As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I was re-reading the DC Archive copies of The Flash, which starts with those Showcase issues that kicked off the wonderful reboot that Julie Schwartz orchestrated, and which featured excellent art work from Carmine Infantino.
I was looking for something to read for downtime and my local library owned the first two editions, and even though I own Volumes 1-3 digitally, I often like to read physicals, especially to relax in bed. If you’ve ever tried it, trying to relax while holding a tablet isn’t easy and my iPad actually has a heavy Otter Box case as well.
Those two physical collections took me up to Volume II of these Silver Age digitals that I own, and again, even if just for the Infantino art, I highly, highly recommend them. These are also some of the earliest comics of my youth, as I have also written about. I grew up in a small community that had been well established before my parents relocated there right after I was born. The parents were tight knit and the mothers did things like share toys and books, including comic books, in boxes that were passed along to household. I think many of these families never had to buy ‘new NEW’ stuff since there was so much of it, some of which had been collected as mint and new since the 1950s, so of course, we had these and other GA and SA issues as part of casual, every day get mud and wet grass stains on 'em comic books (and the like) that would probably appall some collectors today. I remember a rainy day in our tree fort reading books, and starting on some Mysteries in Space
, which as a young kid, I didn’t appreciate so I set them aside and forgot them there, and they got ruined by water. My mother had to hand dry every page in the sun and with a hand-held hair dryer, so everyone else after me who read those comics (and they did get read and for all I know, kids might still be reading some of these books today), they read water damaged and wrinkled books!
But there were probably 20-30 of those early Silver Age Barry issues, so some I read and re-read many times.
Now Flash Rebirth (the TPB, not the 2016 run) I never read until recently. The 2011 New 52 run, OTOH, especially as a reader of the Silver Age book as a kid and as an adult, I found to be a run I truly loved (fantastic art and fabulous layouts, stories not as spectacular, sad to say) because of some of the liberties taken in the reboot that have clearly been done away with by now, but I did read almost up until the first six or seven collected editions. And I would still strongly recommend people reading it for the art and layouts.
Flashpoint was also hugely disappointing, and it (and the entirety of the mess that was New Krypton) were two things that really put me off on both Cereal Lord and modern cross-overs. I just stopped typing and thought about it and I can’t think of any cross-over that actually appealed to me, albeit I found something intriguing versus off-putting, like Supersons of Tomorrow.
This is a long enough contribution for now, but I’ll be happy to chime in if folks want to keep the conversation going. But even though I have a lot of affection for Wally and think DC’s brain trust did poorly by him in the past 10-15 years, up until even Rebirth and post Rebirth, until the current run (which I have not read in any form other than a few skims and quick peaks of a few random issues, so won’t pretend to intelligently comment on - but I trust what I am seeing others say that it brings Wally back to a place of respect). But that all said, Barry is a significant part and yes, key to the DCU. And I’m glad to see it recognized.