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The Flash’s One-Minute-War Sets Up a Speedster Rivalry

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The Flash’s “One-Minute-War” storyline sets up a fun and refreshing Flash family rivalry between two speedsters in the midst of all the chaos.

The following contains spoilers for The Flash #790, now on sale from DC Comics.

The Flash family is a loose term for the DC Universes’ collection of modern speedsters. Often seen working together in emergencies (most recently throughout the events of Dark Crisis), the Flash family is often defined by the close relations that exist between multiple generations of heroes. Usually, these connections are heart-warming — although that’s not always the case.

The Flash family is front and center in the “One-Minute-War” storyline that kicks off in The Flash #790 (by Jeremy Adams, Roger Cruz, Matt Banning, Wellington Dias, Luis Guerrero, and Rob Leigh), which highlights many of their biggest emotional bonds. But it also sets up a pretty fun rivalry between Kid Flash and Impulse that could add some good character-centric levity to the conflict.

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Impulse and Kid Flash’s One-Minute-War Rivalry


The Flash family is usually defined as such — a family, above all else. Barry Allen became something of a father figure to Wally West and Wallace West in turn, with the former’s own family becoming a central piece of the character’s legacy. Jay Garrick’s missing daughter is at the heart of the mystery currently being investigated by Stargirl and Red Arrow. Bart Allen is the grandson of Barry and his long-time love interest Iris, back from the future to help out in the present. Even people not related by blood like Jay, Max Mercury, Jesse Quick, and Avery Ho have formed tight bonds with one another. But while these connections have often been shown in positive lights, there’s some antagonism at the heart of one bond that’s a very clever touch.

The Flash #790 sets the stage for the “One-Minute-War” storyline by introducing the Fraction. An alien menace that’s decided to make a move against the Earth, the Fraction arrives in an arrow-shaped ship and quickly crashes into the planet, creating a massive wave of destruction in the process. The event happens so fast, only the speedsters can glimpse the attack as it occurs. The issue shifts between the various speedsters on Earth as they realize what’s about to happen, showing them alongside their loved ones or in the field. This includes Wallace and Bart — Kid Flash and Impulse respectively. But instead of being shown off as close friends of brothers in arms, the two run into each other stopping a crime and quickly begin bickering. It sets the stage for their interactions going forward in the event in an interesting way.

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A Friendly Flash Family Rivalry is Refreshing

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Kid Flash and Impulse serve similar functions in the DC Universe. As young speedsters and former sidekicks, they represent the legacy of heroism in the world, and the next generation rising up to fight alongside their elders. But by highlighting the differences between the pair, “One-Minute-War” quickly sets up a fun back-and-forth. Impulse and Kid Flash come from different backgrounds and represent different eras of DC storytelling. Impulse is a sillier character, with a more relaxed personality that reflects his history in books like Young Justice. Wallace is a product of the New 52 and has gone through his share of dark events, leaving him more overtly committed to fighting crime. He’s annoyed beyond words when Bart steals his thunder and accuses him of wanting to reclaim the Kid Flash identity. Bart denies this, and the two argue until they see the Fraction.

It’s a fun rapport that highlights how not every family dynamic needs to be overtly cloying and cute. Instead, a natural rivalry growing between the two most prominent teen speedsters is a clever direction to take the characters. It sets them up as good partners for a storyline, charting their differences and similarities as they try to help save the day. Their contrasting histories and roles within the DC Universe easily allow them to approach similar threats from different perspectives. Their own previous arcs give them plenty of reason to try and prove themselves to the rest of the Flash family, to each other, and even to themselves.

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