The latest episode of Young Justice revealed that Jay Garrick, the first superhero to use the name of The Flash, has joined the Outsiders’ revolution. While Garrick may not have officially signed on to fight alongside the team of teenage superheroes in the field, he still struck two major blows on the team’s behalf while publicly expressing his support for the next generation.
First appearing in Flash Comics #1 in January 1940, Jay Garrick was one of the definitive characters of what is today known as the Golden Age of Comics. One of the most prominent superheroes of the day, he is also notable as one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America (JSA), one of comic book history’s first superhero teams. The history of Garrick and the JSA within the reality of Young Justice has not been deeply explored beyond confirming the team’s existence. Ironically, this is more than has been done in the current DC Comics universe, where the JSA were recently confirmed to have been removed from reality as part of the storyline of Doomsday Clock.
As Young Justice season 3, episode 19, “Elder Wisdom” opens, Jay Garrick is skeptical of the Outsiders and their mission to present a positive depiction of teen superheroes while fighting a culture war online with establishment figures like UN Secretary General Lex Luthor, who would be happier if there were no superheroes at all shaking the status quo. Garrick is among those parents and guardians of various Outsiders members who threaten to revoke their permission for the teens to be part of the team. His adoptive grandson Bart Allen (aka Kid Flash) pleads his case with uncharacteristic eloquence, asking Jay if he’s really skeptical of the Outsiders’ mission or if he’s just afraid of being alone in the wake of the death of his beloved wife, Joan, whose illness was briefly depicted in episode 17, “First Impression.”
Fairly chastised, Jay Garrick is quick to lend his support for The Outsiders’ cause. Signing up for his own social media account, the first Flash posts a video of himself with the current Flash, Barry Allen, and Kid Flash. Garrick speaks on being inspired by the next generation of young people fighting for what is right, saying that he couldn’t find it in himself to condemn the Outsiders fighting unjust laws, because “no one could have stopped me from being a hero when I was young.” The video ends with three generations of speedsters declaring that “We are all Outsiders.“
Garrick is equally quick to respond when Lex Luthor speaks in favor of a global superhero registry on the G. Gordon Godfrey show. Less than a minute after Luthor has made his case, Garrick is on Flitter (the Young Justice reality’s version of Twitter) and letting Lex have it with both barrels. The elder statesman of the superhero community goes so far as to label Luthor’s plan “fascist” and notes that the same idea was tried once before in the 1950s in the United States and it was a total failure that did nothing to save people. Proof positive that an old dog can learn new tricks and that The Flash is one heck of an ally for The Outsiders to have on their side.
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