Eyes: Brown (sometimes glowing yellow)
Known Relatives: Julie Jackam (mother, deceased), Mark Mardon (father), Iris Allen (adoptive mother)
Home: Keystone City, Kansas
Base of Operations: Playpen
Powers: Stacking blocks, crying, weather control
First Appearance: Flash v.2 #170 (March 2001)
Death: Killed by Inertia (Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #3, 2008)
New York cop Julie Jackam was focused on her career, so when she found herself pregnant, she wasn’t sure what to do with the baby. She confided in a neighbor of hers, and eventually decided to keep the baby, whom she named Josh. Her neighbor believed, as Julie did, that Josh’s father was Wally West, with whom she had broken up shortly before she discovered she was pregnant. Julie never knew that it was actually a man she spent one night with on the rebound, a man who never told her he was really the Weather Wizard.
Julie moved to Keystone City shortly after Josh was born, partly to work with her grandfather’s old partner, Fred Chyre. Despite her assumption about Josh’s father, she never told anyone—not the hospital, not Wally, not even her partner. She took that secret to her grave when she was killed by the Cicada cult.
Chyre and one of Julie’s neighbors took turns taking care of Josh, and began noticing a lightning effect around his eyes. Combined with the timing, they reached the same conclusion Julie had: that the Flash was his father. Chyre had by this time worked with Wally on several cases, and introduced him to his “son.” By this time Blacksmith, leader of the new Rogues Gallery, had discovered Josh’s true parentage, and alerted the Weather Wizard. Intrigued by Josh’s weather-related abilities, Mardon came for his son, hoping to learn from him how to better control his weather wand—even if he had to be dissected.
As for Josh’s future: Chyre had planned to adopt him, only to be notified of an obscure provision in Julie’s will. It seems the neighbor in whom Julie had confided before Josh was born had agreed to take care of him if anything happened to her. That neighbor turned out to be none other than Iris Allen, Wally’s aunt.*
The adoption apparently fell through, and Josh was taken into his grandmother’s custody. When Darkseid came to claim Earth, Libra kidnapped Josh as a hostage to ensure the Rogues would fight on his side. Inertia decided to end the stand-off by killing the hostage with a point-blank sonic boom** (Rogues’ Revenge #3, 2008).Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- “Birth Right” - Flash (second series) #175–176 (August–September 2001), Geoff Johns
- “Fallout” - Flash (second series) #181 (February 2002), Geoff Johns
- Flash #170–173 (March–June 2001): “Blood Will Run,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #175–176 (August–September 2001): “Birth Right,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #180 (January 2002): “Peek-a-Boo,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #181 (February 2002): “Fallout,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #183 (April 2002): “Crossfire Prologue: Tricked,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #189 (October 2002): “Messengers,” Geoff Johns (cameo)
- Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2–3 (October–November 2008), Geoff Johns
* Continuity alert: Except for some manipulations during Barry’s trial, Iris was out of the picture from the time of her “death” to the time she brought Impulse to the present—long after Wally had moved to Keystone and just as Wally and Linda were moving in together. Josh should already have been born by this time. Either Iris is lying (out of character, and she’s got Julie’s will to back her up), issues 32–100 all took place within the space of about 3 months (meaning Wally came back from heaven for someone he’d only been dating for about a month and a half), or someone’s been seriously messing around with time. This being a comic book, the latter is a far more likely option.
** Oddly, Josh looks as young or younger here than he does in the earlier Flash issues, even though at least a year has passed. Also: we don’t actually see a body. This is probably less for ambiguity and more to avoid showing the mangled body of a child.