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The 'Flash'
The Flash
Information
Real name: Barry Allen[1]
AKA: The Scarlett Speedster
Species: Metahuman
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-1A
Hair: blond
Eyes: blue
Height: 6'0
Weight: 195 lbs
Relatives: Iris West / Allen (wife)
Wally West (nephew)
Dexter Myles (curator of Flash Museum)
Occupation: Police Forensic Scientist
Superhero
Base: Fallville, Iowa (born and grew-up)
Central City
Affiliations: SuperFriends
Justice League of America
Central City Police Department
Rogue of: Gorilla Grodd
Captain Cold
Mirror Master
Abilities: Super Speed
Voiced/Played: Cliff Owens[2]
Ted Knight[3]
Jack Angel[4]
Rod Haase[5]
Flash Gallery

SuperFriends / Justice League of America Team Member


Flash (Adventures Comics 462)

Barry Allen as he appeared in the late 70's
Image from Adventure Comics, #462 (April, 1979)

Flash

The Flash is the fastest man alive. He comes from Central City and he's a member of the Justice League of America. His powers are his speed. Flash can run so fast he can break the time barrier, vibrate through solid objects, run on top of bodies of water and up the side of buildings, and actually travel through time.


Background Information

Origin of Flash

Barry Allen, just before he is struck by lightning and bathed in chemicals.[6]

On the parallel-universe of Earth-One, Barry Allen was born in the small farm community of Fallville, Iowa to the son of Dr. Henry[7] and Nora Allen.[8]

Barry grew up in Fallville and was a fan of comic books from a young age. His favorite comics were about the Flash named Jay Garrick. The Flash was a famed speedster from the forties. He often worked tales of the Flash into games with his childhood sweetheart, the future actress Daphne Dean.[9]

As Barry grew older, he turned his methodical attention to detail and his fascination with science into a career as a Police Forensic Scientist, settling in Central City, Missouri. He is seen by his peers as a humble young man, who works hard and takes his job. He was however, notoriously slow until the fateful day when a bolt of lightning struck the laboratory cabinet he was standing beside, showering him with electrified chemicals. Dazed, he decided to return home in a taxi. However, the taxi started to pull away without noticing him. Barry sprinted after it, only to run straight past it as if it had been standing still. He decided to sit down and recollect his thoughts at a diner. A passing waitress accidentally spilled the items of her tray onto Barry, who amazingly caught them all in mid-air and returns them to the tray. The next evening, Barry saved his fiancée, Iris West, from a stray bullet while they were out for dinner. There was no question about it now: the freak accident had somehow given Barry superhuman speed![10]

The next morning, Barry is back at work at the Central City Police-Headquarters[11] contemplating a disguise. He thinks that the way Jay Garrick did it by vibrating his face to make it blurry was not practical. He needed a costume. Just then, the phone rings. It is Iris, who is not happy. Apparently, Barry had missed a lunch date … again! She hangs up. Barry is too preoccupied with his dilemma to do anything now. He decides to go and see Iris’ father Professor West who is teaching a class at Central City University. Barry confides in his old friend and mentor about his ‘accident’ and his new found abilities. They talk long into the night. Barry shows the professor a sketch of a costume he’d like to have made and the professor tells him that he’d get started right away. Together they work through the night. The suit is completed with an 'experimental' fabric. The professor even came up with the idea for the costume to be hidden in a ring … ready to use in a moment’s notice.[12]

In his 'first mission' as the Flash, Barry goes after the criminal known as the ‘Turtle Man’, dubbed the world's slowest man. The Turtle Man tries to rob a bank. However, he is ultimately thwarted by the Flash, who turns him over to the police.[13] Later that same day, Barry is hard at work in his lab when his phone rings. It’s Professor West. The professor believes that someone has broken into his house. Barry then hears a commotion and the phone goes silent. Barry is at the professor’s home in a ‘flash!’ He knocks out the crooks who were there to steal the professors stamp collection and takes the professor to the hospital. The professor recovers just fine.[14]

Over the next three years, Barry's life became a never ending round of fun and adventure as he carved out a reputation as Central City’s chief superhuman protector. Soon, the Flash found himself busy in regular battles with the likes of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Trickster, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Boomerang, the Golden Glider, Professor Zoom, Mirror Master, the Weather Wizard, the Pied Piper and many more. Collectively, these and others became known as the Flash’s Rogues Gallery.

On the evening of February 11, 1966 (in the Earth-1A universe),[15] everything changed. A panic is generated by the revelation of the presence of Martians on Earth. The invaders had come to earth in search of earth’s newest arrival, the Martian Manhunter. Commander Blanx, and a small squadron of White Martians have been scouring the universe looking for the Manhunter. The Manhunter confronted Blanx, and the White Martians. Their brief, but public battle was interrupted by Barry Allen (who had only been the protector of Central City for about three years). He and the Manhunter partner up, but realize that the terrified civilians, upon seeing the aliens began to panic. The Flash did his best to assure the citizens of Middleton that he would protect them from the Martians but only came under suspicion himself. As paranoia began to spread through Middleton, the Flash addressed the citizenry, at city hall, offers to get Superman’s help. He is able to gain the help of not only Superman, but Batman, Robin and several other heroes. After their success, the heroes and news reporters who had gathered, decided to keep the alien invasion and the following skirmish a secret, hidden away from the public eye, by not releasing a public statement to the news outlets – so as not to cause a panic.[16]

Team Membership

As fate would have it, about three years after the Flash helped save the Martian Manhunter from the White Maritans, aliens from the planet Appellax had come to Earth seeking to conquer it. This naturally gains the attention of Earth’s most well-known heroes: the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter Superman and Batman. Individually, they fell to the Appellaxian Wood King, only by combining their strengths and gifts, would the heroes overcome their foe. Defeating this final foe and saving Superman, the assembled group of heroes then decide to work again in the future, and thus the Justice League of America was born![17]

Shortly after the Justice League was officially founded, Barry became a mentor to a younger hero, when his girlfriend Iris’ nephew Wally West fell victim to the exact same accident that gave Barry his powers. Young Wally became known as the Kid Flash![18]

Cosmic Travel

Barry’s incredible speed afforded him the opportunity to discover the existence of parallel worlds. On one afternoon, Barry found a link between the Central City Community Center stage on Earth-One and a road outside Keystone City on Earth-Two. While on Earth-Two, he met Jay Garrick, who was not just a comic book hero, but a real hero from a parallel earth! The two Flashes teamed up to foil a series of robberies.[19]

In another parallel universe adventure, the Flash is accidentally thrown into the universe eventually called Earth Prime. This universe is similar to Earth-One with one exception, super-heroes only exist as comic book characters in this reality. And since he is unable to cross the dimensional barrier to return home, he looks up the one person who will believe that he is a super-hero, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz. Once he proves he has super-powers, Julius helps the Flash gather parts to build a cosmic treadmill. The treadmill enables him to return to Earth-One. He will use this often in future adventures.[20]

Love and Loss

Shortly after the JLA was founded, Barry married his longtime sweetheart, Iris. Barry revealed his secret identity to Iris accidentally on their wedding night in his sleep.[21]

Iris did not tell Barry she knew he was the Flash until sometime later. He finally told her on their first anniversary, only to learn that she had known since their wedding night. From then on, Iris became the Flash’s secret ally.[22]

Barry and Iris were happily married for several years. However, their marriage was doomed to tragedy. Professor Zoom, aka the Reverse-Flash (a supervillain from the 25th century),[23] harbored an obsession over replacing Barry, developed a fixation on Iris. Eventually, and tragically, during the summer of 1979, Professor Zoom demanded that she renounce her husband for him. She refused, and Zoom killed her.[24]

It took a few years for Barry to recover from Iris’s death, but he eventually found new love with Fiona Webb, a woman in the witness protection program. They decided to marry, only to have the wedding interrupted again by an obsessed Professor Zoom, who was determined to kill Fiona. During this second encounter, Zoom was accidentally killed. Panicked at the thought of losing Fiona to Zoom as he had lost Iris, Barry miscalculated the force needed to stop him. Grabbing Zoom in a headlock, Barry snapped the villain’s neck, killing him instantly.[25] Fiona had a nervous breakdown and the Flash, publicly disgraced and forced to leave the JLA.

Final Days: Trial and Retirement

The Flash was later arrested and put through a lengthy murder trial for Zoom’s death. In the ultimate betrayal, even Kid Flash testified against Barry (albeit unwillingly), stating that in his opinion it would have been 'possible' for the Flash to stop Zoom without killing him. Allen is eventually found guilty by the jury. When he is told by a juror, who is being possessed by a mind from the future, that Reverse Flash (whom Allen knows to be dead) brainwashed the rest of the jury into this verdict, Flash flees his trial. The Flash is then attacked by Reverse Flash, and realizes that the answers to this mystery, and restoring his good name, lie in the future, so the juror uses a time device to send them forward. They discover that Abra Kadabra (a villain from the 64th century) was disguised as Reverse Flash to ruin the Flash’s good name. Defeating Kadabra, Barry was found not guilty. He retreats to the future to be reunited with Iris, having learned that Iris’ spirit was in fact drawn to the 30th century, and given a new body (and was in fact the mind inhabiting the juror). The final issue of The Flash ends with Flash and Iris kissing passionately and the caption "And they lived happily ever after... for a while."[26]

Crisis and Beyond

After only a few weeks of happiness, a series of natural disasters begin to occur. Then he sees it -- a wave of pure antimatter spreading outwards in the distance. He vibrates his molecules at super-speed sending himself backwards through time to avoid the wave and warn the Justice League.[27] But Allen is captured by the Anti-Monitor and brought to 1985. According to the Anti-Monitor, the Flash was the only being capable of traveling to other universes at will, so the Anti-Monitor could not allow him to stay free.[28] While in captivity, he was subjected to psychological torture by the Psycho-Pirate, transferred to the world of Qward and held in a gelatin-like prison that negated his superspeed. Barry soon learns the Anti-Monitor's plan to destroy the Earth and absorb the positive matter energy from what remains (as he had done with countless other earth’s) with an anti-matter cannon. By varying his vibrations he was able to disrupt the gelatin-like containment and easily defeated the Psycho-Pirate into submission and forced him to manipulate the Qwardians into attacking the Anti-Monitor. With the distraction the Flash attacked the anti-matter cannon. Barry started to circle the rotating core of the machine in the opposite direction draining the energy in its power core. Enraged the Anti-Monitor started to open a temporal portal as the speed of the Flash started to manifest the Speed Force’s temporal effect. Barry found himself running backwards through time … faster than he has ever run in his life. He circles around the energy core thousands of times, turning the unstable antimatter back upon itself, destroying the cannon. He knows what this means for him, but he presses on. He begins phasing through different points in the time stream, seeing Wally, the Joker and Batman. Before long, he loses all physical cohesion and apparently dies, leaving behind his empty costume and ring. His noble sacrifice has saved billions of lives across the Multiverse.[29]

It has been said, that while Barry was running at faster-than-light speeds in an effort to destroy the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon, Barry was transformed into a living bolt of lightning and hurled backwards through time. This bolt of lightning struck Barry while he was working on an experiment late one night at the Central City Police Laboratory in Ohio, and endowed him with phenomenal super-speed powers.[30]


Continuity from Filmation's DC Superheroes Adventures (1967-1968)

Coming Soon!


Powers and Abilities

Powers

Barry's super speed allows him to:

  • Speed Distribution: "Lend" velocity to objects or people already in motion. This only works temporarily.
  • Speed Absorption: He can neutralize (steal) speed and/or momentum from anyone or anything, essentially absorbing their speed.
  • Speed Force Aura: This aura protects him and anyone who is running with him or carried by him, from the effects of using his speed. It can even protect him from the vacuum of space.
  • Superhuman Endurance
  • Infinite Mass Punch: When fighting hand to hand, his speed allows him to impart punches which could hit with a force greater than that of "a white dwarf star." This makes it possible for him to hurt supervillains far stronger than him, such as Solomon Grundy.
  • Energy Construct Creation: Speed Force conduits can use the matter generated by their speed to create solid objects such as walls or bridges. This power requires constant concentration and reapplication of the construct for it to remain stable. Flash's after images are also construct creations.
  • Increased Perception: Speed Force conduits traveling at the speed of sound may miss important events as they run by. The Speed Force grants them enhanced senses that allow them to see, hear, smell, touch and/or taste at an increased speed and understand it as it is processed.
  • Self-Sustenance: Speed Force conduits travel at incredible speeds, which cause their bodies to work overtime. In situations where their bodies may be too fast for them to breathe, they are able to use the Speed Force for sustenance. However, this almost always results in the conduits having an increased metabolism at all times, requiring them to constantly refill their energy supplies.
  • Teleportation: He can run so fast that he can open up space warps that lead to other dimensions, and he can even penetrate the time barrier, allowing him to time travel.
  • Accelerated Healing
  • Supercharged Brain Activity: This power is sometimes neglected by Speedsters who only operate at superhuman speeds and never slow down enough to understand their full potential. Speedsters can access superhuman levels in their brains beyond simply processing information. They can test theories, understand difficult equations, and run trial and error in their brains at superhuman speeds. Different conduits access this activity in different ways.
  • Phasing: He is able to vibrate his molecules so fast that he can pass through solid objects.
  • Limited Flight: By spinning like a helicopter or doing other aerodynamic movements, he can even perform a limited kind of flight. He has even been seen flying as high as outer space.[31]
  • Vortex Creation: By running in a circle at a certain speed, Flash is able to create a vortex with a variety of effects.
  • Ultra-Sonic Vibrations: He is able to vibrate so quickly that he can project powerful ultrasonic waves.

Abilities

Equipment


Justice League Team Members

Members of the Justice League of America

Aquaman (founding member) • Batman (founding member) • Superman (founding member) • Flash (founding member)
Green Lantern (founding member) • Martian Manhunter (founding member) • Wonder Woman (founding member)

Comic Book JLA Team Members:
Black CanaryElongated ManRed TornadoZatanna Zatara
Phantom Stranger (part-time Leaguer) • Sargon, The Sorcerer (honorary Leaguer)

Other Known Justice Leaguers:
The HuntressBlack OrchidCaptain MarvelSupergirlGreen FuryPlastic ManAtomGreen Arrow

SuperFriends Founding Members:
SupermanBatmanWonder WomanAquaman
HawkmanSamuraiGreen LanternFlashBlack Vulcan

Other Known SuperFriends Members:
HawkgirlApache ChiefEl DoradoRima

Junior SuperFriends:
RobinCyborgFirestorm
ZanJayna
Marvin WhiteWendy Harris

Mascots:
GleekWonder Dog


Episode Appearances

Coming soon!


Notes

  • Barry Allen / The Flash first appeared in Showcase vol.1 #4[32] (Oct. 1956).
  • Created by writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome and penciler Carmine Infantino.
  • Around the time the last season aired in 1985, Wally West had replaced his uncle, Barry Allen becoming the third Flash.[33]


External Links


Appearances in Other Media


References

  1. Flash's real name was never revealed on the series, but it was revealed in the Filmation cartoons.
  2. Cliff Owens did the voice of the Flash in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.
  3. Ted Knight did the voice of the Flash in the episode Too Hot to Handle.
  4. Jack Angel did the voice of the Flash for the remainder of the series, starting with Season 2.
  5. Rod Haase played the Flash in both Super Friends live action specials that aired as episodes of Legends of the Superheroes.
  6. As seen in DC Comics Super Heroes - My First Dictionary (2014).
  7. Barry’s father was revealed to be a doctor in The Flash, #126/2 (February 1962).
  8. Barry’s birth is recorded in a flashback sequence in The Flash, #284 (April 1980).
  9. As revealed in The Flash, #267/1 (November 1978) and The Flash, #308 (April 1982).
  10. As revealed in Showcase, #4 (September/October 1956).
  11. Barry’s place of employment is confirmed in The Flash, #284 (April 1980).
  12. As revealed in The Flash, #267/2 (November 1978).
  13. As revealed in Showcase, #4 (September/October 1956).
  14. As revealed in The Flash, #267/2 (November 1978).
  15. This date in the Earth-One universe is February 11, 1959 and is revealed in Justice League of America, #144 (July, 1977).
  16. The above adventure is revealed in Justice League of America, #144 (July, 1977).
  17. As revealed in Justice League of America, #9 (February, 1962).
  18. As revealed in The Flash, #110/2 (December 1959/January 1960).
  19. As revealed in The Flash, #123 (September 1961).
  20. As revealed in The Flash, #179 (May 1968).
  21. As revealed in The Flash, #165 (November 1966).
  22. As revealed in The Flash, #174 (November 1967).
  23. Professor Zoom had been a recurring foe since The Flash, #139 (September 1963) but despite being fairly high profile (he was even a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains) he’d never made much of an impact, until now. Zoom’s greatest impact on the traumatized Allen’s life though was still to come.
  24. As revealed in The Flash, #275 (July 1979) and The Flash, #283 (March 1980).
  25. As revealed in The Flash, #323 (July 1983) and The Flash, #324 (August 1983).
  26. As revealed in The Flash, #340 (December 1984); #341 (January 1985); #342 (February 1985); #343 (March 1985); #344 (April 1985); #345 (May 1985); #346 (June 1985); #347 (July 1985); #348 (August 1985); #349 (September 1985) and #350 (October 1985).
  27. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #3 (June, 1985).
  28. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #4 (July, 1985) and #5 (August, 1985).
  29. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #8 (November, 1985).
  30. As revealed in Secret Origins Annual, #2/2 (September, 1988).
  31. As seen in the Superfriends season seven episode Space Racers (1983).
  32. Go to the DC Database for more on Showcase, Vol.1 #4
  33. This story line occurred in Flash Vol 1, #350 (October, 1985)
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