Warning: SPOILERS ahead The lightning #791With Flash The family’s latest event, DC finally gives their first Flash, Jay Garrick, a place to shine: the battlefield. Jay is the Flash from World War II, and that experience is an essential part of understanding his role in One minute war.
A number of DC characters have held the Flash title over the decades, including the extremely well-known Barry Allen and Wally West. But Allen and West are not the first to be called the fastest men alive: Jay Garrick, who made his debut in 1940, holds the special honor. Jay’s origins and place in the DCU have changed over the decades as continuity was updated to fit the times. He is often associated not only with Barry and Wally’s extended Flash family in an almost grandfatherly role, but also with the Justice Society of America, which has become DC’s World War II team. Currently, he works with Wally West and Earth’s other speedsters to defeat an invading alien force in the latest Flash title event, One minute war.
And One minute war is certainly the perfect scene to highlight Jay Garrick’s character history for readers to see in The lightning #791 by Jeremy Adams, Roger Cruz, Wellington Dias, Luis Guerrero and Rob Leigh. This issue follows various Flash allies in the immediate aftermath of a mysterious invading force crash landing on Earth. Jay Garrick encounters Kid Flash and Impulse and promptly captures them. When Impulse describes what they see as a “invasion“, Jay corrects him: “No, boys… it’s war.“Later, he tells Kid Flash and Impulse to”Roll your shoulders back, boys. If we die today, we die as men. Tall and proud.“
The First Flash is a perfect commander for One minute war
Among One minute wars other virtues, the event already serves as the perfect spotlight for Jay Garrick, whose familiarity with war – and its dangers – comes through in these seemingly minor character moments. But they are really anything but minor: when Jay describes the invasion as “war,” the reader can feel the weight of his words, and then the weight of his experiences. Despite the ever-widening distance between World War II and today, the superhero genre will forever be bent by its accidental emergence during World War II Jay Garrick history may be constantly fluctuating in the DC Universe, but his connection to the war will never be severed, and One minute war is right to show that connection – and use it to its full emotional effect.
Will Jay Garrick’s Flash survive another war?
But war also means death, and not everyone in the Flash family is likely to survive One minute war. Iris West is already believed to be dead – will the first Flash, Jay Garrick, survive this disaster? It would certainly be an emotional blow to Wally West and his allies, who all love Jay as they would a father or grandfather. But there is always a cost to war – something this speedster veteran, the very first Flashknow very well.
More: Wonder Woman & Flash Have DC’s Most Underrated Friendship
Check out The lightning #791, available now from DC Comics!