Barry Allen, The Flash, also known as the Fastest Man Alive is a costumed hero with super-speed powers. He is the second Flash, after Jay Garrick and before Wally West. Barry Allen was most frequently a member of the Justice League of America.
Barry Allen and a twin brother were born on May 13, two weeks late, to Henry and Nora Allen in the small midwestern town of Fallville, Iowa. The brother was pronounced stillborn by Dr. Gilmore. However, in actuality, he had been born healthy, but given to another family, the Thawnes, whose child had died during birth. The lateness of Barry's birth only foreshadowed his bad habit of always being late. Barry grew up reading the adventures of his favorite superhero, Jay Garrick, the original Flash, and acted many of his hero's adventures out with his friend and future actress, Daphne Dean.
When he was a child, his mother was killed and his father was convicted. The drive to prove his father was innocent gave Barry a strong belief in justice.
In high school, Barry had a reputation for being slow and easy-going. On his first date, he went to a carnival. His date had wanted to put a little motion in his life, and they went on the roller coaster first thing. Because of this, he developed a fear of roller coasters, a fear that he didn't get rid of until much later in his life.
Barry loved chemistry from an early age, and that helped his skills as a farmer. He won first place in the Fallville County Fair Agricultural Competition, a prize which included an scholarship to Sun City University. He graduated in three years summa cum laude with a major in organic chemistry and a minor in criminology.
While a senior, Barry helped the authorities apprehend a bank robber, and he was offered a job as a police scientist for the Central City Police Department Scientific Detection Bureau. Eager to be in the sister city of his childhood hero's home, Keystone City, he accepted the offer.
After moving to Central City and getting an apartment with a laboratory in the back, Barry began dating Picture News reporter Iris West, who he met while examining an apparent murder that she was reporting. She was charmed by his honesty and stability.
That night during an electrical storm, Barry returned to an experiment after a short break. All of a sudden, a bolt of lightning streaks through a window, shatters a case full of chemicals and bathes Barry in the 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 day, Barry amazingly saved Iris from a stray bullet. There was no question about it: the freak accident had somehow given Barry superhuman speed!
Deciding to use his powers to help humanity, Barry designed a special costume. He used a special cold cast polyester he developed in college, which could be molded into miniature outfits from liquid material, that, when submersed in a special liquid, became sensitive to hydrogen, expanding on contact with the hydrogen in the air. A charge from a battery-powered ring he wore on his finger caused the fabric to release the extra hydrogen and shrink into the ring. He later revised the process, making the fabric sensitive to nitrogen instead. He called himself the Flash, a tribute to his childhood idol. He briefly considered wearing a costume that would show his face, like Jay had, but decided that it would be best to wear a mask to conceal his true identity. The first villain he faced was the Turtle Man.
As the Flash, Barry later became a founding member of the Justice League of America, where he befriended Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, with whom he had many adventures both with and without the Justice League. Later still, he discovered that Jay Garrick was real, and became friends with him as well.
During one summer, Iris' nephew Wally came to visit her in Central City. He was an incredible Flash fan, and he knew his aunt's boyfriend was a "friend" of the Flash, so a meeting was arranged. Flash answered all of Wally's questions. When Wally asked about the lab experiment, Barry set up the cabinet of chemicals in his lab just as it had been during the accident. All of a sudden, the freak accident that gave Barry his powers repeated itself, bathing Wally in electrically-charged chemicals. Now possessing the same powers as The Flash, Wally donned a smaller sized copy of Barry Allen's Flash outfit and became the young crimefighter Kid Flash!
Eventually, Barry proposed to Iris on a Ferris wheel at the fair. She accepted, and they were married, in spite of the efforts of Professor Zoom, who attempted to foil the ceremony. Barry hid his identity from Iris for a year, although she had known the entire time because he had spoken in his sleep on their honeymoon. He was worried that the accident had made him less human and that they would not be able to have children. However, after performing many tests that first year, he determined that they still could, and he revealed his secret.
However, it was not long before Zoom took Iris' life at a masquerade party. Barry chased him into the timestream and left him there.
Barry met and began to date another woman, Fiona Webb. However, on the day they were supposed to be married, Zoom showed up again, claiming that he would once again kill the wife of the Flash. Barry chased him across the world, and failed to show up for his own wedding. In the end, Zoom was about to kill Fiona, but Barry unwittingly killed him. The Flash was charged with manslaughter and had to face a long trial.
Barry's face was disfigured severely in a battle with Big Sir. He went to Gorilla City to have his face repaired. Since Barry Allen had supposedly been missing, he decided to have it reconstructed into a completely new face, so that he could keep his secret identity dead.
Barry made a stop in time during his trip to the future and met up with Wally West in a battle against Professor Zoom. There were two Zooms at the time and they each took one. Barry faired much better than Wally, and sent his Zoom through the timestream. It is unclear what happened to him, but he does end up in the 30th century.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths brought Barry out of retirement. The 30th Century was beginning to fall apart: natural disasters were occurring despite the technology that had been created to stop them, and reality itself was fraying. Flash returned to the 20th century to warn his fellow heroes. Just as he started to warn Batman, he was pulled into the Antimatter Universe by the Anti-Monitor, where he was mentally tortured by the Psycho-Pirate. Finally, he used the Psycho-Pirate to turn all of the Anti-Monitor's servants, the Thunderers, against him. This gave him enough time to destroy the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon by running around it and destroying the outer casing. He ran so incredibly fast that he entered the Speed Force forever.
Although there were no remains, a grave for Barry was placed in New York City.
Barry Allen's soul appeared from the Speed Force, along with Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, to help his grandson Bart deal with Superboy-Prime, taking the villainous lad with him into the Speed Force. Bart Allen later emerges from the Speed Force, wearing Barry Allen's costume, in Tokyo to tell the heroes that Superboy-Prime has escaped. Bart again reappears to combat Superboy-Prime once more. Barry spent four years in an alternate Keystone City along with Max Mercury, Johnny Quick and an alternate Jay Garrick, until he met Bart and Wally West, joining him after the battle against Superboy-Prime. After Superboy-Prime escapes, Barry suggests that someone of the still living speedsters has to absorb the whole Speed Force and cross the dimensional bridge back to Post-Crisis Earth. As Bart volunteers, Barry gives him his suit as a last gift, to keep the Force contained, and stays behind.
Barry Allen has recently reappeared during the Final Crisis. He has been seen chasing the bullet fired backwards through time that killed Orion, and being chased by the Black Racer and what appears to be the Morticoccus Virus. He simply says to Wally West and Jay Garrick "Run!". Barry and Wally accelerate one month into the future, only to find that Darkseid has conquered the world. They are soon discovered by a group of Female Furies composed of the Anti-Life corrupted Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Giganta. Evading the Furies, they head to Iris' apartment, where Barry is able to break the Anti-Life Equation's hold over her with a kiss, assuring Iris that everything is going to be all right.
Shortly afterwards, Jay Garrick made his way to Iris' home, and reunited with Barry and Wally. Once Jay was there, Barry explained his plan: because they had lead the Black Racer to the present, Barry would lead him to Darkseid, and let his soul be claimed. Although Barry wanted to go alone, Wally insisted on going with him, and Barry relented, asking Jay to keep Iris safe. Managing to hit light speed, Barry and Wally lead the Black Racer to Darkseid's base in Bludhaven. Aware of the threat the speedsters posed, Darkseid fired his Omega Beams through his Anti-Life slaves, but the two Flashes managed to outrace them. At the last second, Barry told Wally to save himself, but both Flashes went through together, running past Superman (who was naturally surprised to see Barry) and vibrated through Darkseid, causing the Omega Beams to hit Darkseid and allowing the Black Racer to remove Darkseid's essence from Dan Turpin.
Although his family and friends were overjoyed that he was back, Barry himself was uneasy, as he was unable to explain how he alone escaped the Speed Force, while others such as Max Mercury and Johnny Quick were still trapped inside. Deciding not to waste this second chance, Barry went to the Flash Museum to catch up on what he had missed. While there, he met up with his old friend, Hal Jordan, who had also died and returned. Barry discussed his unease over his return with Hal, and how he felt that he did not need to come back. Barry told Hal to tell Wally and Jay that he wasn't going to the parties that had been set up in honor of his return, then sped off on patrol. While running, a rogue speedster Wally had encountered named Savitar somehow escaped the Speed Force through Barry. When Barry managed to catch him, Savitar disintegrated before Barry's eyes.
This reflection turns to the pair looking at their own deaths, comparing the sadness that Barry's death engendered in others while Hal's death produced anger. Hal sums it up by telling Barry, "I died a sinner. You died a saint." The conversation moves on to the world becoming "more dangerous" after Barry's death and observing that the deaths of Arthur Curry and Martian Manhunter cost the Justice League its "heart and soul". As they leave the cemetery, Barry expresses hope that their dead comrades will be returned to them. He specifically cites Batman noting, "If there's an escape, you can bet Batman's already planning it."
Barry also appears alongside Hal in the July issues of Green Lantern tying into the event. Recently, in a fight with Black Lantern J'onn J'onzz, he found a mysterious black residue at Bruce Wayne's grave-a black form coagulating much like blood that started corrupting him by partly decaying his skin and muscle during the fight against his former friend, who is intent on killing both Hal and Barry, seeing how they both died, and in the eyes of the Black Lanterns, must return to that state to keep the universe in balance.
After fighting off the undead Martian and the subsequent Black Lanterns with Hal and the arriving Atom, Mera, Firestorm, and two of the Indigo Tribe members, Barry, along with Wally and Bart, races across the globe to warn every superhero community across the planet. His message also inadvertently warns the Rogues, who are all realize that their deceased members would come after them and decide the strike first at Iron Heights Penitentiary, unaware that Sam Scudder, the original Mirror Master, who is now a Black Lantern, is watching them. While doing so, Barry meets a Black Lantern version of Professor Zoom for a brief battle. Barry decides to go to Gorilla City to seek aid from its ruler Solovar, unaware the gorilla leader had been killed years before. Finding the city attacked, Barry assumed Grodd had struck only to be horrified to learn Solovar was now a Black Lantern. Their fight was shortened by Barry racing to Coast City. After he stops at the city's memorial, where he witnesses the arrival of the Black Lanterns' demonic lord, Nekron, and his disciples Scar and Black Hand.  The Justice League, the Titans, Wally, and Bart arrive to aid Barry to take a stand against Nekron. However, Nekron reveals however that all the resurrected heroes are tied to him, because he allowed them to rise again. And as such they belong to him. Nekron then used a series of black rings to turn Superman, Green Arrow, Bart and several other resurrected heroes into Black Lanterns. Barry himself soon finds himself being targeted by a black ring and is force to flee or risk joining the others as Black Lanterns. Currently, the Flash is a member of the Blue Lantern Corps
Speed Force Conduit: Speed Force is a vaguely defined extra-dimensional energy force from which most superspeed-powered heroes draw their powers. The Speed Force serves as the ultimate measure of velocity in the DCU. They are often referred to in terms of barriers: Sound barrier, Light barrier, Time Barrier, Dimensional Barrier, and finally the Speed Force Barrier. In Final Crisis, using the Speed Force, Allen was able to undo the effects of the Anti-Life Equation upon an individual: an ability he used on his wife Iris to free her from the bondage of Darkseid's mind control. He has been revealed to not only be connected to the Speed Force, but is the very source of it, generating it with every step he takes. As such, he presumably has some if not all of the Speed Force-related abilities other speedsters have demonstrated (such as lending and stealing speed), though he has yet to demonstrate such abilities.
Master Detective: Barry is skilled as a forensic scientist.
Chemistry: As a forensic scientist, he is an expert chemist.
Criminal Psychology: As a police officer/forensic scientist, Barry is adept in criminal psychology and often discusses these topics with Batman.Hope: It is recently reveal in Blackest Night that Barry has the ability to install hope in people.
Although Barry (like most speesters) is able to travel through the timestream at will, he is unable to affect or change the past to his liking unlike The Reverse Flash, Professor Eobard "Zoom" Thawne who is able to and has done on numerous occasions affecting Barry's life.
Police Scanner: located in mask.
|Characters||Flash | Jay Garrick | Barry Allen | Wally West | Bart Allen | Iris West | Linda Park | Tornado Twins | Jesse Chambers | Max Mercury|
|Rogues||Abra Kadabra • Blacksmith • Captain Boomerang • Captain Boomerang, Jr. • Captain Cold • Cicada • Clive Yorkin • Doctor Alchemy • Double Down • Fiddler • Folded Man • Girder • Golden Glider • Gorilla Grodd • Heat Wave • Inertia • Magenta • Manfred Mota • Mirror Master 1 • Mirror Master 2 • Murmur • Pied Piper • Plunder • Professor Zoom • Rag Doll • Rainbow Raider • Razer • Rival • Rogues Gallery • Tar Pit • Thinker • Thorn • Top • Trickster 1 • Trickster 2 • Turtle • Weather Wizard • Zoom|
|Miscellanea||Flash Publication History | Keystone City | Central City | Speed Force | Flash's Costume Ring | Alternate Versions of Flash|
|Creators||Gardner Fox | Harry Lampert | Robert Kanigher | Carmine Infantino | John Broome | Mark Waid | Geoff Johns|
|Comics||Flash Comics | All-Flash | Flash Vol 1 | Flash Vol 2 | Flash: The Fastest Man Alive|
|Storylines||Flash of Two Worlds | Trial of the Flash | Rogue War | Full Throttle | Final Crisis | Rebirth|
|Other media||Flash (TV Series) • Justice League • Justice League Unlimited|
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Flash Family member