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Cosmic treadmill

Cosmic Treadmill, as it appears in Flash #196. Art by Paul Winslade
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Flash #125 (December 1961)
Created by John Broome
In story information
Type Time trave device
Element of stories featuring Flash

The cosmic treadmill is a fictional time travel device in the DC Comics universe. The treadmill first appears in The Flash #125 written by John Broome.

Contents

Fictional history

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Origins

The cover to The Flash #125, the first appearance of the cosmic treadmill. Art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.

The treadmill was first seen in The Flash #125 written by John Broome. It was initially developed as a means of allowing Barry Allen to travel through time precisely.

Pre-Crisis

The treadmill appeared in a handful of stories, notably allowing Barry Allen to travel to the 25th century and meet Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne).

In its last appearance before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry used it to relocate to the 30th Century to be reunited with his wife, Iris West.

The treadmill appeared during the Crisis as well, in issue 11. Jay Garrick (the Earth-Two Flash), Wally West (Earth-One's Kid Flash), Kal-L (the Earth-Two Superman) and Kal-El (the Earth-One Superman) attempted to travel to Earth-Two to allow Kal-L to return home. Instead of finding Earth-Two, there was simply a void, a consequence of the multiverse collapsing into a single universe.

Post-Crisis

The treadmill has appeared several times since the Crisis, during Wally West's time as the Flash.

The first significant appearance of the treadmill was in Flash #79, when it was revealed that a man previously thought to be Barry Allen was in fact Professor Zoom, who had traveled back in time and lost his memory. This was Professor Zoom's first trip through time. The battle also released Wally's previous block on his speed.

The treadmill was a key element during the Chain Lightning storyarc featured in Flash# 145-150, which involved heavy use of time-travel in order to defeat the legacy of Cobalt Blue.

In Impulse #21, several time lost Legionnaires attempt to use the Treadmill to make it back to their own time. The unwanted assistance of the hero Impulse seemingly destroys the Treadmill and the time-lost heroes leave, dejected. It is soon revealed that Impulse had accidentally sent the treadmill itself a few minutes into the future.

Hunter Zolomon attempted to use the treadmill in Flash #196 in order to travel back through time and prevent the events that had left him a paraplegic. The attempt proved disastrous as the treadmill exploded, destroying itself and the Flash Museum while also shifting Zolomon to a different timeline. Zolomon subsequently became Zoom, the third Reverse-Flash.

The treadmill last appeared--rebuilt by Zoom and powered by Jay Garrick--during the Rogue War storyarc featured in Flash# 220-225. Zoom (Zolomon) used it in order to bring Professor Zoom (Thawne) back from the future. Wally was assisted by Barry Allen, who took Professor Zoom back to his rightful place in the timeline. The treadmill was seemingly destroyed during the fight between Zoom and Wally.

In a possible future where members of the current incarnation of the Teen Titans mature into a corrupt and tyrannical Justice League, the Cosmic Treadmill is absent from the Flash Museum; it is instead kept in a more secure location inside the Batcave, presumably to ensure that their "enemies"—in truth, a group of right-minded Titans—cannot alter the past and change their timeline.

Abilities

The cosmic treadmill allows any being with super-speed to precisely travel time, and pre-Crisis it allowed travel between the multiple Earths. The treadmill works by generating vibrations that will shift the user into a specific time. The vibrations require a high amount of speed to generate, and attempts to use the treadmill without it have proved dangerous. Initially, the vibrations had to be kept up, or one would fade back into the time from whence they came. This was fixed by John Fox in Flash #112.

Since the treadmill needs a speedster in order to function, in many stories a working one can be found inside the Flash Museum. Since few people have the speed to have it work, it is usually seen as an exhibit, though at times it has been stored in the archives.

In other media

  • In the Justice League episode "Eclipsed", Wally uses the term in a different way, referring to a ramp created by Green Lantern's ring to run through space towards the sun, in order to plant a device to stop the sun from going out.
  • Though only seen briefly, the cosmic treadmill did make an appearance in Wally West's room during the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance."

Selected bibliography

Silver Age/Bronze Age

  • The Flash #125 (December 1961): “The Conquerors of Time” written by John Broome, art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
  • The Flash #139 (September 1963): “Menace of the Reverse-Flash!” written by John Broome. art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
  • The Flash #350 (October 1985): “Flash Flees,” written by Cary Bates, art by Carmine Infantino and Frank McLaughlin.

Modern Age

  • Flash #79 (August 1993): “The Once and Future Flash”, written by Mark Waid, art by Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson.
  • Flash #112 (April 1996): “Future Perfect,” written by Mark Waid, art by Anthony Castrillo and Hanibal Rodriguez.
  • Flash #145–150 (February–July 1999): “Chain Lightning”, written by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn, art by Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell.
  • Flash #196 (May 2003): “Helpless”, written by Geoff Johns, art by Paul Winslade.
  • Flash #220-225 (May-October 2005) "Rogue War", written by Geoff Johns, art by Howard Porter and Livesay.

External links


Cosmic treadmill
File:Cosmic
Cosmic Treadmill, as it appears in Flash #196. Art by Paul Winslade
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Flash #125 (December 1961)
Created by John Broome
In story information
Type Time travel device
Element of stories featuring Flash

The cosmic treadmill is a fictional time travel device in the DC Comics universe. The treadmill first appears in The Flash #125 written by John Broome.

Contents

Fictional history

Origins

File:Flash v1
The cover to The Flash #125, the first appearance of the cosmic treadmill. Art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.

The treadmill was first seen in The Flash #125 written by John Broome. It was initially developed as a means of allowing Barry Allen to travel through time precisely.

Pre-Crisis

The treadmill appeared in a handful of stories, notably allowing Barry Allen to travel to the 25th century and meet Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne).

In its last appearance before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry used it to relocate to the 30th Century to be reunited with his wife, Iris West.

The treadmill appeared during the Crisis as well, in issue 11. Jay Garrick (the Earth-Two Flash), Wally West (Earth-One's Kid Flash), Kal-L (the Earth-Two Superman) and Kal-El (the Earth-One Superman) attempted to travel to Earth-Two to allow Kal-L to return home. Instead of finding Earth-Two, there was simply a void, a consequence of the multiverse collapsing into a single universe.

Post-Crisis

The treadmill has appeared several times since the Crisis, during Wally West's time as the Flash.

The first significant appearance of the treadmill was in Flash #79, when it was revealed that a man previously thought to be Barry Allen was in fact Professor Zoom, who had traveled back in time using the treadmill and lost his memory. This was Professor Zoom's first trip through time, Wally subsequently tricking him into using the treadmill again to return home. The battle also released Wally's previous block on his speed, Wally having previously placed a mental block on his powers because he was afraid of replacing Barry by surpassing him.

The treadmill was a key element during the Chain Lightning storyarc featured in Flash# 145-150, which involved heavy use of time-travel in order to defeat the legacy of Cobalt Blue.

In Impulse #21, several time-lost Legionnaires attempt to use the Treadmill to make it back to their own time. The unwanted assistance of the hero Impulse seemingly destroys the Treadmill and the time-lost heroes leave, dejected. It is soon revealed that Impulse had accidentally sent the treadmill itself a few minutes into the future.

Hunter Zolomon attempted to use the treadmill in Flash #196 in order to travel back through time and prevent the events that had left him a paraplegic. The attempt proved disastrous as the treadmill exploded, destroying itself and the Flash Museum while also shifting Zolomon slightly out of time. Zolomon subsequently became Zoom, the third Reverse-Flash, the treadmill's explosion having granted him the ability to control the rate at which he perceives time.

The treadmill last appeared--rebuilt by Zoom and powered by Jay Garrick--during the Rogue War storyarc featured in Flash# 220-225. Zoom (Zolomon) used it in order to bring Professor Zoom (Thawne) back from the future. Wally was assisted by Barry Allen, who took Professor Zoom back to his rightful place in the timeline. The treadmill was seemingly destroyed during the fight between Zoom and Wally.

In a possible future where members of the current incarnation of the Teen Titans mature into a corrupt and tyrannical Justice League, the Cosmic Treadmill is absent from the Flash Museum; it is instead kept in a more secure location inside the Batcave, presumably to ensure that their "enemies"—in truth, a group of right-minded Titans—cannot alter the past and change their timeline.

Abilities

The cosmic treadmill allows any being with super-speed to precisely travel time, and pre-Crisis it allowed travel between the multiple Earths. The treadmill works by generating vibrations that will shift the user into a specific time. The vibrations require a high amount of speed to generate, and attempts to use the treadmill without it have proved dangerous. Initially, the vibrations had to be kept up, or one would fade back into the time from whence they came. This was fixed by John Fox in Flash #112.

Since the treadmill needs a speedster in order to function, in many stories a working one can be found inside the Flash Museum. Since few people have the speed to have it work, it is usually seen as an exhibit, though at times it has been stored in the archives.

In other media

  • In the Justice League episode "Eclipsed", Wally uses the term in a different way, referring to a ramp created by Green Lantern's ring to run through space towards the sun, in order to plant a device to stop the sun from going out.
  • Though only seen briefly, the cosmic treadmill did make an appearance in Wally West's room during the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance."

The device is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold it is used to rescue Barry Allen in the 25th century.

Selected bibliography

Silver Age/Bronze Age

  • The Flash #125 (December 1961): “The Conquerors of Time” written by John Broome, art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
  • The Flash #139 (September 1963): “Menace of the Reverse-Flash!” written by John Broome. Art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
  • The Flash #179 (May 1968): “The Flash--Fact or Fiction?” written by Cary Bates. Art by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
  • The Flash #350 (October 1985): “Flash Flees,” written by Cary Bates, art by Carmine Infantino and Frank McLaughlin.

Modern Age

  • Flash #79 (August 1993): “The Once and Future Flash”, written by Mark Waid, art by Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson.
  • Flash #112 (April 1996): “Future Perfect,” written by Mark Waid, art by Anthony Castrillo and Hanibal Rodriguez.
  • Flash #145–150 (February–July 1999): “Chain Lightning”, written by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn, art by Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell.
  • Flash #196 (May 2003): “Helpless”, written by Geoff Johns, art by Paul Winslade.
  • Flash #220-225 (May-October 2005) "Rogue War", written by Geoff Johns, art by Howard Porter and Livesay.

External links


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