|First appearance||The Flash (vol. 2) #138 (June 1998; cameo)|
The Flash (vol. 2) #141 (September 1998; full)
|Created by||Grant Morrison|
|Notable aliases||Black Flash, Flashback, Backflash, Slow Lightning|
|Abilities||Superhuman speed, time manipulation, role as psychopomp to speedsters|
The Black Flash is a fictional comic book character from DC Comics. Created by writers Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, and artist Ron Wagner, the character had cameos in The Flash (vol. 2) #138 (June 1998), before appearing in full in The Flash #141 (September 1998).
Fictional character background
The Black Flash essentially fulfills the same role as Death for those who possess super-speed in the DC Universe, returning the speedster to their power source: the Speed Force. It is reportedly seen before the deaths of Barry Allen and Johnny Quick. Max Mercury, having had several near-death experiences, has also seen the Black Flash.
It is not clear whether the Black Flash exists because speedsters are simply too fast for traditional Death to capture, or as some sort of bizarre side-effect to their Speed Force connection.
It came for Wally West to draw back to the Speed Force, but instead took Linda Park. Having seen portents of Wally's death, Max Mercury and Jesse Quick intercepted Wally before reaching the museum where Linda was waiting, with Linda thus being struck by the lightning that was meant to kill Wally. It later returns to try to take Wally again, freezing time except for those who possess a connection to the Speed Force. Max Mercury, Jay Garrick, and Jesse Quick all attempt to assist Wally by distracting the Black Flash; Wally finally defeats the Black Flash by racing the creature to the end of time, to a point where Death would have no meaning, causing the creature to dissipate.
The Black Flash appears to Bart Allen when the Flash loses his powers while battling the Rogues at the Getty Center. Despite a clash with Inertia (another possible candidate for the Black Flash), Bart is killed shortly thereafter by the panicked Rogues when it appears Bart would win, even without powers.
Most recently, the Black Flash is revealed to represent the dark aspect of the Speed Force, which is responsible for the empowerment of Wally's children. His connection to death is limited to those connected to the Speed Force. While an issue[volume & issue needed] of Captain Atom suggests Death of the Endless, the Black Racer, and Nekron are all aspects of the same force, Neil Gaiman (creator of Death of the Endless) disagrees with this idea, stating that his creation is the ultimate personification of Death.
Later when discovering the body, Barry Allen is transformed into the next Black Flash, but the state is reversed. It's revealed that Professor Zoom has altered the Speed Force which results in Barry's Black Flash transformation.
The broken-necked corpse of Eobard Thawne is reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps. Equipped with a black power ring, Thawne declared himself as the Black Flash, until Thawne's corpse is brought back to life.
- The Ame-Comi Girls universe version of Black flash is a girl.
- Black Flash appears in Smallville season 11 comics.
In other media
- A different depiction of Black Flash appears on The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The Time Wraiths transform Hunter Zolomon (Teddy Sears) into a Grim Reaper-esque enforcer for the Speed Force.
- The Black Flash appears in Justice League Heroes: The Flash for the Game Boy Advance. When the player dies, the Flash is chased by the Black Flash. If the player avoids being caught, the Flash is rewarded with a chance at continuing the game, coming back with low health and without losing the current life. After each death, escape from the Black Flash becomes increasingly difficult.
- Eobard Thawne's Black Flash design is featured in Injustice: Gods Among Us as a playable alternate skin for the Flash as part of a limited exclusive challenge.
- The Black Flash (identified as the Black Racer) is mentioned in Injustice 2 in the Reverse-Flash's fight dialogue. The Black Flash's mention can be triggered in dialogue if the Reverse-Flash faces his own doppelganger, Deadshot and Doctor Fate in battle, in which the Reverse-Flash points out the Black Flash is coming.
- "''Flash'' #138 at the Grand Comics Database". Comics.org. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009)
- The Flash: Rebirth #2 (May 2009)
- The Flash: Rebirth #3 (June 2009)
- The Flash: Rebirth #4 (August 2009)
- Blackest Night: The Flash #1 (December 2009). DC Comics
- Blackest Night: The Flash #2 (January 2010). DC Comics
- Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (February 2010). DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Reis, Ivan (p), Albert, Oclair (i). Blackest Night #8 (March 2010). DC Comics
- "The Flash: "The Race of His Life" Review". May 24, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
- Mitovich, Matt (January 8, 2017). "The Flash's Zoom to Resurface as Black Flash, on Multiple CW Shows". TV Line. Retrieved January 8, 2017.