Old photo of Johnny Cash giving the finger

Manhattan Flash

("Johnny Cash")

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


Chicken in black was a weird song released by Johnny Cash in 1984. It featured a criminal character called the Manhattan Flash.

This small profile is part of our “Rockworld” category. These are oft-goofy creations based on song lyrics. Telling a small joke in character writeup form is admittedly specialised, but it exists.


  • Alter Ego: “Johnny Cash”.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Nashville, TN.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 250lbs. Age: 40s
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

In his original body, the Manhattan Flash built up an extreme notoriety as a thief and terrorist. He called himself “The best bank robber in New York.”

At first he had difficulty duplicating his musical skills to match Johnny Cash’s. But since he was only mentioned once, it’s likely he gathered the needed skill before his next recording session and maintained his cover since then.


The Manhattan Flash was a notorious bank robber in New York City. His career was brought to a halt when his body was shot full of holes in 1983. Unfortunately, his doctor transplanted his brain into a new body, one whose owner was told his body’d outlived his brain: singer Johnny Cash.

Johnny’s original personality retained control of the body at first. But the Manhattan Flash’s own personality began to take control in very inopportune moments. This created the appearance that Johnny’d gone insane.

Johnny tried to get his original brain returned, but it’d been transplanted into a chicken.

The Manhattan Flash has since maintained his cover identity until his next death in 2003. Whether he managed to find a new host body is yet to be seen.


“I said ’Stick ’em up, everybody, I’m robbin’ this place, ’drop all of your money in my guitar case.”

“’Don’t nobody move and don’t nobody reach for that door.‘”

“A lady said ’Why, you’re Johnny Cash‘ / I said ’NO MA’AM! I’m the Manhattan Flash‘ / And I am the best bank robber in New York.‘”

DC Universe History

The Manhattan Flash may have been a minion of the Ultra-Humanite who tried to strike out on his own, seeking Johnny Cash’s body like Ultra did Dolores Winters’s.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Manhattan Flash

A 373 Point Character

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Psycopathic
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Bank Robber
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 010 HP: 025

Artist (Musician, singer): 04, Charisma (Intimidation): 08, Thief (Escape Artist, Locks and Safes, Pickpocketing, Security Systems, Stealth): 06, Weaponry (Firearms): 07

By Robert Marcum.

Source of Character: Chicken in Black (song by Johnny Cash).