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The Flash - Alternate Key Reality

A villain calling himself the Key had captured the Justice League. A master of mind-altering chemical and biological agents, he attempted to manipulate the apparent fact that “the Justice League always wins” to make them “win for him.” By sending their minds into pre-structured hallucinations, he would be able to tap the energy generated when they discovered the hallucination and awoke, powering a gateway that would give him mastery of the universe.

“My name’s Wally West and ever since a dying New God named Fastbak bequeathed me this ring, I’ve had access to an uncanny high-velocity energy field called the Speed Source. The costume’s made of condensed hyper-dimensional gel—utterly frictionless, it’s a direct manifestation of the Speed Source itself. They call me the Flash and I’m the fastest man alive—most of the time.”
   —Wally West (JLA #9, September 1997)

The added catch in this dream being that at exactly 12 noon every day, speed would leak and everyone would gain super speed—with the Flash the only one able to maintain order (and even then just barely).

Flash burned through the infection quickly, and with the rest of the League still under the effects of the psycho-virus, he and Green Arrow fought the Key in the real world and managed to defeat him just in time.

This “imaginary” episode later had enormous significance. When Wally’s legs were shattered by the Suit, it was his memories of the dream reality that inspired him to call on the Speed Force to form a costume that could support him and enable him to fight while they healed.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • “Elseworlds” - JLA #9 (September 1997), Grant Morrison


  • JLA #9 (September 1997) - Oscar Jimenez, Chip Wallace, Hanibal Rodriguez