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[The Flash] Flash
Real Name: Mary Maxwell
Known Relatives: Dr. Philip Maxwell (father, deceased)
Group Membership: JLA
Base of Operations: Los Angeles
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
First Appearance: Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash, 2001

[Mary Maxwell] College student Mary Maxwell devoured comic books, yearning for the adventurous life of a super-hero instead of the dull day-to-day routine with her “workaholic scientist father.” Then one day their house was attacked, and they escaped in a rocket-powered station wagon. Half way around the world, her father finally explained that he had been working for a group called STEALTH on DNA modification related to time travel research. When he disovered their goal—to commit crimes in the past and escape to another time—they threatened to kill his daughter if he stopped.

They continued to run, just one step ahead of STEALTH agents, until they became lost at sea in a green fog. Mary fell off the side of the boat, felt the green mist permeating her body, and though her father dragged her out of the water, from then on she began suffering from constant fatigue. Desperate to save her, her father used a serum based on hummingbird DNA to increase her metabolism—but was shot just as he was injecting her. Instead of the tiny amount he intended to inject, she got a full dose... and discovered she suddenly had super-speed! She fought off the STEALTH agents, but was exhausted when she was finished.

Mary began training herself in using her power, learning just how fast she could go and how long she could run before succumbing to exhaustion. She also discovered she could actually travel backward in time, at least for short hops. She designed a costume, chose a name, and vowed to fight STEALTH and any evil she encountered as the Flash.

The Flash tracked down STEALTH headquarters and battled its agents, electrocuting the super-strong Zorgul just as her strength was leaving her after a pitched battle. She was also on hand to watch as STEALTH’s leader, Andrea Zakara, emerged from the time machine... and instantly aged to death, victim of the very process she had hoped to prevent using Professor Maxwell’s research.

Team Player

When Green Lantern needed help battling the Doom Patrol—three killers given powers by Damian Darrk’s Church of Eternal Empowerment—he contacted four other L.A.-based heroes, including the Flash. She was thrilled to be part of a real super-hero team, just like in the comics, though her exuberance turned off some of her teammates. They made the team permanent, calling it the Justice League of America.

From Green Lantern, she learned that all of them had been either granted powers or otherwise chosen by Yggdrasil, the tree of life: the spirit of the planet Earth. The same green mist that caused her fatigue, prompting her father’s experiments, had directly given powers to Superman and transformed Green Lantern and Aquaman. Yggdrasil was aware of Darrk’s threat, and created heroes to protect the world from the coming Crisis.

The Ultimate Fan Dream

Shortly after the Flash debuted, Fly-By-Night Comics began publishing unauthorized comic books about her adventures. To a lifelong comic fan, this was a dream come true. Mary owns every issue, and has even sent fan letters to the company.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash (November 2001), Stan Lee

Art

  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash (November 2001) - Kevin Maguire and Karl Story

Origin Tales

Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash
Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash #1 Cover
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash (November 2001), Stan Lee

Profiles

  • Just Imagine Stan Lee... Secret Files & Origins (January 2002)

Significant Appearances*

  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s The Flash (November 2001), Stan Lee
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s JLA (December 2001), Stan Lee & Michael Uslan
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee... Secret Files & Origins (March 2002): “The Coming Crisis,” Michael Uslan and Stan Lee
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Crisis (July 2002), Stan Lee

TPB/Reprints:

  • Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe 1 includes the profile pages from Just Imagine...Secret Files.
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe 2 includes Just Imagine...The Flash, JLA and the story from Secret Files.
  • Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe 3 includes Just Imagine...Crisis.

Notes

Just Imagine... was a series of 12 books (plus a Secret Files book) in which Stan Lee, well-known for launching most of the classic Marvel Comics characters, re-invented DC’s flagship characters.

The full title of the Flash issue is Just Imagine Stan Lee With Kevin Maguire Creating The Flash.

*Note on Cover Dates: Normally I use the date on the issue’s cover, which is generally about two months ahead of the date it was released. The Just Imagine... series, however, has no cover date and lists only the year inside. So I’m using the release dates on this one.

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