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[Map of the United States of America with Flash-featured cities marked.]
Map from The National Atlas of the United States of America

Blue Valley, Nebraska Santa Marta, California Keystone City, Kansas Central City, Missouri Keystone City, Pennsylvania (alternate location) Central City, Ohio (alternate location) Manchester, Alabama New York city Denver, Colorado Metropolis Los Angeles, California

Blue Valley, Nebraska

[Mini-USA map] Wally West’s home town, more recently known as the home of the Star-Spangled Kid and S.T.R.I.P.E.

Placed according to Mayfair Games’ The Atlas of the DC Universe (1990): “situated on the northeastern edge of Nebraska, twenty-five miles southwest of Sioux [Falls], South Dakota.”

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Central City, Missouri

[Mini-USA map] Across the river from Keystone City, this was the home of Barry Allen, the second Flash. It has been placed in Ohio and Missouri.

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Denver, Colorado

[Mini-USA map] Often called the “Mile High City” for its elevation, Denver was founded in 1858 as a mining supply town. Today, the capitol of Colorado is known for its brick buildings, communications and transportation industry. It can be assumed that the DCU’s Denver is much the same as the real world’s.

Jay and Joan Garrick spent several months in Denver for health reasons, bringing Impulse along, before returning to Keystone City. (Impulse #84–89, Flash #183–189)

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Keystone City, Kansas

[Mini-USA map] “The blue-collar capital of the U.S.,” Keystone City is the home of both Jay Garrick and Wally West. It lies across the river from Central City. At various times it has been placed in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Ohio.

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Los Angeles, California

[Mini-USA map] Founded in 1781 when California was part of the colony of New Spain, Los Angeles has grown to be the second largest city in the United States (probably #3 in the DCU, given that Metropolis rivals New York). Despite its prominence, there is relatively little metahuman activity in the area. The Los Angeles area, and Hollywood in particular, has become known as the hub of the American film and television industry.

Bart Allen moved to LA shortly after beginning his career as the fourth Flash.

Los Angeles was also the hometown of the Tangent universe’s Flash and the Just Imagine... Flash.

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Manchester, Alabama

[Mini-USA map] In 1948, Max Mercury saved Manchester from Dr. Morlo’s toxic bombs. Decades later, as Max came out of retirement to raise and train Impulse, he decided to move to Manchester to look for his long-lost daughter. Manchester has since become known as Impulse’s hometown.

Manchester is a real city in Walker County, Alabama, about 10 miles north of Jasper, on Highway 195. The editor’s column in Impulse #1 stated that it was fictional, but based on Mark Waid’s childhood in Alabama. Somewhere along the line it became clear that the city does exist, and Impulse #54 finally placed it “in Jasper County, just off Route 195.” Well, there is no Jasper County, but there are two Manchesters in Alabama, one in Marshall County and one in Walker County, on Route 195, near the city of Jasper. I was able to locate it using the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names and The National Atlas of the United States of America.

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Metropolis

[Mini-USA map] The City of Tomorrow, Metropolis vies with New York as to which is the nation’s primary city. Always forward-looking, Metropolis was launched into the future—technologically, anyway. The city is the home of Lexcorp, one of the nation’s largest corporations, the top-secret Project Cadmus genetic engineering labs, and of course, Superman.

The near-future Kid Flash (Iris West II) appears to be based in Metropolis, at least in the Kingdom Come timeline.

Note: Mayfair Games’ The Atlas of the DC Universe places Metropolis in Delaware. Other sources place it anywhere from New York to Ohio. As far as I know, DC has never officially placed Metropolis in a particular location.

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New York City, New York

[Mini-USA map] Founded in 1626 as New Amsterdam by Dutch colonists, then renamed when it was taken over by the British, New York has become one of the largest cities in the US, and a hub for finance, commerce, sports, and theater. New York in the DCU is much like New York in the real world, with the exception that New York and Metropolis are closely matched as to which is the nation’s primary city.

The Titans have been headquartered in New York for years, and Wally West based himself there when he first became the Flash. (Flash #1–31)

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Santa Marta, California

[Mini-USA map] A coastal Southern California city trying to attract the film industry, Santa Marta’s city council invited the Flash to move in when Keystone City wanted to kick him out. Santa Marta was all but wiped out by an earthquake and tsunami caused by Major Disaster (still working for Neron), although most of the people had been evacuated. Wally felt responsible, and helped them by assisting a local studio in making a movie about him. (Flash #122–129 & Annual 10, 1997)

Santa Marta is clearly along the Southern California coast, and it makes sense to place it in the Santa Monica–Santa Barbara area northwest of Los Angeles. Its heavy focus on the film industry suggests that it’s near LA but just far enough away to have its own identity.

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Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

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