Of the numerous cool moments from the Season 1 finale of The Flash,..."/> Of the numerous cool moments from the Season 1 finale of The Flash,..."/>

The Flash: Who Is Jay Garrick?

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Of the numerous cool moments from the Season 1 finale of The Flash, “Fast Enough,” the one that had longtime comics fans the most excited was when an unmistakable winged helmet came flying out of the rip in time that opened when Barry Allen made his journey into the past. In case you missed it, that’s a picture of it up above.

RELATED: The Flash Season 1 Finale Recap and Review

It could have been just a one-shot deal, the kind of DC Comics reference that The Flash and Arrow make on a regular basis. Not all of them end up paying off in explicit fashion, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the man known for sporting the silver helmet, Jay Garrick, will come running onto our TV screens this fall.

But he certainly could, and some fans are expecting that we’ll see Jay sooner rather than later. When we asked about the meaning of the title of the Season 2 premiere, “The Man Who Saved Central City,” here’s the answer we got from @bamahitman13 on Twitter:

So that leads to the obvious question for those who don’t already know: who is Jay Garrick anyway? Hold on to your winged hats folks …

Jay Garrick Was the First Super Hero to Call Himself The Flash

Yes indeed, 16 years before Barry Allen was first able to call himself the Fastest Man Alive, there was another man who could lay claim to the title. Jay Garrick made his first comic book appearance all the way back in 1940 in Flash Comics #1. You can see his original costume above, and while it became somewhat more simplified as time went on, losing the yellow belt and the lightning bolts on the pants, the winged helmet — similar to the one worn by the Roman god Mercury in many depictions — remained as his trademark visual element.

Garrick’s origin wasn’t quite as explosive as Allen’s, though it still had a pseudo-scientific elements. While a college student studying chemistry and physics, Jay was taking a smoke break when he accidentally breathed in some hard water vapors and was knocked unconscious. He remained out of it for a week, but when he finally came to, he discovered that his body now had a drastically accelerated metabolism and the ability to move at superhuman speeds without damaging himself or anyone he carried with him.

Inspired by the pulp era comic books he read as a youth, Jay decided to call himself the Flash and use his new powers to protect Keystone City (though his earliest adventures were actually set in New York). He was a founding member of the Justice Society of America alongside other super heroes of the 1940s, including the original versions of Green Lantern, Hawkman, the Atom, Sandman, the Spectre, Doctor Fate and Hourman, and served as the team’s first chairman.

Alas, with the overall downturn in the popularity of super hero comics, Garrick’s first run as the Flash was destined to last only 11 years. But that was far from the end of his story.

Next: Two Flashes, Two Worlds