Bartholomew Henry Allen (The Flash)

flashfilmAfter Batman, another iconic DC character appears in casualgamer‘s request: The Flash. In a recent interview, Ed Boon confirmed that the Flash appearing in Injustice: Gods Among Us will be Barry Allen, the second and most famous one. He first appeared on screen in the infamous tv-special Legends of the Superheroes, portrayed by Rod Haase, a very camp Flash with a curious red pajamas. The most popular, and so far the most faithful to the original version of the character, is the one portrayed by John Wesley Shipp in the short-lived tv series The Flash; better to ignore the young, ravenous and unemployed Barry portrayed by Kenny Johnston in the awful Justice League of America pilot. Let’s see who the fastest man alive is in the comics.

Just as the majority of DC characters, also The Flash’ origins have been changed and retold more than once during the years. Once again, I’ll try to speak a little bit of every single one, sticking to my personal favourite as the main line. Barry was born the son of Henry and Nora Allen, and named Bartholomew Henry. He had a twin brother, Malcolm, who was declared stillborn but in reality given to the Thawnes, a couple who had lost their biological son during birth. Barry was born two weeks late, and that was just the beginning of a flashcomics1very bad habit that would have accompanied him for most of his life. He grew up reading the adventures of his favourite superhero, the Flash from the Golden Age, Jay Garrick, and most of his childhood games had him pretending he was his hero. The innocence of his first years vanished the moment Nora was killed, and Henry was arrested for the crime: Barry, distraught for his mother’s death, refused to believe that his father was guilty, and promised himself he would have become a cop to prove him to be innocent; the tragedy also gave him a strong sense of justice and trust in truth. In the following years, Barry took up his father’s activity as a farmer in FallvilleIowa, and managed to unite his job to his passion, chemistry: with his skills and knowledge of amateur chemist, he won Fallville County Fair Agricultural Competition, claiming the first prize, a scholarship to Sun City University. With the winnings, Barry could attend University, and a few years later he got degrees in both Organic Chemistry and Criminology. During his senior year, he used his skills to track down and apprehend a bank robber, and someone in Central City Police Department was so impressed that offered him a job as police scientist. Happy to work in police, satisfying his thirst for justice, and also to live in Central City, the sister city of The Flash’ Keystone City, Barry agreed.

In his very first days in Central City, Barry Allen met Iris West, a reporter for Picture News: she was investigating a case of apparent murder, and the two worked on it together. She was fascinated by Barry’s honesty and responsibility, and he was charmed by her energy and intelligence: the two got along well together, and started dating. A night Barry was working on an important flashcomics2experiment, something unexpected happened: a bolt of lightning hit the lab, covering the scientist with electrified chemicals. Barry was lucky to be alive, and decided to come back home. He noticed something was changed the moment he ran faster than the taxi he was chasing, and, the morning after, he even saved Iris from a stray bullet, following its movements as it was slow as a piece of paper. In some ways, the incident had granted him with superhuman speed. Without a doubt on how to use his newfound powers, Barry decided to become a superhero, arriving to the point of calling himself The Flash, as a homage to Jay Garrick. He developed a special costume, made with a cold cast polyester he invented during his university years: the costume, reacting to hydrogen, could shrink to very small dimensions, small enough to be put in a ring; this way, Barry could become The Flash, and then Barry Allen again, in a matter of seconds. The Flash made his official debut as Central City’s protector while facing the bank robber Turtle Man, the slowest man on Earth, an imitator of Jay Garrick’s nemesis The Turtle. From that first, not so memorable appearance, Flash became one of Earth’s mightiest and most famous heroes, being one of the founding members of the Justice League of America. In the following years, Barry married Iris, and The Flash created a real legacy, a Flash Family, which collected many super-speedsters.

Barry Allen is a brilliant scientist and inventor, and his strong sense of justice and his intellect and intuition make him also a remarkable detective. As The Flash, he’s the fastest man alive, and his speed can match and surpass the light’s one. Barry discovered that he gains his speed from the so-called Speed Force, an extra-dimensional energy that allows him to move fastest than anything or anyone, thus phasing through solid objects, traveling between dimensions and even in time. Also his healing capabilities, perceptions and reflexes are highly accelerated, his aging process being the only thing slowed in him. Discovering many new ways of applying his powers during the years, The Flash is one of Earth’s most powerful, and luckily most heroic, beings on our planet.

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  1. […] for the next half of the season. In the comics, Wally is one of the most important characters in The Flash‘s mythology, but he’s quite different from the show’s portrayal: first of all, […]

  2. […] they show a couple that will surely be remembered. In the yet unnamed episode, in fact, Flash travels to Earth-2 to meet Zoom on his ground, and he finds some dopplegangers of his friends […]

  3. […] plan to date, which would have taken decades. Even The Flash, now old, retired, and let a new Scarlet Speedster take his place; surprisingly enough, along with the new Flash, also an imitator of the Turtle […]

  4. […] the next one, Fast Lane, we already get a look to the new “freak of the week”. While Barry Allen teams up with Harrison Wells to find a way to close the breaches to Earth-2 for good, in fact, […]

  5. […] in last episode of The Flash, but this time in the regular reality. In Welcome to Earth-2, when Barry Allen is exploring the parallel universe, on Earth-1 a new criminal exploits his absence to wreak […]

  6. […] from a universe to another, there are many glimpses of future and past: we see the original Flash from the 1990s tv series, Supergirl (hinting at the future crossover between the two shows), […]

  7. […] for Central City…and it’s another speedster. In Trajectory, someone will impersonate The Flash to commit super-fast robberies, and the city will obviously lose faith in its hero. The culprit, […]

  8. […] again with The Flash, which introduced a new villain this week. In Back to Normal, a depowered Flash must save Harrison Wells from a vengeful metahuman who mistook him for […]

  9. […] be a known character under the mask, possibly undergoing some major continuity changing due to The Flash time-traveling. In the trailer he only appears for a second, a blink-and-miss moment that however […]

  10. […] what belonged to the Speed Force, whether he was the cause of their death or not. When the second Flash, Barry Allen, sacrificed himself to save the Multiverse, the Black Flash was there to take him; […]

  11. […] behind the corner, and a last trailer for The Flash confirmed the identity of the evil speedster Barry will find in the new reality he created with his time travel. In the new season’s premiere, […]

  12. […] stead. With so many people being incriminated for crimes they could have not possibly committed, The Flash started investigating on his own, and eventually esposed the Mirror Master’s scheme, […]

  13. […] Harbor…everyone but him, as he was apparently immune from Starro’s telepathy. When The Flash arrived in town to defeat the Starro’s deputy that had targeted it, he discovered the boy: […]

  14. […] also leaves the girl broken and with a split personality. She can be gentle and meek Frankie, who The Flash manages to relate to, or angry and vengeful Magenta, who uses her powers to try and kill her evil […]

  15. […] to deflect bullets. His first robbery was a success, but during the second he was interrupted by The Flash. The villain himself was extremely surprised the moment he actually managed to defeat the Scarlet […]

  16. […] to be the “big bad” of some future season, and powerful enough to be a real threat to The Flash and his friends, other shows included. Let’s see together (we’ll skip the original […]

  17. […] simply too fast to be seen, as he’s just as fast for a “regular” speedster like The Flash as the hero is for normal people: he’s Savitar, the self-proclaimed God of Speed, voiced […]

  18. […] the Dominators. Powerful enough to make short work of Wild Dog, she’s however no match for The Flash and Supergirl, who defeat her in a blink. The character, albeit an original one, is nearly […]

  19. […] revelations nevertheless, and a new villain was very briefly spotted. In The Present, in fact, The Flash unwillingly travels five months in the future, just in time to witness his future self helplessly […]

  20. […] Process seriously hurt him, and was slowly driving him insane. Having heard of the experiment, The Flash came to Iron Heights to watch, but as soon as he saw the killer in pain, her told Nephron to […]

  21. […] In Attack on Gorilla City, however, there will be (apparently) some sort of a twist, as when Barry and the rest of the team travels to Earth-2 to save Harry Wells from Gorilla City, it turns out […]

  22. […] gorilla monarch, as she collects allies from other dimensions and bring them to Earth-1 to join The Flash and the others. One of these allies appears to be the Accelerated Man, portrayed by Sean Poague, a […]

  23. […] the mystery of Savitar‘s true identity; being a breacher, Gypsy comes to collect him, but Barry protects him in the effort of learning who his true enemy is. In the comics, Abra Kadabra […]

  24. […] featured a couple of new characters (well, kind of) this week. In Cause and Effect, an amnesiac Barry is asked to testify in a trial against a professional arsonist, Lucious “Heatmonger” […]

  25. […] of The Flash, Cause and Effect, things get awry as, when Cisco and Julian try to prevent Barry from storing any new memory not to give any advantage to Savitar, the hero ends up losing all his […]


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