I mentioned recently that DC has a lot riding on the Flash. Because of the recent failures of Green Lantern and Wonder Woman franchises, they’ve really gotta get the Flash right.
If I’m right about that, there’s potential for a popular Flash TV show or film to propel the character to the forefront of the popular consciousness. And that’s the stuff that drives the comic market.
Now, problematically, unlike, say, Preacher or Sandman, the Flash is a gold and silver age character. Like Superman or Batman his first appearances are likely out of reach for the average collector, as are the first appearances of Flash’s major nemeses: Reverse Flash, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, etc. Those back issues are going to cost you some coin.
But there may be other key Flash comics worth acquiring.
For instance, after the 1985 DC cross-over, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally West took over for Barry Allen and the Flash was rebooted. Flash Vol. 2 #1 was published in 1987.
Wally is yet to appear in the New 52 universe (to the best of my knowledge), but he – not Barry – was the Flash for a generation of comic readers. You can bet DC will eventually find a way to bring him into the fold.
While we’re on the subject, the death of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, might be worth picking up too. You can find one of these on eBay for anywhere from about $5-$13. NM might cost you a little more.
I would suggest that the first appearance of Impulse is also a smart pickup.
This ties into my theory of long-games and low-demand comics. There’s not a lot of buzz about Impulse at the moment. He’s not a hot commodity. That’s when you want to pick up his first appearance – not when CW announces that Bart Allen will be a major character in Season 3 of the Flash television series, or when DC announces that he’ll have his own series in 2015 drawn by Greg Capullo and written by Grant Morrison. (How’s that for speculation!?)
I’m a collector as well as a wannabe speculator, so this strategy appeals a bit more to me than buying five copies of whatever the latest hot comic is supposed to be, and ransoming them on eBay. I’ve begun acquiring key issues. These are a few I’ll be targeting in the near future.