Josh McGovern was born raised in Central City and grew up idolizing the second Flash. When that Flash was killed during the Crisis and Wally West (Kid Flash) took over as the new Flash the teenage Josh, like many others, didn't think he was worthy of the name. When Josh heard about the superspeed drug Velocity-9 he decided he would become a hero and show this upstart Flash how things were done. Josh began using V-9 and after cobbling together a costume he began fighting crime in Central City as Flashout. It was not long before the addictive qualities of V-9 got to him, however, and Josh turned to petty theft to help pay for his addiction. Josh was riding a V-9 high a few months later when the Dominators detonated their Gene Bomb during the invasion of Earth. When the effect hit him he was thrown into a coma.
Josh lay in the coma for over a year and when he woke up he found that his metagene had activated and he had gained superspeed for real, as well as the ability to teleport short distances. He tried to resume his career as a hero, but while his body had overcome its addiction to Velocity-9, his mind hadn't. On his first break-in attempt to get money to pay for more V-9 he was caught but instead of serving jail time Josh was ordered into a rehab program. Part of the rehab program involved an amateur theatre group and Josh found he had a talent for acting. One of the acting coaches in the theatre group was Dexter Miles, curator of the Flash Museum and he became Josh's mentor.
With Dexter's help Josh beat the psychological addiction and resumed his heroic career (with a variation on his earlier costume) using the name Flashback. Josh concentrated on fighting against the drug scene in Central City, especially when a new V-9 variant appeared on the street called Velocity '98. While tracking the source of V-98 Flashback met the Guardians, who were in Central City as part of their campaign to stop the AI called OMEGA. The Guardians, along with Quiksilver, helped Josh destroy the processing plant where Vandal Savage was producing the V-98. Flashback and the Guardians parted ways, but not before the seeds of a relationship began forming between Josh and the Guardian's resident speedster Tazer.
Flashback next met the Guardians during the Revelations crisis when he went to them for help after being attacked by the Harbingers of the Nemesis. He helped the Guardians throughout the crisis, and was instrumental in helping locate the Holy Grail. After the crisis had ended Flashback became a member of the Guardians and he and Tazer began a full-fledged romance that has kept the two nearly inseparable (often to the chagrin of their teammates). With help from Rift and his showbiz contacts, Josh was able to get a small role on a soap opera (his superspeed making the Empire City-New York commute an easy one).
When the Genesis Wave hit the Earth, Flashback's powers changed dramatically. He retained his superspeed, but his teleportation range increased to the point where he could reach nearly any point on Earth and he also gained the ability to travel through time. His new powers were little help a short time later when one of the Millennium Giants threatened Empire City. When the battle was over, Tazer had disappeared and Flashback began searching all over the the world for her. During a stop in Superior City, Josh was kidnapped by Death Spider and Enforcer and used as a pawn in a ploy of Death Spider's to alter history. Flashback was eventually rescued by the new Enforcers of Justice and helped them undo the damage Death Spider had done to the timeline. Shortly thereafter Flashback and Paladin located Tazer in the other-dimensional realm of Skartaris. Josh and Tazer returned to Empire City together where, along with Guardienne, they were recruited by Harbinger into a new Guardians team.
It has been revealed that in a possible future the Guardians will suffer some kind of tragedy after which Flashback will join with a loose coalition of inter-dimensional and time travelers organized by Rip Hunter known as the Hypertime Masters. It is this future Flashback that is responsible for bringing Harbinger back through time from the 150th century.
Powers and Abilities:
After he first emerged from the coma, Josh found that he was able to move and react at superhuman speeds without the use of the Velocity-9 drug. His body density had also increased to protect him against the wind shear generated by moving at high velocities. He also had the ability to teleport a distance of a few hundred yards (his teleportation was usually accompanied by a bright flash of light). After the Genesis Wave hit, Flashback's teleportation increased a thousand-fold, allowing him to reach any point on the planet in an instant.
The Genesis Wave also gave Flashback the power to travel through time, with some restrictions. Josh can only travel to a time and place he is familiar with, so he almost always limits his jaunts to places and events he remembers. On one occasion the hero Orchid formed a mental link between Josh and someone else giving him access to their memories which allowed him to travel to a place and time he himself was unfamiliar with but the other person was. Since he has no way of knowing the future, Flashback never tries to travel forward in time, since on the few occasions he has tried the results have nearly been fatal. Usually the only time Josh travels through time at all is to prevent something from happening (he first discovered the power when he saw Tazer killed by Darkseid's assassin, Kanto, and traveled back in time to stop it from happening).
When Flashback does travel back in time there will be two of him, the one present in the time he is visiting and the time traveling one. If he makes physical contact with his "present" self, the time-traveling Josh disappears and the "present" Josh gains all the memories of the traveling one. He will always do this when he has traveled back through time to prevent an event. On a few such occurrences, the time-displaced Flashback has been killed stopping whatever event he came back to prevent. When this has happened, the present Flashback has touched the body, gaining all the memories of the future Flashback, including the one his alternate self's death. These "non-memories" often shake Flashback, but Tazer is always there to help her lover work through the trauma.