Comic Book Trivia: Barry Allen, The Flash

My last one was about Wonder Woman. I had promised to write one about Flash and Hulk (which I'm still writing). There have been many different characters going by this name but this take is about Barry Allen. Some of these facts should be pretty obvious to comic book fans.

10. He wasn't the first Flash.

Even though he's the one most people think about. In 1940, DC introduced a character called Jay Garrick who acquired the ability to move at superhuman speed after a bizarre laboratory accident. He chose to fight crime as a costumed vigilante, calling himself the Flash.

His character didn't perform that well though. They later introduced a new character, Barry Allen, also known as Flash, who gets his powers from a similar incident. This was in a new universe. They also had a crossover in 1961 in a series known as Flash of Two Worlds.

This was the first appearance of the DC multi-verse.

9. He can think faster than anyone on the planet.

8. It's tough to read his mind.

This is because of how fast he can think. He has so many thoughts going on through his head that even the most powerful telepaths find it difficult to figure out what he's thinking.

7. He started DC's Silver Age.

Superman is said to have started superhero comics during the Golden Age since he was the inspiration for pretty much all of the ones you see today. However, DC Comic's sales were going down and they needed a new idea for a character. As I said in #10, they already had a character called Flash. They created a new one in a different universe who was a fan of the comics and went by the same name.

They started creating new versions of many Golden Age characters in this universe. This wasn't a reboot since both of them existed as parallel universes. Remember when I said that they had a crossover with both Flashes? This is when Barry realized that his favorite character Jay Garrick was indeed real and existed in another universe.

6. He Has A Time-Traveling Treadmill.

He has the ability to time travel if he runs fast enough, but he doesn't always have complete control over where he ends up. This is why he created a treadmill which helps him with that.

5. He can phase through solid objects.

This happens because he can make his molecules vibrate through the objects.

4. He's worn Green Lantern's ring.

This happened in a New 52 story called Blackest Night.

3. Newton's third law of motion doesn't affect him.

Formally stated, Newton's third law is:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

What this means is that when you apply a force on an object, the object applies the same amount of force back at you. This is the reason a ball bounces when it touches the ground. It's also the reason you can push yourself away from a wall (or even the ground when you're doing push-ups).

Flash gets his powers from the Speed Force, which protects him from this. This is why he can punch a wall hard enough to break it without breaking his own hand instead.

The Speed Force gives him a bunch of other abilities too, including accelerated healing, speed theft, and as I said earlier, the ability to phase through objects. The speed force also protects the people he's carrying with him so they can survive his speed.

2. Marvel made a tribute to the character after his death.

This is when he died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. It's still considered one of the biggest sacrifices a comic book character has made. Marvel created a character called Buried Alien who even wore the same colors.

They kept trying to imply that he was indeed Barry who made his way into the Marvel Universe. He was said to be a speedster from another universe and beat several other speedsters. He was also declared to be the fastest man alive and had yellow energy which looked like lightning surrounding him. He later adopted the alias Fastforward.

1. He's the most influential character in the DC Universe.

I did say the most influential character in the DC Universe. I'm not talking about who had the highest comic book sales or who inspired other characters. Barry has had a greater impact on the story than any other character. Not only did he start the Silver Age, but he was also responsible for 2 reboots after that. He's the one who started the post-crisis continuity as well as the New 52.

I'm still writing the take about Hulk and the one about Justice League's power rankings :)

Update: I finished writing the take about Hulk.

#ComicBookTrivia #LTComicTakes


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What Guys Said 15

  • 1mo

    If he can think faster than anyone else on the planet how come he isn't the smartest man alive?

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    • 1mo

      He is said to be ONE of the smartest. He does often come up with some really good ideas. But I think the knowledge he gains when he taps into the speed force is only short-term. He can't remember it for long (not entirely sure about this though).

    • 1mo

      He is one of the smartest or how could he invent the time travel tread mill?

  • 1mo

    Who is faster between Wally west and Barry Allen?

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    • 1mo

      I think it's Wally West

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    • 1mo

      @bobmans yes Barry is indeed faster in the cartoons. Young Justice actually merges the origins from the Golden Age, Silver Age, Post-Crisis, and New 52.

      In the comics though, Barry's best feat is running around Anti-Monitor in order to save the multi-verse. But he ends up dying because of that. Wally was afraid to go at that speed because of the same reason but he ends up running faster than that. He was also the creator of the Infinite Mass Punch and discovered the ability to steal someone else's speed.

    • 1mo

      Barry Allen created the Speed Force and he is indeed the fastest man alive. You go by comic rules, not the cartoons.

      When Barry Allen created the Speed Force, the powers of a speedster spread out to what I believe 4 other people, including Jay Garrick in his time, which is why people say Jay Garrick was the first flash, because he existed in a time before Barry was even born. But without it being Barry who created the speed force to begin with, Jay Garrick would have never become a speedster himself, thus making Barry Allen the original and first speedster.

      Barry Allen IS the Speed Force.

      "Max Mercury discovered that it is Barry Allen himself who generates the Speed Force with every step that he runs. When he was struck by the bolt of lightning that gave him his powers, the Speed Force was created and echoed through time and every dimension."

      other sources: my insanely knowledgeable comic book hero coworker lol

  • 1mo

    be there in a...

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  • 1mo

    The Flash is one of my favorite superheroes. I loved Wally West Flash growing up but I've learned to love Barry Allen too. The modern Barry Allen is way more personable than he was in the past. It's almost like they merged Wally West's humor with him when they brought him back into prominence.

    I think the reason why Flash has become so popular recently is because although he has incredible powers, he is still a human being with human stories. He's a God-like defender but he's also a brother of humanity. He very much fulfills both of those roles which I think is kind of rare in comic books. You frequently have characters like Superman who inspire hope but he's a God basically. It's hard for humans to identify with Supes. He has human stories but it's to show how clumsy he is as Clark Kent playing human versus being at home as Superman. Batman is the opposite. He has a public 'human' face who he always was but when he dons that classic cowl he becomes the Batman. Batman is who he trained to become. Now to get back to Flash, he can very much tow both of those roles very effectively which is why he speaks to a wide range of audiences nowadays and is only growing in popularity.

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  • 1mo

    Flash is my favorite hero. Thanks for this.#manncrushmonday

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  • 1mo

    Flash is a great hero, but I wonder if he's faster than Quicksilver from X-Men?

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    • 1mo

      If you're comparing TV Flash and the movie Quicksilver (X-Men version), then Quicksilver is actually faster. But if you mean the comic book versions, they're not even in the same league. Even Superman is faster than Quicksilver if you go by the comics.

    • 1mo

      Cool, thanks for the info :)

  • 1mo

    Yet every time I

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    • 1mo

      * see this character he is severely underplayed :( Happy someone else knows how strong he is

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    • 1mo

      This happens to a lot of characters though. Many of them are really underestimated.

  • 1mo

    Nice take, very interesting.

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  • 1mo

    The Flash is AWESOME! He can make his hand travel so fast that because of Einstein's Law of Relativity (E=MC2), he can have the mass of a collapsing star in a single punch (Infinite Mass Punch).

    He has traveled faster than instantaneously. As in he runs faster than you can think and blink. He can run faster than teleportation. It's happened to save the Earth. He just had to have help from the others on earth to increase his speed force to an unbelievable level.

    He also had a conversation with another speedster that was so fast, it was at a decibel that was not possible to hear.

    He's one of the coolest superheros there is.

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  • 1mo

    "healing facter" ?
    Nice take though.

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  • 1mo

    Everyone talks about Superman being D. C. most powerful and I just laugh. In all honesty Barry Allen is the shiznet in that universe hands down. When he's in full speed force power up look no one can touch him

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  • 1mo

    He also can't last long in bed 😂 get it? ... ok I'll leave

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  • 1mo

    I only know him from the TV show but lots of extra information there - Great take.

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  • 1mo

    The Flash TV show is talking flashpoint paradox to a whole new level...

    So confused at how its going to work with Arrow in particular. Legends of Tomorrow doesn't matter since they're always time traveling and keeping everything in tact.

    Also Michael Rosenbaum as Wally West on the Justice League Cartoon

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    • 1mo

      Yeah I'm curious as to how they're doing Flashpoint

    • 1mo

      My brain hurts from trying to figure out how all of Barry time travelling will affect the arrow verse

  • 1mo

    Amazing, I never knew he was the most influentIal character in the DC Universe.
    Anyway, Barry Allen is definitely the best version of Flash, great Take indeed :D

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What Girls Said 7

  • 7d

    good-

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  • 1mo

    jokideo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/1-2422.jpg
    Did you mention he's the fastest man alive?

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  • 1mo

    So Much Geek can't Make words Only Like button O-O

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  • 1mo

    Barry Allen is such a cute guy, in both tv shows (90s and the new one). He is my favorite version of Flash.

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  • 1mo

    Flash is one of my favorite superheroes, season 3 started, and it rocks :)

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  • 1mo

    Flash is a very interesting character, he is named after a sudden burst of light, but he is actually faster than light, that's so cool 👍

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  • 1mo

    I was wondering, which Flash was the fastest: Barry Allen, Wally West, or Jay Garrick? Cool take by the way :)

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    • 1mo

      I think it's Wally West

    • 1mo

      Technically all of the speedsters who source their powers from the speed force have the same upper limits. There have been moments where you could look at one and say they are faster than the others but it's usually to b the writer at the time. The speed force however makes them all the same

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