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I was wondering if you could answer a long-standing question of mine that's been bugging me on and off for the past couple of years.I actually think I can answer this.
In Flash: Secret of Barry Allen and indeed Identity Crisis it is proposed, unless I am very much mistaken, that Barry Allen is the Flash that voted to wipe the memory of Doctor Light and effectively lobotomize him.
I find this a little hard to swallow given that for this to have been in continuity it would had to have happened before Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the DC Universe didn't start getting majorly gritty until after 1986. Up until recently I wasn't even certain if characters were aware of the Crisis or if they had just rebooted the whole continuity, starting the characters all over again -- I thought that was the whole point of Crisis?
I guess the Crisis must have done a bit of retconning because since the event there's been very little coverage of Dick Grayson's years as Robin and that's meant to be pretty early on in the game ...
I think my basic question was did the events in the flashback sequence in Identity Crisis take place before or after Crisis and if after, then how was Barry around to decide to wipe Doctor Light's mind?
First, let me confirm that in the flashbacks in Identity Crisis, Barry Allen is indeed the Flash, and Wally West is the Flash in the present. Barry is shown having made the deciding vote to lobotomize Dr. Light at least in part due to the recent death of his wife Iris Allen (later revealed alive).
The Identity Crisis flashbacks are supposed to take place around the same time as Justice League of America #166-168, from the late 1970s. Certainly, DC's titles at that time weren't as "gritty" as Identity Crisis; the book engages in "retroactive continuity," changing elements of a previous story after the fact. Also, one theme of Identity Crisis was to suggest those old, "simpler" stories weren't actually as simple as we might have believed.
Second, part of your confusion can be alleviated by explaining that Crisis on Infinite Earths was a "soft reboot" and not a "hard reboot." The origins of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were all revised, but plenty other characters continued with their histories intact -- Wally West, the Teen Titans, the original Hawk and Dove, and the Green Lantern Corps, to name a few. (In this way, the Crisis and Flashpoint reboots are actually somewhat similar.)
All the characters, therefore, remember Barry Allen and know that he died in a "crisis" of sorts, though not necessarily one that involved multiple Earths. Awareness of Crisis would vary from character to character for quite a while until Infinite Crisis, when it was generally accepted that an event had taken place involving the Multiverse, if not that continuity was itself rebooted.
Much of the history of the Justice League remained intact after Crisis, except that where Wonder Woman was a founding member originally, in the post-Crisis continuity Black Canary took her place (as depicted, among other places, in Mark Waid's excellent JLA: Year One, which was essentially accurate until Infinite Crisis restored Wonder Woman's place in the League).
DC would shoe-horn all of this modified League history, Barry Allen's career, Dick Grayson's time as Robin, Don Hall's career as Dove, as so on, into what could be called "the ten-year gap." This is the period after the end of John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries and prior to Byrne's Superman #1 -- you can essentially shove any pre-Crisis event that's still in continuity in there. Identity Crisis therefore flashes back to issues that were published in the 1970s, but that take place post-Crisis between Man of Steel and Superman #1 continuity-wise. (I believe DC's 1995 "Year One" annual series were also meant to take place in the ten-year gap.)
Again, in this way I think the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint reboots are not so different as we might think. Both Crisis and Flashpoint were "soft reboots" that relaunched some but not all of the DC characters, changing some continuities and leaving others somewhat intact. Crisis and Flashpoint also have built-in gaps to encompass material from previous continuities; for Crisis it was the ten-year gap, and for Flashpoint it's the five-year gap between the first arc of Justice League and the second.
Hope that helps! Remember, if you have a question, don't hesitate to drop me a line, and your question could be featured next time in "Ask Collected Editions." Thanks!