Getting into comics can seem difficult to the newcomer. Introducing a character…
BARRY ALLEN – THE FLASH
In 1956 DC Comics decided to reintroduce new characters based on their characters that had been popular in the 1940s but had fallen out of print. The first character this happened to was The Flash, formerly Jay Garrick, but now Barry Allen who first appeared in Showcase #4. This issue, and Barry’s introduction is generally considered the beginning of the Silver Age of comics.
Barry Allen was a Police Scientist, who was struck by lightning and covered in chemicals which gave him super speed. An avid comic book collector, Barry named himself after his comic book hero “The Flash” (Jay Garrick). Later (The Flash (vol 1) #123 ) Barry found a way to travel to a parallel universe where he discovered a world where Jay Garrick was real and active as that world’s Flash. Barry names his own world Earth-One and Jay’s world Earth-Two.
In an improbable coincidence, while Barry was showing Wally West (the nephew of Barry’s girlfriend Iris West) around his lab, it was again struck by lightning and Wally gained Super Speed powers becoming the Flash’s sidekick Kid Flash.
Eventually Barry married Iris.
Iris was killed by time travelling Flash villain Professor Zoom, The Reverse Flash (The Flash (vol 1) #275 (July 1979)) and Barry eventually kills Zoom when he tries to kill his new fiancée (The Flash (vol 1) #324 (August 1983)). Barry is put on trial for Zoom’s death and found guilty, but he discovers that the jury has been tamper with and that Iris is actually alive and well and living in the 30th Century. He travels to that time and they are together, again, briefly.
The 1986 event Crisis on Infinite Earths saw Barry brought back to the present to stop the destruction of the universe by the anti-matter universe. Barry was successful but died in the attempt.
Out of the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths a new universe was born where Barry succeeded Jay as the Flash and after Barry’s death Wally West succeeded him.
Finally, in 2008, Barry returned from the dead and once again took on the role of the Flash.
In 2007’s Flashpoint, events surrounding Barry restarted the universe, removing much of the existing comic book history, including Barry’s.
This blog is meant to iron out issues and help understanding of comic book terms and ideas. However, it also uses many terms and ideas new readers may be unfamiliar with. For clarifications or corrects, comment below.