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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 181

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at another neat moment from the Return of Barry Allen from Mark Waid’s Flash run.


In Flash #78, “Barry Allen” has been quite a bad little boy, and the other speedsters have been trying to stop him.

But then Wally West discovers something about “Barry” that sort of makes the whole thing make sense.

So let’s see what that is, in this scene courtesy of Mark Waid and Greg Larocque, from Flash #78…

That’s a great reveal, and I would label the reveal as “the” moment, although the lead-up is quite good, as well.


Just being reassured than Barry wasn’t really back was the moment for me. Hear that Geoff Johns? Let us find out your “Barry” is really an imposter too, please!

“Barry” breaking Jay’s leg is a pretty cool moment, too. Is there a worse thing you can do to a Flash?

Santiago Mollo

July 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

I second that.

Johns! stop bringing back people that should stay dead only because they were your favorites as a child!

i would also throw in where wally figures out that the fake barry is zoom due to the copy of barrys bio that zoom revealing his true form. proving why waid and the flash go together so well

Is he really Geoff Johns’ “Barry”?

I thought he was brought back by Morrison, and Geoff is just (doing a lackluster job of) trying to explain how/why? Shouldn’t Morrison have part ownership then?

Whose idea was it to bring back Barry, anyway? Dan DiDio?

Maybe Barry is back to kill Jason Todd, and then he can go back to the other side of light or whatever.

Ethan Shuster

July 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

With what they did turning Hal Jordan into a villain, I’m thinking they did this storyline so you would actually think they were doing the same to Barry. Without the Jordan precedent readers probably wouldn’t have believed it was Barry for a second.

Jordan had not yet turned into a villain at this time, Ethan.

I don’t care who brought Barry back, but he an Jason Todd killing each other sounds pretty cool to me!


I’m not 100% sure we can call it DiDio’s idea, but I do recall a recent interview in Newsarama where he explained his desire for the characters to be in their “prime” (read: Silver/Bronze-Age) identities – Hal as Green Lantern, Barry as Flash, etc – so as to make them less complex for new readers (this is the theory, don’t worry about the actual practice).

It is sort of ironic that he puts this practice in place and then hey, Dick Grayson’s Batman now (not a complaint, just an observation).

@Cronin: Again, not a complaint, simply an observation: “Cool Comic Book Moments” sure does see its fair share of Waid-era Flash stories, huh?

Man do i love this storyline! i really loved the next issue [it was triple-sized!!]. Great stuff!

“Jordan had not yet turned into a villain at this time, Ethan.”

In fact, the part of the story before this was actually a crossover with Green Lantern – that’s where the Museum gets trashed, as “Barry” and Hal duke it out there.

The TPB version is inexplicably missing that issue, which, while not ruining Waid’s work, feels pretty cheap.

@Jeff Holland:
Jumping back to a character who died 24 years ago is ‘less’ confusing? I mean, how does that make sense? DiDio should just admit he misses ‘the good old days’ – I mean, I can relate to that. I started reading comics when I was 4 back in 1980, so yeah, I love me some Barry Allen. But I know I would have been pissed as shit if when I was 9 in 1985, instead of killing Barry off heroically and replacing him with Wally (logically), they faded him into obscurity and replaced him with Jay Garrick.

I mean, if I was a ‘new’ reader right now, or a reader who’s been reading for less than 20 years for that matter, I only know Wally and probably love Wally (I mean, as this blog has shown, he’s had some pretty great moments in his own title and in JLA) – and now they are making him play second fiddle to some old fogey who was old-fashioned 25 years ago? I’d be pissed!

This is only going to alienate readers who aren’t in their mid-30s or older, IMHO.

I’ve been reading for more than 30 years. The only actual Flash comics I ever bought in the Barry years was the manslaughter story that led to the title being cancelled. I just never found Barry all that interesting. But I loved the Wally West Flash. I just don’t see why they would demote a popular character to replace him a character who was killed off because he couldn’t keep up the necessary sales on his book!

Ethan Shuster

July 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Damn… After I typed that I started thinking this story may have been prior to Jordan going bad. Excuse my bad memory, folks!

The “moment” for me as an old school fan, is when Jay tears off the Flash symbol from Zoom’s chest. After all those years of Earth-1/Earth-2 team-ups, you’d expect Jay to be severely pissed.

Wally was so good in this storyline. I love Barry, but I wonder what Johns will do next after Rebirth is done to make him appear fresh and exciting again. So far, the mini-series hasn’t done much for me except to say “he’s back.”

“This is only going to alienate readers who aren’t in their mid-30s or older, IMHO.”

Well, that’s the thing. DC doesn’t particularly want readers of that stripe.

I haven’t read this story; is there some explanation why Eobard Thawne looks exactly like Barry Allen?

Add me to the list of readers who never liked Barry Allen’s solo adventures. However, I own a complete run of Wally West as Flash and love them. Now that Barry is back, I am no longer reading Flash. Sad, but true…and for the record, I am 37–the supposed target audience for Barry’s return.

All that being said, sales charts show we are but a vocal minority.

I love the moment where Zoom says “Yes” with that smile of his. Pretty cool

@Tuomas – futurey plastic surgery. Now, how he got his regular face back, I can’t quite recall.

And count me among those whose only Flash has ever been Wally. Hell, I even like married-with-kids Wally. It’s a shame people seemed as enthusiastic about that as the angsty-Bart year. But it was just such a natural progression of a character we’ve watched grow up into a well-adjusted young man.

Which reminds me, was there ever a story where Wally’s Titans buddies reacted to the fact that one of their closest friends was a husband and father? I would’ve liked to have seen something like that. Wally and his kids and Roy and his daughter hanging out in a park, heckling Dick for his non-kidness?

So…….does Reverse Flash commit crimes very sslloowwllyy? It let’s him savor the moment. That’s just diabolical.

American Hawkman

July 2, 2009 at 8:43 am

Thawne looks like Barry because he’s crazy enough to have actually had his face altered to look like Barry before he time travelled (chronologically, this is his first appearance).

As for why it’s simpler to have Barry as the Flash than Wally… try explaining Wally’s origin without introducing Barry. You either have it seem as accidental as Spider-Man’s, thus making the uninitiated feel as if it’s a rip-off, or you have to do some serious retconning of who and what Wally was doing to get his powers. There’s a reason that the JL animated series didn’t ever try. (And that the children’s book that came out around the time of the original Flash appearance on Superman set in animated continuity bit the bullet and DID go with a version of Wally’s classic origin, Barry-as-Flash and all! Even down to Barry dying in action saving the universe and Wally taking over, which is some pretty heavy stuff for a book aimed at 5-7 year olds.) Barry can exist just fine without Wally. Wally without Barry, on the other hand, doesn’t work as well, and, I suspect, the plan is to introduce the “classic” versions of the character back into the comics in hopes of launching them on-screen soon. Plus, y’know, there are, in fact, old-school fans that love Barry. Myself included, and I was about 5 when they killed him off. My feeling is that it’s too early to complain about them bringing Barry back. We don’t know what they’ll do with him yet. :)

I feel that Barry is much more interesting as part of Wally’s history. In a way, he’s sort of like Wally’s “Uncle Ben,” but without the guilt. I liked seeing Wally trying to live up to Barry’s memory. Now, with Barry back Wally gets to see what a dick he was to Iris, Fiona, Zatanna…Hell, even to young Wally himself! The role-model image will be shattered, unless Johns manages to retconn everything to keep Barry sainted even in life.

Didn’t you hear? Johns is resurrection Uncle Ben as a Light Urple Lantern with the power to be misquoted yet still inspire throughout the entire run of a book.

oops. “ressurecting” Bad syntax kinda takes the bite of of the joke.

My God! Is there no one brave or bold enough to stop Johns? Quick, someone ressurect the Earth-2 Batman!

I hafta agree with JoeMack…how is resurrecting a character who died over 20 years ago going to simplify things for new fans?? I was born in ’88 so Wally has always been my Flash. Don’t get me wrong I read Crisis and I think Barry is a good Flash too but that doesn’t mean I wanted him back, I mean he had hands down one of the best deaths of all time…then they ruin it by bringing him back for what?? That’s my problem. I don’t so much care if they bring a character back from the dead if it’s done well and for some reason. A good example is Steve Rogers. We all know he’s coming back and we all know(or should) that he’s going to play a big part in Norman’s downfall. While I don’t personally want him back at least it’s for something. As far as I can tell the only reason Barry was brought back (as of now) was so they could have Flash Rebirth. I don’t know who decided it but Didio obviously had to sign off on it. Sorry but I don’t believe that BS that bringing Barry back makes it easier for new readers if anything more of the same character would have the opposite effect…it seems like an excuse to me.

It’s not even just Barry Allen and Hal Jordan…todays writers seem intent on restoring the Silver Age. Look at the Superman comics. Everthing Byrne did has been undone. Supergirl is back, Kandor is back, Krypto is back, Maggie Sawyer exiled to Gotham! What’s next? Having Clark and Lana anchor the tv news again? Enough is enough! How about some new and original ideas?

“Now, how he got his regular face back, I can’t quite recall. ”

He just sort of “wipes” it off when he accosts Linda in the finale.

Surprised we haven’t gotten the big speech at the end yet, but I assume that’s being saved for later.

[…] Should Be Good highlights another Cool Comic Book Moment from The Flash detailing a pivotal moment from Flash vol.2 #78 — second-to-last chapter of The Return of Barry […]

Mark me down as another of the “vocal minority” who has no desire to see a resurrected Barry Allen. I reckon the whole thing is a cynical marketing ploy to get those who purchased and enjoyed Green Lantern:Rebirth to buy a Flash book (hey, it;s the same writer and artist !)
I enjoyed the stories of Barry I read as a kid, and was upset when he diied during “Crisis”. However, the fact his sacrifice was a noble one, and that his sidekick stepped up and grew into the role of Flash made me more happy than I was ever sad at his death.
The whole Flash legacy living on thru Wally (and later Bart) has been my favourte theme in the DCU for more than a decade. Oh, and I also liked that Wally matured and eventually became a husband and father (like so many of us do !)
I know DC doesn’t care about what I think, what with their sales being so much better now on the Flash titile, but they have lost a longtime Flash fan

“desire for the characters to be in their “prime” (read: Silver/Bronze-Age) identities – Hal as Green Lantern, Barry as Flash, etc – so as to make them less complex for new reader”

Makes sense: the new reader, who isn’t familiar with the comics, might be confused that the current Flash isn’t the same as the one from the comics he didn’t read back in the sixties, when he wasn’t born yet.

Didio and Quesada are both funny that way.

It’s understandable that if you grew up with one character that you would be upset when they get “replaced”, which is exactly what happened when they killed Barry. So now Wally is getting replaced by his predecessor, OK that sucks for Wally fans, but it sucked for Barry fans and it obviously turned out OK… Maybe wait and see what they do.

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