Keystone City

Notable characters Flash (Jay Garrick)
Flash (Wally West)
First appearance Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)
Publisher DC Comics

Keystone City is a fictional city in the DC Comics Universe. Specifically, it is the home of both the original Flash, Jay Garrick, and the third Flash, Wally West. Keystone City first appeared in the 1940s in the original Flash Comics series.

Within the comics, Keystone has been described as being "the blue collar capital of the United States" and a center of industry.[1]


Keystone City's location over the years has been treated as vague, much like DC's other fictional cities such as Gotham City and Metropolis, though most writers have shown it as being located in Pennsylvania (likely due to Pennsylvania being nicknamed "the Keystone State"). Starting in the 1990s, however, Keystone has been treated as being located in Kansas, near the Kansas/Missouri border, adjacent to Central City. JSA #16 (November 2000) explicitly states that Keystone City is in Ohio, but Flash (vol. 2) #188 (September 2002) states that it is in Kansas. In the latter, the Flash constructs a bridge that connects Keystone City and Central City. (His internal monologue reads, "Keystone City, Kansas. Central City, Missouri. Forever united, and under my protection.")

Under DC's Multiverse system between the early 1960s and 1985–1986's Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, Keystone City is located on Earth-Two (home of the Justice Society and DC's Golden Age characters), in the same space as Earth-One's Central City (Earth-One being the home of the Silver Age superheroes, and Central City being the home of the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen). With the changes rendered to DC's fictional reality due to Crisis, Keystone and Central become twin cities.

Three miles from Keystone is Iron Heights Penitentiary, the security prison that holds the supervillains when captured.[2]

Besides heavy industry, Keystone is also the home of WKEY-TV, a television station where Wally's girlfriend/wife Linda Park[3] works.

Jakeem Williams (also known as Jakeem Thunder of the JSA) attends Wilson High School in Keystone.[4]

Fictional history

Originally, the city is defended in the 1940s by the original Flash, Jay Garrick, against such villains as the Fiddler, the Thinker, Shade, and Turtle; coinciding with the real-world cancellation of All Star Comics, the last venue in which Garrick's adventures were seen as part of the Justice Society of America. Garrick goes into retirement in the early 1950s after the forced breakup of the original Justice Society due to McCarthyism. In the early 1960s, Garrick is shown coming out of retirement in the classic story "Flash of Two Worlds", published in The Flash #123 (September 1961), and resumes his duties as the protector of Keystone City. Keystone City was located on Earth-Two in the same geographical area as Central City was on Earth-One, separated by a dimensional barrier. In the penultimate issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths, when all parallel Earths have been merged into one, Keystone City and Central City become located beside one another and are named the "Twin Cities".

Starting in the late 1980s, Keystone City becomes the home of Wally West, the third Flash. Most of Barry Allen's "rogues gallery", including the Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, and Gorilla Grodd, also begin to plague Keystone instead of Central City. Over the years, many of these rogues have fluctuated between criminal acts and crimefighting. With the events of the Identity Crisis crossover, it has become apparent that this is due to the actions of the brainwashed supervillain known as the Top.

With the return of Barry Allen as the primary Flash during Final Crisis, Keystone City once again gave place to Central City as the main setting.

Other versions

In other media

In the Smallville season 8 episode "Hex", it is mentioned that Bart Allen and Clark Kent are dealing with a crisis in Keystone City.

In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance", there is a reference to the "Central-Keystone" area, referring to Keystone and its twin city.

In the pilot of The Flash, Barry mentions that Eddie Thawne is a transfer from Keystone City. Later in the season in the episode "The Flash is Born", Barry and Eddie visit the city while looking for Tony Woodward. In the episode "Potential Energy", it was revealed Wally West lived his whole life there when his mother left Central City while she was pregnant with him. In the third season's episode "Magenta" Frankie is sent to a new foster home in Keystone City. In the Arrow (S05E05), Oliver speaks of the apprehension of the heads of organized crime enterprises in Bludhaven, Hub City, Keystone and Whiteholland.

In the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, Keystone City is referred to as a place where Amadeus Arkham went to college. In the sequel Batman: Arkham City it is mentioned that prisons similar to the titular Arkham City will soon be opening in Keystone City and Metropolis. In the final game of the series Batman: Arkham Knight, there are various posters depicting Keystone City, with the phrase "Run to Keystone City.", and shows a red blur in the poster, supposedly depicting The Flash. The various militia forces around Gotham also mention Keystone, describing how Gotham is better because "You can see Batman coming", referring again to The Flash.


  1. Countdown #43 (July 2007)
  2. Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)
  3. Flash (vol. 2) #28 (July 1989)
  4. JSA Classified #5 (January 2006)
  5. Teen Titans (vol. 3) #17–19 (December 2004 – February 2005)
  6. JLA/Avengers #1 (September 2003)
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