Posted Thursday, March 18th, 2021 by Barry

Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) 8

Most comic book readers can tell you this issue marks the death of Flash. Many comic book historians will cite it as the end of the Bronze Age.

Today it represents National Supreme Sacrifice Day, “honoring those who have made tremendous sacrifices for the sake and good of others as well as those who sacrifice their lives every day for us.”

Not to make light of what the day represents, the death of Flash was a benchmark in comic books not felt since the death of Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin (Amazing Spider-Man issues 121 and 122) over a decade earlier.

Not only was the Flash a beloved character, but who ushered in the Silver Age of comic books with his first appearance in DC’s Showcase number four. He was also the architect of the multi-verse Marv Wolfman and George Perez were attempting to mend.

Barry Allen, aka the Flash, found he could traverse time and space utilizing his super speed. In Flash (1958) 123 he did just that teaming with the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick.

They repeated their meetings and soon others from the Golden Age were crossing over. The Justice League of America had an annual date with the Justice Society of America. They would visit once a year for a two- to three-issue story arc.

With 50 years of cross pollination, DC decided to clear the table. DC foreshadowed the event with mentions of the Monitor’s coming as early as 1983.

The maxi-series debuted April 1985, running 12 issues and ending March 1986.

By issue eight, the heroes, and villains, are on the ropes. Barry Allen, who had been held captive by the anti-monitor, escaped his prison and dashed the schemes of the Anti-Monitor by sacrificing himself to create a speed vortex disarming the anti-matter cannon then destroying Earth.

Allen would return to the DCU through some clever retconning, but his self-immolation can never be erased.

While looking to a fictional hero to be today’s mascot, the real-life heroes can’t be ignored. They are the faceless ones who are with us every day at home and abroad. Remember them not just for today, but each day.

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