The Flash


Real Name
Bartholomew Henry "Barry" Allen
First Appearance
Showcase #4 (October, 1956)
Robert Kanigher, John Broome, Carmine Infantino
Team Affliations
Justice League, Blue Lantern Corps, White Lantern Corps
Scarlet Speedster
Base of Operations
Central City
Super strength, Super speed, agility, reflexes, Superhuman durability, Molecular density control, Time travel, Cyclone and highwind generation, Speed theft, Frictionless aura, Probability prediction, Healing factor, Intangibility
Skills and Abilities
Fighting Experience, Police Science Expertise and Skilled Hand-to-hand combatant
Tools and Weapons
Ring (Holds Costume), Cosmic Treadmill (can be used to time travel)

Barry Allen was the second superhero to be known as the Flash in the DC Universe, and the most prominent.


When police scientist Barry Allen is struck by lightning while handling strange chemicals, he discovers he's gained the ability to move much faster than the speed of sound. Taking on a costume, he fights crime as The Flash, the Fastest Man Alive! 


Silver Age

Barry Allen was born to Henry and Nora Allen (2 weeks late of when his birth was supposed to be. Foreshadowing his chronic lateness later in life) in the farm town of Fallsville, Iowa along with his brother, who was pronounced stillborn by the family doctor Dr. Gilmore (later it would be revealed that the claim was a lie by the Doctor). As a boy, Barry also gained a love for superhero comics, particularly the Flash comics, featuring the superhero named the Flash (unaware that this Flash, Jay Garrick, was in fact real and existed in an alternate universe). With his childhood friend Daphne Dean, he would often pretend to be the Flash.  

Barry was living a perfectly normal life until he reached age eleven when he watched his mother die in bizarre circumstances. His father was convicted of the crime and incarcerated and his son fought hard to prove his innocence, instilling in him a strong sense of justice. He was also a gifted at chemistry as a child, even winning the Falllville County Fair Agricultural Competition using his knowledge of chemistry, which won him a scholarship to Sun City University, which he would later attend.  As Barry grew older, he gained a reputation for being slow and undynamic.  In hoping to prove his father's innocence, Barry studied science and eventually after graduating became a police scientist.  While still a student, Barry ended up assisting the police in catching a bank robber, which landed him a position as a police scientist for the Central City Police Department once he graduated.  He would also go on to start a serious relationship a news reporter named Iris West.

The Fastest Man Alive

One fateful night, as Barry Allen was returning to work, a lightning bolt from an electrical storm in his work lab shattered a cabinet full of chemicals.  The electrified chemicals covered Allen but Allen was largely unhurt.  After leaving work, Barry hailed a cab but as it began to pull away without him, Allen chased after it.  Not only did Allen catch up with it but even ran past it, and after a few similar incidents, Allen realized that he was capable of moving at superhuman speeds.

As a result, Allen found that he could run extremely fast and had inhumanly fast reflexes. After using his newfound powers to stop a bullet headed toward Iris, Barry decided he could use his powers to fight crime and dedicated himself to doing just that, creating a new identity for himself.  He donned a set of red tights sporting a lightning bolt, dubbed himself the Flash (after his childhood comic book hero, Jay Garrick), and becomes Central City's resident costumed crimefighter. Central City University professor Ira West (Iris' adoptive father) designed Allen's costume (reminiscent of the original Fawcett Captain Marvel) and the ring which stores it while Allen is in his civilian identity. The ring can eject the compressed clothing when Allen needs it and suck it back in with the aid of a special gas that shrinks the suit. In addition, Allen invented the cosmic treadmill, a device that allowed for precise time travel and was used in many stories. Allen was so well liked that nearly all speedsters that come after him are often compared to him. Batman once said "Barry is the kind of man that I would've hoped to become if my parents hadn't been murdered."

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