Ask the most seasoned fans of DC Comics, and they're likely to tell you The Flash stands apart from the rest of his Justice League teammates. One of the most upstanding, the most wholesome, and the humblest hero comic fans are likely to find, it seems Barry Allen is no longer satisfied... and is now making a play at DC's sexiest, too. It's about time.
We suppose that credit should actually go the people telling Barry's story, as opposed to his oblivious, heartthrob role in the tale. That obliviousness to his own good looks has always been a part of Barry's awkward, gentlemanly demeanor. But with the current Flash series returning to young Barry's "Year One" on the job, the comics finally chronicled his first trip through time, meeting his future self. This older Barry Allen of the future -- confident, fully bearded, and bare-armed -- had arrived to answer the young hero's questions, but many comic readers found themselves asking one of their own: "...does anyone else think old Barry is hot?" The answer is yes, and now the book's writer has fessed up to the steamy details.
The precedent was set earlier in the series, when a glimpse of a possible future featured this 'Old Man Barry Allen' passionately kissing the future Iris West. But if that cameo stirred up some smoke, his return threw gasoline on the fire. As a result, we had no choice but to ask writer Joshua Williamson about his intentions during NYCC. Readers certainly aren't reading too much into the scene, as Williamson confirms he's as much to blame--as much to thank for Barry's sex appeal as artist Howard Porter:
You should talk to Howard. Actually I'll say this: I make a point in the script to talk about Barry, and I tell Howard sometimes, 'You gotta make Barry sexy, man.' So yeah, we put it in there for Old Man Barry specifically, from the very, very beginning. We first introduced him earlier than Year One, in Flash #26. That was something Howard and I talked about. There are specific parts--there was actually a scene in Year One where Barry opens the door and he's just got out of the shower, and Iris is there. I wrote this whole thing to Howard. I wrote like a page, basically, of just being like, 'Howard, this is really important to me. You need to make the sexiest drawing of Barry Allen you've ever done in your life. This needs to be the one, from this moment forward, that people use.' Because he had his shirt open, and I was like, 'You've got to make this like the one, man. This has to be the moment people are like, 'Holy shit, Barry has a runner's body, and he looks amazing.'
He had it where he was wearing sweatpants, but he was clearly not wearing underwear so it's like... hip--he knew what he was doing. So yeah, the times that it's in there I try to be like, 'Howard... this is important to me' [Laughs]. Howard is awesome. Howard is the best dude. He's one of those artists I've worked with that I would work with forever, man.
Readers can judge Porter's work for themselves in the above image, and be sure to read our full Batman/Superman interview with Williamson. While the current storyline is nowhere near as scandalous (at least in romantic terms), interested readers can also find the plot synopsis for the first chapter of The Flash's "Rogues Reign" arc below:
“Rogues Reign” part one! The speed force is dead, doom has gripped the earth, and the FLASH lives in a nightmare! Powered-up by Lex Luthor’s offer, Captain Cold led his team of Rogues to ultimate victory over Central City. Through the might of Mirror Master’s amplified abilities, the rogues have re-shaped reality itself into their own kingdoms of cruelty - Heat Wave’s volcanic territory, Weather Wizard’s floating armory of the elements, and at the center of it all, the icy castle of Captain Cold. But with the villains stealing the show, why is the greatest threat to their reign one of their own?
The Flash #82 is available now at your local comic book shop.