The Flash, one of my favorite comic book characters and included in DC’s “New 52”, is a beloved character in the DC Universe. The Flash first appeared in 1940, “The Flash #1” written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Harry Lampert. Everyone who has donned “The Flash” name has had the same super-speed ability. This superhuman power allows them to run, move, react, and think at super speeds. There have been four incarnations of The Flash, Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, and Bart Allen. Both Wally West and Bart Allen were originally Kid Flash characters. Let’s look at those four characters in more detail.
Jay Garrick- The Golden Age Flash: A college student who gained his super-speed powers from inhaling heavy water vapors in the lab. Jay attended Midwestern University where he double majored in physics and chemistry. In a red shirt with a lightning bolt and a metal helmet with wings, he fought crime as “The Flash.” Jay had received an ability that slowed down his aging. Even when fighting crime, Jay remained a scientist working for Chemical Research Incorporated. Jay was a founding member of the first Justice League of America and acted as it’s first chairman. Interesting facts about Jay include that his address is 5252 78th Street in Keystone City, Kansas. Jay’s top speed was 770 miles per hour. “How can you possibly be the Flash, Barry Allen- when I – Jay Garrick- am the Flash – and have been so for more than 20 years?!” Jay Garrick
Barry Allen- The Silver Age Flash: Barry is a police officer who specializes in forensic sciences. Barry gained his superhuman speed when he was working late one night, a lightning bolt hit a case full of chemicals that spilled all over him. Barry was inspired by Jay Garrick, one of his childhood heroes, and recreated himself as the Flash. Wearing red tights with a lightning bolt, he began to fight crime in Central City. Barry invented the cosmic treadmill, which allowed for precise time travel and was used in many of the stories. Interesting facts about Barry include that he can run faster than the speed of light, he is able to “vibrate” through dimensions, and he has complete control over ever molecule in his body. “Anytime you need me, I’ll be there for you. I couldn’t run like your dad, but I’ll be there in a flash.” Barry Allen
Wally West- The original Kid Flash, Wally started as Barry’s sidekick. Wally gained his super speed ability from an accidental experiment. Iris, Wally’s aunt, is married to Barry Allen. Wally is a founding member of the Teen Titans and a member of the Justice League of America. It was originally thought that Wally was not able to run faster than the speed of light but that he was faster than the speed of sound. In his beginning as Kid Flash it was said that he was able to run faster than the speed of light, but in his career as the Flash his top speeds were around 700 miles per hour. West is set apart from the other incarntaions of the Flash as he is unable to be cut off from the Speed Force itself. Interesting facts about Wally include being able to run on water, and vibrate at speeds that he can become invisible to the naked eye. “My name is Wally West. I’m the fastest man alive. I’m the Flash.” Wally West
Bart Allen: Originally known as Impulse, he is the second Kid Flash, and the fourth Flash. His grandfather is Barry Allen and he was mentored by Wally West and Jay Garrick. Bart is a founding member of Young Justice and a member of Teen Titans. Bart had a hyper-accelerated metabolism which caused him to appear 12 years old when he was really only two years old chronologically. Bart lost this hyper-accelerated metabolism when Wally West tricked him into a race around the world, the jolt of speed shocked it back to normal. Interesting facts include that Bart was able to run at near the speed of light, even though he had a prosthetic knee. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Bart moved to Los Angeles and trained at the police academy, focusing in forensics. “I don’t know. I mean, it’s a big world. See if there’s anyone else out there like us. Maybe we should start up a club or a league or something. Bart Allen