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  • Adorkable: Out of all Flashes, Barry comes across as the most socially awkward, clumsiest one. His lack of punctuality, terrible humor, his love for comics and anything related to science, and his Wide-Eyed Idealist makes him even more adorkable.
    • Though Barry is most known for it, this is a trait shared by all of them. Jay Garrick in the Golden Age was a goofy dork himself, while Wally's often childish tendencies make him an endearing goofball (for proof, see the time Linda and Frankie bonded over making fun of his diet, which amounted to "what a child would eat if they didn't have parental supervision", or his reaction to getting a haircut). Bart is often adorableness personified, especially with his small stature, tendency to wear clothes too big for him, and easily distracted nature as a result of his ADHD. Even Jesse is an endearingly bossy big sister to Bart, is a self-described bookworm, and takes herself way more seriously then she should but can't resist being playful with her powers.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Hunter Zolomon. Does he truly believe that tragedy will make Wally better, and is merely too mentally unbalanced to realize that he himself could be a hero as he meets his own criteria for a great hero? Or is he just a sad, broken man looking for an excuse to attack Wally's friends and family because Wally didn't help him? Or is it a mix of both? The comic where he becomes Zoom has him note in his internal monologue that he feels like his grasp on reality is slipping away, giving evidence that he really is just that crazy. There is also the entire suicidal undertone to his story. Hunter reaches his goal when Wally takes the necessary step and kills him. He dedicates his entire life to trying to get killed by Wally which just shows how much he's given up on his identity for the sake of "helping" his probably only friend.
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    • Is Barry a flawed, but ultimately heroic person trying to learn from his mistakes or is he a broken shell of a man who is willing to cheat his way to happiness at the expense of others?
    • A major source of the Barry-Wally conflict comes down to this. On the one side, they see Barry not as the Nice Guy he's supposed to be, but just someone who acts nice so people forgive him, but is actually selfish, self-absorbed, and unable to trust anyone with anything. On the other side, they see Wally not as the charismatic Deadpan Snarker he's supposed to be, but an arrogant Jerkass who treats people badly, is needlessly rude and often cruel to people even if on the inside he cares. Essentially, it comes down to Barry being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing vs Wally being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and debate on which is more justified.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: Paradox, a villain Williamson introduces in Flash vol 6 issue 50, and who gets built up as a supreme threat over the next three years, being so evil and dangerous even the Reverse-Flash looks like a hero compared to him. But when he finally starts doing something, he's defeated in a few issues via time-travel.
  • Arc Fatigue: The Rebirth era suffers hugely from this. From the very start of Rebirth, it was teased that the Flash Family would return, with Johnny Thunder's mention of the missing Justice Society happening in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Jay briefly returns in "The Button", but little else happened until, over 20 issues later, with Bart Allen returning, complete with his pre-Flashpoint memories...and not interacting with the Flash cast at all, instead leaving to re-establish Young Justice. Jay Garrick returned in Doomsday Clock but not really appearing in anything else due to editorial plans shifting. It would take until the last arc of Joshua Williamson's run, about 4 years later, for the Flash Family to be finally brought back.
  • Ass Pull:
    • "Because Speed Force" has become a way of mocking the endless crap that happens because of the Speed Force for some reason or another. When Waid introduced it, it was just where the Flashes got their speed and granted them some extra abilities. Now? It can seemingly do whatever the writer wants.
    • Depending on who you ask Doctor Manhattan being revealed in Rebirth to be the one responsible for the continuity reboot is just a cheap way for writers to absolve Barry of any guilt for his involvement in said continuity reboot.
    • The Rogues' Heel–Face Turn, which had been developed organically over the course of the Post-Crisis Flash era, is revealed to be the result of Heel–Face Brainwashing, just so that Geoff Johns could quickly revert them back to their Pre-Crisis characterization.
    • Barry's return is never actually explained, though this might be chocked up to the general incomprehensibility of Final Crisis.
    • Barry creating the Speed Force itself with his accident. Besides the fact it's obvious Fan Wank canonized by Geoff Johns to promote his favorite character's importance among the Flash mythos, but the logistics of it are completely at odds with the very nature of the Speed Force in any other story. It's said elsewhere to be a fundamental aspect of the universe itself, at one point explicitly stated to be what makes the passage of time possible, so for it to also be a creation of Barry makes little sense.
    • Similarly, the 'other Forces' (Still Force, Strength Force, etc.), introduced during Flash War. These could have been used to explain certain characters' abilities like the Speed Force didnote , but are instead treated as previously untapped resources and the way they work are at odds with anything from the DCU. They conflict with the aforementioned concept of the Speed Force being a fundamental aspect of reality, and the concept of it being created by Barry's accident.
    • Eobard Thawne's ability to subtly influence and hypnotize people using the Negative Speed Force, making him responsible for every Out-of-Character Moment in the Rebirth era; it's never been indicated as a power of his, and its introduction is sloppy and cheap as a reveal. However, it's also mostly well-recieved as an Author's Saving Throw for redeeming Wally of his actions in Heroes in Crisis as well as other similar things (potentially including unrelated events like Damian Wayne's controversial Sanity Slippage in Teen Titans, thanks to Wallace's compliance with it).
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • You'd think Barry and Iris might occasionally think of their children Don and Dawn, and the fact the two of them are dead, every once in a while, but nope. Even in the continuities where they remember the two exist at all, instances of acknowledging the twins are vanishingly rare.
    • In "Finish Line", Josh Williamson's last arc, when Barry meets Max and Jesse in the Speed Force, they immediately forgive Barry for Flashpoint, claiming he's already suffered enough for it (something that is demonstrably not true). So, they forgive him for accidentally erasing them from existence and trapping them in the Speed Force for years and forgetting about them, which according to Jesse also caused her father to become permanently erased from history as he was already dead prior to Flashpoint, never mind that Jesse was married and had just had a child right before Flashpoint, too. While it's probably better we didn't get more guilt-derived angst for Barry, one can't help but think Jesse (who's never been one to mince words or easily forgive slights) would be a lot more angrier.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • DC Rebirth #1 for Wally West fans. The New 52 Wally West proved to be a very big Replacement Scrappy, and Wally fans just refused to accept him. Rebirth brings back the original Wally West while retconning the new Wally into the cousin of the original. It worked out really well, since Wally II (known from here on o ut as Wallace) is no longer Wally's replacement, meaning that classic Wally fans were much more willing to give Wallace a chance (it helps that his Jerkass tendencies were reigned in by this point). Wally's return also retconned back his history as Kid Flash, thereby retroactively making Bar Torr the second Kid Flash and Wallace the third, meaning even the legacy is intact! Turns out you can please them all!
    • Dan Abnett's handling of Wally in Titans (Rebirth) was particularly despised for how it removed his relationship with Linda Park, as well as how it neglected to give him any life outside of superheroics, while also keeping him out of appearing in The Flash. So of course, the series eventually acknowledges this, before shipping Wally off to The Flash for a much hyped annual, where his new status quo in the Flash Family is set up.
    • Flash War is somewhat this and an Audience-Alienating Premise rolled into one. On the one hand, it's finally going to move the plot along about Wally's family and the missing Speedsters, as well as being a storyline that puts primary focus on Wally West over Barry Allen. However, being that it's based on the premise of Wally and Barry turning on one another and deciding once and for all who's really the Fastest Man Alive between them, some are upset to see the two fighting, or are cynical about the chances of DC letting Wally actually win this given their favoritism towards Barrynote ). Helping matters, the premise is about Hunter Zolomon manipulating the two, while solicits released for the upcoming issues indicate that they will unite together to defeat Zolomon once they find out what he's up to, and at the very least, it's cathartic to have Wally finally be able to tell Barry off for what he did to him.
    • After Bart's history from the mid-00s onward (becoming Kid Flash, his flanderization after Barry comes back, getting erased from history and replaced with Bar-Tor), Flash annual #3 not only brings him, but brings him back as Impulse.
    • The storyline "The Price" has Iris break up with Barry and leave Central City over Wally's apparent death in Heroes in Crisis. After "Year One", she returns, since it turned out Wally wasn't dead after all, and she patches things up with Barry again.
    • Flash #761 has a massive one for every bad character moment from the Rebirth era. With the Negative Speed Force, Eobard Thawne can induce negative thoughts in others, driving them to behave in ways that are out of character. He was the one who made Barry keep the missing Speedsters a secret, who made Wallace go along with Damian's atrocities in Teen Titans, drove Barry to act selfishly during Perfect Storm and pitted Wally and Barry against each other during Flash War. And most damningly, he was the one responsible for Wally's actions in Heroes in Crisis. While it's an Ass Pull, it's one that does massive damage control over some of the most controversial events in the recent Flash series. Although some have been quick to point out Thawne only takes credit for Wally staging the murder mystery and not accidentally killing everyone in the first place or how incredibly abusive Sanctuary treated him and the rest of the heroes before they died. Nor does Thawne take credit for Iris agreeing to have Wally sent to Sanctuary, the fact no one reached out to Linda about Jai and Irey's disappearance, or the fact no one even made an effort to help Wally look for Irey and Jai in the first place. In other words, this wasn't enough of an Author's Saving Throw to some fans who believe this was just a cheap band-aid to fix what happened to Wally.
    • Speed Metal, which earned much love from the Flash Fandom, basically finishes what was started at the beginning of Rebirth, with it firmly reuniting Wally West with the Flash Family, have him patch things up with Barry and the latter apologising for how he was shoved into the shadows by his return, pass the torch back to Wally, gives Wally back his much-missed 90's costume, establishes him firmly as The Hero of the Flash franchise, and makes a solid Take That! to Dan DiDio, whose dislike for Wally was behind everything that's happened to the franchise since 2006.
  • Awesome Art:
    • For some fans Scott Kolins is the definitive Flash artist due to his contributions to Rogues and his mark on the famous Blitz storyline.
    • Howard Porter is a very popular Flash artist, from his time on the Geoff Johns Wally run to his more angular, scratchier style in the Rebirth series.
    • The post-Rebirth (2006) run by Geoff Johns is where Francis Manapul developed the chalkier, water coloured look he'd become famous for.
    • Manapul would go on to pencil and color the first half of the New 52 run, where his penchant for intricate-yet-still-readable, beautiful layouts further developed.
    • Carmine Di Giandomenico's work on the Rebirth series, which has sharp angles and a sci-fi look to it, while being versatile in terms of tone. Plus, how beautiful his lightning looks.
  • Awesome Music: "The Ballad of Barry Allen" by Jim's Big Ego. Fun trivia, the singer of the band is Jim Infantino, nephew of Silver Age artist Carmine Infantino.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Barry Allen, since his revival, might be the most controversial of the main Flash Family line. Pre-revival, there wasn't much negativity towards him besides "he was kinda boring compared to Jay and Wally" and was still generally liked for being a good father figure and mentor to Wally, but since his revival, there's been a split between people who think he's great and deserves to be the main Flash, and like his Nice Guy Adorkable Nerd characterisation, vs people who think he's incredibly toxic and reductive towards to Flash mantle that should have been passed on, and find his character's promotion to be unfair to the other Flashes (especially after Flashpoint). The fact he got a Darker and Edgier backstory, was responsible both in-universe and out for the sidelining of the Flash Family, and his massive Creator's Pet treatment really doesn't help.
    • Wallace West/Kid Flash III (The New 52 version of Wally West, prior to Decomposite Character treatment) was controversial from the start for being a radical reinvention of Wally, but later rewrites of his character and his evolution into Kid Flash, as well as separating him from the original Wally (now retconned into being cousins, leading to him being referred to as Wallace), allowed him to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. With that in mind, many still dislike him for being redundant and a Replacement Scrappy for Bart Allen.
    • Jai and Irey West, Wally's kids. Some considered them an annoying Spotlight-Stealing Squad that killed Wally's tenure, but others adored them and Wally's relationship with them. Despite the controversy, their erasure has been commonly cited as a problem with how the Flash comics have been handled recently while some fans are completely okay with removal of them.
    • Godspeed. For some, he gets fan interest for his cool costume and name, winning out on Rule of Cool alone. For others though, his arc was too rushed and poorly handled, and his obvious status as an expy for Hunter Zolomon earns him scorn and ridicule. Later the character goes through some character development and a semi-Heel–Face Turn which has earned him some fans who want to see him become something of a loose Anti-Hero ally, while others consider him beyond redemption and find the idea of the Flash having a Darker and Edgier ally to be completely ill-fitting the tone of the franchise or just unnecessary.
  • Broken Base:
    • Mostly between Barry and Wally fans; Jay fans are mostly spared this, as there's a general consensus as to where and what he should be.
    • Pro-Legacy Character fans vs. those who see it as a Uniqueness Decay. For some fans, having more than one speedster, and especially more than one Flash, makes the brand on the character weaker and the titular character less special, and would prefer there just be only a single Flash. For others, the legacy is half the appeal of the franchise, and the Flash Family's teamwork works well as they have distinct personalities and skills. This is largely a sub-issue of the larger Wally-vs.-Barry divide, as Barry fans seem to prefer the 'simpler' single Flash story, while Wally fans prefer the teamwork-focused Flash Family story.
    • Barry's return, and every subsequent story between that and DC Rebirth. A good portion of fans enjoyed these stories for how they reinvented the franchise and modernised Barry's character, along with Francis Manapul's Awesome Art. However, many dislike how Barry's run caused Wally and the greater Flash family to be Demoted to Extra and subsequently erased all together, along with the aforementioned reinvention of the franchise being seen as far less interesting, and consider this chapter a major Dork Age.
      • One particular sticking point is Nora Allen's death as Barry's new backstory. For some, it is a horrible retcon that needlessly darkens Barry's character, is a total cliché that is done to death in comics, and unlike when Wally was given Abusive Parents (which rarely came up after Waid took over, but it is often compared to), it has swallowed Barry's character to the point it's rare for a story to not somehow relate to it or factor in his angst. For others though, particularly fans who were introduced in the Gateway Series' that were built on it, they see it as something that gives Barry more "nuance" and tragedy as it shows even someone with a traumatic childhood can grow into an upbeat idealistic Nice Guy, while it also justifies any of his dickish moments. The divide seems to line up with the Wally-Barry divide, so this is in-part down to Barry fans who think it gives him the same depth Wally's been afforded, vs Wally fans who think it changed Barry from the idealised mentor he was depicted as previously, though there are Barry fans who hate that it's taken over his character.
    • Before that, there's Johns turning a lot of reformed Rogues evil again. Many feel that some were more interesting as a bunch of reformed anti-heroes. Others prefer them in their villainous roles and feel they're cooler as a bunch of Anti-Villain types. A third group don't mind them going back to their villainous routes, but dislike that Johns had them lose their friendship with Wally and gave a needless Cerebus Retcon that turned them into victims of a botched Mind Rape attempt orchestrated by Barry Allen before his death.
    • In a similar manner, Gorilla Grodd's transformation from a megalomaniac with Mind over Matter powers who happened to be a giant talking gorilla, into a savage giant gorilla with a bestial viciousness who happens to also have mind powers. Partially under Johns' pen (though he's not the only writer responsible), Grodd had his savagery dialled up until he became a vicious monster who can and will demolish opponents physically, and solves problems with brute force, with his mind powers being mostly so he can Mind Rape them after. For some fans, this is a Rescued from the Scrappy Heap transformation that made a goofy character genuinely menacing. For others, however, Grodd lost his fun factor when he stopped trying to turn everyone into apes, and feels like he Took a Level in Dumbass as he seemingly forgets about his mind powers outside of using them for Mind Rape, and no longer engages in any kind of long-term planning, all just to make him Darker and Edgier.
    • New 52 Wally; Race Lift aside, many were annoyed at his In Name Only backstory and characterisation that many saw as stereotypical. Others were open to the reinvention or didn't see his behaviour as necessarily being as problematic as it was accused. This became a moot point however when Rebirth reworked him into being classic Wally's cousin rather than his "replacement" and he was recharacterised as a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.
    • Wally's kids, particularly the fact they joined in on the superheroics. For some they crossed the line into just having too many speedsters, while others liked that they brought a new chapter for Wally to tackle. Regardless, their erasure has prompted a significant backlash, indicating that many found them enjoyable enough to miss their loss. Even still, people were divided on if they wanted them restored alongside the rest of the Flash Family, or would prefer things be restored to an earlier point.
    • The Rebirth run by Joshua Williamson. Though there's smaller disagreements about how much the run retreads old ground or its treatment of the Rogues, a major cause of debate is Barry Allen's characterisation, best exemplified by the reactions to "Perfect Storm" and "Flash War". Both focused on exploring the flaws of Barry Allen, calling attention to how he's developed many toxic and selfish tendencies thanks to how much favouritism he's allotted by higher ups. Either it did a great job at this, and perfectly demonstrated Barry's problematic behaviour and gave him much needed Character Development, or it's another example of Barry's flaws going untreated, as he largely gets away with nearly dooming the others to being Grodd's slaves because his ego wouldn't let him step aside and doesn't suffer significantly for the personal damage he causes others. Then there's a third contingent who feel the stories presented Barry with artificial and inflated flaws just to make him look bad and create a Conflict Ball. Ultimately it's down to how well you think the story was handled and how you feel about Williamson's apparent dislike for modern Barry.
    • Flashpoint. Quality of the story and the resulting after-effects aside, fans are split on how this reflects Barry Allen. For some fans, it was a forgivable mistake and would rather blame Executive Meddling for making it worse than it was intended to be by using it as a way to start the reboot; for others, it's an utterly selfish move on Barry's part and a sign of him being utterly reckless with his power, while also being easily avoided had he just consulted with Wally or Booster Gold (who are both much better at dealing with time travel).
      • In a similar regard, Heroes In Crisis; with some exception the fandom is pretty much in agreement on the story's quality, but the split is in how it should be seen in regards to Wally's character. For some fans, it should be completely ignored and see it as a blatant attempt by DC (or more specific, Dan DiDio) to ruin Wally's character by making him responsible for a horrible tragedy so that they can cement Barry as the true Flash. For others, they hate it, but believe that there should be work made to fix it and restore Wally's character rather than just sweep it under the rug and forget it happened. Then, for some fringe pro-Barry fans, there's a strange tendency to celebrate the story to troll Wally fans as it now gives them their own Flashpoint to hold over Wally's head.
  • Catharsis Factor: While a complete Conflict Ball situation, there is something enjoyable about Wally being able to actually tell Barry off for a lot of his shit in the prelude to Flash War.
  • Character Rerailment: Bart, when he returned from the dead in Final Crisis, got back his ADHD and Fun Personified nature.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Post-Crisis:
      • The most infamous criminal in the history of Gorilla City, Grodd was driven into exile after killing the city's benevolent leaders and ruthlessly plundered the mind of his friend Solovar to discover the secrets of mind control. Combining a ruthless brilliance with a gorilla's power, Grodd established himself as a feared player of the underworld. He would brutally murder anyone who stood in his way or just dispose of humans for the enjoyment, considering them far inferior to himself. Grodd's mental prowess is such that he enjoys dominating and twisting the minds of others to feral savagery or into sycophants for his ego. In battle, he is also highly sadistic - for example, crippling Hunter Zolomon, who recalled with terror how Grodd treated him like a toy he could break. To date, Grodd has made no fewer than eighteen attempts to completely wipe out all of humanity to purge what he sees as a lesser race.
      • Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Professor Zoom a.k.a. the Reverse Flash, is the Arch-Enemy of Barry Allen and the one who killed his mother. Duplicating Barry's powers out of an obsession with him, Eobard attempted to replace him in life, and when rejected by the latter's wife, spitefully killed her, later forcing the pacifistic Barry to kill Eobard himself to save his then-fiancé from suffering the same fate. Resurrected, Eobard begins using his time travel powers to commit a litany of crimes, including pettily murdering his own brother and parents, as well as a rival and every single man who dated a woman he was interested in, eventually going back to her childhood to traumatize her for spurning him. Eobard, in another of his evil deeds, attempted to murder the children of Wally West in front of their mother and murders Johnny Quick. Trying to force the also-resurrected Barry into becoming the Black Flash, Eobard continues carelessly shifting the time stream for no other purpose than to make Barry suffer, causing untold damage and agony in doing so, and torments Barry during the events of Flashpoint, even stating now that he is free from the effects of timeline changes he will murder Barry in the womb. A vile, selfish man who will never admit to being at fault, Eobard is Barry Allen's worst nightmare come to life.
      • David Hersch, a.k.a. the Cicada, murdered his wife in the late 1800s, and seeks to erase his own sin in a selfish attempt to run from his past. Touched by the lightning just as the Flash was, the Cicada founds a cult dedicated to the Flash, using his followers to go on large scaling sprees that see the people the Flash saved murdered and their life forces harvested. After many such deaths, the Cicada lures Flash in to take his power, murdering a follower for his life force and revives his wife, killing and draining the lives of the hundreds of followers he has amassed. When his wife rejects him for murdering her, the Cicada callously murders her again before trying to kill Flash and his police allies.
    • New 52:
      • Gorilla Grodd follows his previous version's footsteps, where he's the tyrannical ruler of Gorilla City and one of Barry Allen's most monstrous foes. Taking control of Gorilla City by killing his father and consuming his brain, Grodd tries to exact this same fate upon the Flash in the hopes of gaining his powers, intending to use them to conquer the Earth. Seemingly defeated by the Flash, Grodd viciously re-takes control over Gorilla City, killing all the Elder gorillas except for one, whom he straps to a torturous mental device to allow him and his army to invade Central City. Trapped in the Speed Force by the Flash, Grodd later returns, empowered by the Speed Force's energy. Upon discovering that the apes have made peace with the humans, Grodd impales their new leader, Solovar, and slaughters dozens of humans and gorillas alike until they submit to his will. Grodd promptly sets up a brutal dictatorship, reducing the human population to slaves and killing anyone who even mildly questions his orders. Eventually growing bored of his victory, Grodd destroys Central City, reducing it to a burning wasteland. A merciless despot willing to kill both human and ape alike to serve his goals, Grodd was as much a savage beast inside as he was on the outside.
  • "Common Knowledge": The Speed Force and its relation to the Science Hero Flash characters. Most DC fans know of the Speed Force but see it as a poorly explained handwave for all the scientifically impossible things that The Flash can do. However, many seem to be ignorant of the fact the Speed Force is explicitly a mystical phenomena (in fact, this was a major part of why when it was introduced, so many characters refused to believe it really existed, and Wally's acceptance of it is partially why he's so damn powerful). It is actually well explained during Waid's run and several of the runs that follow, its just in adaptations and comics from the late 2000s, the New 52, and Rebirth era where how it works has became inconsistently depicted.
  • Creator's Pet: On one-side of the Barry-vs.-Wally fandom rivalry, this is the main issue for Wally fans (for Barry fans, see Hype Backlash). Since his return, Barry has been pushed as the forefront of the Flash franchise, treated and touted as the iconic Flash, and the only character to receive any kind of attention. Pretty much every outside media has focused solely on Barry Allen, to the point it's treated as if he is the only Flash, with Jay Garrick at-best getting acknowledged as the AU Flash, while Wally, if he appears at all, is relegated to being Kid Flash. Understandably, fans of Wally (and the larger Flash Family) do not appreciate this, especially as adaptations have gone so far as to take Wally's stories and character developments and give them to Barry, in order to eliminate any need for Wally within the work, which many feel like an attempt to erase Wally for Barry's sake.
  • Creepy Awesome: Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon. Take the idea that the Flash's powers can often allow him to do whatever the plot requires, then apply it to a villain who has no ethical constraints about how to use them. Godspeed similarly, due to being an Expy of Hunter, and unlike the Reverse-Flashes, he also has a creepy-yet-cool suit.
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Eobard Thawne is a Complete Monster no doubt, but the most recent version of his origins given show his past, and with the crap he had to put up with from his parents, and his brother, it's not a surprise he turned out the way he did.
    • Also, Axel Walker of all people manages to get a moment- namely his Disney Death in #54 of the Rebirth run.
    Barry: Ugh. Trickster?
    Axel: Over...Here...Flash...You got me. Good one. My bodacious bod is going bye-bye. But do me a favor and get my friends out of here before we bring down the house?
    Barry: Trickster...I can...
    Axel: You keep saying...You want to...help me? The Rogues...are the only family...I got. Save them! Please! Ugh......I never wanted to be a hero...I just hoped for a little justice, y'know?
    Barry: Hold on, Trickster! I'll come back for you.
    Axel: Would you shut up and go?! For once in my life, I didn't...Ugh...want to be the punchline. Wanted to be big man on campus.
    Barry: Trickster!
    Axel: I just wish...I could think up something...funny...to...go out on...
    Barry: Trickster?! NO! Axel?! Hold on...I'll find you...I'll find......you. Axel...I'm sorry...
    • Jesse James gets a sympathetic backstory in the Rebirth run, thanks to his monstrously awful parents, and what he goes through at Wolfe's hands. Doesn't justify his actions, but it does give him Woobie points a'plenty.
  • Dork Age:
  • For the main Flash series, pretty much everything between 2006 and 2016 falls into this for varying reasons, and some stories after that too.
    • Right after Infinite Crisis, Wally was lost to the Speed Force along with his family and this led to Bart becoming the Flash due to Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Due to the character losing his individuality and Fun Personified nature, even his own fans hated it. This series ended as a massive failure, to the point that they had to kill Bart to forget it ever happened and everyone involved with Bart's character has stated active dislike towards it. The creative team of the book said they had no intention writing for DCU ever again due to a terrible experience.
    • Wally was brought back from the Speed Force after Bart's death, but this time the book, once again, faced criticism due to his twins turning out to be Base breaking that some accused of being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Mark Waid left DC completely after an editorial clash and the book had to live on life support for a year with fill-in writers until Barry was brought back. Mark Waid says it's probably one of his works he was severely disappointed about.
    • Barry's return has met this reaction from many, particularly those that loved Wally's character, but also non-Flash fans. With Barry's return brought about a sudden demotion of Wally into an extra at best (until being erased completely), while Barry's character was given several controversial rewrites, including giving him a Darker and Edgier backstory involving his mother's murder which many felt was unnecessary, to promoting him as the 'most important' of the Flash legacy that was felt as a disservice to the rest of the Flash family, who all in-turn were given a sharp Demoted to Extra status. General comic and DC fans dislike it for missing the point of the DCU and bringing back a character whose death was highly regardednote , and whose resurrection was considered altogether unnecessary. Not helping is that Barry's return also brought back Eobard Thawne, which led to the removal of other villainous speedsters like Hunter Zolomon, Inertia, the Black Flash and Lady Savitar. That Thawne came back with retcons to his history and powers, as well as the retcon of him basically being responsible for everything bad that's happened to Barry, doesn't help him from being seen as a overpowered.
    • The Brian Buccellato/Francis Manapul run. While the Flash book was considered one of the better titles (at least in the reboot's earlier days), its changes to the Rogues (now metahumans, something that annoyed Geoff Johns enough that he personally undid it with Forever Evil), as well as the entire Flash family outside of Barry being erased completely has given it a negative reputation to all but those who the series was a gateway to. The run did bring in many new fans (helped by the New 52's general promotion) and inspired the basis of the 2014 TV series and has art that's pretty much universally acclaimed, but many older fans felt like it lost a lot of what made the Flash such a great franchise, from the expansive cast to the nature of the stories themselves. Making Barry Younger and Hipper and removing his Man Out Of Time and mentor status also resulted in his status as a Flat Character becoming even more apparent than before.
    • The Robert Venditti and Van Jensen run. Neither of the writers had any Flash lore beforehand and unlike Manapul and Buccellato run, they were given the task of reintroducing important characters like Wally West and Eobard Thawne. They dropped the ball completely, with incredibly divisive changes to Wally West and an extremely inconsistent Professor Zoom. Add on to that Brett Booth's divisive 90s Image-inspired art, coming right after Francis Manapul's acclaimed pencils. In the end, the series' sales reached bottom again and DC Rebirth had to come in and fix the damage.
  • For Bart Allen's character, it seems to be everything from 2003 onward, with only a minor respite in the middle. First, he became Kid Flash, abandoning his individualism and established dislike towards that name. At the same time, he became a know-it-all smartass, rather than an impulsive joker. Then Wally disappeared and he became the fourth Flash via Plot-Relevant Age-Up, losing any semblance of fun and aging him out of his own generation. While an attempt was made to give him a new status quo, he died before anything could be done with it. Things were okay when he was brought back in Final Crisis, returning to his more fun self, and for a while everything was okay, despite the lack of focus on him...then the New 52 happened. This version of Bart isn't even called Bart Allen, and he has no connection to the Flashes or the Speed Force, his backstory has been altered to be Darker and Edgier, and his characterisation flips on a dime with the only constant being how annoying he is. The New 52 version of Bart is named Bar Torr and his powers come from being stranded on a planet (it's never explained how he actually got them), he's a rebel leader who abandoned his crusade against his oppressors once his long-lost sister was injured (apparently he didn't know civilian casualties are a thing when you fight in civilian-populated areas) and his fun personality is an act...until it's not...until it is again, and apparently all of this was part of his plan or something. This version of "Bart" has been abandoned by DC, and is universally loathed by Bart's fans, Flash fans, DC Comics fans and just comic readers in general.
  • Most of Williamson's run is not this, as his run largely tries to be an Author's Saving Throw for the franchise, but there's a lengthy stretch between Flash War and Finish Line that many felt became this. While reception to the previous stories was mixed-to-positive, fan reception to the Other Forces and Year of the Villain tie-in arcs were decidedly not positive, as many found the stories to be an annoying distraction from the pressing issue of the missing speedsters. During this period, Wally West also got sent off to Sanctuary, which led to the heavily-despised Heroes in Crisis storyline, adding to the problems. This however isn't generally blamed on Williamson at least, as most realise he was affected by heavy Executive Meddling and the issue more lies with editor Brian Cunningham refusing to let the Flash Family return, and Dan DiDio's infamous hate-boner for Wally West.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • In recent years a lot of the Rogues (the exceptions seeming to be both Captain Boomerangs and the second Trickster) have been getting this. While some of them are sympathetic and most of them do have standards, that doesn't change the fact that several of them have done some genuinely awful things from time to time. The fact that many of them went through a Heel–Face Turn at different points probably plays into things.
    • Inertia. While he does have tragic elements and went through a fate nobody deserved, he's still a sociopath, even more insane then Zoom, and he organized the murder of Bart Allen.
  • Eight Deadly Words: The New 52 and Rebirth runs have suffered this as they went on, and is a big reason why there's so much of a Dork Age attached to them (or in the Rebirth run's case, a general assumption it will be remembered as such).
    • The New 52: After Francis Manapul left the title and the book began introducing new versions of Wally West and Eobard Thawne, fans were quick to complain about the In Name Only writing and poor characterisation attached to them, not helped by Brett Booth's controversial artwork and redesigns for Barry and Eobard.
    • Rebirth: After Flash War spent much of its build-up and page count teasing the return of the Flash family, many were disappointed by the resolution which only brought back Bart, who quickly jumped onto the relaunched Young Justice title without interacting with the Flash characters. Then, Heroes in Crisis happened which led to Iris being Put on a Bus, Wally being turned into a murderer and Barry, rather than continuing to look for the other speedsters or doing anything to help Wally, instead focused on the lackluster "New Forces" subplot nobody cared about and teamed up with new characters nobody liked, while also continuing the trend of having the Rogues be written increasingly more evil, until Captain Cold was literally rolling heads. Barry's Unintentionally Unsympathetic traits got worse, to the point that when it was announced the run was wrapping up with a storyline featuring the return of Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick, and Max Mercury, fans were as equally excited for that as they were that Joshua Williamson was leaving the title.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Impulse in Young Justice.
    • Wally defaulted into this role after he was Demoted to Extra following Barry's return.
    • Hunter Zolomon is pretty popular, if only because of his interesting motivation, badassery (being the fastest being alive) and complicated relationship with Wally and his supporting cast.
    • Eobard Thawne has become incredibly popular over recent years to a point he falls under Love to Hate at this point. Some fans (especially from the TV show) even admit that they find Thawne to be a much more entertaining character than Barry himself.
    • Irey West, especially in her original incarnation as the (Kid) Flash of the Kingdom Come universe. It's not hard to find fanfic and fanart of her either as Impulse, Kid Flash or the Flash.
    • The biggest would have to be Jay Garrick (pre-Flashpoint). While he's mostly a supporting character, even within JSA, and doesn't really develop, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like him. As a mentor character, he's one of the more popular, and people are always glad to see him whenever he appears. And, like Wally West, he's come to symbolise more in the Rebirth era, specifically referred to as someone who brings hope.
    • The larger Flash Family in general, as outside of Wally they're among the biggest things people have wanted to see revived. Though Jay and Bart are already stated, Jesse Quick and Max Mercury are both fairly popular, the former for being (for a while) the only female speedster, being something of a Cool Big Sis to Bart and something of a Distaff Counterpart to Wally (who's costume choices also make her something of the Ms. Fanservice of The Flash), while Max is well liked for similarly being a likeable mentor figure like Jay, but with more mystery to him as he's supposedly been around for centuries under different names, and also being a huge Deadpan Snarker who hides it behind his 'Zen master of Speed' persona. Johnny Quick isn't quite as popular, mostly because he, like Barry, is seen as better deadnote .
    • The Rogues, who tend to be popular enough to support a tie-in miniseries but have never been given an ongoing about their adventures, as much as many fans express interest in the idea. The fact they're a group of Anti-Villain bank thieves with Crazy Awesome gimmicks and colourful personalities makes them a lot of fun when written well. Among them, Golden Glider is an especially prominent example as she's one of the more popular ones despite the fact she was left out of their adventures in the 2000s when she was depicted as Captain Cold's dead sister.
  • Epileptic Trees: For some time now, fans have been eagerly awaiting a time where the Reverse-Flashes unite to form their own Reverse-Flash Family. Despite the fact every Flash has their own reversenote , and even the ones not included in the main legacynote , and yet, there's never been a story that united them all at once. Naturally, fans like to theorise what would bring them together, how they'd interact as a group, and what kind of antics they'd get up to when they're not trying to kill the Flash Family.
    • On this note, though Christina Alexandranova was presented as a rival for Jesse Quick, this only came up in Dead Heat and a single oneshot, and Christina seemed to have completely forgotten Jesse existed when she reappeared sometime later. As a result, it's not uncommon for fans to discuss and theorise what a Jesse Quick Reverse could be like.
    • In the lead-up to Flashpoint, Geoff Johns has Barry get infected by a specially devised mirror of Mirror Master's, which turns his regret about his mother into full-blown obsession, a fact which never comes up again even in Flashpoint itself. And at no point is Barry shown knowing about this, raising the possibility that all of Barry's toxic behavior post-2011 is still being influenced by that mirror.
    • #761 establishes that Thawne has been secretly corrupting many characters for some time, and he's responsible for a good number of controversial character decisions in entire Rebirth period. However, he only specifies being behind about eight instances specificallynote , but it's left open for fans to pretty much use him as a scapegoat for almost anything, be it more expansive issues connected to the ones mentioned (such as being behind Damian's Sanity Slippage in the first place, or Wally's snooping around in Sanctuary), to unrelated ones, such as Captain Cold's transformation into an unrepentant monster, or even going all the way back and him being behind Flashpoint in the first place. Basically, 'It was Me, Barry!' is now canon, so almost anything can be blamed on Thawne.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Evil Is Sexy: Blacksmith, pre-transformation at least. Golden Glider too, which was also in-universe; at one point she came onto Wally after he crashed on the Snart's couch one night, and Wally was very up for it.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Rainbow Raider. To be fair, he's colorblind.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Calling Wally West "Kid Flash", or otherwise acting like he's second to Barry. While its up for debate about which one is better, it's not OK for many to treat Wally as if he's never reached/surpassed Barry's level, or downplaying his history when he was the Flash for over two decades and the bulk of the Flash lore comes from his tenurenote . Former DC co-Publisher Dan DiDio expressing this sentiment is/was a major reason why Wally West fans really hate him, as many believe it demonstrated how little about the franchise he actually knew or understood.
      • Similarly, asking why/suggesting that Wally should change his name to avoid confusion with Barry, or otherwise acting as if the fact they're both called "The Flash" is some big confusing mess. It's not an issue for Hal, John, Kyle, Guy, Simon, or Jessica, nor was it an issue during both Barry and Wally's tenure to have Jay Garrick referred to by the same mantle either.
    • Due to the below-mentioned Fandom Rivalry, it is very common for comic fans to get annoyed at people who talk about things from the TV series as if they're part of the comic book lore, particularly the show-original ideas and characters, or characters who were heavily retooled to the point of being In Name Only (such as Zoom or Jesse Quick). Assuming that Jesse is from Earth 2 and/or that her personality is akin to the TV counterpart, or that Zoom is just an Invincible Villain or misunderstanding his powers and motivations, often results in Flash fans having to go on at-length explaining why this is wrong.
    • Underestimating the Rogues. See What Measure Is a Non-Badass? for more details, but the Rogues are a Badass Normal team who are surprisingly very powerful individually, due to how their gimmicks have been taken to such ridiculous extremes to compensate with the Power Creep, Power Seep afforded to the Flash. Not understanding this, believing they're merely Joke Character Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain types, is an easy way to make Flash fans sigh.
  • Fandom Heresy: Praising Dan DiDio is a sure-fire way to earn a lot of scorn from Flash fans who didn't join the fandom from the TV series or New 52 run. Even some who did if they went and read the earlier material after and enjoyed it. As DiDio is responsible for the Dork Age the franchise went under, he's directly responsible for the mistreatment of Wally West and the rest of the Flash Family, and his tendency to troll and taunt Wally's fans at conventions, giving him any praise is seen as an attack on Wally and the others (which to be fair, as the praise mostly comes from the most vitriolic of Barry's side of the Wally/Barry fan-war, it often is).
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • There is a lot of fanon surrounding Wally, especially in fanfics. His father being horribly abusive, (which does have some basis in canon but not to the Up to Eleven qualities in fanworks), is common.
    • There's also him having a weird child-parent relationship with the Rogues due to the fact that they don't hurt kids in most continuities. This relationship includes them kidnapping him to take him to fun parks, and Flash/Barry being perfectly fine with the enemies that try to kill him on a daily basis kidnapping his nephew.
      • For works set when Wally is an adult, a similar trend tends to come up where Wally and Rogues are Friendly Enemies to a much bigger extent then the comics. In-canon, Wally was friends with the Rogues when they retired, but when they came out of retirement they went back to being opposed, albeit with heavy Villain Respect and frequent Enemy Mine situations. In fandom, though, Wally is still having them over for BBQ and beers on the weekends even while they're slugging one-another in the week, usually with some handwave that they square their jail time off via the Suicide Squad and so there's no standing warrants, or that Wally isn't a cop and doesn't see a need to arrest them when they're not actively committing crime.
    • A lot of fans seem to believe that he went to high-school with James Jesse (Trickster I) and Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper). While Piper was later retconned into being closer to Wally's age once they became friends Wally was already well into his twenties by this point and the Trickster has always been consistently older than him.
    • If there's a fanfic about a late teens/early twenties Wally having to overcome insecurities chances are the climax (or an event a little before the climax) will take from his epic beat down of Brainiac-ified Lex Luthor in the Justice League cartoon by having him running around the world multiple times in the matter of nanoseconds to beat the villain, only to overuse his energy and fall into the Speed Force leading to his supporting cast having to reach in and pull him out. This got an amusing Fandom Nod (or possibly just a Mythology Gag) when it was used in the first arc of Titans (Rebirth).
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Fans and writers alike agree on pretending Bart never became the Flash. Some go as far as to pretend he was never Kid Flash either. Now thanks to Rebirth, it seems everything that happened to him after the end of Young Justice is no longer canon, and almost nobody is going to complain about that.
    • And now it's unanimously agreed within fandom that Robert Venditti & Van Jensen's run on the Flash never happened. Nope!
    • Before that, the retcon that the Rogues never truly reformed, but were brainwashed into it by The Top, has largely been ignored both because it soils the Heartwarming Moments that came from their previous friendship with Wally, and because the story paints Barry Allen under terrible light. The fact it ties in with the very-hated Identity Crisis doesn't help.
    • Titans #25-onward is pretty much ignored as far as it goes for Jesse Quick's character, largely as she ends up becoming very out-of-character, loses her previously-shown competence and budding relationship with Nighwing, and the much-hated Phillip storyline. Note, when Jesse joined the cast of JSA right after, all that was said is the time was a disaster and she was now suddenly close again with Libby.
    • Naturally, fans completely ignore Heroes in Crisis and Flash Forward, due to the total character assassination given to Wally. This...really doesn't need to be explained if you know anything about those stories.
    • Josh Williamson's run is now likely going to be remembered for Wallace and Avery, maybe Godspeed, but probably nothing else. The Other Forces saga (a massive Arc Fatigue that nobody wanted), the reworking of Hunter Zolomon (who gained completely different powers, personality, and motivation, that he pretty much became a completely different character), the Took a Level in Jerkass treatment of Captain Cold (who lost his Anti-Villain and sympathetic traits until he became a cold blooded killer, missing the entire appeal of the character), and of course, Barry Allen's characterisation (which attempted to put an end to his Karma Houdini status after Flashpoint and the numerous other Unintentionally Unsympathetic things he's done, but due to the failure to have him actually grow he just came off as a toxic asshole who we're still supposed to root for despite never learning), are especially things fans hope to forget.
    • "Barry Allen created the Speed Force" is this for most fans, and evidently most writers as it's never been brought up in-canon since, except one time where Geoff Johns (who established it in the first place) referenced it. It contradicts how the Speed Force was portrayed beforehand, and how it's portrayed since, and the ways to explain how it works makes it a Voodoo Shark.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Modern Barry taking elements from Wally's character has sometimes been defended as this. As a Legacy Character, Wally naturally took after Barry in some ways, with a similar origin and wearing an identical costume at first, and as he goes through extensive character growth, he starts to resemble Barry in some superficial ways (being a married man with a reporter love interest, and a more mature and level-headed disposition). However, the similarities between him and Barry are pretty much limited to things that were bound to happen (getting married and growing up) or were unplanned developments that were lampshaded (and despite being a reporter, Linda and Iris were very different characters who didn't even practice the same kind of journalism: Linda was a TV anchor and Iris was a newspaper journalist). Conversely, the traits Barry's taken from Wally have resulted in Barry regressing as a character as he became a less mature, less competent man.
    • Similarly, the Darker and Edgier backstory given to Barry (which is controversial among fans), as Wally had a similar retcon introduced with Abusive Parents. However, the Wests weren't intended to be abusive (while Rudy's treatment of Wally has long since fallen into Values Dissonance, at the time he was just seen as a crappy father, and this was before such backstories were particularly common for superheroes anyway), and despite the grimness, it was actually used to make Wally's previous stories as Kid Flash more Heartwarming in Hindsight as it added a stronger bond between Wally, Iris, and Barry (and despite this, the abusive parents backstory was rarely brought up after Waid took over). By contrast, Barry's dead mom backstory lacks any retroactive heartwarming traits, and has slowly dominated his character to the point that now even his costume ring is explained as being directly linked to Nora Allen's death.
    • Averted with the Speed Force. Some fans complain about its Plot Tumor nature under the belief that it was always a convoluted Plot Tumor, and are seemingly unaware that it functionally played little role in the Waid, Morrison, and Johns runs outside of Arc Welding the already-existing speedsters and handwaving the Required Secondary Powers. However, after Bart Allen absorbed the entire Speed Force into himself, it became a mess of retcons and convoluted abilities that just got worse after, but these issues were not a problem when first introduced.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Naturally, with Green Lantern, due to their similar status as long-running B-list franchises within the DC Universe that have a lengthy Legacy Character system, and the fact in-universe, pretty much each incarnation is best friends with a corresponding member of the other. Naturally, this endears fans of one to the other; in fact, many often point to Green Lantern as being what DC should do with Flash in terms of how it treats the multiple heroes using the same name.
    • With Alternate Company Equivalent being in play, The Flash and Spider-Man similarly have a lot of fandom crossover. Both are red-clad wisecracking and optimistic Kid-Appeal Character types who's happen to also be quite emotionally mature at times, and are defined by being Working Class Heroes and strong Character Development. In fact, one can point to the two sides of Spidey's character, his Peter Parker persona and his Spider-Man persona, as being quite similar to Barry Allen and Wally West.
  • Gateway Series:
    • The Brian Buccellato/Francis Manapul run brought in a lot of new readers, due to launching with the New 52. Though the quality is contested by older fans, this run's simpler take on a single speedster (Barry Allen), based largely on Geoff Johns' rewrite of Barry, accompanied by Manapul's highly regarded artwork, made it easier for newer fans to jump into. The fact it largely inspired the 2014 TV series likely adds to this as many would have jumped onto the series from that.
    • Josh Williamson's Rebirth run became something of this for some of the more complex aspects of the Flash lore. It starts with a relatively simple opening arc that's new reader friendly and over the course of the run, it reintroduces many classic elements and characters that had been gone for some time, becoming the primary way for some newer fans to become intimately aware of this stuff without reading the older work.
  • Growing the Beard: Vol. 2 of Wally's series started getting stubble with William Messner-Loebs's run, in which Wally started toning down his cockiness and his girlfriend Linda Park was introduced. Then Mark Waid came on and the beard had officially grown out.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Wally's second writer, William Messner-Loeb, added a social justice bent to the comics, which featured Wally going through Character Development that redeveloped his political leanings from midwestern conservative to socially left/left-leaning centrist. The event that starts this is Wally being rendered homeless, experiencing first-hand the harsh realities of homelessness and the casual cruelty often inflicted on them, and ends with Wally and Piper setting up a charity for the homeless using the money Icicle left him. Sadly, after years of struggling financially, it came to the internet's attention in the 2010s that Messner-Loeb himself was now homeless, after having been living in his car for some time.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • On one side of the Barry-vs.-Wally fandom rivalry, this is the main issue for Barry fans (for Wally fans, see Creator's Pet). Newer fans of Barry, such as those introduced during/after his return, during the New 52 run, or from the TV series, have had this reaction to Wally; since so much praise is heaped on his tenure as the iconic Flash run, and many of his fans like to go on at-length about how great he was, some who don't connect to him as well tend to get pretty annoyed at his fanbase, and him in-turn, especially as he is far more abrasive and has a shorter temper than Barry. What didn't help was that, while he wasn't the only character erased by the New 52 (who all had fans clamouring, loudly, for them to be restored), Wally was the one who got restored lastnote , which meant that his fanbase grew louder and more tireless, and thus more obnoxious looking to outside viewers. There is also the fact that Wally's main appeal is he's an Dynamic Character who went through extensive Character Development during his run; while any random Barry story can tell you what you need about his character, Wally's character changed so much that it can be hard to pick up what was great about him from just a single story.
    • Paradox faced this. When teased, his cell had a logo that could very easily be interpreted as referring to a second Crisis on Infinite Earths, and he's played up as one of the most dreaded things, to the point that Eobard stopping him is presented as a great act by the man. Turns out, he's just some random guy whose motivations are a retread of Hunter Zolomon's (ruined life he irrationally blames the Flash for thanks to his powers messing with his mind) and he wants to absorb the energy from the various Crises to fix things. His character was generic and served only as a vehicle for Joshua Williamson to further shit on Barry as a character, and his plan was utilised by him just casually showing up and killing people in the past.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • Fandom has recently fell into huge Hype Aversion due to an overuse of evil speedsters. Both the second TV series and New 52 comics heavily relying on Speed Force antics already tired fans when it came to speedster villains or anything related to the Speed Force itself (beyond it being the source of superspeed) so when it was announced that the Rebirth series' first arc would be dealing with yet another evil speedster, fans mostly reacted with unamused groans. Even though Godspeed's unique design attracted some interest at first, his story and motivations turning out to be very similar to the fan-favorite villain Hunter Zolomon's caused this reaction and further confirmed the how speedster villains beyond Reverse Flashes are unnecessary.
    • The reveal of Black Hole's leader being revealed as Raijin and Meena's Face–Heel Turn also faced this reaction not only by old fans but also by TV show fans who recently started reading comics. From Raijin's "evil organization", his Theme Naming to his design, it's very clearly inspired by both comics and TV show versions of Savitar. Meanwhile there are obvious similarities between Meena and Christina Alexandrova by the same extension.
    • A contributing factor to Barry Allen's Base-Breaking Character status is how, despite there being several Flashes, he's the only one shown any love outside the comics since the 2000s. Having been the lead of both TV shows, and the Flash of the movie 'verse, along with the many DC animated movies, fans of the other Flashes who could have at least tolerated Barry were miffed that DC insisted on adapting his story repeatedly over the others, especially Wally West, considering that Barry was also getting all the focus in the comics. The brief exceptions (the DCAU used Wally West, Smallville used Bart/Impulse, and Young Justice features Wally West as Kid Flash) do little to help as they largely started before this trend occurred.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Captain Cold and Golden Glider.
    • Many Impulse fans see Inertia as this at the very least, based off the Mercury Falling arc. There's actually a good deal of alternate universe fanfic and fanart branching off from this point.
    • Peek-a-Boo. She just wanted to help her sick father and her powers are the definition of Blessed with Suck.
    • Zoom, whose life is just messed up. It's even a stretch to call him a Jerkass, since he genuinely wants to help his friend, he just has such a twisted view of reality that his attempts to help end up being horrifying.
    • Part of Wally's character arc is he starts like this; as Kid Flash he was the token jerk of the New Teen Titans and his initial arcs after becoming The Flash were him being a jerk to women and arguing with his mom. Over the course of Messner-Loeb's run, it became clear Wally's life was pretty miserable due to his shaky financial situation and the problems with his parents. By the end of Loeb's run, Wally had gone through enough character development that the Jerkass part had faded, allowing Waid to instead write him as a solid Woobie.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: After The Flash: Rebirth, the majority reason a lot of people have kept up with The Flash has been for when Wally shows up. After DC Rebirth this evolved into being for when Wally shows up, when Wallace shows up, or to wait for when the larger Flash Family (particularly Jay Garrick) finally show up. To really illustrate this effect, sales numbers put out by Diamond show that, while the book just features Barry, the average sales number is 20K unites, but when Wally is featured (such as the first annual, "Perfect Storm", and "Flash War"), then the numbers jump up to 50K average, a 150% increase in sales.
  • Love to Hate: Eobard Thawne.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • A post explaining why "the motherfucking Flash" is the greatest hero ever began on Slashdot, and got reposted everywhere.
    • The Rogues. It helps that they each have a lot of epic CMOA achievements, but it's often noted how a bunch of Badass Normal bank robbers just trying to get by, somehow manage to challenge someone as powerful as the Flash, and have a much higher win/loss ratio than more serious threats like Vandal Savage.
    • Jesse Quick and a lead pipe. In an issue of Justice Society of America, Jesse manages to one-hit KO Zoomnote , with nothing but a lead pipe after pulling a I Am Not Left-Handed on him. It's since lead to jokes whenever her name comes up on discussions about the 'order' of who's fastest among the Flash speedsters, with the general agreement that if you give her a lead pipe, she can take down anyone.
  • Memetic Loser: Barry Allen, especially thanks to adaptations, has increasingly became this. It comes down to a few points. Firstly, it is common knowledge (and not in a "Common Knowledge" way) that Wally West is the faster and more successful Flash but Barry was pushed because he's a Creator's Pet, and it's his fault why the New 52 happened, so all the Darker and Edgier misery the other heroes suffered is entirely because of him (Dr Manhattan retcon be-damned). Secondly, the TV series' over-reliance on the episodic formula of having Barry get beat up by the Monster of the Week once or twice, then during the climax have a pep-talk from his team mid-battle before he finally defeats them in a very anti-climatic way, has contributed to the popular perception that 'The Flash' is a whiny man-child who needs a pep-talk every week to do anything. Thirdly, the DCEU Flash, also Barry Allen, has so far only had a single prominent appearance in a highly contested and financially under-performing instalment, where he was depicted as the rookie of the team who's shown at one point literally tripping over his own feet, making him appear completely incompetent and idiotic, not helped by his neurotic nature.
    • Not helping Barry is the aforementioned Zoom Posting, where Barry is basically Thawne's personal Butt-Monkey.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "IT WAS ME BARRY!" Used as the absurd punchline to some story told by Professor Zoom, usually to parody the idea of Zoom being responsible for every bad thing in Barry's life.
    • The "the motherfucking Flash" rant above is in itself a meme among Flash fans.
    • He could explode their heads with his pinkie! note 
    • Barry messing up timelines, often with disastrous affects. In-universe he only does this twice. Flashpoint is considered a definitive fuck up on his part in most circles, even though he was mostly trying to fix Thawne's meddling, but that doesn't matter to the fans. He's forever an (comedic) inconsiderate jerk who messes with timelines for lulz. NOT helped by his Arrow-verse counterpart, who has messed with the timeline on multiple occasion. In fact, Arrow-verse!Barry arguably caused the use of this meme to be taken Up to Eleven.
  • Mis-blamed: Josh Williamson's run got a lot of heat towards the second half, with many expecting it to go down as a Dork Age. However, a lot of the problems of the run were down to Executive Meddling, which prevented him from doing the things he wanted (such as restoring Wally and the Flash Family to prominence). Once the figures behind the meddling left shortly before the end of his run and he got to do these things, it wasn't uncommon for some fans to ask that he continue now that he's free to do what he wants.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The first Reverse-Flash crossed it when he killed Iris Allen (although she got better).
    • Rudy West crossed it when he tried to kill his own wife as part of a scheme to make Wally join the Manhunters.
    • Gorilla Grodd when he ate an entire country in JLA: Classified.
    • Blacksmith crosses it when she causes Fallout to give Joan Garrick cancer! All just to get Jay out of Keystone.
    • The second Reverse-Flash crossed it when he caused Linda Park to miscarry.
    • If Inertia didn't cross this when he got Bart killed, then he without a doubt crossed it when he killed an infant son of Weather Wizard.
    • Captain Cold in the Rebirth run when he kills Turbine. If not then, then he definitely crosses it during "Year of the Villain", when he takes over Central City, kills Commander Cold and tosses the guy's head at Barry's feet.
  • More Popular Replacement: The third Flash, Wally West, is considered by a lot of readers to be an improvement over his predecessor, Barry Allen. In fact, he is seen as the Flash by a considerable chunk of the fanbase and it's not uncommon for modern interpretations of Barry to incorporate some aspects of Wally's personality to his own in an attempt to make up for this (which, generally, isn't super popular with fans). Notably, since passing the torch back to Barry, the average sales of the book have declined, giving an indication of which one's more popular.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • William Messner-Loeb for creating Linda Park, modernized the Rogues into a group of genuine friends and antiheroes, gave Pied Piper his socialist beliefs and sexual identity as well as placed him as Wally's best friend, and also gave Wally a serious kick in the teeth in terms of Character Development, to wash off the Jerkass characterisation he'd been given beforehand. His run suffered from mediocre sales though, and so it's often forgotten.
    • Mark Waid introduced the Speed Force, Impulse, Max Mercury, reintroduced Jay Garrick, brought Jesse Quick into the fold and developed her relationship with the boys, formed the Flash Family, and developed Wally and Linda's love story, from them first becoming official to their wedding.
    • Geoff Johns is something of a 'step-dad' as his run also saw the reintroduction of the Rogues as well as creating Hunter Zolomon/Zoom, and later brought back Barry Allen with his updated backstory, but outside of Zoom these additions aren't as universally beloved.
  • Narm Charm: The Speed Force Mantra that Johnny and Jesse use for their speed is ridiculous in concept, and was Adapted Out of the CW show to make Jesse just a straight-up Distaff Counterpart, but it gives them a distinct way to activate their powers, and after being reimagined as a placebo, it ties in perfectly with the spiritualistic and psychosomatic nature of the Flash family's powers. Also, it's just kinda cool to shout out a trigger phrase and kick-start their powers, even if it's a math equation.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Relating to the above meme, Barry messing with timelines. The fans will likely never let it go. This is largely motivated by the fact DC themselves tried to forget it happened immediately after, and as an unintended consequence of Dan DiDio's preference for Darker and Edgier and Younger and Hipper, and using the reboot to wipe out characters he personally didn't like; by making everyone else's lives miserable while Barry himself becomes a young man again, and some even being, essentially, erased from reality, Barry became a massive Karma Houdini for ruining the lives of the entire universe.
    • Wally's status as Barry's former sidekick and a Legacy Character, as well as his early years struggling to live up to Barry's legacy. The Return of Barry Allen (from 1992, only five years after COIE) had Wally come to terms with replacing Barry and surpassed him in terms of power, after which he went on to spend the next two decades growing as a character and having adventures that developed the Speed Force lore, and had the franchise develop and shape around him as the lead. According to some Barry fans (including Dan DiDio), though, Wally was always chasing Barry's coattails and never surpassed him, and every bit of character growth he got is ignored.
    • Wally being conservative Pre-Crisis. In Wolfman/Perez's New Teen Titans, Wally was characterised as being a midwestern conservative, which at-the-time wasn't really a big deal outside of being an attempt to flesh his characterisation out and to contrast him against a team of liberals (and Hawk), and was based on the fact Barry Allen was explicitly a conservative. It didn't come up much, and when he became The Flash, he went through Character Development that saw his political views drastically change thanks to the influence of Pied Piper and Linda Park, with Messner-Loeb, Waid, and Johns all characterising Wally as left-of-centre. However, for some reason it gets brought up a lot in the new-10s by fans, far more than it does with Barry, despite his conservativism being a much bigger part of his character.
    • Wallace starting off as an attempt to replace the original Wally West. Despite his Divergent Character Evolution and significant Character Development that has made him a much more likeable kid, and the return of classic!Wally who then became a Big Brother Mentor to him, and the Sudden Name Change to differentiate between them, some fans can't get past the fact he was created in a poorly conceived attempt to erase the original Wally West. This seems to be a Vocal Minority though, as much of the original Wally's fandom have happily embraced Wallace and accept the "he's his younger cousin" idea as it doesn't really contradict any major canon (Iris and Rudy's other sibling was pretty much a non-character, so replacing them with this extra branch of the family isn't an issue for anyone), especially thanks to the Heartwarming Moments the kid has brought. This also goes both ways, though, as some of the more extreme Barry stans have complained about how DC should have made him a permanent replacement and just never revived Wally, and claim that in doing so they tossed aside Wallace's character just to please Wally's fanbase. What makes this extra weird is that Wallace's character got more panel time than Wally did, by virtue of being regularly in both The Flash and Teen Titans as well as spending a lengthy tenure in Deathstroke (Wally by contrast was written out of Titans when he began appearing in Flash, only to be sent off to Sanctuary), and has pretty much followed the character arc he was set up to do already (become Kid Flash, have Kid Flash adventures), so the accusation They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character is demonstratively not true, making it seem more a case they just wish the original Wally never returned out of spite.
  • Newer Than They Think:
    • The Flash generating a lightning trail. This only really started being an explicit thing by the late 90s/early 2000s; originally they would just leave a red blur or have wind-trails to indicate they were moving, but the yellow on their costume began being depicted as leaving a 'lightning effect' on the otherwise red blur. Again, this was just meant to be the blurred image of the yellow moving so fast. At some point however it became a canon detail that they generate a lightning effect from their running, and it's since then became such a big part of their character it's gotten exaggerated to the point that even when standing still, they have a ridiculously huge lightning storm emanating around them, striking at everything, and can weaponise their lightning to attack from a distance.
    • The Speed Force itself is an example of this, first being introduced in 1993. In fact, Barry Allen had no idea it existed until he was revived, but thanks to the New 52, TV series, and DCEU, it's now treated as if it was something he was fully aware of from the beginning.
    • On a similar note, the Speed Force's reputation for being non-stop retcons, New Powers as the Plot Demands, and an inconsistent mess, resulting in the Broken Base of if it was ever a good idea in the first place. This is borderline "Common Knowledge" as until relatively recently, this wasn't true; the Speed Force during Waid's era didn't have much new introduced after the basics were established (it was the source of their power, it acted in ways based on how they perceived it, and it served as the Speedster's 'heaven', drawing them into it as they used more of it's power, but Wally West could circumvent this through The Power of Love). Morrison and Millar's run did add the 'energy suit' ability and the Black Flash, but even this was respectfully just an enhancement of one of the Flash's already present and long-established Required Secondary Powers and a physical representation of it's status as their afterlife. However, when the Flash entered the lengthy chain of Dork Age eras noted above, (starting roughly somewhere in 2006, when Bart Allen became The Flash after absorbing the entire Speed Force...somehow), the Speed Force became a writer's punching bag, being repeatedly mis-written and mischaracterised (many writers choosing to write it as a scientific anomaly and energy source, ignoring its mystical nature), and exploited for any quick plot that was needed, until it became so vaguely defined that many fans got sick of it.
      • There's also some element of Older Than They Think as well, as many of the things blamed on the Speed Force (such as the often ridiculous feats the Flashes pull off, such as running on clouds or turning invisible) actually originated from the Flash abusing one of their lesser-stated Required Secondary Powers: having full, complete control over all of their atomic vibrations, something that they had long before the Speed Force was introduced. Essentially, it's old-hat for the Flash to pull off ridiculous Ass Pull abilities with their powers, but it's relatively new for these to be blamed on the Speed Force.
  • Obvious Judas: In the Rebirth ongoing, August Heart as Godspeed. He's the first new character to be introduced, in a Remember the New Guy? manner, with a convenient Freudian Excuse right away...
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Having the New 52 version of Wally repackaged as the original Wally's cousin rather than him in a rebooted universe, thus creating two Wally's, caused some bemusement and confusion at having 'two' characters with the same legal name. It's actually a pre-established trend among the Allen-West family to do this, as there's both Bartholomew 'Barry' Allen and Bartholomew 'Bart' Allen, as well as Iris West and Iris West II/'Irey' West (and to a lesser extent, Irey's brother Jai), so it's really just a common trend of their family to name children after relatives. Wally II even begins going by 'Wallace' rather than Wally, following the pattern of having the younger ones opt for nicknames or alternative given names to separate themselves from the older relative.
    • While most of the core comic fanbase knows differently, that Barry Allen isn't the first Flash is often not known to newer people or more casual fans, if they're unaware of Jay Garrick and the Justice Society of America. More commonly, the fact Barry is explicitly a legacy character to Jay and not just 'coincidentally shares the same name and powers', ala Alan Scott and later Green Lanterns, is sometimes assumed to be an invention of Post Crisis DC, but even going back to Barry Allen's first comic, he was inspired by Jay Garrick (who to him, was a comic book character), and after gaining similar powers, purposely named himself after the character. Due to The Flash: Rebirth giving Barry a completely different motivation, as well as New 52 and The Flash (2014) following this while erasing the Jay Garrick link completely, it's became forgotten by some people (including former publisher Dan DiDio) that Barry Allen was as much a Legacy Character as Wally West is.
    • The Flash Family are a cornerstone of Wally West's run and as such are sometimes assumed to have been a creation of it, to the point some pro-Barry Allen fans (again, including those Running the Asylum) often declare that the benefit of Barry Allen is the lack of them, as it makes the Flash "more special" by not having other speedsters causing Uniqueness Decay. But the Flash Family was a concept that started during Barry's tenure in the Silver Age, where he teamed up with Jay Garrick regularly and had Wally West as Kid Flash, both things that started as early as 1960. Even before that, during the Golden Age, Johnny Quick was another speedster who worked with Jay Garrick and the other heroes. Other speedsters are older and more iconic than the Speed Force.
    • For some reason there's a strange amount of arguments about Wally's animated adaptations being Fun Personified Chivalrous Pervert types, due to a misconception that this personality was invented for the DCAU and so shouldn't be credited to Wally of the comics, or seen as the same characternote . Generally it's down to newer fans (read, nu!Barry fans) only being familiar with Wally post-DC Rebirth and some snippets of Waid's run (because it's the run primarily recommended to people), and so they're unfamiliar with the Barron and Messner-Loeb run, where Wally was more of a cocky womaniser, and the fact Wally went through extensive Character Development. This could be seen as adaptations playing Never Live It Down with Wally, since him chasing skirts was something he stopped doing once he began dating Linda back in 1992; Greg Weisman, creator of Young Justice, has explicitly said he never read beyond Barron's run (which is why the Speed Force, Jesse Quick, and many other aspects are annexed), so he's only familiar with the Wally West on the 80s, which is why he's a cocky Casanova Wannabe in the show.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Though Flash Forward is generally not well-liked thanks to the Audience-Alienating Premise and behind-the-scenes issues, one aspect that people generally seemed to like was Lightspeed, the Linda Park of one of the many alternate earths Wally visits who, in her world, is their speedster superhero and wears a feminised version of Godspeed's (already well-liked) costume.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Every single speedster has suffered this in someway. Jay Garrick is the only one with immunity, only because he was the first.
    • Wally for Barry, at first.
    • Bart's brief tenure as the Flash, which was thankfully reversed.
    • Irey claimed the name of Impulse in The Flash: Rebirth (and then proceeded to be essentially shooed offstage, another victim of Schedule Slip, until the New 52 reboot erased her entirely). This irritated Bart Allen fans who remembered how much better he'd been written back when he was Impulse, before he was shoved into the Kid Flash role.
    • Post-Rebirth, Barry for Wally. It also doesn't help that DC decided to demote Wally's role to the point where his current status in their new reboot wasn't even shown for two and a half years.
    • Modern Barry also ends up being this for himself; after returning, Barry got a new, Darker and Edgier backstory that was literally the result of a Cosmic Retcon, as well as becoming responsible for a number of events that made him Unintentionally Unsympathetic. By comparison, the classic character was liked by fans for being a martyr figure within the DCU, having been a dorky dad figure for Wally in flashbacks, and a few time-travel related events resulting in many Like a Son to Me moments that the new Barry lacks. The Barry that exists in the current comics, TV series, and movies is a far cry from the original, and for some fans, they'd prefer the original.
    • The New 52 incarnations of Wally and Bart for their pre-Flashpoint incarnations. Noticeably, once the classic, original Wally West was brought back without disposing of Nu-Wally, people were much more willing to give Nu-Wally a chance because he wasn't replacing Wally anymore.
    • Even the Reverse-Flashes suffer from this. The Flash (Rebirth) brought back Thawne, but Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge discarded the two new Reverse-Flashes, Zolomon and Inertia. It doesn't help that Thawne and Zolomon are very different characters.
    • Patty Spivot for Iris West as Barry's love interest in the New 52.
    • The second Trickster for the first. Eventually, those that grew fond of the new Trickster felt this way about the first. It doesn't help that DC gave the Trickster a homophobia shtick once he went bad again, when he had never displayed it before, and was a friend of the Pied Piper's.
    • The New 52 Eobard Thawne is hated by fans of every Reverse-Flash, yes even fans of Eobard Thawne.
      • He's hated by Eobard Thawne fans because his motivation and backstory are just so contrived and stupid. Instead of making him a straight-up villain, the writers write him as someone who believes he is a good guy Depending on the Writer, since his characterization seems to change between issues, from someone who believes he's a good person to someone who's an asshole. His overall villain plan is full of plotholes and contrived reasoning, as opposed to Eobard who had the simple goal of fucking with Barry's life since he couldn't kill Barry. He's just poorly written in his motivation and personality, when the Pre-New 52 Eobard Thawne was written as a Complete Monster, and delighted in how much of a prick he was.
      • Hunter Zolomon fans hate him because the New 52 Eobard is blatantly a poor attempt to blend both Pre-New 52 Eobard and Hunter into a single character, but with the Eobard traits dominating entirely. New 52 Thawne's powers and costume are more like Hunter's, when they never used to be. Not to mention that the New 52 already had someone with Hunter's powers — along with general theme — in Daniel West. At the same time, New 52 Eobard does not have anything else from Hunter; nothing to make him sympathetic or an excuse for his insanity, nor does he have an interesting relationship with the Flash.
      • Daniel West fans hate New 52 Eobard because DC promptly Dropped a Bridge on Daniel to make way for Eobard. Daniel didn't even get to die in the pages of The Flash, he was off'd in Suicide Squad! Though the nature of his death lends itself very much to He's Just Hiding!, the fact that DC wasted Daniel, who had an interesting tie to the Flash in the form of the Wests, as well as a more sympathetic origin and potential for redemption pisses his fans off.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Wally!Flash, under William Messner-Loeb, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison.
      • And for that matter, New 52!Wally once DC Rebirth established that he and the classic Wally West are two different people. Though Josh Williamson's run is overall quite controversial, one element almost universally agreed upon is Wallace's Character Development greatly improved under his pen.
    • Godspeed, after he became The Atoner and went through a semi-Heel–Face Turn, with some finding the idea of a darker, looser-connected member of the Flash Family, similar to Red Hood for the Bat Family, to be an interesting concept.
  • Ron the Death Eater: There's a weird tendency of some Barry fans to exaggerate Wally and Bart's arguments to make it seem like Wally was a jerk to Bart, while also projecting a positive relationship between Barry and Bart that didn't exist. In-canon, Wally and Bart had a classic Sibling Rivalry and were Vitriolic Best Buds, being mean and antagonistic to each other face-to-face but also making it clear their liked and cared about each other. But to some fans, they hate each other, and in particular Wally was so cruel to Bart, who never did anything to deserve it (despite him often being the aggressor in their fights in-canon). This tends to coincide with gushing about how Barry was such a Nice Guy to his beloved grandson who adores his grandfather in return — which ignores that in-canon, Bart resented Barry for being both quite aloof to him after he returned and for the Character Shilling he got, especially as Bart was much closer to Wally and didn't like the idea people had that Barry was the "real" Flash.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • The relationship between Wally West fans and Geoff Johns is a tricky one, as many blame him for bringing back Barry Allen and pushing him so hard as The Flash that Wally got Demoted to Extra and then erased from continuity all together, and for his involvement in the TV and movie adaptations which have contributed to pushing Barry as the iconic Flash in outside media. However, Geoff Johns is more the trigger man in this scenario; The Flash: Rebirth was a project that artist Ethan Van Sciver, by his own admission, had been pushing pretty much since he and Johns made Green Lantern Rebirth together, and Editor-In-Chief Dan DiDio gave it the go-ahead. Geoff Johns wrote the story and Barry's return, and put forward a lot of his personal ideas for rebooting the character, but it wasn't him campaigning to bring Barry back or to toss Wally aside (Johns had instead wanted to give them co-ownership of the Flash title, ala the Green Lanterns). For his part in this, Johns has became something of The Atoner, personally bringing Wally back in DC Rebirth.
    • The aforementioned Dan DiDio, DC's co-publisher for nearly two decades, which saw the franchise go through a lengthy series of Dork Age runs that can, directly or indirectly, be linked to him. This one is somewhat more justified since, as said, many of the problems can directly be linked to him, and even where it's not, the fact he's a Trolling Creator with a noted dislike for Wally West generally doesn't help.
    • Joshua Williamson, writer of the book following DC Rebirth, evolved into this as the general fan reception of his run soured. Though Williamson's actual ability as a storyteller is debatable, it should be noted that his run has clearly suffered under Executive Meddling, as he's repeatedly set up stories and avenues to do the things the run was marketed as doing (restoring the Flash family), but been forced to write filler stories instead, resulting in Arc Fatigue and causing Barry Allen to come off as Unintentionally Unsympathetic due to his apparent dragging his feet.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Axel Walker, the second Trickster, who notably averts Sequel Displacement as fans much prefer James Jesse. Unlike James, who's a lighthearted prankster and a Magnificent Bastard with some mental problems, Axel was just a bored teen psychopath who stole his tech and decided to become a criminal For the Evulz. He got to replace James as the Trickster in New 52 and got pushed during Rebirth, but you're unlikely to find a fan who really cares for him, and next to the other Rogues introduced by Geoff Johns, he's considerably more forgettable, even though he's the only one to be used after.
    • Patty Spivot (as mentioned up above), starting with Geoff Johns's reintroduction of her, which starts with Barry telling his coworkers (and by extension, the readers) how she's totally the best CSI ever. When Patty does reappear, she spends most of her page-time talking about how much she dislikes Central City, and hinting that she's got a crush on Barry, who at this point was still Happily Married to Iris, leading to the hint of a love triangle. Then Flashpoint happened, and she became a major character in the rebooted Flash run.
  • Sequel Displacement:
    • Despite the fact that he was the first, Jay Garrick is nowhere near as well known in popular culture as Barry Allen.
    • Originally played straight but then subverted with Wally West; when he was the Flash, he became the most well known at the time in part because of his appearances in Justice League, until recent years when Barry came back and DC began pushing him to make fans forget about Wally. Even now, among comic circles it is still debated on who is the 'iconic' Flash.
    • For a long while, Sam Scudder was pretty much forgotten about next to his successor, Evan McCulloch, as far as the Mirror Master went. While Sam created the mirror tech, it was Evan who realized how much of a Physical God he could be with it and was the one to use the powers most memorably, not to mention he had a much more interesting Jerkass Woobie personality and backstory, and a distinctive voice thanks to his Scottish origin. Notably, when Evan was Exiled from Continuity by the New 52, Sam Scudder became a Composite Character who suddenly gained all of Evan's skill and imagination.
    • Jesse Chambers is a much more popular and prominent character than either of her parents. Though they probably had their fans from the All-Star Squadron days, both are more more known for being her parents than anything they did themselves.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Barry's romance with Meena Dhawan in the Rebirth comics. She starts dating Barry one issue after her introduction and gets killed by Godspeed in the following issue all the while being portrayed as "romance of the century". The eventual reveal of her being Not Quite Dead and working for an evil organization falls flat on its face as neither her character nor her relationship with Barry managed to create resonance with the readership.
    • In a case that's largely well-liked, among the Flash Family, Jesse stands out for how her romance was handled compared to Jay, Barry, and Wally. While each of them have relationships with their respective 'lightning rod', Jesse and Rick Tyler had a few scenes together in JSA where they casually chatted, where Jay and her mother would look on with Shipper on Deck smirks, cluing in the audience that this is meant to be a Ship Tease. After a time-skip, Jesse was suddenly married to Rick and the two could not keep their hands off of each other. Yet, despite this, it's actually reasonably well-liked by fans because of how happy Rick makes Jesse and their relative lack of drama. Still, it feels somewhat lacking how Jesse didn't get to have a serious romantic arc compared to the boys, and that she fell into the trend of female superheroes not getting civilian love interests.
  • Stock Parody Jokes: Jokes about the Flash being a mediocre lover due to his speed are commonplace. It's to the point where various DC media have referenced the joke. Wally has even confirmed it as truth in one issue, though it's possible he was just making a Self Deprecating joke.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: While Barry isn't really hated (except as a Replacement Scrappy) as he is, the fact that he caused Flashpoint, which caused the New 52 gets him a lot of crap from people who don't like it. So, of course, Future Flash, a future Barry Allen, says that if it wasn't for him, Wally would be married and have two kids, and that it's his fault Wally is dead. While the latter is more of guilt for not saving Wally, it's uncanny how this dialogue matches up with complaints about Barry's actions.
    • The Rebirth run in general has done this a lot with Barry, as it finally gives him consequences for Flashpoint that actually affect him negatively and has characters give him What the Hell, Hero? talks over it. This starts with the "Sins of the Father" arc where Wallace tells Barry off for his ridiculous notion that keeping Iris in the dark 'protects' her, "Running Scared" which lets Iris find out both that Barry is the Flash, and that he erased their previous life and all her history. In "The Perfect Storm", Barry's flaws are given a deconstruction that showcases a lot of the problems with modern!Barry, particularly his Protagonist-Centred Morality, as well as analyses the flaws in putting him at the centre of the Flash mythos at other characters' expense. This is doubled down on in "The Flash Age", with villain Paradox going on a rant where he says the only reason Barry is the most written about Flash, despite not being the first or last, is because he died — and that he should have stayed dead. Obviously, it's controversial among fans of Barry, but for those that have gotten sick of the way DC pushed him, it is enjoyable for him to finally get put to task.
  • Tear Jerker:
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Much of the New 52's changes resulted in this, as the franchise became very different.
    • Until they were made a Decomposite Character with Divergent Character Evolution, this was a major reaction to the New 52 version of Wally West, who became a biracial black kid instead of a red-head in his 20s like he'd been for decades. The issue is less about the Race Lift for the most part (and the fans who do have issue for that reason are a generally unpopular Vocal Minority within the fandom), but the fact Wally is introduced as a petty criminal and Angry Black Man, who outright hates the Flash, as well as being only twelve years old (and thus, not having any of his previous Character Development or relationships). It was seen that the character was made as different as possible for seemingly no reason other than spite, and the portrayal of him after the race change was seen as relying so much on stereotypes and clichés that many felt the character became a racist caricature of black youth. What's more, the decision to change Wally West specifically has been criticized since redheaded males get very little representation outside of Evil Redhead or Redheads Are Uncool characters (all stemming from centuries-old prejudices) and are in real life a huge target for bullying, and while many understand the need for more black heroes there's concern about the fact redheaded heroes are being erased for it, not helped by the fact Wally's red hair is often used to insult him by people on the opposite side of the Flash Fandom Rivalry.
    • All of "Bart's" origin in the New 52. The only similarity is that he's from the future, and he now has a very nineties-feeling Darker and Edgier backstory. His name is now Bar Torr and he got his powers from being stranded on a planet...no, there is no other explanation. His powers aren't at all connected to the Speed Force, and his happy personality is all an act — he's actually an aggressive, edgy rebel leader from the future. He started a rebellion to liberate people from his oppressors...only to immediately turn on said rebellion when his sister is injured in the armed rebellion he started, giving the implication that he only cared about casualties when they affected those close to HIM. He's thus given the alias Bart Allen, purely by coincidence tying him to Barry in the most tangential way, and sent back in time. When he discovers his past, he turns on the Teen Titans and this was all apparently part of his plan somehow. All of it has been criticized for Scott Lobdell fundamentally not understanding Bart Allen as a character.
    • Jay Garrick going from a Happily Married Cool Old Guy to a single young man trying to find his way in life.
    • Barry himself, while still the main character, went from an endearingly awkward but idealistic police scientist in his 30s/40s to a young 20-something who's idealism is more talked of then genuinely employed. The perversions Thawne made to Barry's past before Flashpoint became a permanent fixture of Barry's character and were made a core part of his identity as the Flash, giving him a Dark and Troubled Past that many believe he didn't need, especially as it slowly became the basis of his entire characterisation. It was also used to expect sympathy for his character even when he began acting like a Jerkass, leading to him becoming Unintentionally Unsympathetic to readers.
    • The Rogues becoming Metahumans, something that was so controversial Geoff Johns intervened to undo it. The main issue is that the Rogues being a Badass Normal crew who employed crazy tech to fight the Flash was seen as the bulk of what made them interesting and entertaining, and changing them to metahumans as well as changing how their gimmicks worked in some cases greatly ruins them. It's not helped that the line-up swapped James Jesse for his less popular replacement Axel Walker, while Mirror Master's More Popular Replacement Evan McCulloch was tossed aside in favour of the original, Sam Scudder. About the only change welcomed was reviving Golden Glider, but the changes made to her were less popular.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Christina Alexandrova, the villainous Russian speedster who briefly called herself Lady Flash and pined after Wally West during the early days of his solo book, had the potential to possibly be Wally's personal Arch-Enemy speedster given the two worked as foils towards one another. Contrast Wally's strong personality and desire to do right by Barry's memory while forging his own path, to Christina's lack of personality and constantly switching identities based on whomever she was serving or infatuated with at the time. At some point, she was even positioned to be Jesse Quick's arch-enemy, after Savitar tried to force Jesse into becoming Christina's replacement and Christina's subsequent attempt to Murder the Hypotenuse caused the death of Jesse's father, giving them a very personal hatred. However, Christina has been completely absent since she tried to bump off Linda Park on her and Wally's honeymoon and hasn't appeared since.
    • Jerrie Rathaway, Hartley's little sister, hasn't appeared since her first (and only) appearance in 1989, not even getting mentioned after Hartley gets framed for the murder of their parents.
    • After Barry came back, a major problem with Wally fans was how this happened to him. Despite being popular enough to carry the series for decades and a beloved hero, he was Demoted to Extra with Barry remaining the only Flash. However, the fact the two operated in different cities and had very different approaches (Barry being a Science Hero who used his brain to figure out how to implement his comparatively limited speed powers for a number of applications; Wally being an uneducated Guile Hero whose understanding of the Speed Force allowed him to use it for other purposes outside of 'moving fast'), they could have held two very different-feeling books. After Wally finally came back in DC Rebirth, there was a lot of potential opportunities for Wally to focus on fixing the timeline, finding his missing family, or in any way progressing his character, but was instead relegated to being a Designated Monkey and Cosmic Plaything who was dismissed and demonized for making any attempt to improve his situation.
      • Arguably, Barry himself falls into this, and a big reason for the negative heat his character gets likely falls into this. After his revival, Barry's experience could have used to depict him as Older and Wiser like Jay and Max, or show him as a mature hero deserving the revere he received, or in any way reinvented. Instead, Barry returned to the Status Quo he held before his death, repeatedly pushed the Flash Family away (particularly seen with how he dismisses Bart and treats him as an annoyance, his grandson), and the only reinvention he got was giving him a new backstory that fell into the superhero cliché of dead parents. This new backstory ends up becoming the entire basis of his personality and character, causing him to feel like a manchild unable to move on and ultimately resulting in causing Flashpoint. This in-turn resulted in him and, to some extent, the franchise as a whole reverting to how they were in the earliest Silver Age comics (unmarried, hiding his secret identity, fighting the Rogues, etc), but with the aforementioned new backstory still dominating his character focus.
    • Though she's well-liked by fans and was once a fixture in various team books, Jesse Quick is the only 'main' member of the Flash family to never get a solo series. This possibly crosses into They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, as two one-off stories penned by Christopher Priest seemed to set up a pretty good concept for an ongoing series (complete with supporting cast including her mom and a hinted love interest with a model hired for her firm), but none ever materialised. This was mitigated to some extent by her getting used in Titans and Justice Society, and even briefly the Justice League, but the only time she was a lead was a back-up feature co-staring her husband in JSA All-Stars. Notably, she doesn't even have her own fictional city or a Reverse-Flash of her own like the boys do, despite means to set up Christina Alexandrova as one.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Linda's possession by an ancient Irish bard named Seamus O'Relkig could have been a fascinating story, given their natures as two storytellers from vastly different time periods. Instead, it's soon revealed that Seamus is just the Kilg%re in disguise, and up to that point the plot was mostly used for Comic Relief to cause Linda embarrassment.
    • Ashley Zolomon potentially joining Wally's True Companions at the end of Rogue War. After Zoom introduces them to each other, Linda and Ashley realize they are Not So Different. Ashley helps Linda to get to hospital with Piper and she becomes Secret Secret-Keeper for Wally by the end of story arc. Unfortunately this set up isn't followed upon and Mark Waid completely ditches Wally's side cast for the twins once Wally comes back after Infinite Crisis.
    • As said above, Barry's return could have resulted in him and Wally both operating as the Flash, as well as a larger focus on the Flash Family as a unit, making use of their very contrasting approaches and characters to make them distinct within said family, and the franchise as a whole being more expansive and unique. Instead, all but Barry were Demoted to Extra and later erased from existence, and the book reverted to something resembling the Silver Age but without the wacky comedic nature, and becoming a more generic superhero story.
    • The other Forces, though introduced at the tail end of Flash War and kicking off a story that fans didn't want, suffered greatly as a result, but they weren't bad ideas. Much like the Speed Force, the Strength Force and Sage Force could have been used to revive and revamp a number of characters by giving a source for their super-strength (such as Liberty Belle, Al Prat and his sons, Hourman, Steel, etc.) or psychic powers (Psimon, Omen, Gorilla Grodd, The Top, etc). Instead of being linked to existing characters with these powers, however, they've mostly been used to give unwanted/unneeded temporary upgrades to unrelated characters or empower new characters, making it work less as an extension of the Speed Force's meta origin and more a plot tumor.
    • In what's probably a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, The Flash has uniquely avoided the overuse of Kryptonite Factor the same way other DC superheroes like Superman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter had. While the Flash does have an easily exploited weakness (cold; due to the scientific nature of "cold" being the lack of kinetic energy in atoms, anything that induces cold would reduce the Flash of their kinetic energy, weakening their speed and slowing them down), this rarely comes up, save for helping to establish why Captain Cold is such a successful Badass Normal, or having the Flash struggle during cold weather. Because it's not well-known, it's resulted in Captain Cold being mistakenly assumed to be a lame gimmick villain by non-fans, but it's also helped avoid a Kryptonite Is Everywhere situation where the Flash is constantly harassed by cold/ice-themed villainsnote . For people put off by how Kryptonite Is Everywhere affects Superman and Green Lantern ("yellow is everywhere", in his case), this is probably a plot point that they're thankful is wasted, if not for the fact it's been countered by having so many evil speedsters.
    • Relating to that last point, but despite Finish Line reviving the Flash Family and solicits teasing a "Reverse Flash Family" and a "Legion of Zoom", the story didn't feature a team-up of evil speedsters, as Thawne instead just recruited a couple Rogues, Grodd, and the Turtle, then later a mismash of random and forgotten villains. This is actually discussed, with the claim being that Thawne didn't trust other evil speedsters whereas the villains he did recruit, he pulled out of time in order to have control over them. Still, many fans believe it was a wasted opportunity to unite the Reverse-Flashes, with many speculating why this very obvious plot still hasn't been utilised.
    • Wally's kids disappear with him and Linda, only to return with a Plot-Relevant Age-Up and joining in on the heroics. As a result, we never got to see much of Wally adjusting to parenthood, nor how him and Linda managed a pair of infants. Their speedy aging had basis with Bart having undergone something similar, but by having the kids join in on the heroics, many felt it wasted the opportunity to just explore Wally balancing parenthood and heroics.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Barry Allen post-Flashpoint, given that, however one looks at it, he is responsible for destroying the universe twice over after a poorly thought out attempt to stop Professor Zoom from murdering his mother. While his motives to save his mom are understandable (given she explicitly lived out her life before dying of natural causes until Thawne stepped in), Barry's effort to do so was extremely clumsy and half-assed. This is especially frustrating given the Flash Family repeatedly showed they were willing to support him and Barry has friends in the hero community with experience in time travel. But as a result of Barry's actions, the universe and all of his friends are made practically unrecognizable thanks to Pandora and Doctor Manhattan, while the rest of the Flashes were banished either to the Speed Force or some unknown region and then replaced with doppelgangers (Bar Torr, New 52 Wally, Earth-2 Jay Garrick). Even worse is that, once the original Wally escapes from the Speed Force he's entered a world where his wife and childhood friends don't remember him and his children are missing. Barry essentially destroyed the lives of his friends and loved ones and, while he does show regret for what's happened to the Flash Family once he was made aware of it, he's yet to acknowledge the damage he caused to the universe (if not Multiverse) as a whole, nor shown any regret or make an effort to truly fix the damage. All this while still being written as a Nice Guy and toted as DC's main Flash when he's probably a Karma Houdini of the highest regard. It undermines the 'positive' vibe of the initial New 52 run greatly that all of Barry's Lighter and Softer Younger and Hipper antics are essentially the result of him destroying everyone's lives in a reckless stunt he's now forgotten about.
      • One major complication with Barry was Rebirth being subject to heavy Executive Meddling and Schedule Slip. Barry was made aware that Wally's life had been fucked up from the very beginning, and shortly after that Wally was not the only speedster trapped in the Speed Force, even meeting Jay Garrick again. But because higher ups negated plans to focus on Wally repairing his life in Titans, something that was shown to be causing Wally a great deal of stress and crippling depression, Barry looked as if he was ignoring his nephew's crisis, and because Doomsday Clock got delayed and Wally got pulled into Heroes in Crisis, Barry appeared to have been sitting on his ass after The Button instead of actually doing anything to help Jay or the others, made even worse by Flash War explicitly calling Barry out for this, only for him to continue doing nothing until Superman ended up being the one to save Jay and the others from non-existence. While it wasn't intended, the repeated delays and vetoes painted Barry as extremely uncaring about other people's problems, even while he knew they were suffering.
    • The New 52 Wally West, when he was first introduced. The writers wanted to add some "wrinkles" to Wally's backstory so people would feel more sympathetic towards his Trauma Conga Line experience. It faced a massive backlash because the writers seemed to completely miss the point of Wally's character, Wally himself coming across as a massive jerk and the added race lift led to accusations of racism on the writer's side instead. When they tried to fix the situation (by mostly ignoring it and pretending character development happened off-panel) it was far too late; this time Wally came across as acting bipolar: on one page being this happy go lucky kid and on another being back to mopey for no reason.
    • August Heart as Godspeed. He's clearly meant to be an Anti-Villain as an Expy of Hunter Zolomon but his motives have been all over the place with his sudden Jumping Off the Slippery Slope not helping his case. Most fans agree that August should have received more background work like Zolomon did, but it's a little too late now. It doesn't help that he comes across as a Smug Snake, and seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of police work.
    Tess Ate Chai Tea: The epitome of shitty cop work: bragging about ignoring the evidence in favor of making assumptions about possible suspects and jumping to unsupported conclusions.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Much of Modern Barry has been structured around this, from giving him an angstier backstory to even exiling the Flash Family, as besides claims of Uniqueness Decay, making him The Loner allows him to angst about how nobody understands what it's like to experience time the way he does.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Bart Allen; during the height of the Flash Family days, he was the Annoying Younger Sibling of the group and it was rare for a scene to play out that didn't involve someone expressing annoyance and frustration with him. This however was exactly what made fans love him. Doubles as this among his friends in Young Justice too.
    • Captain Boomerang. In-universe not even his fellow Rogues like him, but fans consider him a memorable and likable villain.
    • Pied Piper in some ways; outside of Trickster none of the Rogues liked him, he was neglected and disliked by his family growing up, and Wally and Linda were the only friends he ever had, and outside of Wally most other heroes didn't really trust him. Fans meanwhile generally love the guy, and many consider him to be an essential part of Wally's Power Trio with himself and Linda.
    • In recent years, Wally West. Being a Cosmic Plaything and Creator's Pest left the feeling that the universe itself hated him, and despite his lengthy career as the Flash and the fact he has surpassed Barry in feats, power, and accomplishments, Character Shilling resulting in indirectly insulting him, combined with being erased from existence resulting in people in-universe forgetting his career, resulted in many heroes treating him like he was an inferior copy of Barry. Obviously, fans who have read his run feel quite differently.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • August Heart is Godspeed. Yep, the guy who repeatedly mentioned wanting to enforce harsher justice, had a Freudian Excuse and was literally the only named adult male character with superspeed...is in fact the adult male supervillain with superspeed. Shocking, we know. It doesn't help that, after he was "attacked" by Godspeed, he says it's possible it could've been Dr. Carver...whose powers look like the exact opposite of Godspeed's (Godspeed's lightning is brighter than Barry's, whereas Carver's powers emit black wind), making it impossible that he could've mistaken them. In fact, the only reason some people didn't think it was him (the other candidate was Meena) was that it was too obvious.
    • From the same run, Ramsey Rosso being Bloodwork. What, you mean the coroner turned out to be the villain based on blood?! Shocking...Again, the only other candidate was a woman Barry knows who could only be a suspect because the actual answer was too obvious.
    • In the prelude to Flash War, it was pretty commonly guessed that the motivator for Wally to turn on Barry was finding out about his kids, whom were erased from existence by Flashpoint. Then Flash War starts and...yep, Hunter informs Wally of his kids, and that's why he goes to war with Barry or rather, he goes to war with him because, by Hunter's claim, the only way to save them would be to get rid of the Speed Force, something Barry won't allow.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Rudy and Mary's treatment of Wally was once portrayed as "bad but well-intentioned". By modern standards, their attempts to get Wally to "come down to Earth" would be considered emotional and verbal abuse, especially considering the negative effects it had on Wally's self-worth. Likewise, Rudy has been shown in canon multiple times to be physically abusive of Wally, hitting him for minor offenses (such as spilling soda or chasing Barry and Iris' car to wave goodbye) and Mary has been very emotionally manipulative towards him, often victimizing herself so he'd feel guilty and do whatever she wants. This isn't even getting into Rudy's various cons, him forcing Wally to keep quiet about his adulterous tendencies (until Mary found out by walking in on him and some woman) and his involvement with the Manhunters. It's little to no wonder that Rebirth writers have taken to referring to the two as being outright abusive, rather than trying to sugarcoat or justify their treatment of their son like earlier writers did.
    • The Silver Age comics are the Trope Namer for the Japanese Ranguage trope. Not only would such a portrayal be hard to present without receiving backlash for racism by the New 10s, but in that same panel Barry jokingly refers to Iris as his "child bride". Suffice to say, a joke like that would never fly by today's standards.
    • Pied Piper coming out of the closet was a pretty revolutionary move for an early 90s comic. However, his attire (but not his personality) makes him look like a stereotypical example of Camp Gay, and Wally's initial reaction of literally running away to think about this revelation before returning to and accepting his friend can come off as extremely goofy and over-the-top for a modern day reader.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Barry is often seen as this. As a Silver Age character, there was never really much to him beyond "he had powers and wanted to be a hero", and as he died during the bronze age, he wasn't developed to the level the other Flash family are. As a result, when he returned, many found him quite boring, and the attempts to flesh his character out more haven't made him endearing. Also as a result of this, Barry ends up as the only member of the Flash Family to lack a 'niche'; Max Mercury is the Old Master, Jay Garrick is the Team Dad, Wally is the Deadpan Snarker Dynamic Character, Jesse Quick is The Chick and Cool Big Sis, and Bart is the Fun Personified Tag Along Kid. Conversely, Barry's not really got anything distinctive, so he just comes off as The Generic Guy. This is likely a contributing factor to his return leading to them being Exiled from Continuity, as he didn't really fit with the rest of them, and as a result it would make any story featuring them result in Barry being ignored and overlooked. Notably, whenever someone complains about the Flash Family's existence, they accuse them of making the Flash concept less special, because apparently, the only thing Barry had going for him as a character was his powerset.
  • The Woobie:
    • Hunter Zolomon is the Woobie of Flash series and the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds variety to boot. The poor guy's life is basically one big Trauma Conga Line, starting when his father murdered his mother and was then shot by the police. Things then got worse when his own hubris got his father-in-law killed, causing his divorce, and himself crippled. Still, he was more of an Iron Woobie, with such things only furthering his commitment to justice, until he's paralyzed by Gorilla Grodd. His transformation from a bitter limp cop to Wheelchair Woobie makes the final straw, makes him extremely angry and bitter, and he attempts to go back in time to fix his life. Unfortunately, since he isn't a speedster, all he manages to do is give himself Time Master powers...which slowly (from his point of view, in reality it's less than a second) drive him so insane that he becomes convinced that it's his destiny to become the next Reverse-Flash and make Wally's life more tragic. Throughout his career as Zoom, he's genuinely unaware that his attempts to help his friend are actually causing him great harm.
    • Pied Piper. Neglected by his rich parents, grew up with a disability that they didn't even notice, and was for a while rejected by them when he came out about his sexuality. He fell into crime and was further exiled by his parents, especially when his criminal career took on a socialist, anti-capitalist trend. When he turned over a new leaf, he was constantly distrusted by heroes because of his past life, despite Wally vouching for him. He was also targeted by The Top for his sexuality, who tried to frame him for assassinating a rigged-to-win presidential candidate who had been making wolf-whistles against the LGBT community during the election. Then he was framed for murdering his parents after he'd patched things up with them, leading to him being sent to Iron Heights where he was abused by the warden and guards, until he finally broke out, and was briefly brainwashed by The Top again. When he finally reconnected with his best friend Wally, the two were Demoted to Extra by the lengthy Dork Age and we've barely seen him since.
    • Barry Allen falls into this territory by the time he came back from the dead with Thawne retconning his childhood and killing his mother and then, Flashpoint happened.
    • Wally West was already one due to the crap he overcame—neglectful parents, mental blocks, power loss, crippling insecurities, lost his beloved Aunt and Uncle at different times, wife miscarried after being attacked, etc.—but what happens to him following Flashpoint really takes the cake. After Flashpoint, he gets sucked into the Speed Force, and since everyone's had ten years or so of their continuity removed, he has no Lightning Rod to pull himself out of it. He tries several times to find someone who remembers him but even Linda, his wife, has no memory of him. When he's finally freed by Barry, the two break down crying as Wally has lost many of his memories and so doesn't remember what, but knows that someone stole their memories, but doesn't know who or what, and doesn't know exactly what they took.
    • Minor character Fallout grieves over the deaths of his wife and daughter, who died when he tried to get close to them upon first transforming into his nuclear form.
    • Magenta can also qualify, as her mother believed that she was possessed by the devil, and the cause of the car crash that claimed her father and brother. She was pretty much pushed into heroics by her then boyfriend Wally West, and was later exploited and brainwashed twice, first by a doctor at STAR Labs who created her split personality as an assassin, and later by Raven during one of her jaunts on the dark side. Her fragile psyche and damaged mental health can be attributed to the times that she's fallen in with the Rogues, or any other villain the Flash has fought, such as the Cicada cult.
    • New 52 Wally. He's a twelve year old kid who was abandoned by his father when he was a baby, who's mother is missing and may even be dead, just had his Uncle Daniel (the only father figure he's had up to that point) carted off to prison by The Flash, and is now living with an Aunt Iris (that he's implied not to know very well) just so he won't be taken by Social Services. Spray painting the Flash Symbol and then putting an anti-sign (most likely to relieve both anger and stress) is completely understandable from his point of view. Given everything he's been through it's surprising that that's all he did. He also seems to feel at least a little guilty about causing his Aunt trouble.
      • Lightened somewhat when it was retconned that Daniel was actually his biological father, meaning he only lost one father figure. Still, that's a lot for someone his age to go through.
    • Bart. Dear god, Bart. Especially after the poor kid is traumatized by seeing himself die on Apokalips.
    • Jesse Quick, which has actually caused her to struggle with depression. She's the child of two divorced former heroes who had very different ideas of what she should do with her life and put immense pressure on her, she had no friends growing up, was quietly in love with Wally but he only saw her as a friend, she lost her dad to a Heroic Sacrifice to save her, and was left to run his company, was over-stressed and over-worked, and had terrible luck with her dating life. Eventually her life imploded around the time of Blitz to the point she didn't even feel worthy of her powers anymore. Joining the JSA helped her immensely, but then she got trapped in the Speed Force by Flashpoint.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: The Rogues are often subject to this, though mostly from people who are unfamiliar with the core Flash comics. It's common for them to be assumed to be Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains, people that the Flash can deal with without a problem, mostly because they're largely normal men (and Golden Glider), who only tend to target bank robberies rather than anything more malicious, and are fighting against someone with Super Speed that can often get exaggerated to a ridiculous degree (the fact the Flash is a Memetic Badass among some circles because the general belief that Super Speed is a Story-Breaker Power doesn't help with this). What's overlooked is how ridiculously effective they actually are in a fight, despite their lack of superpowers. Part of this is just ignorance of the fact the Rogues' various gimmicks are, like the Flash's Super Speed, taken to a ridiculous degree, to the point they each individually range from being a One-Man Army (such as Trickster, Captain Cold, or Golden Glider) to a Person of Mass Destruction or Physical God (like Weather Wizard, Abra Kadabra, or Mirror Master) and as a result end up effectively nullifying the advantage Super Speed gives. For instance, Cold's gimmick effectively makes him a Man of Kryptonite to the Flash, while Glider is shown being fast enough to effectively catch them by surprise, and Weather Wizard causes such a great deal of chaos during a fight the Flash has to concentrate more on containing their fight then actually fighting them, never mind how vaguely defined Mirror Master's abilities are, which he's weaponised to have basically god-like power. While they're goofy and genuinely sympathetic, they are far from ineffective.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Jesse Quick has not had a good time of it.
      • People generally liked her first two outfits (leather jacket and Zettai Ryouiki), but her third was ugly, to say the least. It was a red leotard that had a 'Q' on it, with the 'Q' weirdly circling one of her breasts, and being composed of a white circle and lightning bolt. Her goggles were now ugly sunglasses, and she wore these really ugly yellow boots that seemed to prove that you can't do Zettai Ryouiki with yellow boots and nothing to break them up.
      • Her fourth Jesse Quick outfit, while generally seen as better than the previous, is also this. It's basically just a read shirt with her Jesse Quick symbol on it and yellow shorts, gloves and boots. A lot of people derided it for looking like she was going to do the dishes.
    • Barry Allen:
      • The New 52 suit, specifically the line work. While everyone admits it looks cool when he's actually running, a lot of people just thought it was way too busy for normal scenes. His Rebirth suit is basically this suit, but toned the line work way, way down.
      • The DC You suit. While many didn't like the busy line-work on his previous costume, this time, it was even busier, with the lines being much more prominent and distracting. At the same time, he had streaks of dark red on parts of his costume, making it look like he literally just smeared random red paint on himself. His eyes, which have always been visible through his costume, now had some kind of lens over them, making this more resemble a costume Wally West would wear. And his symbol was changed to more closely resemble the TV show's, which funnily enough changed to more resemble the comic's in its second season.
    • Eobard Thawne's New 52 suit, which is basically Barry's DC You suit, but worse because of off-colors and "extreme" additions, like the busy black lightning and weird take on his symbol.

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