Love and Comics: 16 Flash Covers

Welcome back to Love and Comics!

This week, CW’s The Flash had their season finale closing out their 3rd run on prime time television. Although some fans were jaded with the finale ending, there is still plenty of fandom hype, and hope, for the upcoming season 4. Each run of the Flash has centered around one specific villain antagonizing Central City’s super hero team and that hasn’t changed since the shows inception. Another consistency throughout Barry’s timeline has been his main love interest, Iris West. There are plenty of other romances around the Flash/Arrow verse so to honor this past week’s season finale we’ll take a look at the many love interests of the scarlet speedster.

The Flash Vol 1 #302 (Lisa Snart and Barry Allen)

Lisa Snart aka the Golden Glider made her first appearance in The Flash #250 (1977). Originally a figure skater, Lisa Snart uses her ice skates to create platforms beneath her so that she could glide above the air. She is also the sister of another Flash rogue, Captain Cold. In this issue Golden Glider some how finds a way to hypnotize Barry Allen into falling in love with her and using him to escape the authorities while stealing jewels. A fanatic for jewelry, the Golden Glider isn’t just another pretty face but a dastardly villain out for more than just the Flash’s heart.

The Flash Vol 4 (Golden Glider and Barry Allen)

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelato’s New 52 run was one of the best things that came from the New 52 era. Between Batman and the Flash, both were high-selling books because of the writing/art team. In this issue Golden Glider makes her first appearance in DC’s newly ret-conned universe. Still as deadly as her first appearance, Golden Glider is able to phase through walls and matter making her a difficult opponent for Barry Allen.

The Flash Annual Vol 2 #10 (Wally West and Monica Mayne)

In this Flash Annual, the scarlet speedster behind the mask is none other than Wally West. Wally West was humorous, quick-witted, and courageous and definitely one of the most memorable characters from the Justice League Animated series. In this issue the Flash is being consulted for a movie based on his life when he runs into a seemingly straight-forward method actor, Monica Mayne. Although Wally is in a relationship with Linda Park off screen, the advancements of Monica Mayne begin to make West question his on-screen romance’s intentions.

The Flash Vol 2 (Karin Preus and Wally West)

Karin Preus is not necessarily a love interest of Wally West, but she adorns the cover of this second volume issue of The Flash. In this issue, Chester P. Runk (or Chunk), sends Wally West into another dimension that is residing with himself. Chunk was a scientist who developed a matter transmitting machine that accidentally turned himself into a human black hole. With the ability to make objects, people, and entire cities disappear, Chunk became a bit of a threat to the Flash. Really a misunderstood character, Chunk eventually found a way to use his powers for good. Going back to Karin Preus, she was one of the girls that turned Chunk down for a date, so he sent her into the black hole of another dimension along with West.

The Flash Vol 2 #5 (Tina McGee and Wally West)

Tina McGee is actually one of Wally West’s earliest love interests. It might surprise some fans but she does make an appearance on CW’s the Flash. She’s actually the head physicist for Mercury Labs in the Flash/Arrowverse. Her true origin is not too far from the truth either. Tina makes her first appearance, in Flash Vol 2 #5, as the scientists studying the young Wally West’s metabolism. The two begin to fall in love even though Tina is married to Dr. Jerry McGee (who eventually becomes speed demon). An issue chalked full of abuse themes from physical, verbal and drug-related, this was a heavy comic for Flash fans back in the late 80’s.

The Flash Vol 2 #59 (Power Girl and The Flash)

Kara Zor-L aka Powergirl, make an appearance in this Flash issue. Although she isn’t necessarily a lover of Wally West, the tabloid say otherwise. The story starts off with a newspaper article stating that Powergirl is carrying the Flash’s baby. The infuriated Powergirl goes to confront the Flash and teach him a lesson in spreading rumors. Meanwhile, another one of the Flash’s love interest makes an appearance in this issue: Connie Noleski. Connie is a super-model that begins to fall in love with the Flash. Later on, she ends up letting go of her affections for West and instead falls for one of his best friends, Chunk. Another cute romance in the Flash universe, Chunk and Connie Noleski end up living a pretty happy life in the Flash-verse.

Justice League Unlimited Vol 1 #38 (Giganta and Wally West)

Justice League Unlimited was the followup show to the Justice League Animated Series. Both seasons were great addition to the DCU and really made Saturday mornings worthwhile. JLU expanded the original JL universe by bringing even more heroes and villains to the forefront of episodes. In addition to the series, a monthly comic was released featuring new stories. This issue featured Giganta having a major crush on the Flash, to the point where she pretended to be a heroine just to get close to Wally. She eventually had to come clean when she got jealous of a reporter asking Wally out on a date. She then decided to take her anger out on both the Flash and the reporter by trying to squish them.

Impulse Vol 1 #59 (Bart Allen and Cissie)

Bart Allen and Cissie are actually members of the super hero teams, Teen Titans and Young Justice (respectively). Most fans of the Young Justice series will recognize Bart Allen, aka Impulse/Kid Flash, as the quick-witted and clever member of the team. Cissie aka Arrowette never made an appearance on Young Justice unfortunately. Instead the Green Arrow protege for the series was Artemis. In this Impulse issue, both Allen and Cissie end up on a school adventure as they search for Bart’s missing Flash costume ring. In the end, the adventure ends up being a nice break from the stresses of Cissie’s life. The issue ends with both Allen and Cissie being each other’s date for the Valentine’s Day Dance.

The Flash Vol 2 #142 (Linda Park and Wally West)

Linda Park is the main love interest of Wally West. A Korean-American newscaster, Linda Park plays the role of main heart throb to the fastest man alive. A long storied romance between the two exists primarily throughout Vol 2, but it wasn’t until issue #142 that the two finally tied the knot. This was a great issue showing how much Wally loved Linda. There is even a panel when Linda gets a call that their cake might be delayed, so Wally runs over to Paris to get a chef to create a new cake within seconds. Luckily for them the cake made it in on time. The issue can be summed up in Wally’s vow to Linda, “Linda…you’re my beacon. No matter where I go, no matter what I do…I can always find my way back home because you’re there. Thats my vow to you Linda. My home, my life, all my love…it will always rest with only you. Be mine, Linda. With you in my life…i’m forever safe.”

The Flash Vol 2 #160 (Wally West and Linda Park)

Wally West and Linda Park finally get a chance to go on their world-wide honeymoon. The advantage of dating a speedster is that they get to travel anywhere in the world. The Flash takes Linda to Paris, a tropical island, and the Swiss alps all within a matter of seconds. Their love vacation is far from just fun and games as their festivities are interrupted by both Kobra and Lady Flash. The Flash defeats the super-villains so that they don’t cause anymore trouble for the two love birds. A great issue showing that even heroes can have happy endings with their loved ones.

The Flash Vol 2 #161 (Joan Williams and Jay Garrick)

Another honeymoon story, this issue follows up after Wally and Linda’s honeymoon romp. In this issue, Jay Garrick (The Golden Age of Heroes Flash) retells the story of his very own honeymoon with Joan Williams. The story starts off with Jay talking about how his wedding was mostly Joan William’s friends and family, on account that most of Jay’s friends were masked vigilantes. After the ceremony, Garrick whisks Joan off to Vegas to have their big wedding night. Just as the two are getting down to business, they are interrupted by the Justice Society of America. They end up taking Garrick out for a bachelor’s party which ends in a brawl between some super villains. By the time they Garrick makes it back to his hotel room he is too tired to spend his first night with his new bride.

The Flash Vol 1 #165 (Iris West and Barry Allen)

In this issue, there is an impersonator that seems to be marrying the Flash’s bride-to-be. It’s none other than the Reverse Flash! The Reverse Flash somehow telepathically switches his mind and body with Allen making him look and sound just like him. While the Reverse Flash is in the 20th century, Allen is transported into the cell of Professor Zoom in the 25th century. He finds a way to break down his cell and return to the 20th century to confront and capture Zoom, thus preventing the marriage of Iris West and the fake Barry Allen.

Flash Vol 1 #194 (Barry Allen and Ms. Joan Boardman)

One of the more stranger story of the Flash is the issue titled “The Bride Casts Two Shadows”. In this issue, the Flash saves Ms. Joan Boardman. In what seems like a routine rescue ends up being a haunting tale for the Flash. He takes her back to Iris West’s place only discover that Ms. Boardman begins to act fairly strange towards the Flash. She induces a dream-like hallucination revealing Barry that he was basically a doppelganger lover of the spirit that was possessing Ms. Boardman. To get rid of the spirit, the Flash must marry the entity inhabiting Ms. Boardman’s body (hence her casting two shadows because of her possession). A more haunting story than a romantic one, “The Bride Casts Two Shadows” takes the likeness of the classic twilight zone in it’s story telling.

The Flash Vol 1 #265 (Barry Allen and Iris West)

In this issue the two love birds make their way to their second honeymoon in a hotel resort. They are asked to wear these strange pendants while they stay at the Hotel Hideaway. Suddenly in the middle of the night, the pendants begin to prompt Allen and West to join a gathering of the hotel guests downstairs. They soon realize that their pendants were actually mind control weapons used by the strange inhabitants of the hotel. Allen soon realizes that the hotel is being run by aliens that are bent on destroying earth’s dimension.

The Flash Vol 1 #305 (Jay Garrick and Joan Williams / Barry Allen and Iris West)

In this issue Barry Allen has a dream about Jay Garrick’s wife being taken from him. Jay Garrick is the Flash of Earth-2 so Barry decides to jump the multi-verse and check in on his friend. As expected, Barry’s premonition is true and Joan Garrick is stuck in an alternate dimension. The two are then joined by Dr. Fate as he reveals to them that Joan was taken by the Lord of Limbo, an evil ruler that controls a dimension inhabited by slaves that he had abducted into his realm.

The Flash – The Fastest Man Alive vol 1 #4 (Valerie Perez and Bart Allen)

Spoiler alerts for fans that had not seen the finale. The second to last episode of the season actually kills off Iris West. Fans of the show should probably know when the death of Iris West occurs in the comics. Iris dies tragically in issue #275 of Vol 1. In issue #275, Iris and Barry attend a costume party where Barry is accidentally drugged. As he comes out of his drug-like state he realizes that Iris has been killed by a seemingly obscure villain. We later discover that Professor Zoom was actually the one that killed Iris. In this specific Flash – The Fastest Man Alive issue, Valerie Perez and Bart Allen are the featured lovers of the comic. An interesting romance, Valerie is actually the daughter of a super-villain named Professor Fallout.

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