Keystone City is the city, in which the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive, resides.
Location, History, and Culture
Like Gotham City (home to Batman), Metropolis (Superman's turf), and Star City (Green Arrow's stomping grounds), Keystone City is home to a superhero - the Scarlet Speedster. However, it is different in a large way. Instead of being dark, like Gotham, or huge, like Metropolis, Keystone City is a small blue-collar town. Keystone City is in Kansas on the Kansas-Missouri border. Keystone City is approximately 35 miles north of Kansas City. The Missouri River separates Keystone City from its sister city, Central City, Missouri. The golden age Keystone City was a fictional town near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (see Secret Origins #9). Pennsylvania is known as the "Keystone State".
Keystone City is near a few landmarks, such as Iron Heights. Iron Heights is a super villain prison that is specially used for Flash's villains.
After the Louisiana Purchase, a small settlement was created near the Missouri River in 1806. Following the Civil War. Keystone City became a supply center, as most business dealt with heavy industry. The transcontinental railroad through the city caused it to become a major transportation hub, from which the city could manufacture and distribute its industrial products. During World War II, the city retooled for the war effort, manufacturing aircraft and supplies for the huge war waged against the Axis.
Keystone City has been described as the blue-collar capital of America. “Keystone City, the backbone of the Midwest." When the town was established in 1727, horseshoeing was the major occupation. Times change. Iron and steel forging, automobiles, coal, machinery tools, all of them come from this city.... The blue-collar capital of the U.S. and proud of it... It’s a tough place, but a good place. With honest people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.” This quote describes the place perfectly-it's a tough, friendly poor town full of hard-working people. Keystone is a huge center of manufacturing goods and supplies, too-supplies include iron, cars, and heavy machinery. The union is also huge, as the workers have combined to form one of the biggest unions in America.
The first Flash, Jay Garrick, was the first and longest staying in Keystone City. He was introduced in 1940, and was in Keystone from the start. He fought villains like Thinker, Shade, Fiddler, and the especially evil Turtle. Eventually, though, after ten years, Jay Garrick retired as Flash. This gave Turtle an opportunity, and he built a criminal empire in Keystone that flourished for years. However, the third Flash (Wally West) arrived and brought Turtle's empire down. Barry Allen and Bart Allen, the other two Flashes, never have resided in Keystone City.
Originally, in Pre-Crisis history, Jay Garrick lived and fought villains from his base residence in Keystone City before retiring at a historical period when comics started to fall out of popularity. But when DC introduced the Barry Allen Flash, starting the Silver Age, it was said that Allen lived in Central City-which had never been mentioned Pre-Crisis. DC's initial solution was oft-used before 1986--DC writers set Barry Allen's Central City on another Earth. It was noted that Keystone City was on Earth-2 with Garrick, while Central City was the Earth-1 home of Barry Allen. However, DC pulled all of the universes together in the universe-altering Crisis on Infinite Earths, which bound all the universes together. DC covered the problem by making the two sister cities across from each other, while keeping each Flash in his respective city.
Right now, the Infinite Crisis event has sucked both the Flashes that were in Keystone City into the Speed Force. What is Keystone's future without a Flash to protect them? We'll have to wait and see.
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