September 30, 2012

What’s Changed in the Flash’s Origin? – Flash #0 Edition

Category: Flash History — By @ 12:35 am

Flash #0 has been out for a few days, detailing the New 52 origin of Barry Allen as the Flash. In the style of the Flash: Rebirth retcon round-up, here’s a list of the major elements that have changed.

This is obviously going to contain some spoilers for Flash #0.

Lightning strikes Barry Allen in The Flash #0






Family & Job

In the original history, Barry Allen grew up with both parents in Fallville, Iowa. He moved to Central City as an adult and began working for the Central City Police. Barry met Iris West, and they were dating seriously by the time Barry became the Flash. Captain Darryl Frye became Barry’s boss years later, after Iris’ death. Iris West has on brother, Rudy, one sister, Charlotte, and a nephew, Wally, who would go on to become Kid Flash and later the Flash after Barry’s death.

In Flash: Rebirth, the Allens moved to Central City when Barry was still a child. His mother Nora was murdered by Professor Zoom, and his father was framed for it. Who raised Barry from that point on was not revealed. At the time Barry gained super-speed, he had just met Iris West. Captain Frye was already his boss at the crime lab. Henry Allen died in prison, and Barry shut himself off from the world trying to prove his innocence until he met Iris.

In Flash #0, the new elements from Rebirth remain largely intact, though everything else appears to be fair game. Nora and Henry Allen were on the verge of divorce at the time of Nora’s murder, and it was strongly implied that she was or had been involved with Officer Darryl Frye of the Central City Police. Frye took Barry in after the murder. (It’s been theorized that Frye might even be Barry’s biological father.) There’s no indication that Barry and Iris had met at the time of the lightning strike. Frye made captain while Barry was in the hospital. Shortly before the accident, Henry Allen confessed his guilt to Barry, but it remains unclear whether he was telling the truth or simply trying to convince his son to move on. Becoming the Flash was the catharsis that enabled Barry to stop focusing on the past.

Iris West has at least one brother, Daniel. No mention has been made yet of other siblings or a nephew.

Becoming the Flash

In the original and Flash: Rebirth timelines, Barry Allen shook off the effects of the lightning strike with little apparent injury, and found himself accidentally speeding that night on his way home. Inspired by his childhood hero Jay Garrick, he took the name “The Flash.” His costume used a specially treated fabric that expands when it comes into contact with air, which he stores in a ring.

In the New 52 Flash #0 timeline, Barry was seriously injured and sent to the hospital. While dreaming about his mother’s murder, he felt so desperately that he needed to escape that he woke up and ran halfway across the planet before he realized what had happened. His costume is made from metal segments that assemble themselves in the presence of his speed.