Today: The Prophecy
Two twins—one, Barry Allen, raised by his loving biological parents and gifted with super-speed. The other, Malcolm Thawne raised by abusive parents on the wrong side of the law, ultimately taking the power of a blue flame which could steal anything the heart desired. His jealousy of his twin became hate, a burning hate fueling the blue flame which he encased in a gem, beginning his career as the first Cobalt Blue, dedicated to destroying the Flash and everything he stood for. (Flash #144, 1999)
A thousand years will the blue flame burn, granting your fondest wish...consuming not one Flash, but two...before at last claiming the life of your greatest enemy: Barry Allen!
21st Century: Glass Houses
While the legacy was to last a thousand years, many of the individual Cobalt Blues led very short careers. One of these surfaced in the early twenty-first century. Clad in armor, and wielding the flame as ropes of force that could bind or slice anything, he was defeated in about thirty seconds by the era’s Kid Flash and a time-travelling Jay Garrick.
2231: Death of a Flash
Upon becoming active, this Cobalt Blue captured his era’s Flash and his family. He forced the Flash to watch as he killed his wife and crippled his daughter Sela so badly that her only hope to survive was to be taken into the Speed Force and left there. Eight months later, consumed with his own rage, the Flash returned and killed him.
This Flash’s victory was short-lived, however, as the gem was picked up by a passing child. This child was immediately consumed by the power and rage of the flame, instinctively using it to kill the Flash. It took the combined efforts of time-travelling Max Mercury and Sela Allen, returned from the Speed Force, to subdue him and return the boy to normal. (Flash #146–147, 1999)
25th Century: Reversed
For several decades, the Allen family kept the Cobalt Blue gem locked away...until Chardaq Allen awakened it. Having lost his super-speed in a battle with Savitrix, he became a profiler with the Policenet, studying the criminal mind. His attempt to examine the gem caused it to possess him, and he immediately started tearing things apart. The police, including Chardaq’s son Simogyn, released Professor Zoom—the Reverse-Flash and a Thawne—on a short leash to stop Chardaq’s rampage. Things became stranger when Wally West arrived—he managed to snap Chardaq free of the gem’s control (realizing the true meaning of “consuming a Flash”), but not before Zoom touched it and gained the knowledge of its future—and vanished through time.
2754–2764: The Sacrifice
Among the colonists who settled on the micro-planetoid Petrus in the Massara system were Blaine Allen, that era’s Flash, and his son Jace. They were followed by the Cobalt Blue who came closest to ending the Allen bloodline. She infected Jace with a fast-acting and fatal virus. The Flash then froze the entire planet to prevent the virus from killing him. Reveling in her success— the Flash would have to either allow his son to die or leave the entire planet’s population frozen in living death—Cobalt Blue departed. Meanwhile, Blaine took his son into the Speed Force, hoping that it would take him and preserve him on the other side of light. Instead, it took Blaine, and gave super-speed to Jace, enabling him to shake off the virus and survive (“The Sacrifice,” Speed Force #1, 1997).
Over the next ten years, Jace pursued Cobalt Blue across the galaxy to bring her to justice. Finally, in 2764, they arrived in Central City on Earth. Cobalt Blue’s flame engulfed the city, disintegrating everything it touched. Jace was stuck on the defensive until time-travelling Jesse Quick arrived. Together, they defeated Cobalt Blue and turned her over the the authorities (Flash #145–146, 1999).
In addition to the flame’s normal abilities, this Cobalt Blue was able to fly, project mirages, and disintegrate anything.
Battles of this sort raged across the centuries as Flashes used shards of the gem to find other times when it was active. They would aid their counterparts as they battled each era’s Cobalt Blue, then pass on the news and a gem fragment, each time-leaping to another era.
With the aid of Iris West II, all the speedsters from the 20th through the 30th century had tracked down all the Cobalt Blues of the same time period using fragments of the Cobalt Blue gem—which began magnifying feelings of rage in the bearers. At this point, the original Cobalt Blue appeared in Barry Allen’s time period, in possession of a body that could travel through time: the original Flash, Jay Garrick. An army of Flashes possessed by the rage of the Cobalt Blue gem nearly killed Wally and Barry, and likely would have had the two of them not found a way to send the possessed Flashes back to their own eras—minus the gem fragments which were controlling them (Flash #148–149, 1999).
The disembodied spirit and rage of the original Cobalt Blue collected itself and killed Barry Allen, fulfilling the prophecy only to be thwarted by a time travelling Wally West, who sacrificed his life to destroy it so that it could neither kill Barry nor prevent him from saving the universe in the Crisis on Infinite Earths (Flash #149–150, 1999).
With a Thawne as President of Earth, and the Tornado Twins dead, the Allen bloodline seemed to have come to a close. Dawn’s daughter Jenni was a normal infant, and Don’s wife Meloni was a Thawne, making their child Bart heir to both families. With the infant Bart in Earthgov custody, the way was clear for the Thawnes to act. President Thawne reconstituted the Cobalt Blue gem, planning to amplify its powers with the aid of sorcerers from Zerox and make it possible for the Thawnes to rule the galaxy. But they didn’t count on their plans being overheard by the Flash...or Professor Zoom. The ensuing super-speed struggle destroyed the gem once and for all (Flash Secret Files #1, Flash #147–148).
Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- “Chain Lightning” - The Flash (second series) #145–150 (February–July 1999), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- “Nature vs. Nurture” - The Flash (second series) #144 (December 1998), Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- “Burning Secrets” and “The Sacrifice” - Speed Force #1 (November 1997), Mark Waid
- Impulse #24–25 (April–May 1997), Mark Waid
- Malcolm Thawne - Flash (second series) #144 (January 1999) - Pop Mhan and Chris Ivy
- 21st Century: Glass Armor - The Flash (second series) #147 (April 1999) - Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell
- 2231: Vengeance - The Flash (second series) #147 (April 1999) - Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell
- 2231: Possession - The Flash (second series) #146 (March 1999) - Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell
- 25th Century: Reversed - The Flash (second series) #147 (April 1999) - Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell
- 2754: Leaving Petrus - Speed Force #1 (November 1997) - William Rosado and Sal Buscema
- Army of Cobalt Blue Flashes - Flash (second series) #148 (May 1999) - Paul Pelletier and Vince Russell
- Professor Zoom - Flash (second series) #79 (August 1993) - Greg LaRocque and Roy Richardson
- Speed Force #1 (November 1997): “Burning Secrets,” Mark Waid
- Speed Force #1 (November 1997): “The Sacrifice,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- Flash #143–150 (December 1998–July 1999): “Chain Lightning,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
[*] Note on Dates: The Legion of Super-Heroes stories essentially take place 1,000 years in the future. Unfortunately, this means that those stories suffer from the same “time shifting” that the present does: a story printed in 1996 would take place in 2996 with an 18-year-old character...but a story printed in 2002 would take place in 3002, and I doubt the Legionnaires have aged six years in that time. With the LSH as reference point, we can place the gem’s destiny at roughly 14–16 years before the Legion’s founding, and Barry’s brief stay at about 20–25 years before that.