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Superhero Origins: The Flash, Barry Allen

Superhero Origins: The Flash, Barry Allen
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Craig Butler

In the world of comic books, getting hit by a lightning bolt just might turn you into the fastest man alive. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of Barry Allen, aka The Flash. As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character's past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1956's Showcase #4 and was expanded upon in 1988's Secret Origins #2, 2010's Flash: Rebirth #5 and 2012's Flash #0.


Special thanks to our users Rob Welch, Bensimonmega and Trance Fiend FVT for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest

In the world of comic books, getting hit by a lightning bolt just might turn you into the fastest man alive. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Barry Allen, aka The Flash.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1956's Showcase #4 and was expanded upon in 1988's Secret Origins #2, 2010's Flash: Rebirth #5 and 2012's Flash #0.

Several DC characters have been called the Flash, but it's second incarnation of the Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen, who has had the greatest impact. The Flash is a mainstay of the DC Universe and his popularity helped jump-start the Silver Age of Comics.

Barry Allen was far from fast when he made his first appearance in 1956. A forensic scientist, Barry was a fan of the original Flash, whose adventures he read about in comic books. One night, while working late, a stray bolt of lightning hit his lab. Barry was both struck by the bolt and drenched in an array of chemicals. Miraculously, he emerged unscathed – but not unchanged.

As he soon discovered, the accident had somehow given him superspeed. Barry was able to not only outrun cars, but react with lighting fast speed as well. While in a diner, a waitress next to
Barry drops a plate of food. Barry perceives everything in super-slow motion and he is able to catch every falling object and put it back on the tray without the waitress even realizing what has happened.

This newfound power came as a godsend the next day. Meeting his girlfriend Iris West – and late as usual – Barry was able to save her from a stray bullet that would have otherwise spelled her demise. That bullet had been fired by the Turtle, a thief who was known as the Slowest Man Alive. Barry decided to use his superpower to capture the Turtle. Creating a sporty red outfit with gold accents, Barry takes on the mantle of The Flash and goes after the elusive Turtle. Defeating the crafty villain took a little ingenuity, but Barry was up to the task – and the new Flash was born!

Barry's fleet footed adventures have gone on for decades, so it's only natural that his origin has been revised somewhat. In 1988, a re-telling emphasized Barry's innate slowness. When Iris was being held hostage by a dangerous criminal, Barry cursed the fact that he would never be able to save her. That became the moment when a bolt of lightning entered Barry's lab. However, in this version, time stood still and a voice told Barry that he could gain the speed he desired – if he agreed to let the lightning bolt hit him. Barry agreed, then used his awesome speed to save Iris.

Later, the story jumped ahead many years. The Flash was now destroying a dangerous weapon that threatened the existence of the universe. To do so, he had to run faster than he had ever run before – so fast that he turned into pure energy. In that state, he traveled back through time – and so became the lightning bolt that struck a younger Barry Allen and gave him his power.

There have also been more alterations to Barry's origin. In 2010 it was revealed that Barry's mother was murdered when he was a child and that Barry's father was convicted of the crime. Barry believed in his Father's innocence. His life long goal to prove his father’s innocence lead him to becoming a forensic scientist. During the events of the Flash Rebirth miniseries, Barry discovered that his nemesis the Reverse Flash actually killed his mother.

When The Flash was rebooted as part of the New 52 lineup, his origin again included his father being sent to prison for his mother's murder. As a child, Barry was taken under the wing of a police officer, Darryl Frye, who would eventually become Barry's boss when Barry became a police investigator.

Although there have been other incarnations of the Flash throughout the years, such as Wally West, Barry Allen remains the most iconic version of the character. Most comic readers can relate to the desire for superspeed and for the sense of freedom that comes with it. Today, The Flash is one of the most recognized and important heroes in the DC Universe, and now has his own television series starring Grant Justin as Barry Allen.

Are you a fan of Barry Allen's The Flash? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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