For the epilogue to “Race Against Time,” Mark Waid was joined as co-writer of Flash by Brian Augustyn. Augustyn would remain as co-writer for the remainder of Waid’s run. The two also co-wrote a number of specials during this period. Meanwhile, Waid continued as solo writer of Impulse, although that title and Flash never had another crossover.
As Waid was nearing 70 issues on Flash, he decided to take a year off. This would allow Waid to focus on other projects, then return to Flash with a fresh perspective. Instead of a giant storyline, Waid and Augustyn concluded this period with the three-part “Hell to Pay,” a memorable storyline that followed up on Waid’s own Underworld Unleashed crossover. Waid left Impulse at about the same time, although he wouldn’t return to that title.
DC handed Impulse to former Flash writer William Messner-Loebs. For Waid’s year off, Flash would go to the team of Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. For the event, DC publicized September 1997 as “Flash Month,” soliciting Morrison and Miller’s first two issues, alongside Messner-Loebs’s third issue of Impulse (#31).
As part of the celebrations, DC also offered two specials: Speed Force #1 and Flash Secret Files #1. Waid and Augustyn contributed to these, which included a story teasing what they planned to do upon their return. As part of Flash Month, DC also offered Flash’s first graphic novel ever: The Life Story of the Flash, written by Waid and Augustyn. It purported to be the biography, written by Iris West, that had been discussed in the pages of Waid’s Flash since issue #75. It was an impressive and artistically ambitious coup. Because of Waid and Augustyn’s involvement, this flurry of material really constitutes the end of this period, prior to Waid and Augustyn’s year-long break.