“My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive.” — Barry’s opening dialogue on ‘The Flash’ Seasons 1 through 3
Please Note: This post only covers Barry Allen’s TELEVISION appearances. His film appearances are not covered in this article.
[Contains spoilers for every Season of The Flash thus far]
Who doesn’t love a good superhero? We all have our favorites. Heck, Nicolas Cage loved Superman so much he named his youngest son after the hero’s Kryptonian birth name, Kal-El. We’re getting ahead of ourselves just a little bit. With the release of Justice League in just a few weeks, I thought we could dive into some of the previously unknown facts about Barry Allen a.k.a The Flash.
6. Far From The First Flash
Barry Allen is the first person superhero fans think of when they think The Flash. However, there is more to the Flash than just Barry. Much like many other superheroes, there is more than one version. Barry is in fact, not the first Flash but he is the most famous. He is the second Flash in DC Comics history.
During the Golden Age of the comics, the original Flash was Jason Peter “Jay” Garrick. Jay was as a founding member of the Justice Society of America, which served as the original Justice League. Prior to Jay’s time as The Flash, he had a love of pulp magazine stories about Whip Whirlwind. During his early adult years, Garrick majored in chemistry and physics at Midwestern University. He was involved in an accident where he breathed in toxic fumes which gave him super speed.
When Barry Allen became known as The Flash, Jay served as not just his inspiration but as his mentor. Garrick appeared in a minor role in the animated television series Young Justice as a longtime friend and mentor to Barry and his family.
5. It’s Not Always About The Love Of Iris West
The superhero genre cannot be complete without love interests. Batman has Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul. Superman has Lois Lane. Wonder Woman has Steve Trevor. Barry Allen has Iris West.
Okay, Iris West has been Barry’s love interest as far back as anyone can remember. Upon her comic book introduction, she is Barry’s fiancée and later his wife. Upon marrying him, Iris either became known as Iris West-Allen or Iris Allen. In the comics, Iris is the sister of Daniel and Rudy West and the aunt of Wally West. She also became the mother of twins Don and Dawn Allen.
In The CW television series The Flash, Iris first appears as Barry’s foster sister and best friend. They became friends when they were 10-years-old and became even closer after Barry’s mother, Nora was murdered a year later. Little did Iris know, Barry developed a massive crush on her which was obvious to her father and Barry’s parents. Barry never told her, fearing she didn’t feel the same way.
While Barry was in a coma, Iris visited him constantly, hoping he would return to her. In that time, she entered a secret relationship with her dad’s detective partner Eddie Thawne. When Barry awakened, Iris was overjoyed to have him back. However, her relationship with Eddie remained a secret. Once the relationship came out, Barry tried to appear supportive. Later, it is revealed Iris and Barry were always destined to be together. An article Iris writes in 2024 is written under the moniker ‘Iris West-Allen’ and hidden in Reverse Flash’s time vault. After Eddie sacrifices himself, Iris spends a year mourning. She later confesses her feelings to Barry and promises she’ll be there when he returns.
After Barry returns to their timeline, he finds things aren’t as he left them. His relationship with Iris starts out rocky. Things take another dive when Barry runs to the future and sees Iris murdered by Savitar. He impulsively proposes which is discovered by Iris’s brother, Wally. The younger West calls Barry out and Iris breaks the engagement off. Iris’s fate changes when H.R. Wells sacrifices himself by taking Iris’s form. After Savitar’s defeat, the Speed Force opens up. Barry takes it upon himself to fill the gap.
In the six months that follow, a grieving Iris heads Team Flash while Wally, Cisco, and Joe are out in the field. Her demeanor hardens to the point where she doesn’t want Barry back and tries to honor his wishes. When Joe’s girlfriend Cecile calls, Iris and Co are shocked to find Barry has been found. Later, Team Flash endures bad luck when a meta-human with the ability to change luck runs amok. Iris believes getting married is the best way to stop their bad luck. However, the priest breaks out in hives due to an allergy, forcing Iris and Barry to abandon their quickie wedding plan.
Since the New 52 continuity arrived on the scene, Barry’s love interest is no longer Iris. In fact, fans of The Flash have already met his new love interest. Her name is Patty Spivot. She and Barry aren’t married, but they aren’t engaged either.
Patty’s appearance in The Flash (2014) brings her to the forefront as being Barry’s final girlfriend before he ends up with Iris. Being with Patty was an attempt to give Iris room to breath while she grieved over Eddie as well as paving the way for Iris to realize her feelings for Barry. What adds to Patty’s personality is the idea she and Barry are very much alike. They both lost parents to bad guys and joined their respected careers to track down the killers.
Other Love Interests
Now we have covered Iris and Patty, let’s move onto some of the other love interests Barry has been involved with.
During Season 1 of The Flash, Barry dates Linda Park, a sports reporter who ends up working with Iris when she becomes a reporter at Central City Picture News. The relationship between Barry and Linda slow burns out and they break up and they slowly become friends. They team-up when Linda becomes a target for the Earth-2 version of herself. Barry is forced to reveal himself as The Flash to her with which she remarks:
“Oh, my god. I made out with The Flash.”
Pretty great, right? I certainly thought it was.
In the comics, Barry dates and almost marries a woman named Fiona Webb after Iris’s death. Professor Zoom tries to kill Webb which causes her to have a major breakdown. Her final fate was being sent to a mental institution.
Other women, Barry has been involved with include Golden Glider, Zatanna and Daphne Dean.
4. Barry Is A Father
If you’re a long time fan of Barry’s version of The Flash, then you will know his family history like the back of your hand. Yes, Iris is his true love. Yes, she is the mother of his children. Wait. Hold up. Did I just say, children? Yep. I mentioned it earlier too. Barry is the father of fraternal twins, Don and Dawn.
According to one storyline, Barry and Iris end up in the 30th Century. They conceive the twins before Barry is sent back to their own century and Iris is forced to stay behind. In the months that follow, Iris gives birth to twins. As the twins grow, she raises them without Barry. Because Barry had been The Flash, Don and Dawn inherited their father’s super speed.
In a similar storyline that also takes place in the 30th Century, Barry dies, leaving Iris to raise the twins by herself.
3. Superhero Team-Ups
Yes, Barry’s a superhero who has a sidekick in Kid Flash. Big whoop, right? Sure, they’re a crime fighting duo. Over the years, Barry has teamed up with a number of superhero teams, even be a partial inspiration.
Barry helped to co-find the Justice League, the successor superhero team to the Justice Society of America. He also became a mentor to the younger members, especially his nephew, Wally West who would become his sidekick, Kid Flash.
2. Has A Grandson Who Shares His Name With Bart Simpson
We’ve talked about Iris, the Tornado Twins (Don and Dawn), and Wally. There is one more character we have to talk about who is just as important to the Allen family as Barry or Wally. Meet Bart Allen, the son of Don Allen and the grandson of Barry and Iris as well as the nephew of Dawn Allen.
Born in the 30th Century, Bartholomew Henry “Bart” Allen II, is a speedster like his father, aunt, grandfather and first cousin once removed. However, because of his speedster abilities, Bart also ages quickly. When he was two years of age biologically, he looked like he was twelve years of age. This became such a problem, Iris sent Bart back in time to find Wally.
Before he became Wally’s successor as Kid Flash, Bart was dubbed Impulse by Bruce Wayne. Bart became known as Kid Flash after Wally was killed in combat and took Wally’s place on The Team (Young Justice).
1. More Than One Television Appearance
For most recent Flash fans, Grant Gustin IS Barry Allen. However, 2014’s The Flash isn’t the first time the character has appeared on television. Gustin made his first appearance as Barry in a couple of episodes of Arrow Season 2. This comes before he was given a spin-off show of his own.
The Flash (’90s) — Before 2014, Barry was the main attraction in the 1990s series of the same name. In this series, Barry was played by John Wesley Shipp. Shipp would return to the world of The Flash in two different roles in the 2014 series. One being Henry Allen, Barry’s father who is wrongly accused of his wife Nora’s murder. The second is Jay Garrick — the Flash on Earth-3 and Henry’s doppelgänger.
Young Justice — Barry appears in a minor role in the animated series Young Justice. He serves as nephew Wally’s mentor. Barry has a small role in the Season 2 episode Bloodlines in which introduces Barry and Iris’s grandson Bart. This episode brings up the subject of the continuation of the Allen clan. Bart accidentally reveals Iris is pregnant with twins. One of which happens to be his father, Don.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold — Barry has a special guest appearance in a number of episodes that involve Professor Zoom. These episodes help set up the premise of the young superhero group Teen Titans.
Vixen — Grant Gustin reprises his role as Barry in this animated Arrowverse short series. Barry, along with Stephen Amell’s The Arrow, joins forces with Mari McCabe, who becomes the superheroine known as Vixen. He is called upon when Mari needs him.
The Batman — The Flash appears in the animated series, The Batman. It is unknown whether this is Barry or whether it is Wally or Bart.
Justice League of America — Barry would have appeared alongside other iconic DC heroes. Unlike previous incarnations, he is portrayed as slow-witted and unemployed.
Barry Allen is a hero no matter what medium he appears in. Regardless if his role is in major capacity or the minor, he is one of those heroes people have every reason to. His infectious humor — despite his traumatic childhood makes him a force for good. A reason fans know the difference know the difference between good and bad. There is so much more out there about the character that is just waiting to be explored. The six points above were just the beginning of the conversation.
Note: The original version of this post was written for the website, Creator — the sister website of Movie Pilot. As Creator is being shut down, I have decided to publish a new version of the majority of my posts on WonderPopCulture.
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