- Barry Allen of Earth... You have the ability to outrun great fear...
Synopsis for "The Quick and the Green"
Hal Jordan is about to return to Oa for good, as the new leader of the Green Lantern Corps. Hoping to have a bit of fun with his friend Barry Allen before he has to leave Earth, the pair of them go out on the town to see some improvisational jazz. Unfortunately, Hal is finding the evening boring, and hopes to get them both into a little trouble by night's end. Trouble finds them, though, when the pair are transported to the planet Agon - so that a deal that was made long ago can be fulfilled.
Five years ago, Barry had been working on a missing persons case, where children were disappearing from group homes across the country. There was no evidence or explanation, and the FBI was forced to put the case on the backburner, so Barry had decided to launch his own investigation. He had plotted out the locations of every abduction hoping to see a pattern, and caught a break when the kidnappers hit the same place twice. From there, he was able to predict their next move, and waited for them to show up.
Unfortunately, while he was waiting, he was caught in a vice grip by the Green Lantern, who believed that he was the kidnapper. Attempting to explain himself, Barry vibrated through the energy projection and displayed his police badge - though he was only a police scientist. Wrongly, Barry assumed that the costumed vigilante who had detained him was Superman, aggravating Hal, but when a brilliant light began shining from within the home, both men turned their attention to the fate of the children.
Speeding to investigate, Barry discovered a portal in a room full of emptied beds, and impulsively decided to rush into it. On the other side, he was surprised to find Green Lantern already there, beating up aliens and demanding to know where the rest of the children had been taken. When asked what was going on, Hal immediately recognized The Flash's voice as belonging to Barry Allen - they had just spoken, after all. Though he was surprised to have met someone else with powers like himself, Barry denied his identity futilely, and followed Hal's orders to get the children to safety using the same teleporting device that got them there. After catching up with the Green Lantern again, Barry tried to convince him to stop calling him by name, only to have Hal reveal his own identity. The whole thing struck Barry as irresponsible, but a child's scream pulled his attention away.
Barry found the children on a battleground, apparently being trained in combat by a large, muscular alien. When Barry warned the alien to get away from the children, it responded that these children were to become warrior trainees to the House of Verus. Inadvertently, Barry found himself in a duel to the death. However, something about this alien world affected his speed, and he didn't do as well as he'd hoped. Fortunately, Hal came to his rescue, giving him the chance to wrap the alien in chains.
Tending to the children, Barry noticed that three of the 61 missing children were absent. One of the children explained that those three had been taken to a place called "Arena World". Taking command, Hal stated that he would find the children, and that Barry would get the rescued kids to safety.
Verus, whose command it was that these children be taken, had invested in humans because of their unique combination of will, ingenuity, and savagery. With them, she hoped to defeat her rival Priscus in the Arena. Meanwhile, Hal had made his way to the Arena and was in the process of beating up the warriors inside when he realized that the warriors he fought were the missing children - trapped inside the monstrous forms. Unfortunately, Hal's Green Lantern Ring was losing power, and the warrior-children were out for his blood. Having spotted his intrusion, Verus watched Hal's battle with interest.
Fortunately, Barry returned in time to learn of the plight of the children, and was able to vibrate through the robotic monsters to free the children inside. Having seen enough, Verus decided to make her presence known, and introduced herself. Hal, being the the only real space-cop, ordered Barry to get the kids to safety while he dealt with Verus. Unfortunately, Barry never learned what deal Hal had made to let the children go free - until now.
Of course, that deal was exactly what Barry now fears that it is: he and Hal must compete on Verus' behalf in the Arena World. Hal explains that the Arena works very much like a standard Battle Royale, except it's to the death. Barry is not at all happy to learn that he was signed up for a fight to the death without his knowledge - particularly since five years had passed in the interim, and Hal has said nothing. Unfortunately, there is no more time to argue about it when the other combatants begin surrounding them.
Though they don't kill anyone, Hal and Barry end up being the last ones standing, but they are met with booing instead of cheers. Verus explains that only one of them can fight the Champion of House Priscus. Either Barry or Hal will have to fall before they can continue. When Hal refuses to fight his friend, Priscus intervenes, and traps him within an unidentifiable material, leaving only Barry capable of fighting, though his powers are fading. As Marius, the champion, rushes forward, Hal offers Barry a boon: the Green Lantern Ring. Surprised, but desperate, Barry places the ring on his finger, and it acknowledges him. Before he can be attacked, Barry uses the power of the Speed Force to learn the ring's mysteries in a matter of seconds.
Knowing his will is not as strong as Hal's, Barry creates a blaster with the ring, and unleashes a powerful burst of energy - straight into the Champ's crotch. This was, according to the ring, Marius' weakness, and Barry is hailed as winner of the contest.
Soon, the Green Lantern Corps arrive, and place everyone under arrest. Though Verus had stopped kidnapping children, these death matches still violated intergalactic law. On the way home, Hal apologizes for failing to tell Barry about the deal he'd made, but Barry assures him that he understands why he didn't now. The responsibilities of wielding the Green Lantern Ring are more than Barry could stand to deal with again. Even after all that adventure, Hal still wants more excitement, and though he had his fill already, Barry is happy to spend more time with his friend.
Appearing in "The Quick and the Green"
- Justice League (Flashback only)
- Guardians of the Universe (Flashback only)
- Coast City
- Coast City Children's Home (Flashback only)
- Green Parrot Lounge
- Coast City
- Central City
Synopsis for "Details"
Two years ago, it was James Forrest's birthday, and Barry Allen was running late. After saving a dog, fixing a vending machine, picking up some papers that fixing the vending machine sent awry, inadvertently causing a meet cute, and then buying the wine he intended for Forrest's party, Barry arrived just in time for cake.
Happy to have Barry there, James used the wine for a toast, but was disgusted to find that the wine had turned because of Barry's hyper-vibration of its molecules while rushing to get there. Fortunately, a call for police backup distracted everyone from the faux-pas, but also required Barry's presence in an unofficial capacity.
Barry arrived on the scene to find that a woman and child were trapped in a burning building, and after learning of their location, he ran up the side of the building in order to save them from the tenth-floor deathtrap. Though he managed to save the girl, her mother had already died of smoke inhalation by the time he got to them.
Now, Barry and Patty live together, and over breakfast, they catch a news report explaining that a man named Dalton White is threatening to destroy his own apartment building with explosives unless the Flash comes to meet him in person. Quickly, Barry realizes that this man is the husband and father to the two people he pulled from the fire two years before. The same man who had lost his wife in the fire.
Fortunately, he remembers the layout of the building, and speeds around, defusing the bombs before he even meets with Dalton White - though he worries that it was too easy. The man keeps his thumb on the detonator, warning that he intends to show the people gathered below what a fraud the Scarlet Speedster is. He failed to save Lily White from the fire. Barry tries to explain that Lily was already dead before the fire was reported, but Dalton becomes angry, and presses the button. Confused, Barry realizes that the switch wasn't connected to the bombs, it was connected to an injection trigger. Dalton is poisoned with cyanide, and Barry struggles to get him down to the EMTs below. Though they don't have any antidote on hand, they do have a smoke-inhalation kit, and the sodium nitrite inside it should counter-act the poison.
The nitrite doesn't seem to be working fast enough, but Barry manages to speed along the process by lending his Speed Force energy to the chemical reaction. When Dalton comes to, he is surprised to find his daughter crouched over him. It was she who came to his rescue with the smoke inhalation kit, and she is ashamed. Barry explains that Lily wouldn't have wanted Dalton to do anything like this for her sake. Weakly, Dalton admits that he was wrong.
Barry considers that while he has little control over the world itself, the decisions he makes can at least nudge the world in the right direction.
Appearing in "Details"
- Iris West (On a TV or computer screen)
- Gloria White
- Lily White (Dies)
- Dalton White
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash: History Lessons.
- The Flash Recommended Reading