Being a member of the Justice League is incredibly dangerous, and many of the team’s heroes have died in the line of duty – with just as many coming back to life. Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and The Flash have all died in the line of duty and returned, but only Flash seems to regret that. After Barry Allen was first revived, he stated that he felt like he shouldn’t have been.
The Flash: Rebirth #1 – by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, Rob Leigh, and Alex Sinclair – featured the true return of Barry Allen, with the story set in the aftermath of Barry resurrection following the events of Final Crisis.
Surprisingly, Barry admits that he didn’t want to come back. As far as Barry Allen was concerned, Wally West is the Flash now, and Barry was fine passing the mantle on and fading away.
Barry Allen Admitted Things Were Fine Without Him
At the time of The Flash: Rebirth‘s publication, Wally West had been the Flash for twenty years, and Barry felt he was no longer needed.
During Infinite Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the multiverse. This caused Barry Allen to remain dead in comic continuity for two real-life decades. This granted Wally the chance to take over the mantle of the Flash and make it his own, and he did a fantastic job at it. For many comic book fans, Wally West simply is the Flash, and they regard Barry Allen as an older mentor type, as many of the prior generation did with Jay Garrick.
When Barry Allen came back from the dead during the events of Final Crisis, he simply didn’t know what his place in the new world would be – but thankfully, he managed to find it. Barry had sacrificed himself to save everyone; he thought his hero’s journey was over, so when he was suddenly revived, he assumed it must have been a fluke. Barry explains that after Hal died, he had become the monster Parallax, almost no one remembered him fondly, and his coming back was a redemption. Only in Barry’s case, the formerly-deceased Flash didn’t need redemption, he’d done everything he needed.
Barry Allen Ultimately Embraced His Second Chance
In The Flash: Rebirth, when Speedsters around the world started suffering random pain, Barry assumed he must be the source of it. Because of this, he tried to return to the Speedforce, only to discover it was Reverse Flash who’d revived him. Learning that all the chaos going on since his return hadn’t been his doing, Barry reconsidered his second chance. After Flash and his family defeated Reverse Flash, Barry decided to remain. While Barry Allen initially felt he wasn’t needed, and wanted nothing more than to return to the Speedforce, and let Wally West take over, he eventually realized there was still room in the DC Universe for him as the Flash.