Real Name: Barry Allen
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (October, 1956)
Powers: Superhuman Speed
Affiliation: Justice League of America
Love Interests: Iris
Enemies: The Rogues (which includes Captain Boomerang and Cold Captain). Anybody who drives slow in the fast lane on the highways.
Did You Know: There was a Flash named Jay Garrick that made his debut in Flash Comics #1 in 1940, more than 15 years before Barry Allen.
A Little History
Yes ladies, some things are better quicker.
Throughout the long history of The Flash, there have been multiple people to take up the name.
- Barry Allen
- Wally West
- Bart Allen
- Jesse Chambers
- John Fox
- Sela Allen
Even though there have been so many versions of The Flash, comic fans associate Barry Allen with the character more than any.
Since his inception, The Flash has been a mainstay in the DC Universe. He has had a number of television shows in his name, a movie, and is a founding member of The Justice League of America. Along with a few other popular characters, he helped jumpstart the popularity of The Silver Age of Comics.
Barry Allen was a Forensic Scientist before he was The Flash. In fact, he would read about the original Flash (Jay Garrick) in comic books!
While working a late night in his lab, a lightning bolt struck down, hitting Barry and sending him into a pile of chemicals. The chemicals along with the lightning triggered a change in Barry. While not noticed at first, Barry began to realize that the accident had given him Super Speed. On top of Super Speed, Barry could now visualize the world around him in slow-motion, enabling him to seemingly react to things a split second after they happened.
He would come to realize the potential of his powers when he was able to save his girlfriend, Iris, from some bullets that had been shot her way. Barry, not one to let someone shoot his girlfriend took off in pursuit of the man who shot the gun. Get this, his name was The Turtle.
You would be surprised to know that The Flash had no problems catching The Turtle.
With his first villain caught and his signature Red Outfit on, The Flash was born.
A slight change happened to his story in 1988 when Barry Allen (before The Flash) was born inherently slow. So much that when Iris was taken hostage, Barry cursed the fact that he could not help her because he was too slow. Shockingly, at this precise moment, the lightning bolt hit. Different from the previous time, a voice spook to Barry just as the bolt was about to touch down.
What did it say?
It told Barry to stay still, let the bolt hit him and he would gain the power he was looking for. Barry agreed.
Wondering who the voice was?
Later, in the same story, The Flash was attempting to destroy a weapon that threatened the world. To catch it, he had to run faster than he had ever run before. At the point of peak speed, Barry became pure energy and in this state, he traveled back in time to become the bolt of lightning that would strike a younger version of himself.
Now, if you think about that, it is kind of trippy.
In 2010, the Barry Allen story would change yet again. This time, it showed that his mother was murdered and his father was behind it. Believing his father to be innocent, Barry Allen pursued a career in Forensic Science.
Finally, in another story, Barry’s father was yet again convicted of murdering his mother. This time, Barry would be raised by a Police Officer who would eventually become his boss. In this story, Barry said “NO” to Forensic Science and “YES” to police work.
Tragically, Barry Allen has had more speeding tickets than anyone he knows.
- Forensic Scientist out to prove his Father’s innocence
- Comic lover
- Hit by Lightning and sent into a bunch of chemicals
- Becomes The Flash
- Can run really fast and can perceive everything in slow-motion
- Caught The Turtle
- Story was changed so that the bolt of lightning that struck him was himself from the future
- Changes careers more than anyone in comics
- Can’t keep track of speeding tickets