Connecting the Dots: Impulse and Max Mercury


There are two types of speculators: those who lead and those who follow. By the time news hits, cheap copies of relevant keys are gone and sometimes all that are left are overpriced, often lower grade scraps. It’s the individuals who actually read and research comics who ultimately profit by making insightful, sometimes far-out, connections that puts them far ahead of the market.


With the introduction this season of Nora Allen, better known as the speedster XS, it’s not too far fetched to expect Flash’s grandson, Bart Allen to eventually appear on the show. With the show’s penchant for recycling plot lines, another relative from the future is not out of the realm of possibility.

In the comics, Bart is the product of the convoluted storyline that sends Barry Allen to the future after his wife Iris is killed (and later resurrected). Bart, who suffers from a hyper-accelerated metabolism, is also known as Impulse, the son of Meloni Thawne and Barry’s son Don. After being raised in a virtual reality environment, his grandmother Iris sends him back in time, where he is fixed by the Wally West version of the Flash. The character eventually teams with Robin (Tim Drake) and Superboy (Connor Kent) in Young Justice as well as in versions of the Teen Titans. A re-launched Young Justice recently brought the character back to the DC Universe. The character has also appeared on the live-action television series Smallville and on the animated series Young Justice.

Bart Allen cameos in Flash #91 and his first full appearance is Flash #92 from 1994. While no public sales data is available for those issues, Flash was selling in the 24-26,000 range prior to Impulse’s debut and over 50,000 copies per month thereafter.  There is no shortage of copies on eBay (50+) copies. However, direct, newsstand and DCU UPC copies do exist. The DCU version is the rarest, with only a handful of raw and graded copies available. While CGC graded 394 copies (184 9.8s), they do not differentiate between the different versions. It is conceivable that there are only a miniscule number of 9.8 DCU UPC copies in existence.

If the producers of CW’s The Flash introduce Impulse, it would also be logical for them to cast his mentor Max Mercury, the Zen master of speed. (Doesn’t Tom Cavanagh need yet another role on the show?) Max Mercury, who was retconned as the golden age Quicksilver from National Comics #5 and later as Max Mercury in Flash (vol. 2) #76 of which there are only two copies in the census.

It’s always risky betting on the Flash TV show, many books have seen some gains, only to crash quickly back down to earth. Those who have copies of a first appearance at the time of an announcement, typically profit. Therefore, it’s logical that many would buy up copies of Flash Rebirth #1, the first appearance of Godspeed, or Dark Nights: Batman – The Red Death #1, the first appearance of the Red Death, since many know they could appear next season as the Flash’s antagonists. However, consider looking farther down the road for cheaper books to invest in. We’ve seen so many other speedsters on the show: Kid Flash, Jessie Quick, the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick, why not impulse and Max Mercury?


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