Barry Allen and a twin brother were born on March 19, two weeks late, to Henry and Nora Allen in the small midwestern town of Fallville, Iowa. The brother was pronounced stillborn by Dr. Gilmore. However, in actuality, he had been born healthy, but given to another family, the Thawnes, whose child had died during birth. The lateness of Barry's birth only foreshadowed his bad habit of always being late. Barry grew up reading the adventures of his favorite superhero, Jay Garrick, the original Flash, and acted many of his hero's adventures out with his friend and future actress, Daphne Dean.
When he was a child, his mother was killed and his father was convicted. The drive to prove his father was innocent gave Barry a strong belief in justice.
In high school, Barry had a reputation for being slow and easy-going. On his first date, he went to a carnival. His date had wanted to put a little motion in his life, and they went on the roller coaster first thing. Because of this, he developed a fear of roller coasters, a fear that he didn't get rid of until much later in his life.
Barry loved chemistry from an early age, and that helped his skills as a farmer. He won first place in the Fallville County Fair Agricultural Competition, a prize which included an scholarship to Sun City University. He graduated in three years with a major in organic chemistry and a minor in criminology.
While a senior, Barry helped the authorities apprehend a bank robber, and he was offered a job as a police scientist for the Central City Police Department Scientific Detection Bureau. Eager to be in the sister city of his childhood hero's home, Keystone City, he accepted the offer.
After moving to Central City and getting an apartment with a laboratory in the back, Barry began dating Picture News reporter Iris West, who he met while examining an apparent murder that she was reporting. She was charmed by his honesty and stability.
That night during an electrical storm, Barry returned to an experiment after a short break. All of a sudden, a bolt of lightning streaked through a window, shattered a chemical cabinet and covered Barry in the electrified chemicals. Dazed, he decided to return home in a taxi. However, the taxi started to pull away without noticing him. Barry sprinted after it, only to run straight past it as if it had been standing still. He decided to sit down and recollect his thoughts at a diner. A passing waitress accidentally spilled the items of her tray onto Barry, who amazingly caught them all in mid-air and returns them to the tray. The next day, Barry saved Iris from a stray bullet. There was no question about it: the freak accident had somehow given Barry superhuman speed!
Deciding to use his powers to help humanity, Barry designed a special costume. He used a special cold cast polyester he developed in college, which could be molded into miniature outfits from liquid material, that, when submersed in a special liquid, became sensitive to hydrogen, expanding on contact with the hydrogen in the air. A charge from a battery-powered ring he wore on his finger caused the fabric to release the extra hydrogen and shrink into the ring. He later revised the process, making the fabric sensitive to nitrogen instead. He called himself the Flash, a tribute to his childhood idol. He briefly considered wearing a costume that would show his face, like Jay had, but decided that it would be best to wear a mask to conceal his true identity. The first villain he faced was the Turtle Man.
Heroic History Edit
As the Flash, Barry later became a founding member of the Justice League of America, where he befriended Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, with whom he had many adventures both with and without the Justice League. Later still, he discovered that Jay Garrick was real, and became friends with him as well.
During one summer, Iris's nephew Wally came to visit her in Central City. He was an incredible Flash fan, and he knew his aunt's boyfriend was a "friend" of the Flash, so a meeting was arranged. The Flash offered to answer all of Wally's questions, so Wally asked how the Flash had gained his powers of super-speed. The Flash explained the events of what had happened, causing Wally to wish out loud that something like that would happen to him. It just so happened that Barry had set up the cabinet of chemicals in his lab just as it had been during that fateful night, and there was a thunderstorm on the afternoon of Wally's visit. All of a sudden, almost in answer to Wally's wish, the freak accident that gave Barry his powers repeated itself, this time covering Wally in electrically-charged chemicals. Now possessing the same powers as the Flash, Wally at first donned a smaller-sized copy of Barry Allen's Flash costume, with the Picture News dubbing the young crimefighter 'Kid Flash' in a headline. Wally's original costume was later transformed into a new yellow and red design with which the Flash had been toying, following an accident with a matter-transforming machine. As Kid Flash, Wally wore this costume for many years until he outgrew his teenage appellation and became the new Flash, exchanging it for the outfit originally worn by Barry.
Eventually, Barry proposed to Iris on a Ferris wheel at the fair. She accepted, and they were married, in spite of the efforts of Professor Zoom, who attempted to foil the ceremony. Barry hid his identity from Iris for a year, although she had known the entire time because he had spoken in his sleep on their honeymoon. He was worried that the accident had made him less human and that they would not be able to have children. However, after performing many tests that first year, he determined that they still could, and he revealed his secret.
However, it was not long before Zoom took Iris's life at a masquerade party. Barry chased him into the timestream and left him there.
Barry met and began to date another woman, Fiona Webb. However, on the day they were supposed to be married, Zoom showed up again, claiming that he would once again kill the wife of the Flash. Barry chased him across the world, and failed to show up for his own wedding. In the end, Zoom was about to kill Fiona, but Barry unwittingly killed him. The Flash was charged with manslaughter and had to face a long trial.
Barry's face was disfigured severely in a battle with Big Sir. He went to Gorilla City to have his face repaired. Since Barry Allen had supposedly been missing, he decided to have it reconstructed into a completely new face, so that he could keep his secret identity dead.
Later, Barry was brought to the 30th century, where Iris was from and had been reborn. For about a month, they lived in happiness and thanks to great advances in reconstructive surgery that had been made in this era, Barry's original features were restored. Iris would later have twins, Don and Dawn Allen.
Barry made a stop in time during his trip to the future and met up with Wally West in a battle against Professor Zoom. There were two Zooms at the time and they each took one. Barry faired much better than Wally, and sent his Zoom through the timestream. It is unclear what happened to him, but he does end up in the 30th century.
Crisis on Infinite Earths Edit
The Crisis on Infinite Earths brought Barry out of retirement. The 30th Century was beginning to fall apart: natural disasters were occurring despite the technology that had been created to stop them, and reality itself was fraying. Flash returned to the 20th century to warn his fellow heroes. Just as he started to warn Batman, he was pulled into the Antimatter Universe by the Anti-Monitor, where he was mentally tortured by the Psycho-Pirate. Finally, he used the Psycho-Pirate to turn all of the Anti-Monitor's servants, the Thunderers, against him. This gave him enough time to destroy the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter cannon by running around it and destroying the outer casing. He ran so incredibly fast that he entered the Speed Force forever.
Although there were no remains, a grave for Barry was placed in New York City.
Infinite Crisis Edit
Barry Allen's soul appeared from the Speed Force, along with Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, to help his grandson Bart deal with Superboy-Prime, taking the villainous lad with him into the Speed Force. Bart Allen later emerges from the Speed Force, wearing Barry Allen's costume, in Tokyo to tell the heroes that Superboy-Prime has escaped. Bart again reappears to combat Superboy-Prime once more. Barry spent four years in an alternate Keystone City along with Max Mercury, Johnny Quick and an alternate Jay Garrick, until he met Bart and Wally West, joining him after the battle against Superboy-Prime. After Superboy-Prime escapes, Barry suggests that someone of the still living speedsters has to absorb the whole Speed Force and cross the dimensional bridge back to Post-Crisis Earth. As Bart volunteers, Barry gives him his suit as a last gift, to keep the Force contained, and stays behind.
Final Crisis Edit
Barry Allen has recently reappeared during the Final Crisis. He has been seen chasing the bullet fired backwards through time that killed Orion, and being chased by the Black Racer and what appears to be the Morticoccus Virus. He simply says to Wally West and Jay Garrick "Run!". Barry and Wally accelerate one month into the future, only to find that Darkseid has conquered the world. They are soon discovered by a group of Female Furies composed of the Anti-Life corrupted Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Giganta. Evading the Furies, they head to Iris's apartment, where Barry is able to break the Anti-Life Equation's hold over her with a kiss, assuring Iris that everything is going to be all right.
Shortly afterwards, Jay Garrick made his way to Iris' home, and reunited with Barry and Wally. Once Jay was there, Barry explained his plan: because they had lead the Black Racer to the present, Barry would lead him to Darkseid, and let his soul be claimed. Although Barry wanted to go alone, Wally insisted on going with him, and Barry relented, asking Jay to keep Iris safe. Managing to hit light speed, Barry and Wally lead the Black Racer to Darkseid's base in Bludhaven. Aware of the threat the speedsters posed, Darkseid fired his Omega Beams through his Anti-Life slaves, but the two Flashes managed to outrace them. At the last second, Barry told Wally to save himself, but both Flashes went through together, running past Superman (who was naturally surprised to see Barry) and vibrated through Darkseid, causing the Omega Beams to hit Darkseid and allowing the Black Racer to remove Darkseid's essence from Dan Turpin.
Back in the world Edit
Shortly afterwards, although his family and friends were overjoyed that he was back, Barry himself was uneasy, as he was unable to explain how he alone escaped the Speed Force, while others such as Max Mercury and Johnny Quick were still trapped inside. Deciding not to waste this second chance, Barry went to the Flash Museum to catch up on what he had missed. While there, he met up with his old friend, Hal Jordan, who had also died and returned. Barry discussed his unease over his return with Hal, and how he felt that he did not need to come back. Barry told Hal to tell Wally and Jay that he wasn't going to the parties that had been set up in honor of his return, then sped off on patrol. While running, a rogue speedster Wally had encountered named Savitar somehow escaped the Speed Force through Barry. When Barry managed to catch him, Savitar disintegrated before Barry's eyes.
Recently Barry and Wally found the Black Flash "apparently dead". After that Barry became the new Black Flash. When he realizes that his presence could damage or kill other innocents, Barry flees back into the Speed Force, where he encounters old friends Johnny Quick and Max Mercury. Max attempts to tell Allen that his becoming the Black Flash is not his fault, and when Max and Barry are pulled into another pocket of the Speed Force, the real culprit reveals himself: Professor Zoom.
Zoom reveals the depth of his plan: after Barry briefly aided Kid Flash against Superboy-Prime during the Infinite Crisis, Thawne was able to send a subliminal pulse into the Speed Force to draw back what was left of Barry's self-awareness. This led to the hero's reappearance during the Final Crisis. Afterward, Zoom transformed himself into "a new kind of speedster and created his negative Speed Force to contaminate Barry and the other heroic speedsters. Before Barry can fight any further, Zoom fades away. Wally enters the Speed Force to retrieve his uncle, and after venturing deeper into the Speed Force, Max reveals to Barry that it was Allen himself who created the speedsters' source of power. Barry unknowingly did the same throughout his career to create the normal Speed Force. Meanwhile, Wally manages to reach Barry and Max, and the three begin their escape. As the heroic speedsters are recharged with energy, Barry, Wally, Jay, Max, and Bart charge towards Zoom.
The seven speedsters battle against Zoom, and despite being outnumbered, Zoom pulls Barry away. He reveals that everything horrible that happened to Barry's life, including the murder of Barry's mother, was caused because of Zoom. He, then, decides to destroy everything by killing Barry's wife, Iris, before they even met.
Barry chases after Zoom, and is joined by Wally, who tells Barry to push as hard as he can to break the time barrier. Doing so, they reach Thawne, becoming the lightning bolt that turns Barry into the Flash as they are able to stop Zoom from killing Iris. As the two Flashes push Zoom back through time to the present, the two Flashes see that the Justice League, the Justice Society, and the Outsiders have built a device specifically for Thawne. Barry tosses him in and activates the device, severing his connection to the negative Speed Force. The Flashes tie Zoom up to stop him from running. With the threat ended, everyone celebrates by welcoming Barry back and the speedsters in general. Later, Barry closes the case on his mother's death and opts to take all the other cold cases they had after his death. Barry spends some time with Iris before racing to Washington to celebrate his return with the Justice League, apologizing for being late.