"Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!": The story introduces readers to Barry Allen, a police scientist who is doused with chemicals that are struck by lightning. Barry soon finds that he has been endowed with super-speed and creates a costume which contracts and hides i
- I wonder what it would really be like -- to be the fastest man on Earth?
Appearing in "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!"
- Iris West (First appearance)
- Turtle Man (First appearance)
- The Flash (Jay Garrick) (comic book)
- Central City (First appearance)
- Central City Police Department Scientific Detection Bureau (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!"
The story introduces readers to Barry Allen, a police scientist who is doused with chemicals that are struck by lightning. Barry soon finds that he has been endowed with super-speed and creates a costume which contracts and hides in his ring). He takes on the name of his favorite comic book character: The Flash.
In his first mission as the Flash, Barry goes after the criminal known as the Turtle Man, dubbed the world's slowest man. The Turtle Man tries to rob a bank. However, he is ultimately thwarted by the Flash, despite the fact that his super-speed often worked against him going after the plodding Turtle Man. Ultimately, the Flash captures his opponent and turns him over to the police.
Appearing in "The Man Who Broke the Time Barrier!"
- Mazdan (First appearance)
- Henry Brown (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Man Who Broke the Time Barrier!"
Central City is hit with a number of strange crimes where a series of items begins vanishing from people's possessions. Barry Allen becomes involved as the Flash when a beaker he's experimenting with vanishes as well. Tracking down the culprit puts Barry up against Mazdan, a criminal from the future who was supposed to be sent to the 50th Century to serve his sentence on a desolate Earth but was sent to the past by mistake instead.
Able to avoid Mazdan's weapon, Flash captures the crook. However, he manages to break out of prison using his superior scientific knowledge. Catching up with Mazdan again, the Flash tries to capture him again but stops when Mazdan petitions the Flash to allow him to return to his own time. Instead of allowing him to go in his own time capsule, the Flash instead breaks the time barrier by running at super speed, turning Mazdan over to the authorities in the future. Mazdan is sent to the correct era to serve out his punishment. The Flash then returns to his own time and resumes his civilian life once more.
- "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!" was reprinted in Secret Origins Special Giant Issue #1, Secret Origins #1, The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told, The Essential Showcase 1956-1959, Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told and The Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- "The Man Who Broke the Time Barrier!" was reprinted in The Flash #215 and DC Comics Presents: The Flash Vol 2 1.
- The entire issue was reprinted in DC Silver Age Classics: Showcase #4, The Flash Archives Vol. 1, Millennium Edition: Showcase #4, Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol. 1, The Flash Chronicles Vol. 1, Showcase Presents: Showcase Vol. 1 and The Flash Omnibus Vol. 1.
- This issue is usually cited as the beginning of the Silver Age.
- While referred to as a fictional comic book character, the original Flash, would later be retconned as living in a parallel universe dubbed Earth-Two, and both men would meet later on.
- The cover to this issue is iconic, and many artists have done homages. This is a list of examples.
- Discuss Showcase Vol 1 4 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Showcase series
- Images from Showcase Vol 1 4
- The Flash Recommended Reading