My favorite arc in Mark Waid’s run. It feels like all of his ideas came together to reach this point. Mark Waid’s vision is that Flash isn’t fast, he is able to access a “speed force,” which other super speedsters also can access. In a lot of ways, it feels like when JMS reimagined Spider-Man’s powers as an ancient force that simply used Peter Parker as a host. I’m sure lots of folks at the time complained about it, but it was part of a movement to try to make origins that seemed cool in the 1950s more “realistic.” Blame it all on Miller and Moore and the neo-realist movement. It has its ups and downs, but I think this is one of the ups. Big ups.
Another bonus: Salvador Larocca signed on as artist.
Another aspect of this arc: Flash becomes one with the speed force, but gives up his unity to be with Linda Park, his true love. This reminded me of Buffy being pulled out of heaven. I know it’s not at all similar, but it felt that way. It made for an interesting character arc in their relationship, as later Wally would act almost as if Linda “owed” him for giving up heaven for him.
These were some great comics–not just for their time (although most comics back then really weren’t telling stories like this), but for any time.