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The Flash Biography, History, Profile
They have been called the Fastest Men Alive - three generations of super heroes granted the power to tap into the extradimensional energy field called the Speed Force by a scientific experiment gone awry. Each hero named himself the Flash and became the progenitor of an age of champions, perpetuating a legacy of courage and valor that extends to the 853rd century and beyond.
A failed college football player in the 1930s, Jay Garrick became a research scientist. By accidentally inhaling the hyper-charged atoms of a radioactive liquid, Garrick gained incredible superspeed.
Garbed in a red and blue uniform, Garrick became the Flash and helped form the legendary Justice Society Of America and the wartime All-Star Squadron. Forced into retirement during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, Garrick was placed in suspended animation by the villainous Fiddler but was rescued by Barry Allen, the second Flash. Spared the ravages of old age, Garrick married his girlfriend, Joan Williams, and briefly retired, but he returned to active duty with the most recent incarnation of the JSA.
Slowpoke police chemist Barry Allen idolized Jay Garrick, the super hero Flash. During a late stormy night at the police station laboratory, a bolt of lightning crashed through the window and shattered the vials of chemicals surrounding Allen.
Suddenly imbued with the power to move at near lightspeed, Barry took on the name of his Golden Age idol, the Flash, and, along with Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Aquaman, helped usher in the Silver Age of heroes.
As the Flash, Allen was one of the founders of the Justice League of America. When his fiancée, Iris, was apparently slain by the Reverse-Flash, Allen killed his hated foe. After a lengthy trial, the Flash retired to the 30th century, where he sired the Tornado twins. Tragically, Allen died saving the Earth from the nihilistic Anti-Monitor by destroying his antimatter cannon, aimed directly at the planet.
The Death of Barry Allen
Learning that his wife, Iris, was saved from death at the hands of Professor Zoom by a "psychic transplant" in the future into another body, the Flash traveled forward in time to be with her. Tragically, their happiness ended when the Flash was kidnapped by the Anti-Monitor, who planned to use a giant antimatter cannon to destroy the universe. Running faster than ever before, the Flash escaped the Anti-Monitor's bonds and destroyed the cannon. Allen's body disintegrated, but his energies rocketed back in time and became the lightning bolt that shattered the chemicals that originally gave Allen his superspeed.
The young nephew of Barry Allen, Wally West, was visiting his uncle's laboratory when a bolt of lightning shattered a rack of chemicals in the room. The chemicals spilled on the boy, and duplicated the same accident that created the second Flash. West became the first Kid Flash, the junior partner of the Flash, and founded the Teen Titans with the first Robin, Aqualad, Speedy, and Wonder Girl. After Barry Allen died saving the universe, Kid Flash assumed his costume and identity.
The Speed Force
As the Flash, Wally discovered his link to the Speed Force, an energy source that gives all speedsters their power. Tapping into the force made Wally the fastest Flash of them all, able to run at the speed of light. One of the founders of the current and most powerful incarnation of the JLA, West has garnered a lethal Rogues Gallery as the champion of Keystone City.
The Flash revealed his secret identity to the world and, after several failed romances, fell in love with and married reporter Linda Park. After a battle with the villain Zoom ended in the miscarriage of their unborn twins, West asked the Spectre to remove all memories of his identity from the public consciousness - including Linda - to protect those he loved from the dangers he continues to face as the Fastest Man Alive.
The Magic Ring
Like his predecessor, Wally West keeps his Flash costume in a special ring. The costume is made of the Speed Force itself, covering Wally in a protective sheath.
Flashes From The Future
John Fox was a speedster from the 27th century who traveled back to the 21st century to take over the Flash legacy when Wally West disappeared. After West's return, Fox leapt back into the timestream and resettled in the 853rd century.
The third Kid Flash is the future daughter of Wally West, who inherited her father's heroic legacy when her slacker brother refused to do so.
Walter West, the Flash from an alternate timeline whose wife Linda was slain by Kobra, briefly replaced the Flash in our timeline, before entering Hypertime to rediscover his own. And Sela Allen, a sentient manifestation of the Speed Force, is the Flash of the 23rd century.
Brought to you straight from - The DC Comics Encyclopedia, The Definitive Guide To The Characters Of The DC Universe - Published by DK Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2004. p.114-115.