Allen's adventures as The Flash from the New 52 series. It is a direct sequel to the DC Rebirth one-shot which featured the return of pre-Flashpoint Wally West, as well as numerous revelations made regarding the creation of the new universe.

In the wake of this. the Speed Force becomes tempremental, resulting in several people becoming newly empowered by it, the seams in the tapestry of DC's history begin to reveal themselves as a result of the walls of reality weakening. The sins of the Flashes catch up to Barry as old threats and new powers emerge to take advantage of the malleable nature of reality. Simultaneously, the Rogues have returned, more vengeful than ever, and have decided to move past their blue collar ways to make a bid for true supervillainy. Luckily, Barry has help — Wallace West, Barry's new protege and the cousin to Wally, and Avery Ho, a newly empowered speedster.


From issue 45, the arc Flash War focused on Barry and Wally dealing with the return of Hunter Zolomon. Tropes for that can be seen over in its own page.

With issue 89, the series was renumbered to 750 as part of a Milestone Celebration.

The series crossed over with Batman (Tom King) for The Button. This crossover follows up on a plotline from DC Universe: Rebirth #1 — Batman's discovery of the Comedian's button in the Batcave — serving as one of the first direct follow-ups on the Watchmen Myth Arc present throughout the Rebirth line. The series also took part in the Endless Winter crossover.

The series saw a revamp as part of DC Infinite Frontier. While the numbering is continued, the revamp sees a big status quo shift, as Barry leaves Earth Prime to join Justice Incarnate, while Wally West takes up the role of Earth Prime's main Flash and protagonist of the series. Tropes for that run can be found on The Flash (Infinite Frontier).


Tropes included in The Flash volume five:

  • Abusive Parents: James Jesse's parents, are directly responsible for his attitude, caring more about using him to commit scams and theft than actually raising him.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: Fuerza tends to ignore the Gravity Master powers of the Strength Force, preferring just to focus on using it to punch people really hard.
  • Alternate Self: In issue 52, Barry consults the speedsters of the multiverse about the other Forces out there.
  • Arc Words: "Every second is a gift."
  • Asshole Victim: Psych lies, cheats, steals and uses the Sage Force to murder people. He's also the only victim of the Black Flash's attempts to kill the Force Users to actually die.
  • Back from the Dead: As a consequence of Barry erasing Reverse-Flash's villainy, the Renegades are brought back from the dead.
  • Bad Future: Barry's initial experiments with his superpowers wind up transporting him into a Central City ruled by the Turtle.
  • Big Eater: Fuerza, apparently as a result of using the Strength Force.
  • Book Ends: Williamson’s run on the title begins with the origin of Godspeed, and August Heart’s quest to bring his brother’s killer to justice; the final arc begins with Godspeed’s death and The Reveal that Eobard Thawne was the killer.
  • Break the Badass: Captain Cold's time in Belle Reeve working on the Suicide Squad does a number on him, so much so he actually tries to get a guard to kill him.
  • Broken Aesop: Despite the fact that multiple people get angry at Barry because of his lying and because his causing Flashpoint ruined everyone's lives, they eventually forgive him just because he admits he screwed up and is sorry...which is the full extent of what he does for atonement instead of actually doing anything to fix what he caused, like making a genuine effort to help Wally find Jai and Irey. So basically, it goes to show as long as you apologize and say you're sorry, the scope of your misdeeds (no matter if it's literally a universe-violating screw-up that erased and ruined the lives of untold billions of people) doesn't matter.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After being away for some time, Captain Cold returns in the back-up story of issue 75.
    • Pied Piper returns in issue 87 to help Barry, Wallace and Avery get a fix on their powers.
    • In issue 759, Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash, along with Max Mercury and Jesse Quick, return. Max and Jesse return to the real world the following issue.
  • Call-Back:
    • In issue 57, Iris gets a memory of her pre-Flashpoint life in the 30th century, during the time Barry was dead.
    • In order to defeat Zoom, Barry draws the entire Speed Force into himself, like he did during Flashpoint.
    • When Barry and Eobard are fighting, Eobard has the upper hand and is about to win, only for Wally to intervene with a well-placed lightning strike. This is exactly what happened with Wally fought Eobard in "The Return of Barry Allen".
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After Godspeed turns on him, Paradox tells him the only reason he's still alive is because Paradox needs him for his plan.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During issue 750, the back-up story with Jay Garrick has a brief moment of the Reverse-Flash taunting him about his future fate of being forgotten. Some issues later, this turns out to be part of his manipulation of the entire Flash family.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Through "Year One", there's a man who keeps showing up in the background. Issue 88 reveals this guy is Paradox, the villain who escaped 25th century Iron Heights at the end of Flash War.
  • Chest Insignia: The other Forces turn out to have their own chest symbols, just like the Flash lightning bolt. The Strength Force is a wave-sign, Sage is a triangle, and the Still Force looks like a turtle shell.
  • C-List Fodder: Given a lampshade hanging in the back-up story of issue 75. Captain Cold doesn't know the name of the guy working with him on the Suicide Squad, and doesn't particularly care when his head gets blown up.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the Forces has a different aura to it - Strength is red, Sage blue, and Still green.
  • Continuity Nod: During "Year of the Villain", Barry and Iris are able to check Hunter Zolomon's history, which had previously been sealed shut by ARGUS, because of its collapse over in Event: Leviathan.
  • Costume Evolution: "Year One", being an origin story, has Barry working on his Flash outfit. It doesn't become the Flash outfit until his showdown with the Turtles.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Year of the Villain covers are pretty bad about this one, showing Barry fighting the upgraded Rogues. In fact, up until halfway through the storyline, he doesn't even run into them.
  • Depower: As a result of the other Forces showing up, the Flashes start losing their powers. When Psych is killed by the Black Flash, some of their powers start coming back.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When Iris is interviewing a woman about her her son for a story, she offers her sympathies to the melancholic lady. The woman then asks if Iris has any kids, to which Iris says no but sheepishly brings up that she's currently living with and taking care of her nephew Wallace. The woman immediately references the trope by pointing out that Iris still takes care of him and loves him, further hammering the point by asking how Iris would feel if something happened to "that nephew of yours.".
  • Dramatic Unmask: Subverted. In order to try and get Fuerza to trust him, Barry unmasks himself. However, knowing his name and what he looks like doesn't really mean anything to her.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Turbine, the New 52 version of the Top, gets murdered in his cell off-screen by Captain Cold, just as the original Top returns.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: James Jesse is miffed that despite having once tricked Neron, nobody respects him any more, and the Flash doesn't consider him his greatest enemy (Barry flat-out tells him he hasn't thought about the guy in years).
  • Enemy Mine: Golden Glider teams up with Barry to stop Captain Cold when he takes over Central City. The minute they're done, however, she frees Len from prison.
  • Evil Counterpart: Turns out the 25th century doesn't just have a Reverse-Flash, it's also got an evil version of Elongated Man: Elongated Maniac.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: After Flash War, Hunter Zolomon is murdering the Flashes of the multiverse.
  • Expy: Paradox is a villain with a very strong grudge against a hero for (indirectly and inadvertently) ruining his life in an event that also empowered him, who uses time travel to kill said hero repeatedly, growing stronger each time he does, with the ultimate goal of destroying said hero's entire legacy. He's to Flash what Gog was to Superman.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The speak...slowly, so when as he recounts his backstory to Barry, he starts speeding up, Barry probably should've noticed a little sooner that something was up. The Turtle was draining his energy as they were talking.
  • Foreshadowing: While investigating the Strength Force-infused Trickster, it's noted that all the files relating to the original Trickster, James Jesse, are missing. A few issues later, it turns out this is because Wolfe destroyed them all out of pride and spite.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In the "Finish Line" arc, Wally intervenes with his Doctor Manhattan powers when Barry and Eobard are fighting. This is achieved with a lighting strike, as a call back to "The Return of Barry Allen", when Wally's fight with Eobard had a similar incident. Why didn't Wally just straight-up disintegrate Eobard or something, given his powers? Unexplained, though it does work out for the plot later on.
  • Future Me Scares Me: During "Year One", Barry meets a version of himself from the future, and is alarmed by him.
  • Godhood Seeker: Paradox's ultimate goal is to absorb energies released by the Crisises to become a god. He briefly achieves this...until Eobard Thawne goes back in time and saves his past self from being negatively affected by the Flash's battle with the Turtle in the first place.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hunter Zolomon, of all people, gives his life to seal the Black Flash and the Forever Force away.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Paradox, a mystery villain from the 25th century, who really hates the Flashes for making him lose his own family. He sends Godspeed to gather speed force samples from Barry, Wallace, and the Flash of China. Worse yet, he also has a knowledge of both the original Crisis and Flashpoint.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: "Year One" shows Barry trying to figure out his newly acquired super-speed. He goes through a lot of sneakers before managing to find friction-proof material, never mind the problems of breaking.
  • Immune to Bullets: As Commander Cold and Alison Burns fight Razer, Alison angrily notes he's this. He's not immune to being frozen solid, however.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Barry and Wallace find out in "Sins of the Father" that Daniel West died when with the Suicide Squad in New Suicide Squad.
    • Commander Cold tells Burns he's from the future on realizing they're about to run into the Trickster.
  • It's All About Me: Barry's Fatal Flaw. Aside from thinking It's All My Fault (see below), Barry makes a habit of always thinking of the problem in how it affects him and how he feels guilty and bad for failing. Gets to the point where everyone has to constantly remind him of one simple fact...
    "It's not about you."
  • It's All My Fault: Barry, on finding Gorilla City devastated, starts blaming himself. Iris interrupts, tells him this is bullshit, and points out he's so busy blaming himself he's not actually paying attention to other things.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Iris and Barry keep secrets from one another (for Iris, the fact she remembers being married to Barry), and it makes both of them miserable.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the second annual, Godspeed's mystery backer tells him to get out rather than face Impulse.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After years of being a jerk, issue 69 sees Wolfe's misdeeds exposed thanks to the Trickster, and he's arrested. While he doesn't get dumped in Iron Heights (Trickster blew it up), he does get put in the cell next to Captain Cold in Belle Reeve.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • When Iris talks about Wally's significance as the Flash to people, even if they've forgotten him, it applies in-universe. However, it's pretty clear it's also coming from a meta perspective about Wally's place in the franchise.
    Iris West: You see...Wally always wanted to be like his Uncle Barry. And for a long time, he thought that meant being as fast as him or a great hero. But what I wish Wally would understand is that the thing he has the most in common with that he inspires others to be heroes. That it's more than saving lives. He looks up to Barry. Barry was HIS Flash. But for a whole generation, even if they've now forgotten...he was theirs.
    • Some of Paradox's ranting at Barry in issue #751 mirror fan complaints about Barry and his treatment by DC over the last ten years.
    Paradox: You're not the first Flash, and you're far from the last. But you're the one who is written about the most. The one who shapes the Flash legacy. Why are you the one worthy of the myth? Oh, I know...because you died. You're the great savior. The hero of the multiverse. The martyr. But you came back and did...what? What good have you done since your return that is greater than your own death? You know what I think, Flash? YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED DEAD.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Issue #750's main story ends with Paradox telling Godspeed to attack Barry, which he does. Subverted in the next issue, when August reveals he was just playing along until Paradox went on the inevitable Motive Rant.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Psych uses his psychic powers to skim Barry's mind, finds out about his mom issues and uses them to trick Barry into trusting him.
  • Mind Rape: Psych uses the Sage Force to rip a lot of secrets out of Roulette's mind.
  • Never Found the Body: In issue 53, Trickster is apparently crushed by falling rubble, and despite Barry's best efforts he can't find the body. The end of the issue reveals he is in fact alive and well.
  • Not Me This Time: Investigating Gorilla City, Flash assumes the devastation is the work of Grodd. The survivors tell him that it isn't, since Grodd wouldn't have killed so many apes (mainly because the military were loyal to him). It turns out the culprit is Hunter Zolomon.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Issue 76 begins with Wallace and Avery having already mopped the floor with a gang of Barry's C-listers.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. Commander Cold's real name is Henry, the same as Barry's father, a fact he's aware of.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: On Barry's return to Central City in issue 67, the immediate tip off that something is massively, massively wrong is both Wolfe and Singh are happy.
  • Origins Episode: The "Year One" storyline, starting with issue 70.
  • Outlaw Couple: Gemini, a pair of criminals Barry encounters on his Force Quest, who've been committing crimes since stumbling onto an abandoned lab since the 40s, and have developed a taste for the Forces. They stop being a couple when Psych uses his powers to kill.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Confused and irritated by the fact everyone he knows seems to be missing, Bart lets loose a "what the sprock?!"
  • Pet the Dog: In the second annual, Warden Wolfe lets Meena out of her cell to assist the police, an astoundingly magnanimous gesture from him.
  • Police Brutality: Cauldron, a vicious corrupt cop Barry encounters in Corto Maltese, fighting Fuerza. He's not above holding innocent people hostage, or just shooting his underlings in the head for talking back to him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In the second annual, Wallace learns from Barry what happened to Wally over in Heroes in Crisis, and immediately assumes Barry's been keeping the secret from Iris, and lets loose with a What the Hell, Hero?, without ever learning that Barry had only just learned what happened a few minutes prior.
  • Pungeon Master: One of the key differences between Commander Cold and Captain Cold is that Commander Cold still cracks puns, a character trait Captain has long since outgrown.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Iris leaves Central City after the events of Heroes in Crisis, needing space from Barry.
    • After being a supporting character from annual #2 onward, Avery is shoved onto a bus off-screen after issue 88. Steadfast and Fuerza go with her.
  • Recognition Failure: It's been so long since Barry last encountered James Jesse, and he thought so little of him to begin with, that when he meets him in his civilian identity, he doesn't recognize the guy.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Steadfast, the second user of the Still Force, is helpful and heroic, unlike the Turtle.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Augustus Heart, who supposedly was Barry's BFF before the lightning bolt, introduced in issue 1. Blame the Cosmic Retcon.
  • Ret-Gone: Barry uses the Speed Force to ground himself, so when Eobard attacks him, his life as the Reverse-Flash is entirely erased from history.
  • The Reveal:
    • The other Forces were opposed to the Speed Force, and the Speed Force avatar locked them all away.
    • That clown who killed Hunter Zolomon's father in-law and crippled him? He really didn't have a gun. Eobard Thawne gave him one just before the standoff.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Trickster forces Barry to chose between stopping him, or saving the citizens of Central City from Sage Force-induced madness. Barry chooses the later, and the Trickster gets away.
  • Secret Identity Apathy: Barry tries to get Fuerza to trust him by unmasking and revealing his name. She says she doesn't know him and doesn't care who he is.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Iris finds out she and Barry were married before the Cosmic Retcon, but doesn't tell Barry about it.
    • The gorillas of Gorilla City knew about the other Forces centuries before Barry did.
  • Sequel Hook: In the midst of Barry's monologue at the end of issue 762 is Doctor Alchemy sitting in a cell, muttering "soon" to himself.
  • Spotting the Thread: Both Barry and Meena notice something off with Godspeed on his return.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Justified with the Strength Force. Its power is situational, so if the user lifts a tank, the energy focuses so they can lift it, reallocating it from where they might've been using it otherwise.
  • There Is Another: Issue #49 reveals there are other forces besides the Speed Force, sealed behind a barrier within it that Hunter Zolomon tricked Barry and Wally into breaking. They are the Sage Force, the Strength Force and the Still Force.
  • Trapped in the Past: Commander Cold of the Renegades gets stuck in the modern day after Flash War renders time-travel impossible. Neither he or Barry are exactly happy about it.
  • Trapped in Villainy: When Godspeed returns in the second annual, he's being made to attack the other speedsters by Paradox.
  • Unperson: After James Jesse escaped Iron Heights, Warden Wolfe had all his records destroyed...which just made it easier for James to lay low.
  • The Un-Smile: Everyone in Central City when the Trickster uses the Sage Force to make them happy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Zolomon's sacrifice does save Fuerza and Steadfast from Black Flash-related death, but at the same time the backlash it causes depowers Wallace and Avery just as they're facing some souped-up Rogues, and it leaves them vulnerable to a vicious ass-kicking.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: At the end of issue 69, a new avatar of the Still Force appears to Barry in the crime lab, and tells him an unknown threat is coming for the multiverse.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Warden Gregory Wolfe of Iron Heights, a man so unpleasant the Rogues are terrified of him. He also has absolutely no compunctions about trying to have Barry killed, repeatedly, even when Barry saves his life from the consequences of his actions.
  • Wham Line: "The Speed, Sage, Strength, and Still Forces were never a team. They were enemies. Their destiny is war. They battle to survive...and for control of the Forever Force."
  • Wham Shot: Issue 53 ends with Trickster being asked for a team-up by...the original Trickster.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Wolfe is placed in Belle Reeve, right next to Captain Cold. In issue #75, Lex Luthor blows up a chunk of the prison to break Cold out. Wolfe isn't seen or mentioned at all.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Barry tends to be on the receiving end of a lot of these. Usually from Wallace. Sometimes he deserves them, sometimes he doesn't.
    • Iris unleashes one on Barry and Batman during "The Price", mainly because she's still raw about Wally's apparent death in Heroes in Crisis. She gets over it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: During issue 59, Barry gets attacked by some gorillas. Then he punches one and learns it's a robot, at which point he shrugs, and tears them to pieces without hesitation.

Alternative Title(s): The Flash 2016