Monday, June 19, 2017

Who is Barry Allen?

Hal Jordan brought Green Lantern to the silver age of comic books, and it was Barry Allen who brought the Flash into the Silver Age. In fact, Barry Allen is credited with starting the silver age of comics!

Jay Garrick was the Flash of the golden age, but after World War II, comic book superheroes were no longer as popular and Jay Garrick slowly disappeared from the public eye. Besides characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, comic books were dominated by stories about monsters, romance, and wacky antics. At least until the arrival of Barry Allen...


Before becoming the 2nd Flash, Barry Allen was a forensic scientist living in Central City known to his peers to be slow and always show up late. After being struck by lightning and splashed with random chemicals in the forensics lab, Barry discovers that the world around him slows down and he has super speed. 

Barry Allen becomes the superhero known as the Flash because of his favorite comic book superhero, The Flash. It turned out that in Barry's world, Jay Garrick is a comic book character that Barry would read about every month like every other fanboy and fangirl.

I think that made Barry a little more relatable as a character because he was just another comic book reader who would immediately become a superhero after getting superpowers. I mean, I'm pretty sure if I discovered I possessed some incredible superhuman ability, I would want to get a costume and become a crime fighter, at least for a day.

 Like the Greek god, Hermes, Barry Allen would go on to join a pantheon of gods and heroes: The Justice League of America. Alongside, heroes like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Barry's best friend, the Green Lantern, he would battle against terrify monster and villains.

As the Flash, Barry would also fight villains who hated him more than anything. The Rogues were a team of criminals who hated the Flash and realized that they had a better chance against him if they worked together. Led by Captain Cold, the Rogues are the Flash's most reoccurring enemies.

Though, Barry's worst enemy is probably a time traveling speedster known as The Reverse-Flash. Barry Allen gets his powers from something called the speed force, however for every positive there is a negative and The Reverse-Flash is powered by that negative speed force. However, because the Reverse-Flash needs the Flash to exist, the Reverse-Flash hurts Barry indirectly, by taking anything and anyone that Barry loves.

Barry Allen has appeared in a couple TV shows, including a 90's series starring John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen and Mark Hamill as the Trickster, one of the Flash's rogues. Probably more popular is the current show airing on the CW, The Flash, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and John Wesley Shipp as Barry's father.

Coming (hopefully) soon is a movie starring Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, however Ezra Miller has already played Barry in a couple brief scenes in Batman V. Superman, and will be one of the main characters in the Justice League movie. 

Barry Allen is a character that has been around since the 1950's and it looks like he'll be around for years to come. As the Flash, Barry is even more popular than his predecessor, Jay Garrick, and might be even rival his successor, Wally West. 

But what do you think? Who is your favorite Flash? What is your favorite Barry Allen story? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

FIRST APPEARANCE: Showcase #4 (1956)

Stories To Read
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • The Flash: Rebirth
  • Flashpoint
 

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