Barry Allen A.K.A. The Flash: Meet The Fastest Man Alive
Get to know Barry Allen, i.e., The Flash!!
[Photo Credit: DC Fandom]
Barry Allen, a.k.a., The Flash, is one of the most iconic characters in the DC universe.
He’s the kind guy who loves science and often gets lost in his own thoughts, but he can also protect those in need when necessary.
The popular superhero is loved by many because he’s grounded, funny and humble.
In many ways, he’s just like any of us, save for the part about his superhuman powers and abilities. But more on those below!
Let’s get to know the legendary Barry Allen.
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The Early Life Of Barry Allen
Barry Allen, a.k.a., The Flash, is a superhero from the DC universe who first appeared in Showcase #4 in 1956. He was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino.
Barry wasn’t actually the first character to be called The Flash.
Before him, Jay Garrick assumed the mantle of The Flash during the Golden Age of Comics.
This was an era when the entire world was facing the threat of World War II and the Great Depression was in full swing.
People needed to believe in superheroes, and The Flash was one of them.
During the Silver Age of Comics, DC introduced a reimagined version of The Flash, i.e., the character of Barry Allen.
Barry was born Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen in Fallville, Iowa, to Henry and Nora Allen.
He had a twin brother who was declared stillborn, but in reality, he was healthy and given to a family whose child died at birth.
As a kid, Barry loved to read comic books, especially the adventures of his favorite superhero — Jay Garrick.
Barry’s life turned upside down when he was 11.
His mother Nora was murdered and his father was convicted of the crime.
This traumatic event left a lasting impression on Barry and defined the course of his life.
He believed his father was innocent, so he decided to become a forensic scientist, hoping to one day solve his mother’s murder and clear his father’s name.
In college, Barry majored in organic chemistry with criminology as his minor.
When he was a senior, he helped local police catch a bank robber, then got an offer to join the Central City Police Department’s Scientific Detection Branch as a scientist.
Barry excitedly accepted the offer since the job meant he would move to Central City, which was right across Keystone City — the hometown of his hero, Jay Garrick.
Upon his arrival to Central City, Barry fell in love with Iris West — a reporter who was covering a murder Barry was investigating.
As a forensic scientist, Barry was known for his scientific expertise, precision and attention to detail. These characteristics helped him solve many of the cases he worked on.
One night, while he was working in his lab, something happened that would change Barry’s life forever.
Becoming The Flash
Barry Allen became The Flash during an electrical storm.
He was conducting an experiment in his lab, when suddenly, a lightning bolt came through a window and shattered a cabinet full of chemicals.
The electrified chemicals covered Barry and altered his DNA.
That same night, he realized that he could run faster than a cab and catch things mid-air before they fell to the ground.
While Barry understood that he acquired superpowers after the storm (we’ll discuss the powers in detail in the next section!), he was unsure and somewhat scared of his new abilities at first.
To understand his powers, Barry decided to test them. Slowly, he learned how to control them — especially his superhuman speed.
Barry realized that he could use his powers to make the world a better place and help those in need.
But before he got to work, like any other superhero, he needed an alias and a costume.
As for the name, Barry decided to go by The Flash, in honor of his childhood hero, Jay Garrick.
Regarding his costume, to this day, it consists of a red bodysuit with yellow lightning bolt insignias on his chest, waist, and on the sides of his legs and arms.
Although he briefly considered that hiding his identity like Jay Garrick wouldn’t be necessary, ultimately Barry decided to use a red mask and keep his face a mystery.
The mask covers the top half of his face, with his eyes and mouth showing.
To complete the look, Barry also wears friction-resistant red boots.
Aside from wearing the costume, Barry uses additional equipment that makes his job of being a superhero easier, including:
- Flash Ring: Barry stores his costume in a ring when he’s going about his days as a civilian. As soon as it’s action time, the ring propels the suit out. Barry made the ring by merging his parents’ wedding bands.
- Cosmic Treadmill: The Cosmic Treadmill is a device that allows The Flash to travel through time and other dimensions. He used it to fight his first villain — the Turtle. In fact, when testing his speed, Barry overdid it, became too fast and jumped to the future. There, he met the future version of The Flash who introduced him to the Cosmic Treadmill, which works by using the energy of the Speed Force — the source of The Flash’s powers.
- Speed Force Generator: In some comic storylines, Barry uses the Speed Force Generator to enhance his speed and manipulate the Speed Force energy.
- Communicator: The Flash has a built-in communicator in his suit that allows him to communicate with other members of the Justice League and law enforcement agencies.
- Utility Belt: The Flash sometimes carries a utility belt that contains various gadgets and tools, such as flash grenades.
Barry Allen’s Powers and Abilities
The Flash has superhuman speed that makes him the fastest man alive. Oh, and the speed also allows him to move through solid objects!
But, despite his immense speed, Barry has a habit of always running late. As Hal Jordan said:
“The fastest man alive was always late because he stopped to befriend the people he saved.”
Gotta love the guy.
Aside from moving faster than the speed of thought, Barry’s powers and abilities also include:
- Superhuman reflexes: The Flash’s reflexes are also enhanced, allowing him to quickly dodge attacks and remain unharmed.
- Great stamina: Barry practically can’t get tired. He can stay physically active for long periods of time like it’s nothing.
- Fast healing: The Flash’s metabolism is also accelerated, allowing him to heal fast and quickly recover from injuries.
- Time & space manipulation: When The Flash runs super fast, he can tap into his “Speed Force.” When that happens, he can manipulate time and space and push them forward.
- Quick learning: Barry can read fast, which allows him to quickly learn about anything. This means that he can become an expert in any area.
Barry is also immune to telepathic attacks, while the Speed Force protects him from kinetic impact and friction.
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The Flash’s Most Notorious Enemies
The Flash has a long list of enemies within the DC universe.
Let’s meet some of the most dangerous rogues he has faced.
1. The Turtle
Although the Turtle may not be the most notorious villain The Flash has battled, we’re including him here because he brought someone important into Barry’s life.
The Turtle, whose real name is Derek Reston, is the first villain Barry fought.
While testing the limits of his superhuman speed, at one point Barry jumped to the future; there he saw the future version of himself.
The future version of Barry introduced the present-day Barry to the Cosmic Treadmill that allowed him to travel through time and alternate dimensions.
The future Barry lived in Central City, which was ruled by the Turtle.
The Turtle is the conduit of Still Force, which allows him to slow down time around him, and that makes him nearly impossible to catch.
Still Force is in direct opposition to The Flash’s superhuman speed.
However, The Flash figured out how to beat his opponent — he created a sonic device to neutralize the Turtle’s powers.
2. Eobard Thawne
Eobard is also known as the Reverse-Flash and Professor Zoom.
He’s one of the most iconic supervillains in the comics about The Flash.
He lived in the 25th century and was so obsessed with Barry Allen that he became a speedster himself and traveled back in time to meet his idol.
Thawne kind of hoped to fight alongside Barry, but he quickly realized that he’d never become his sidekick.
Soon, he became jealous of the 21st-century Flash and consumed by hatred toward him.
Since Thawne’s powers are similar to The Flash’s and he has learned how to control the Speed Force, he’s particularly dangerous.
Thawne uses his powers to manipulate events in the past and future to achieve his goals. He even murders Barry’s wife, Iris West, to hurt Barry and cause him trauma.
Eobard wears a yellow costume and a red lightning bolt emblem on his chest, in contrast to The Flash’s red costume and lightning bolt emblem. This reflects his identity as the Reverse-Flash, an evil mirror image of The Flash.
For Barry Allen’s birthday, life gave him Eobard Thawne’s corpse in the preview of THE FLASH #23. And no receipt! https://t.co/IKVkhynBbw pic.twitter.com/M7Sv6oWeQz
— DC (@DCOfficial) May 30, 2017
3. Captain Cold
Leonard Snart, also known as Captain Cold, is a skilled thief who uses a cold gun to freeze his enemies.
He’s the founder of the Rogues Gallery — a team of villains who hate The Flash.
Captain Cold has a strict ethics code and is known for being one of the few DC villains who refuses to use lethal force.
He sees The Flash as a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.
On the other hand, Captain Cold believes that he’s like Robin Hood and that his actions help the less fortunate.
4. Gorilla Grodd
Grodd is an intelligent gorilla with telepathic and telekinetic powers.
He’s strong, fast and possesses impressive durability.
On top of all that, he can control the minds of others.
Grodd detests The Flash because he stands in his way of seizing control over the African civilization of Gorilla City.
Grodd is violent and he wouldn’t mind killing The Flash to achieve his goals.
The original Zoom was Eobard Thawne, a.k.a., Reverse-Flash.
In 2001, DC introduced the second incarnation of Zoom — Hunter Zolomon.
He used to work as an FBI profiler who became paralyzed when his colleague attacked him.
To regain his mobility, he wanted to use the Cosmic Treadmill to travel back in time and prevent his accident from happening.
Instead, he gained the power to manipulate time and became ultra-fast.
Zolomon challenges The Flash and tries to put him in danger and cause him pain because he believes that tragic experiences will only make The Flash a better superhero.
6. Mirror Master
This character’s real name is Samuel Joseph Scudder.
He was a criminal and, while he was in prison, he figured out a way to escape by creating a mirror that would teleport him to another dimension.
Mirror Master escaped the prison and continued to commit crime.
He has the power to control reflective surfaces such as mirrors, glass, ice and water. He uses them to create portals, duplicate himself and trap people inside these reflections.
Mirror Mater also has great knowledge of physics and optics.
He doesn’t kill his opponents unless it’s necessary to achieve his goals.
The Flash Movie
Barry Allen is set to make his movie debut this year as The Flash.
The Flash movie is set to premiere at CinemaCon on April 25, 2023, and it will be released in cinemas on June 16.
The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Christina Hodson.
Ezra Miller will reprise his role as Barry Allen, i.e., The Flash. (Minor spoilers ahead, so if you don’t want to know a single thing about the plot, this is your cue to hop to a different BIOWARS blog!)
In the movie, Barry Allen travels through different dimensions and encounters alternate versions of familiar characters.
The plot shares elements with the Flashpoint storyline, in which Barry goes back in time to prevent the murder of his mother, causing catastrophic consequences in an alternate reality.
The movie will feature many other characters that have made an impact on The Flash’s life, including Batman (played by both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck), Supergirl and Iris West, as well as Nora and Henry Allen.
General Zod will also appear in the movie as a villain.
We can’t wait to watch this movie — can you? Tell us what you’re most excited about in the comments below!