Bart Allen

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CHARACTER

Bart Allen

A 30th century descendant of Barry Allen who inherited his Speed Force legacy, Bart Allen  has worn the masks of Impulse, Kid Flash, and The Flash himself.

Introduction

Aliases: Bartholomew "Bart" Allen II, Impulse, Kid Flash, The Flash
First Appearance: FLASH #92,1994

 

 

 

There are few heroes that have led as complicated a life, or have as many ties to the legacy of the Speed Force, than Bart Allen. Having gone by many different codenames -- Impulse, Kid Flash, the Flash, and back to Impulse again -- Bart was born in the far future as the grandson of the Barry Allen Flash, and came back to the past, and became the sidekick to the Wally West Flash. Impulse would make a name for himself on teams like the Teen Titans and Young Justice. For a brief time, he even succeeded Wally West as the fourth hero to take on the name and costume of the Flash. 

 

Thanks to having spent his formative years in a VR reality that responded to his accelerated aging, Bart can come off as being a little bit of a spaz, something that annoys his friends and teammates more often than not. But despite being the youngest of the speedsters, Impulse has managed to do things never done before with his Speed Force abilities, including things never even done by previous Flashes. Although in many ways he's still immature, when push comes to shove, Impulse always proves himself a more than capable Super-Hero, no matter which costume or what codename he happens to be using. 

 

Origin

When the second Flash, Barry Allen, decided to retire, he journeyed to the 30th century with his wife, Iris. There, they had two children, Don and Dawn Allen, who inherited Barry's super speed and connection to the Speed Force. When the Flash was called back to the past to fight in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, in which he died saving the universe, Iris raised their kids alone, and they grew up to be the heroic Tornado Twins.  Don Allen grew up and married Meloni Thawne, daughter of the president of Earth, but also a descendant of Flash villains Cobalt Blue and Professor Zoom. Their son Bartholomew, or Bart for short, was born with a strong connection to the legacy of all speedsters, both good and bad. 

 

Bart exhibited speed powers from birth, and not only did he have a super high metabolism, but he aged at hyperspeed as well. Although he was chronologically only a toddler, physically, he looked like a pre-teen. When his father Don was killed by the alien race known as the Dominators, they kidnapped Bart, with the intention of studying his super speed powers. He was then raised in a virtual reality environment, inside of which his mental age matched his physical one. With his super speed out of control, and threatening to kill him of old age by the time he was a few years old, his grandmother Iris West took stole him away, and brought him back to the present. It was her hope that her nephew, the third Flash Wally West, could teach Bart how to control his speed, and therefore save his life.

 

Wally was able to help him control his speed and slow down his aging, and now at the age of approximately a young teenager, Bart took on the name Impulse, and became the partner of the Flash, much as Wally had been Barry's sidekick. During this time, he also briefly joined the Titans, Wally's former team. Wally suggested that Bart needed to learn to slow down, so he suggested that Bart move to Manchester, Alabama, hoping the slow pace of life there would make him a little less hyper. While in Alabama, he was tutored by the Golden Age speedster Max Mercury, who became like a surrogate father to him. Max helped train Bart in controlling his powers, and when he vanished into the Speed Force, Bart was taken in by Jay Garrick, the original Flash, cementing his ties to several generations of speedsters.

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Bart made friends for life when he met Superboy, the Tim Drake Robin and Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark, and together they became the teen team called Young Justice. The team had many adventures, and essentially grew up together. Eventually Young Justice disbanded, but it wasn't long before they reformed as the Teen Titans. A cocky Impulse then had his kneecap blown out by the mercenary Deathstroke, but later he replaced it with an artificial one. During his recovery, Bart read every single book in the San Francisco Public Library at super speed, absorbing all the knowledge within. Seeing this as a rite of passage, he adopted the costume and name of Kid Flash, as an homage to his mentor Wally West. 

 

During the cosmic event known as the Infinite Crisis, the villainous Superboy-Prime attacked Bart's friend, the Conner Kent Superboy, during a brutal rampage. Bart joined with Flashes Wally West and Jay Garrick to put an end to the threat of Superboy-Prime, by running him at full throttle straight into the Speed Force. Jay found he simply could not run fast enough to enter the Speed Force, and Wally became energy and disappeared. Now alone with Superboy-Prime, Bart was assisted by his grandfather Barry Allen, along with other dead or missing speedsters like Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, who appeared and took Superboy-Prime into the Speed Force, along with Bart. Jay then believed the Speed Force was gone. But Superboy-Prime managed to escape the Speed Force, and he was pursued by Bart, who had aged four years while inside it, and was now the age equivalent of a man in his early twenties. 

 

Attempting a normal life without super heroics, Bart got a job with Keystone Motors, but was still connected to the Speed Force, which was actually not destroyed. However, he soon discovered that his Speed Force connection was killing him, similarly to how it had been when he was a child. Scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs then modified one of his grandfather Barry Allen's old uniforms in an effort to help him control his Speed Force connection, and Bart now became the fourth Flash. Following even further in his grandfather's footsteps, he moves to California and began working in a police forensics lab.

 

Bart's career as the Flash was tragically short-lived however. Bart's evil clone counterpart Inertia worked together with the Flash's Rogues, who were duped into helping Inertia build a machine that would transfer the Speed Force from Bart into himself. The machine removed his powers, but in doing so, it threatened to overload into a massive explosion that would kill millions. Bart then sacrificed himself to stop the machine, and the Rogues had killed their first Flash. 

 

Bart's death coincided with Wally West's return from the Speed Force, and it is theorized that the moment Wally returned was the same moment that Bart lost his powers, and Wally absorbed the newly released Speed Force. The Rogues then killed Inertia for being tricked into helping them kill a Flash. But Bart does not stay dead for long, as the in the 31st Century, the Legion of Super-Heroes' Brainiac 5 uses special living lightning rods to draw out the essence of Bart from the Speed Force within Wally, and when Bart is released, he is a teenager again, and once again in his Kid Flash persona. He returns to the past where he resumes his heroic career and rejoins the Teen Titans.

 

In the post-FLASHPOINT universe, a different version of Bart Allen appears, and is a member of the Teen Titans. But it is soon revealed that this "Bart" isn't really Bart at all. His real name turns out to be Bar Torr, a speedster sent to the 21st century as part of a witness protection program, where he is to stay until he is to return to the future to stand trial for several crimes, including killing members of the oppressive regime which murdered his parents. 

 

Bar Torr is given the false name of Bart Allen, along with false memories, when he is sent to the past. Although he returns to his future timeline, he eventually comes back to the 21st Century to rejoin his friends in the Titans. After the events of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, Bar Torr's status in the DC universe is unknown. But after the events of the so-called Flash War between Wally West and Barry Allen, the true Bart Allen is released from the Speed Force, back in his Impulse costume once more. 

 

Powers and Abilities

Bart Allen has all the powers of a speedster like Barry Allen or Wally West, and then some extra for good measure. Aside from running at speeds approaching the speed of light, Bart is something of a Speed Force Conduit. Bart also has accelerated healing, and he can vibrate his molecules so he can phase through objects, and he also has metahuman durability and stamina. Having read the entire contents of a public library, he has a collection of knowledge that few regular humans possess.

 

Thanks to his Speed Force connection, Bart can create an aura around himself which protects him and anyone he carries from the intense friction. He can create electrokinesis, which allow him to shoot bolts of lightning. His most unique power is his power to create beings he calls his "scouts", which are energy-based versions of himself, which he can then send through time, and then absorb their memories when they returned. 

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Essential Storylines and History

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"Reckless Youth, Chapter One: Speed Kills" (THE FLASH #92, 1994)

In his first ever appearance, the Wally West Flash learns of the existence of Bart, when his aunt Iris shows up and explains to him how her grandson is lost in the timestream, and that his super speed powers are rapidly aging him and will soon kill him. Wally sets off to find Bart, and eventually finds a way to help him get his powers under control. Bart then gives himself the name Impulse, and becomes the Flash's sidekick, just as Wally had once been Barry Allen's kid partner.

 

 

JLA: WORLD WITHOUT GROWN-UPS #1, 1998

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Impulse meets the other teen heroes who would go on to become his very best friends in this prelude to the YOUNG JUSTICE series. When all adults on Earth suddenly disappear, including the Justice League, Impulse along with Superboy and Robin get together to solve the mystery, and a new teen team is formed in the DC Universe.

 

 

 

BECOMING KID FLASH (TEEN TITANS #4, 2003)

bartallen-essential3-becomingkidflash-Teen-Titans-#5_cover-1-v1.jpg After some time, the members of Young Justice became the new Teen Titans. Impulse tried to take down the Titan's #1 adversary, Deathstroke, but in his cockiness he was shot in the knee, critically injuring him. Thanks to his metabolism, he recovers from his injuries much faster than normal, but reeling from his deadly encounter, he decides he needs to become more knowledgeable than ever before, and he speed reads the contents of an entire library. From this point forward, Bart drops the Impulse persona and becomes the second Kid Flash.

 

 

"Lightning in a Bottle" (THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN LIVE #1, 2006)

bartallen-essential4-growinguptoofast-FLS-Cv1-ds-1-v1.jpg After the events of Infinite Crisis, Bart finds himself trapped in the Speed Force, and when he emerges, he realizes four years have passed for him, but not the world he left. Now an adult, Bart becomes the fourth hero to take on the name and costume of the Flash, although at first, it's rather reluctantly. In the first issue of his own Flash series, Bart moves to Keystone City, where he begins working at Keystone Motors. But despite trying to live a normal life, it's not long before he gets drawn into being a hero once more. 

 

 

"Full Throttle" (THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE #13, 2007)

 

bartallen-essential5-atragicending-FLS-Cv13a-ds-1-v1.jpg In a shocking turn of events, Bart Allen is murdered by his own evil clone, Inertia. The Flash Rogues are duped into helping Inertia kill Bart, but regret their actions and later get revenge on Inertia for forcing their participation in his killing. After helping to save the city of Keystone, Bart is given a grand memorial service at the Flash Museum. But although this marked the end of Bart's time as The Flash, it was not the end for Bart as a speedster.

 

 

 

Back to the Future (FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS #3, 2009)

 

In a giant battle with the entity known as the Time Trapper during the 31st Century, Legion of Super-Heroes member Brainiac 5 finds a way to bring Bart back to life, 1000 years after he died.  He has the Legion's speedster XS (Bart’s first cousin) run on the Cosmic Treadmill, while Legion members Lighting Lad and Lightning Lass blast her, allowing Brainiac 5 to use his Lightning Rod to bring back the seemingly dead Kid Flash out of the Speed Force, and when he emerges, he's once again a teenager and wearing his Kid Flash costume.

 

 

"Teen Spirit" (TEEN TITANS #1, 2011)

bartallen-essential6-new52-TT_Cv1_ds-v1.jpg In the post-FLASHPOINT universe, a new version of the Teen Titans is formed, with a team resembling the Young Justice line-up. But the Kid Flash who was introduced in this issue is not really Bart Allen, but is merely using the name as an alias while he hides in our century, escaping justice. Bar-Torr eventually comes clean to his teammates about who he really is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Affiliations

  • • Titans
  • • Young Justice
  • • Teen Titans
  • • Legion of Super-Heroes
  • • Black Lantern Corps
  • • White Lantern Corps

Appearances in Other Media

Television

Main Character Appearances

 

Live Action:

  • • Smallville

 

Animation:

  • • Young Justice: Invasion

 

Video Games

  • • DC Universe Online
  • • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • • LEGO Batman