The Flash (or simply Flash) is the name of several superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (cover date January 1940/release month November 1939). Nicknamed the "Scarlet Speedster", all incarnations of the Flash possess "super speed", which includes the ability to run, move, and think extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and seemingly violate certain laws of physics.
Thus far, at least four different characters—each of whom somehow gained the power of "the speed force"—have assumed the mantle of the Flash in DC's history: college athlete Jay Garrick (1940–1951, 1961–2011, 2017–present), forensic scientist Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Barry's nephew Wally West(1986–2011, 2016–present), and Barry's grandson Bart Allen (2006–2007). Each incarnation of the Flash has been a key member of at least one of DC's premier teams: the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans.
The Flash is one of DC Comics' most popular characters and has been integral to the publisher's many reality-changing "crisis" storylines over the years. The original meeting of the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick and Silver Age Flash Barry Allen in "Flash of Two Worlds" (1961) introduced the Multiverse storytelling concept to DC readers, which would become the basis for many DC stories in the years to come.