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His name is Flashback!


Chronological Power #7 Temporal Summoning and Connectivity

~Flashback meets his past...and future, from Alpha Flight #8 (2004)

One theme surrounding many of the time-controlling superheroes seems to be mutations. Marvel Comics, late in the 80's and early in the 90's, decided to play around with mutants having unique talents that could affect the temporal sphere; it was part of their "X-Men Explosion", a period where The Uncanny X-Men title, Wolverine, and mutants gained lots of popularity. (Just a note: DC Comics had their own special time-altering effect which involved many of their heroes, but you'll learn about that later.)

Mutants, therefore, have been leading the charge for time-affecting powers for many years. We've seen how some look into the future and some invariably alter it. Meanwhile, others are in mental contact with their future or past selves. So now it's time to move forward. And in that line of thinking, what could be the next weirdly, time-controlling ability is next?

Easy enough, his name is Flashback. Born Gardner Monroe, you may have not heard a great deal about him, but his power, a mutation of unique temporal quality, fits in a class all its own: Temporal Summoning. This is the ability to reach through the future (and potentially past) and have an object or person appear in the present.

This can also be labeled Temporal Connectivity, the important note is that somehow the hero is able to pull something out of the timeline and move it to present. Flashback, as the prime example, grabbed future versions of himself.  First appearing in Alpha Flight #11(where his name was actually given) we learned that each copy of him was a future self. Where his costume was white with black, his other versions were black with white.

With Flashback's amazing power was the designer conceptualization of the disadvantages it might bring. Written in the Alpha Flight v3 (2004) series, Flashback, eventually, was going to be one of the future selves pulled backwards in time. The fear then become his eventual death, which occurred to one of his summoned travellers in Alpha Fligth #28 (v1, 1985).

Chronologically correct and temporally precise, this is The Top 10 Temporal Super Powers, a Countdown of Time-Wielding Abilities and Characters provided by The Superheroes List provided every Wednesday for the 2013 New Year. (And no, Father Time is not a superhero.) Want to read more? It's about TIME! Read the List!

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