Flash’s Crime-Fighting Rule Makes Him Justice League’s Most Vital Hero

Flash's Crime-Fighting Rule Makes Him Justice League's Most Vital Hero

Barry Allen’s rule for tackling new threats confirms why Flash is the Justice League’s most important member, even before Superman.

Warning: contains spoilers for Flash #783!

For many fans of DC Comics, the Flash – despite his popularity over the last few years – has always been a second-tier Justice League hero. Indeed, when Darkseid or Doomsday show up on a comic book cover, Flash is more likely to be shown lying unconscious at their feet rather than striking the decisive blow against them.

While fans of the Flash might find this disrespectful, the reality is that without the Flash’s presence and participation in their missions, other heroes would be severely limited in how they could respond to the threat. Indeed, having the Flash around is necessary to allow other heroes to be the best they can be. This is because of a crime-fighting rule Flash lives by that actually deprioritizes the immediate threat to fulfill the Justice League’s true mission.

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In Flash #783 from Jeremy Adams and Amancay Nahuelpan, Barry Allen is still trapped in an ‘ideal’ world based on his early adventures. Working alongside a replica of Kid Flash, he reminds Wally West of the rule the Fastest Man Alive applies when facing a threat that poses danger to normal people – “Bystanders first. Problem second.” This is accurate to how Flash is generally depicted when working alongside the Justice League – while Superman and Wonder Woman trade blows with Darkseid, and Batman schemes to take him down, Flash clears the area of anyone who could be injured by the clash. It’s not a glamorous task, but protecting people is what the Justice League is actually about, and it’s only once people are clear that heroes like Superman can actually let loose.

flash 783 barry allen

This is best illustrated in Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, and Tom Nguyen’s JLA #89, where – faced with the eruption of a nuclear reactor – Flash succeeds in moving 532,000 people safely out of harm’s way, thereby freeing up the other members of the JLA to focus on finding and stopping the villain responsible for causing the reactor to explode, and keeping the damage of the explosion to a minimum.

Interestingly, there are no heroes outside the Flash Family who can truly adopt this role. While Superman is fast, he’s no match for the Flash, especially in terms of moving hundreds of thousands of people in milliseconds. But while Clark Kent has been replaced on the Justice League roster by powerhouses like Black Adam and Major Disaster, the team has no true fit for Flash’s role, and on those occasions where he’s not on the team, civilians suddenly become a huge new factor in any fight.

Accordingly, tasking the Flash with securing the safety and security of the area of operations allows his teammates the peace of mind to do what they do best. Naturally, with Flash’s speed, it’s never long before safety is secured and he is ready to enter the fray anyway. However, it’s in his often overlooked role as the hero who gets innocents to safety that Flash is not only essential to the Justice League, but embodies the reason they exist in the first place.

NEXT: DC’s New Version Of The Flash Has Gone Full Road Warrior

The Flash #783 is available now from DC Comics.

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About The Author

Marcel Green
(211 Articles Published)

Marcel Green is a comics news writer for Screen Rant. A lifelong comic fan who originally was a “Marvel Only” collector, he has matured into an “independent” fan of all things comics, manga, cartoon, and anime. Happy to finally be able to put all those hours reading comics over the years to good use.

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