Publisher: DC Comics
First Appearance: Flash v2 Annual #1 (1987)
Created By: Mike Baron and Jackson Butch Guice
Despite the unglamorous name, Texas-born Connie Noleski was a successful model by the time she was 20. She had an on-again, off-again relationship with Wally West after he became the Flash, despite his mother’s fears that she was a gold-digger (she actually had way more money at the time than the then-broke Wally).
When Wally was kidnapped by the combined might of, um, the Turtle and Turtle-Man (COMICS, I LOVE YOU FOREVER), Connie insisted on joining the search for him, despite his superhero friends’ fears that she would get in the way. Instead, she revealed a skimpy, flashy costume and announced her intention to fight crime alongside Wally by looking fabulous, thus distracting some Turtlethugs long enough to save the lives of some of Wally’s friends and give the police time to arrive.
The whole “fight crime by looking hot” thing never quite panned out, and Connie grew increasingly worried that Wally would leave her for a more exciting girlfriend like Power Girl. It took a few heart-to-hearts with Wally’s smart, gentle friend Chunk to realize that she was more worried about the fact that she didn’t love Wally anymore…and a few more heart-to-hearts to realize she loved Chunk instead.
When last seen, Connie was engaged to Chunk and pursuing an acting career.
So What’s So Great About Her?
When Connie was introduced, Wally was heavily into his post-Barry’s-death tomcatting days – he blew through about a dozen love interests and potential love interests in about three years real time, plus oodles of flirting, plus meeting the eventual love of his life in Linda Park. He didn’t treat any of the women particularly well, and the message was clear: Look at this virile superhero in the prime of his life, attracting all the fly honeys and treating ‘em bad! Don’t you want to buy this comic so that you can live vicariously through him? (Reassuringly, judging by the letter columns, most fans seemed a bit disgusted with him.)
In that context, Connie the Model seems like she would be a one-note sex object, only there to show what a manly man Wally was. Except…she’s not. She’s got this wonderful, almost fourth-wall breaking sense of meta-awareness that shows her to be smarter and sassier than anyone’s expecting. She seems very conscious of how people view her – appropriate for a model – and plays with those expectations in a wonderfully subversive way. I love how she announces her plans to panic and get in the way during the search for the Turtle-napped Wally so blithely that the dudes involved in the search at first think she’s serious, and I love how she confronts actual armed criminals by babbling ditzily about her plans to aid Wally’s superhero career by baring her midriff. She comes off looking like a complete idiot…until the criminals, and the reader, realize that she’s called the cops and the whole thing is a setup. She works with other characters’ – and the readers’ – assumptions to not only save the day, but show just how wrong those assumptions are.
Plus, she’s brave and loyal enough to crash a party of Rogues, insist on aiding in the search for Wally alongside a bunch of heroes, and face down armed criminals in a bikini. And though her eventual romance with Chunk could have come off like icky male wish fulfillment – plus-sized nerd gets model! – it instead reads as very genuine and sweet – two gentle, kind people who are more than the world sees them as finding each other. Connie may have had a short and limited role of comics, but she made the most of it and got a great happy ending. I’m sure most non-endgame love interests wish they could say the same! (And some endgame ones. I miss you, Linda!)
Flash v2 Annual #1 (1987)
Flash v2 #19, 30, 35, 36, 42, 44, 49, 55, 56, 58-61, 177