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Black Flash
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Flash (vol. 2) # 138 (June 1998)
Created by Grant Morrison
Mark Millar
Ron Wagner
In-story information
Team affiliations Rogues
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 first appeared in Flash (vol. 2) # 138 (June 1998).[1]


Fictional character background

The Black Flash essentially fulfills the same role as Death for those who possess super-speed in the DC Universe, returning them to the source of their powers: 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 the speedster characters are simply too fast for traditional Death to capture, or as some sort of bizarre side-effect to their connection to the Speed Force.

It came for Wally West to draw him back to the Speed Force, but instead took Linda, Wally's girlfriend; having seen portents of Wally's death, Max Mercury and Jesse Quick intercepted him before he could reach the museum where Linda was waiting for him, 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 it to the end of time, to a point where Death would have no meaning, causing it to dissipate.

The Black Flash appears to Bart Allen (at the time serving as the Flash) when the Flash loses his powers while battling the Rogues at the Getty Center. Despite his clash with Inertia- his clone, and, as another speedster, another possible candidate for the Black Flash-, Bart is killed shortly thereafter by the panicked Rogues when it appears he would win, even without his 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 West's children. His connection to death is limited to those connected to the Speed Force. While an issue 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.

During the Final Crisis, Wally West theorizes that the Black Racer pursuing himself and Barry is in fact the Black Flash.

A charred corpse, appearing to be the Black Flash, was found in Iowa by two boys in the pages of The Flash: Rebirth.[2] Later when the resurrected Barry Allen discovers the body he is transformed into the 'next' Black Flash, but the state is reversed.[3] It's revealed that Professor Zoom has altered the Speed Force to transform Barry Allen into the new Black Flash.[4][5]

Appearances in other media

The Black Flash appears in Justice League Heroes: The Flash for the Game Boy Advance. When the Flash dies, he is chased by the Black Flash. If the player avoids being caught, they are 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.


  1. ^ Flash #138 at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009)
  3. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #2 (May 2009)
  4. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #3 (June 2009)
  5. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #4 (August 2009)

External links

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