- This article is an overview of the characters called "The Flash". If you are looking for a particular Flash, see The Flash (Disambiguation).
The Flash is a Character produced by DC Comics. Often called "The Fastest Man Alive", the mantle of the Flash has been worn by six individuals, all with the power of extraordinary speed stemming from a mysterious realm called the Speed Force.
The Golden Age Flash. Jay Garrick wanted to be a football star, but was deemed a "leadfoot" by his teammates. Finding solace in the laboratory, he was working on a project to purify "hard water" with no residual radiation when he fell asleep and inhaled the fumes produced by his experiment. Waking up with superhuman speed, he decided to become a superhero as the Flash.
The Silver Age Flash. Barry Allen was a police chemist who had a penchant for always being late. While working in his lab one night, a bolt of lightning struck a shelf of chemicals. Though not feeling any different, Barry soon discovered he had gained superspeed. A fan of Jay Garrick's, he decided to carry on his legacy as the second Flash.
The Bronze through Modern Age Flash. A huge fan of the Flash, Wally West was at his soon-to-be-uncle Barry's lab when he got to meet his hero, who told him of his origin. However, as fate would have it, the exact same accident that transformed Barry into the Flash happened to Wally, who became Kid Flash, and after Barry's death, the Flash.
An alternate timeline Flash who came to our timeline and took over the mantle of the Flash for a while.
A Modern Age Flash. Hailing from the 31st century, Bart, the grandson of Barry Allen, served as Impulse, then as Kid Flash, and finally, after being hyperaged in the Speed Force, the Flash. Tragically, Bart was killed by the Rogues.
Daughter of the speedster Johnny Quick, Jesse Chambers became a speeding superhero like her father, called Jesse Quick, and later, Liberty Belle. She later met Wally West, the Flash, who would ask her to be his replacement if something were to happen to him (as part of an elaborate plan on his part, trying to force Bart Allen to take his role in the legacy of the Flash more seriously). She briefly assumes the mantle of the Flash, after Wally enters the Speed Force.
Unnamed Allen of the 23rd Century
The father of Sela Allen, his wife and daughter were captured by Cobalt Blue. He was forced to watch his wife die and his daughter become crippled. As he and Max Mercury killed Cobalt Blue, a child took the gem and killed Allen. This Flash was one of the two destined Flashes to be killed by Cobalt Blue.
Sela Allen is an ordinary human in the 23rd century until Cobalt Blue steals electrical impulses away from her, causing her to become as slow to the world as the world is to the Flash. Hoping to restore her, her father takes her into the Speed Force. When her father is killed, she appears as a living manifestation of the Speed Force, able to lend speed to various people and objects, but unable to physically interact with the world.
Jace Allen gained superspeed when his father brought him into the Speed Force to attempt to cure him of a virus injected into his body by Cobalt Blue in an attempt to end the Allen bloodline. In memory of his father, Jace took up the mantle of the Flash and continued the feud against Cobalt Blue.
After an alien creature invaded Earth, a history buff named Kryad traveled back in time from the 98th Century to acquire a GL power ring. He failed, so he tried to capture the Flash's speed instead. After being beaten by Barry Allen (The Flash (vol. 1) #309, May 1982), he went back further in time and used the chemicals from the clothes Barry Allen was wearing when he gained his powers. Kryad gave his life to defeat the alien creature.
Despite being the granddaughter of Barry Allen (the Flash) and the daughter of Dawn Allen (one of the Tornado Twins), Jenni Ognats did not at first display any signs of super-speed. However, the Dominators, knowing her family heritage, captured her. At the sight of seeing her father tortured, her latent super-speed powers activated. She managed to escape with her father before stray fire from the Dominators caused their base to explode.
After this, she checked herself into a laboratory to help her learn to coordinate herself at super-speed. Once she learned control, she was drafted into the Legion of Super-Heroes. She eventually learned to overcome her initial fear and nervousness, while she developed crushes on Cosmic Boy and, later, M'Onel, and eventually dated Dyrk Magz.
During the Legion's first trip to the 20th century, XS was separated from them. She met her cousin Impulse, becoming a good friend. She revealed how she was participating in an archeological dig in the future. XS fought side by side with Impulse and other speedsters during the events of Dead Heat. Afterwards, the 27th century Flash fixed her grandfather's cosmic treadmill, enabling her to go home. Unfortunately, she overshot, encountering two further future incarnations of the Legion before returning. Impulse left her a goodbye note in the building she was participating in excavating.
XS was one of the Legionnaires left behind after many of her teammates were lost, causing the team to be forcefully disbanded. She traveled to Xanthu with her teammate Star Boy, where she found herself caught in a war between Xanthu and Robotica. While the two Legionnaires managed to save millions of lives by distracting Robotica long enough for the surviving Xanthians to escape off-planet, the two remained trapped there for months thereafter, until rescued by their returned teammates.
XS's last appearance so far came in Teen Titans/Legion, where she teamed up with her cousin Bart, who at the time was Kid Flash. She has not been seen in the current "Threeboot" continuity.
XS was recently mentioned by the mentally unhinged ex-Legionnaire Starman in Justice Society of America (vol. 2) #7. Though this version of Starman is not from the same Legion continuity as XS, he asks Superman if he remembers that she had "such a crush" on him, indicating that some version of Jenni Ognats has survived the events of Infinite Crisis and the creation of the "Threeboot" continuity. Since Starman is not from Threeboot continuity either, this has been revealed to be a reference to the unrevealed events of the original meeting between the "Legion of Three Worlds". Sure enough, XS is shown prominently in preview solicits for August 2008's Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds miniseries, written by Geoff Johns and George Perez, in which XS and the Allen family will play a key role.
The Tornado Twins are fictional characters, superheroes in the DC Comics Universe. The twins are Don and Dawn Allen, the children of Barry Allen (the second Flash) and Iris West-Allen. They first appeared in Adventure Comics #373 (October 1968). In their first appearance, the twins are 30th century descendents of Barry Allen. They temporarily gain super-speed powers during "Flash Day", a ceremony honoring their ancestors. After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the history of the DC Universe is changed. In this new continuity, Barry Allen briefly joins his wife Iris in the 30th century, where the two manage to conceive the twins. Before they are born, however, Allen is killed saving the remaining worlds from the Anti-Monitor. Don and Dawn are raised in an era of extreme xenophobia, where metahuman activity is unwelcome. Growing up hearing the stories of their heroic father from their mother the two twins, who have inherited their father's superspeed powers, operate as superheroes in secret. They disguise themselves by spinning rapidly, so that they resemble two tornadoes. During this era they meet a time-travelling Wally West, who inspires them to fight the 30th century's prejudice against metahumans. As an adult, Don Allen marries Meloni Thawne; they are the parents of Bart Allen, the speedster hero who is first known as Impulse, before maturing into the Teen Titan Kid Flash, and who later becomes the fourth Flash. Dawn Allen marries Jeven Ognats, and gives birth to Jenni Ognats, who would become the Legionnaire XS. The pair help the Legion of Super-Heroes fight off an invasion of Earth by the Dominators. Unfortunately, the twins are killed while trying to free hostages held by Dominator forces.
Little is known of the origin of this Flash, save that he is related to the Flashes of the 20th Century and that he and his son lived on the colony world of Petrus. In an attempt to end the Allen bloodline, Cobalt Blue infected Blaine Allen’s normal-speed son Jace with a deadly virus. The Flash then froze the entire planet to prevent the virus from killing him. Realizing there was no way out, he took his son into the Speed Force, in hopes that it would take him. Instead, it took Blaine, and gave super-speed to Jace, enabling him to shake off the virus and survive.
Jace Allen had a very personal dispute with his era’s Cobalt Blue. When he was a child on Petrus, she had infected him with a virus to end the Allen bloodline and a 700-year feud. In a last-ditch effort, Jace’s father Blaine, the Flash of his era, froze the entire microplanet to buy time in which to save him. He ultimately took his son into the Speed Force, hoping it would take him. Instead, it took Blaine, and gave super-speed to Jace, enabling him to shake off the virus and survive (Speed Force, 1997). In memory of his father, Jace took up the mantle of the Flash, this Cobalt Blue remaining one of his major foes until Jesse Quick recruited him into an all-out battle against the Cobalt Blue legacy (Flash #146, 1999).
In one possible future, Impulse and his friend Carol Bucklen have travelled to the 30th century. Carol began researching the speed force to find a way to accelerate the human metabolism, improving health (and speed) for everyone on Earth. Early tests were partially successful, granting test subjects super-speed...and an unexpected degree of suggestibility. Earthgov President Thawne quickly appropriated the technique to create his own cadre of super-fast soldiers: the Hyperguard. Unfortunately, long-term effects of the ray included complete physical and mental breakdown. Most Hyperguards went insane, but enough remained to do Thawne’s bidding... which included turning the hyper-ray on the entire population of Earth! This future was averted by the present-day Impulse when he gained time-travel powers of his own and prevented Max Mercury’s death, cutting off the timeline in which he and Carol would travel to the future.
Even his own teammates know little of Impulse’s origins, and he doesn’t seem to care himself. It is believed that Impulse is “the personification of random thoughts of speedsters that traveled through the Speed Force” (Young Justice #1,000,000, 1998). He certainly has a similar personality to the original Impulse, in terms of attention span and planning (or lack thereof).
It is also possible that he is one of the original Impulse’s avatars, sent far into the future.
Impulse appears to be made of pure energy, and can “hitch a ride” inside other people’s brains (biological or electronic). Extent of super-speed is unknown.
The Flash of some future era, a fifth-generation Jupiter colonist who grew to enormous size due to the higher gravity. Unfortunately, his bulk tended to counteract his speed.
Nothing is known of this future speedster, save that he will be an ally of his era’s Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and others.
Imp-like speedster of some future era who joined in the fight against the legacy of Cobalt Blue.
The Flash of Earth-D, Rei was a Japanese man who idolized Barry Allen, whose stories only existed in comic books. Rei was inspired by Allen to become the Flash, much like Allen was inspired to become the Flash by his idol, Jay Garrick. Allen and Rei met during the Crisis on Infinite Earths when Barry was coming back from the 30th century and arrived in the wrong universe. As that earth was under attack by the shadow demons, Barry called on the Justice League and Tanaka called on the Justice Alliance, his world's version of the Justice League. They built a cosmic treadmill and made an evacuation. The Justice League left, but 39 seconds later, Earth-D perished.
Rei made his only appearance in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Kingdom Come's Wally West
In the alternate future presented by Kingdom Come, Wally West has transcended our plane of existence. He now lives between dimensions, even able to see people made into spirits by the Spectre. His daughter, Iris, holds the mantles of both Kid Flash and the Flash proper.
Kingdom Come's Iris West
When her brother Barry wouldn't take up the Flash mantle, Iris West II decided that she had to. She became a speeding force for good, while staying human, unlike her father. She later joined a team of Teen Titans made up of the sons and daughters of the originals.
The young, female Flash of the Tangent Universe (real name Lia Nelson) is not a speedster, but instead "the first child born in space" and a being made up of and able to control light. As a side effect, she can move at the speed of light, which actually makes her faster than most of the other Flashes, as only Wally West has ever survived a light-speed run without becoming trapped in the Speed Force. She recently reappeared in Justice League of America #16, somehow summoned out of the paper 'green lantern' of her universe - an artifact that survived the Crisis that erased the Tangent Universe from existence. Lia Nelson also appeared in Countdown: Arena battling two versions of the Flash from other Earths within the Multiverse. In the 52-Earth Multiverse, the Tangent Universe is designated Earth-9.
Just Imagine Stan Lee's The Flash
She Flash, real name Mary Maxwell, debuted in Just Imagine Stan Lee and Kevin Maguire Creating Flash (November, 2001). Creators Stan Lee and Kevin Maguire based this version on the original character created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert.
A normal college girl with a scientist father, Mary's life was very dull and she longed to live the life of the superheroes in the comic books she read. But one day, enemies from her father's past named STEALTH (Special Team of Espionage Agents Licensed to Target and Hit) returned and killed him, but just before he died, he injected her with the DNA from a humming bird, to save her from a life-threatening disease that slowly drained her energy.
A future descendant of both the West and Rayner families, Green Lightning inherited super-speed from her mother and the Green Lantern ring from her father. Torn between two legacies, she developed a mental block that prevented her from using her speed and her ring on the same day. Green Lightning and several other Green Lanterns appeared in the present day to battle the threat of Oblivion, a villain that Green Lantern Kyle Rayner thought he had made up years earlier for a comic book. She and Adam Strange stopped Oblivion’s machinations on the planet Rann, then rejoined the others to battle Oblivion himself. Eventually it was revealed that all the “new” Green Lanterns—and the villain they opposed—were inventions of Kyle’s subconscious mind, given reality by his ring.
On Earth-33, a world ruled by magicians, those with the greatest power are wizards: Bat Mage, the Shade, Black Bird, Kal-El of the Kryptonian magics. At least the city of Gotharcanum is divided into four quadrants, each managed by a “tower,” though all defer to the Oracle. Lady Flash is keeper of the speed force, able to summon lightning and manipulate kinetic energy.
Speed mages have a history of sacrificing themselves in times of great crisis. With the rise of the dark arts among mages, a warning from Ray Palmer (the Atom, who contacted Lady Flash specifically), Dark Angel’s impersonation of Oracle, and the arrival of Forerunner and Monarch, Lady Flash has come to believe that the “great disaster” is almost upon them. While she hopes to avoid her predecessors’ fate, she is willing to follow in their tradition should it be required.
In some world of the 52 Multiverse, Linda Park became the Flash. This Flash joined Monarch’s army, and was part of a squadron sent to kill the villain Tracer on Earth-8 (also known as Angor, similar to the home of Captain Speed, and home to counterparts to various Marvel Universe characters).
On Earth-10 of the 52 Multiverse, the Nazis won World War II and conquered the world. Their super-powered Aryan champions, JLAxis, were picked by Hitler himself, and include a Superman, a Wonder Woman linked to the Norse legends of the Valkyrie instead of to the Amazons, and equivalents to Hawkman, Hawkwoman, and the Flash. The speedster is unnamed, but his costume resembles that of the Reverse-Flash, with the insignia using the twin lightning bolts of the SS. As on the pre-Crisis Earth-X (another world on which the Germans won the war), the Freedom Fighters (including Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Doll Man, and the Human Bomb) continue to fight against tyranny.
During Infinite Crisis, a number of main-timeline speedsters including Bart Allen, Wally West and Barry Allen traveled through the speed force to an alternate earth. They met and worked with that world’s Jay Garrick. From what little we know, he wears a darker costume than the main-timeline Jay (the exact colors are unclear, since the lighting is red), and appears to be younger. (Flash: TFMA #6, 2007) 52 Week 52 (2007) revealed that a new multiverse came into existense after Infinite Crisis, including a new universe much like the old Earth-Two. Also designated Earth-2, this world features a Justice Society that includes a Flash wearing a costume similar to Jay Garrick’s, but with the lightning running all the way up to the shoulder. The Jay Garrick of Earth-2, wearing a more traditional costume, was later abducted by Monarch to represent the Flashes in his arena. He was forced to battle against the Tangent Flash and the Earth-3 Johnny Quick (Countdown: Arena #3, 2007).It has not yet been stated whether these two glimpses are of the same world or of two different worlds.
Earth-11 of the 52 Multiverse is much like the mainstream DC Universe...only with all the genders switched. Olivia Queen is Green Arrow, Kylie Rayner is Green Lantern, etc. Prince Dane of Elysium Island is Wonderman, and so on. The current Flash of this world is an as-yet unnamed blonde woman, implying a possible counterpart to to Barry Allen, though her costume more closely resembles Wally West’s, or Jesse Quick’s during her brief time as Flash heir-apparent.
Speedster Luca Loletti was a member of the Hand of God, a five-member super-team that worked for the Vatican, protecting the Catholic Church from super-powered threats. At some point, Surge was contacted and marked by the New Earth version of Ray Palmer, the Atom. Eventually, Surge proved corruptable. He was paid to turn on his own organization and assassinate the Pope. He succeeded, and started running. Midnighter eventually caught up to him in San Diego, California, and killed him... while he was being interrogated by a trio searching for Atom. In this story, the Flash helps the Justice League defend America from an invasion of Amazons led by Wonderman.
In the 19th century, in the American West, the small town of Paradise has been destroyed. Its sherriff, Diana Prince (often called the Woman Wonder), sets out to find out who destroyed it and how. Along the way she picks up allies: Kid Flash, the fastest gun in the West, Cheyenne Katar Johnson with his flying hawk suit, gambler and adventurer Booster Gold, inventor Beetle, and the manhunter John Jones. They learn that Paradise was destroyed by railroad baron Maxwell Lord to make room for his railway to California. Kid Flash keeps his name secret. It seems there was some trouble up in Abilene, where Wallace West killed Federal Marshall Barry Allen. The details are never revealed, but West claims it was “more mercy than a murder.” The Justice Riders only rode together once: to defeat Maxwell Lord and his army of clockwork men in the town of Helldorado. Any further adventures exist only in legend.