The Flash was one of DC’s most popular superheroes. He made his first appearance in Flash Comics #1 (January 1940), shown in the image above. His alter-ego is police scientist, Jay Garrick. Garrick, while an excellent student, was slow on his feet and not much of an athlete, being nicknamed “leadfoot’ on his college football team. While working on an experiment using “hard water” in his college laboratory, an accident exposes Garrick to fumes from a broken beaker. After being near-death in the hospital for weeks, Garrick regains his health and discovers that he has gained the power of super speed.
Not only does he exemplify this on the football field, he plays tennis with himself and out-races a car and a bullet, saving his girlfriend, Joan Williams from certain death. Months later, Garrick assumes the identity of the Flash and dons a costume reminiscent of the Greek God, Hermes and the Roman God, Mercury. In this guise, Garrick embarks on a life of fighting crime both in solo adventures and as a member of the Justice Society of America led to the introduction of a second book bearing his name, All-Flash Quarterly, the first issue appearing in the summer of 1941. He also regularly appeared in Comic Cavalcade.
Many thanks to our friend Bill Jourdain for providing the above commentary featured in our 2018 Vintage DC Comics Calendar available HERE.