Flash of Two Worlds

"Flash of Two Worlds!" is a landmark[1] comic book story that was published in The Flash #123 (Sept. 1961). It introduces Earth-Two, and more generally the concept of the multiverse, to DC Comics.[2] The story was written by Gardner Fox under the editorial guidance of Julius Schwartz (whose subsequent autobiography was titled Man of Two Worlds), and illustrated by Carmine Infantino. In 2009, DC Comics released a new digitally remastered graphic novel collection, DC Comics Classics Library: The Flash of Two Worlds. It features the classic flagship story and other subsequent Pre-Crisis Flash material.

"Flash of Two Worlds"
Flash v1 123
Cover of The Flash vol. 1, 123 (Sept, 1961)Art by Carmine Infantino, pencils, and Murphy Anderson, inks.
PublisherDC Comics
Publication dateSeptember 1961
Genre
Title(s)The Flash #123
Main character(s)Flash (Barry Allen)
Flash (Jay Garrick)
Creative team
Writer(s)Gardner Fox
Penciller(s)Carmine Infantino
Inker(s)Joe Giella
Editor(s)Julius Schwartz

Plot summary

At a charity event organized by Iris West, the Flash performs super-speed tricks to entertain the children there as the scheduled magician has not come. Recreating a rope climbing trick, the Flash begins vibrating his molecules when he suddenly disappears from the stage. He finds himself outside near an unfamiliar city, which he discovers to be Keystone City, the home of the Golden Age Flash. Keystone City is located on Earth-Two (not named as such in this story),[3] an Earth in a parallel universe. On Barry Allen's world, the Golden Age Flash is thought to be a fictional comic book character. Barry looks up Jay Garrick in the phone book and introduces himself to the older speedster. On this Earth, Jay had retired as the Flash years earlier, the year his comic book series was canceled on Earth-One, and married his longtime girlfriend, Joan Williams. Barry claims Gardner Fox's thoughts must have been tuned in to the events of Earth-Two.

Garrick says he is preparing to resume being the Flash and describes for Barry three incredible crimes that were committed recently. These thefts were perpetrated by three of Jay's former adversaries, the Fiddler, the Shade, and the Thinker, who have joined forces. The Flashes split up, with Jay taking on the Thinker and Barry against the Shade, but they are unable to defeat them. The Flashes regroup and go after the Fiddler together, saving a man from a falling steel girder along the way.

Shade and Thinker meet up and realize that there are two Flashes. They hurry to warn the Fiddler of this turn of events, but the Fiddler has already managed to stop the Flashes with his musical powers. He commands the two speedsters to commit robberies for him. Just as the villainous trio are about to flee with their loot, the two Flashes capture them. It turns out that they had put small jewels in their ears to block the Fiddler's mind-control music after he told them to put them down and take larger jewels, then played along in order to fool the criminals. Barry returns to his Earth after Jay announces he is coming out of retirement and will continue as the Flash of his world.

Effects of the story

The success of "Flash of Two Worlds" encouraged DC to revive many of its Golden Age characters. Eventually, crossovers between the two Earths would become an annual feature in the Justice League of America comics, beginning with issue #21, "Crisis on Earth-One!" (August 1963), and culminating in the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The cover itself has become an iconic image, and has been referenced in many covers including Flash vol. 1 #147 (Sep. 1964), Dark Horse Presents #67 (November 1992), Flash vol. 2 #123 (Mar. 1997), Impulse #70 (Mar. 2001), Flash Rebirth #5 (Jan. 2010), and The Flash #9 (Oct. 2016) as part of the Rebirth reboot.

In 2004, a near-mint copy of The Flash #123 sold in a Heritage auction for $83,000.[4]

In Final Crisis #2 (August 2008), the location of this story is revisited by Wally West (the third Flash) and Jay Garrick (the first Flash), but by the time of Final Crisis the Central City community center has become an abandoned strip joint. Later in the same issue it becomes the location for the return of Barry Allen (the second Flash), for the first time since his apparent death in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (November 1985).

Other media

The comic is featured in the episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Jiminy Conjecture". It is the comic book Sheldon loses in a cricket identification bet to Howard, and he can be seen holding it near the episode's conclusion.

The concept of the Golden Age Flash being a comic book character on the Silver Age's Earth, and his retirement on his Earth coinciding with the cancellation of the series, is reused in the Justice League two-parter "Legends". It features the titular team visiting a Golden Age era reality with the "Justice Guild of America", a team similar to the Justice Society who are said to have been characters in a comic book series within the DC Animated Universe. John Stewart says the comic series was canceled and the League later deduce that this occurred when the team was killed in their timeline.

The episode titled "Flash of Two Worlds" of Season 2's The Flash uses the title of the original story. It also contains a brief scene reminiscent of the cover, when the two Flashes run around opposite sides of a brick wall to check on a hostage after a fight with the criminal Sand Demon. In the show, Barry and Jay's situations are reversed: Jay (later revealed to be Hunter Zolomon) finds himself stranded on Earth 1, whereas in the comic, Barry arrives on Earth 2 (although he is able to leave at the end).[5]

Notes

  1. ^ "Julius Schwartz". The Telegraph. 2004-02-11. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  2. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. This classic Silver Age story resurrected the Golden Age Flash and provided a foundation for the Multiverse from which he and the Silver Age Flash would hail.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ The name "Earth-Two" does not appear until "Crisis on Earth 1!" in Justice League of America #21.
  4. ^ "Heritage Auction Hits $1.7 Million". Scoop. 2004-06-18. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  5. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 31, 2015). "'The Flash' Casts Tony Todd as Voice of DC Villain Zoom in Season 2 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2015.

References

External links

Alley Award

The Alley Award was an American series of comic book fan awards, first presented in 1962 for comics published in 1961. Officially organized under the aegis of the Academy of Comic Book Arts and Sciences, the award shared close ties with the fanzine Alter Ego magazine. The Alley is the first known comic book fan award.The Alley Awards were tallied yearly for comic books produced during the previous year. The Alley statuette was initially sculpted by Academy member Ron Foss out of redwood, from which "plaster duplications" were made to be handed out to the various winners.

Alter Ego (magazine)

Alter Ego is an American magazine devoted to comic books and comic-book creators of the 1930s to late-1960s periods comprising what fans and historians call the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comic Books.

It was founded as a fanzine by Jerry Bails in 1961, and later taken over by Roy Thomas. Ten issues were released through 1969, with issue #11 following nine years later. In 1999, following a five-issue run the previous years as a flip-book with Comic Book Artist, Alter Ego began regular bimonthly publication as a formal magazine with glossy covers. TwoMorrows Publishing is the owner of the magazine and it is headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

Blue Valley (comics)

Blue Valley is a fictional city in the DC Comics universe. It was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino as the home town of the original Kid Flash. It was first mentioned in The Flash #110 (December 1959).

Carmine Infantino

Carmine Michael Infantino (; May 24, 1925 – April 4, 2013) was an American comics artist and editor, primarily for DC Comics, during the late 1950s and early 1960s period known as the Silver Age of Comic Books. Among his character creations are the Silver Age version of DC super-speedster the Flash, with writer Robert Kanigher; the stretching Elongated Man, with John Broome, and Christopher Chance, the second iteration of the Human Target, with Len Wein.

He was inducted into comics' Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2000.

Central City Police Department

The Central City Police Department (CCPD) is a fictional police department servicing Central City, as depicted in comic books published by DC Comics, in particular those tied into the Flash books.

Crisis (DC Comics)

A crisis in the DC Universe is an event with potentially great consequences, often involving multiple universes and sometimes even threatening their existence.From 1963 to 1985 the term "Crisis" was used to describe the annual events in which the Justice League of America of Earth-One and the Justice Society of America of Earth-Two met and worked together, usually in an incident involving one or more of the parallel worlds of the DC Multiverse. This usage culminated in 1985's year-long Crisis on Infinite Earths, a companywide crossover in which the Multiverse was eliminated. After several years of disuse, the term "crisis" was applied to several events with either "universal" stakes or substantial character consequences, such as Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis.In the two decades after 1985, "Crisis" by itself came to refer specifically to Crisis on Infinite Earths, especially when used in house pre-Crisis and post-Crisis.

Characters in the DC Universe sometimes use the term "Crisis" in the same sense, referring either to any great threat, or as "the Crisis" in reference to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, either as they happened or as they were commonly remembered in the revised history after the fact.

With the publication of Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis, the use of the term within the DC Universe has shifted. The Crisis on Infinite Earths is sometimes referred to as "the First Crisis". The Infinite Crisis has occasionally been referred to as simply "the Crisis", and a character from the 31st century called it "the Middle Crisis" DC did not call other important events such as Forever Evil or Convergence a "Crisis", even explicitly stating that some, such as Doomsday Clock, are not "Crisis" events.

DC Comics Classics Library

The DC Comics Classics Library is a line of hardcover comic book collections, collecting classic storylines along similar lines as Marvel Comics' Marvel Premiere Classic line.

Earth-One

Earth-One (also Earth-1) is a name given to two fictional universes (The Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis versions of the same universe) that have appeared in American comic book stories published by DC Comics. The first Earth-One was given its name in Justice League of America #21 (August 1963), after The Flash #123 (September 1961) explained how Golden Age (Earth-Two) versions of characters such as the Flash (Jay Garrick) could appear in stories with their Silver Age counterparts (Barry Allen). This Earth-One continuity included the DC Silver Age heroes, including the Justice League of America. Earth-One, along with the four other surviving Earths of the DC Multiverse, are merged into one in the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. This Earth's versions of characters were primarily the Earth-One versions (i.e. Superman, Batman), but some characters from the four other worlds were also "folded" in. In Infinite Crisis, Earth-One was resurrected and merged with the primary Earth of the publication era to create a New Earth that brought back more aspects of Earth-One's original history. In 2007, a new version of Earth-One was created in the aftermath of events that occurred within the 52 series.

Earth-Two

Earth-Two is a fictional universe appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. First appearing in The Flash #123 (1961), Earth-Two was created to explain differences between the original Golden Age and then-current Silver Age versions of characters such as the Flash, and how the current (Earth-One) versions could appear in stories with their counterparts. This Earth-Two continuity includes DC Golden Age heroes, including the Justice Society of America, whose careers began at the dawn of World War II, concurrently with their first appearances in comics. Earth-Two, along with the four other surviving Earths of the DC Multiverse, were merged into one in the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, following the events of Infinite Crisis, the Multiverse was reborn, although the subsequent Earth-Two was not the same as its pre-Crisis equivalent.

Following the events of Flashpoint, Earth 2 underwent an additional reiteration. While it still houses a team of superheroes, its membership is younger than before. Earth 2 also has a tragic backstory, having been invaded by a horde of alien invaders from Apokolips five years prior to the reboot, ahead of Darkseid's attempted invasion of Prime Earth. In the process, this reality's Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all died, while its Supergirl and Robin were swept through a dimensional warp to Prime Earth where they became known as Power Girl and Huntress.

Fiddler (comics)

The Fiddler is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, as an enemy of the first Flash.

The Fiddler made her live appearance on the fourth season of The Flash played by Miranda MacDougall. This version is a female version who is actually not a villain and a budding country music artist.

Flash (comics)

The Flash (or simply Flash) is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (cover date January 1940/release month November 1939). Nicknamed the "Scarlet Speedster", all incarnations of the Flash possess "super speed", which includes the ability to run, move, and think extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and seemingly violate certain laws of physics.

Thus far, at least four different characters—each of whom somehow gained the power of "the speed force"—have assumed the mantle of the Flash in DC's history: college athlete Jay Garrick (1940–1951, 1961–2011, 2017–present), forensic scientist Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Barry's nephew Wally West (1986–2011, 2016–present), and Barry's grandson Bart Allen (2006–2007). Each incarnation of the Flash has been a key member of at least one of DC's premier teams: the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans.

The Flash is one of DC Comics' most popular characters and has been integral to the publisher's many reality-changing "crisis" storylines over the years. The original meeting of the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick and Silver Age Flash Barry Allen in "Flash of Two Worlds" (1961) introduced the Multiverse storytelling concept to DC readers, which would become the basis for many DC stories in the years to come.

Like his Justice League colleagues Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman, the Flash has a distinctive cast of adversaries, including the various Rogues (unique among DC supervillains for their code of honor) and the various psychopathic "speedsters" who go by the names Reverse-Flash or Zoom. Other supporting characters in Flash stories include Barry's wife Iris West, Wally's wife Linda Park, Bart's girlfriend Valerie Perez, friendly fellow speedster Max Mercury, and Central City police department members David Singh and Patty Spivot.

A staple of the comic book DC Universe, the Flash has been adapted to numerous DC films, video games, animated series, and live-action television shows. In live action, Barry Allen has been portrayed by Rod Haase for the 1979 television special Legends of the Superheroes, John Wesley Shipp in the 1990 The Flash series and Grant Gustin in the 2014 The Flash series, and by Ezra Miller in the DC Extended Universe series of films, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Shipp also portrays a version of Jay Garrick in the 2014 The Flash series. The various incarnations of the Flash also feature in animated series such as Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice, as well as the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series.

Gardner Fox

Gardner Francis Cooper Fox (May 20, 1911 – December 24, 1986) was an American writer known best for creating numerous comic book characters for DC Comics. Comic book historians estimate that he wrote more than 4,000 comics stories, including 1,500 for DC Comics. Gardner was also a science fiction author and wrote many novels and short stories.

Fox is known as the co-creator of DC Comics heroes the Flash, Hawkman, Doctor Fate and the original Sandman, and was the writer who first teamed those and other heroes as the Justice Society of America and later recreated the team as the Justice League of America. Fox introduced the concept of the Multiverse to DC Comics in the 1961 story "Flash of Two Worlds!"

Goldface

Goldface is a DC Comics fictional character, originally a foe of Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and later The Flash. He is the ex-husband of Blacksmith.

Justice Guild of America

The Justice Guild of America is a superhero team featured in the Justice League animated series two-part episode "Legends", a homage to the Golden Age Justice Society of America, and to a degree the Silver Age Justice League of America.

Keystone City

Keystone City is a fictional city in the DC Comics Universe. Specifically, it is the home of both the original Flash, Jay Garrick, and the third Flash, Wally West. Keystone City first appeared in the 1940s in the original Flash Comics series.

Within the comics, Keystone has been described as being "the blue collar capital of the United States" and a center of industry.

Red Trinity

Red Trinity (a.k.a. Kapitalist Kouriers) is a fictional DC Comics Russian superteam introduced in Flash (v.2) #6 (November 1987). They were created by Mike Baron and Jackson Guice.

Shade (comics)

The Shade (Richard Swift) is a comic book character developed in the 1940s for National Comics, first appearing in the pages of Flash Comics in a story titled "The Man Who Commanded the Night", scripted by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Hal Sharp. Debuting as a villain, the Shade was best known for fighting against two generations of superheroes, most notably the Golden Age and Silver Age versions of the Flash. He eventually became a mentor for Jack Knight, the son of the Golden Age Starman, Ted Knight, a hero the Shade had also fought.Though initially portrayed in the Golden Age comics as a thief with a cane that could manipulate shadows, the character was reinvented in 1994 as a morally ambiguous Victorian era immortal who gained the ability to manipulate shadows and his immortality came from an unexplained mystical event. In 2009, The Shade was ranked as IGN's 89th Greatest Villain of All Time.Shade made his live appearance on the third season of The Flash played by Mike McLeod. This version of Shade is a nameless man who could vibrate his body to the point where it resembles a giant shadow of varying length.

The Flash (season 2)

The second season of the American television series The Flash, which is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, sees Barry recognized as a hero in Central City after saving the city, only to face a new threat from a parallel universe in the form of the speedster Zoom, who seeks to eliminate everyone connected to the Speed Force throughout the multiverse. It is set in the Arrowverse, sharing continuity with the other television series of the universe, and is a spin-off of Arrow. The season was produced by Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment, with Andrew Kreisberg, Gabrielle Stanton, Aaron Helbing, and Todd Helbing serving as showrunners.

The season was ordered in January 2015, and filmed from that July to the following April in Vancouver. Grant Gustin stars as Barry, alongside principal cast members Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, and Jesse L. Martin also returning from the first season, and are joined by Keiynan Lonsdale. This season also introduces characters from Legends of Tomorrow, which was being developed as a spin-off.

The first episode of the season premiered on October 6, 2015, with the season, consisting of 23 episodes, airing on The CW until May 24, 2016. The premiere was watched by 3.58 million viewers, down from the first season premiere but average for the series. The second season of The Flash received universal acclaim from critics, and finished as the 112th ranked show, slightly up from season one, with an average viewership of 4.25 million. The series was renewed for a third season on March 11, 2016.

Winky, Blinky, and Noddy

Winky, Blinky, and Noddy are a trio of fictional comic book characters, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist E.E. Hibbard, who first appeared in books starring the Flash. Their names were taken from Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

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