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Bart Allen

Bart Allen
Bart Allen as Impulse, on the cover to Impulse: Reckless Youth (2001)
Art by Humberto Ramos.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance as Impulse:
Flash #92 (July 1994)
as Kid Flash:
Teen Titans Vol.3 #4 (December 2003)
as Flash:
The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (May 2006)
Created by Mark Waid
Mike Wieringo
In-story information
Full name Bartholomew Henry "Bart" Allen II
Bar Torr (New 52 era)
Team affiliations Young Justice
Teen Titans
Justice League
Partnerships Barry Allen
Wally West
Jay Garrick
Notable aliases Impulse, Kid Flash, Flash
Abilities Genetic connection to the speed force: Superhuman speed, stamina and durability, photographic memory, Speed Force clones, complete self-molecular control, time and dimensional travel, resistance to temporal disruptions, generation of whirlwinds

Bartholomew Henry "Bart" Allen II is a superhero in the DC Comics Universe. Allen first appeared as the superhero Impulse, a teenage sidekick of the superhero the Flash, before later on becoming the second hero known as Kid Flash. The character first made a cameo appearance in The Flash #91 in 1994, while his first full appearance in issue #92, and appeared as the lead character in Impulse (1995–2002) and The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (2006–2007). In the latter series, the character became the fourth hero to assume the identity of The Flash. Bart also prominently features in the superhero team titles Young Justice and Teen Titans.[1] As the Flash, Bart was also a core character in 10 issues of Justice League of America.

As first conceived by writers, Bart was born in the 30th century to Meloni Thawne and Don Allen, and is part of a complex family tree of superheroes and supervillains. His father, Don, is one of the Tornado Twins and his paternal grandfather is Barry Allen, the second Flash. His paternal grandmother, Iris West Allen, is also the adoptive aunt of the first Kid Flash, Wally West (Bart's first cousin once removed). Additionally, Bart is the first cousin of XS, a Legionnaire and daughter of Dawn Allen. On his mother's side, he is a descendant of supervillains Professor Zoom and Cobalt Blue as well as the half-brother of Owen Mercer, the second Captain Boomerang. In addition to these relatives, he had a supervillain clone known as Inertia.

For most of his superhero career, Bart was the sidekick to the Wally West version of the Flash. After West's apparent death in the Infinite Crisis crossover event in 2006, Allen grew up and became the Flash. His tenure as the Flash was brief, and was killed off in issue 13 of his series, The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive. Allen was subsequently absent for nearly two years after his apparent death, but resurfaced—young again—as Kid Flash, in 2009's Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. After DC revised its continuity in 2011 as part of a company-wide relaunch of its most popular titles, Bart was subsequently reimagined as a fugitive and feared reactionary from the distant future named Bar Torr. Sent to the 21st century without his memories, Bar Torr is given the alias Bart Allen and attempts to forge an identity for himself as the teenage hero Kid Flash. Although he is a member of the Teen Titans, he does not affiliate himself with the current Flash (Barry Allen).

Fictional character biography

Initial reference

As depicted in a Legion of Super-Heroes story, Barry Allen's children—the Tornado Twins—were arrested in 2995 A.D. by the government of Earth, which had fallen under the covert control of the Dominators. Following a one-day trial on trumped-up charges of treason, the Twins were executed. According to a Daily Planet news report, Don Allen is survived by his wife Carmen Johnson, his mother Iris West Allen, and his 2-year-old son: Barry Allen II.[2]

This timeline was wiped out by the events of Zero Hour: Crisis in Time limited series.[3] However, a parallel set of events occurred on Earth-247 (the Earth of the post-Zero Hour Legion), with the Tornado Twins and their families having traveled there from New Earth.[4]


Suffering from a hyper-accelerated metabolism, Bart Allen was aging at a faster rate than that of any other human being, thus causing him to appear the age of twelve when he was chronologically only two years old. To prevent him from developing mental health problems, he was raised in a virtual reality machine which created a simulated world that kept pace with his own scale of time. When it became clear that this method was not helping, his grandmother, Iris Allen, took him back in time to the present where The Flash, Wally West, tricked Bart into a race around the world. By forcing Bart into an extreme burst of speed, Wally managed to shock his hyper metabolism back to normal.[5] Because he had spent the majority of his childhood in a simulated world, Bart had no concept of danger and was prone to leaping before he looked. The youth proved to be more trouble than Wally could handle, and he was palmed off onto retired superhero speedster Max Mercury, who moved Bart to the fictitious Manchester, Alabama. Bart originally created the Impulse codename for himself,[6] though a retcon in Impulse #50 has Batman codenaming him such as a warning, not a compliment.

Bart joined the Titans[7] early in his career before going on to become one of the founding members (along with Robin and Superboy) of the superhero team Young Justice. For a time, Impulse became the owner of a spaceship granted to him by a rich sultan in appreciation for having helped save his castle. The team used this ship to reunite Doiby Dickles with his queen and restore the rightful rule of Myrg. Impulse stayed with Young Justice for an extensive period of time during which he developed the ability to make speed-force energy duplicates. This allowed him to be in multiple places at once. The newly acquired power proved useful until one of the duplicates was killed[8] during the "Our Worlds at War" storyline when half the team was lost on Apokolips. Bart quit Young Justice temporarily as the death of his duplicate led him to come to terms with his own mortality.

Following Max Mercury's disappearance, Bart was taken in by Jay Garrick, the first Flash, and his wife Joan. After the breakup of Young Justice, Bart joined some of his former teammates in a new line-up of the Teen Titans.[9]

Kid Flash

File:Kid Flash Bart.jpg
Bart as Kid Flash. Interior artwork from Teen Titans vol. 3, 4 (Dec, 2003). Art by Mike McKone.

Shortly after Bart joined the Teen Titans, he was shot in the knee by Deathstroke (who at the time was possessed by Jericho)[10] and received a prosthetic one. While recovering, Bart read every single book in the San Francisco Public Library and reinvented himself as the new Kid Flash. Once healed, the artificial knee did not affect his ability to run at speeds approaching that of light.[11] When Robin reminded him that by becoming Kid Flash, he would be forced to live in the Flash's shadow, Bart said firmly, "No, he'll be living in mine."

In the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, Bart assumed the mantle of the Flash after the current Flash died in a "Crisis". In this alternate future he was able to steal the speed of others, a power he used on his past self. This reality shows a grown Bart posing as a member of the so-called Titans of Tomorrow. However he is really a spy working on the behalf of Titans East, a resistance group led by the future Cyborg. Additionally, the future Bart is romantically involved with Rose Wilson, The Ravager.[12]

Infinite Crisis

Main article: Infinite Crisis

During the Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime attacked Conner Kent (Superboy) and injured or killed several Teen Titans, thus prompting Bart to stop his rampage. He accomplished this by running him at top speed into the Speed Force with the help of veteran speedsters Wally West and Jay Garrick. The feat took its toll on Garrick, who reached his limit before entering the Speed Force, and West, who turned into energy and vanished, leaving Bart alone in the fight against a vastly more powerful Superboy-Prime. Luckily for the young speedster, Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury, all of whom had been previously absorbed into the Speed Force, appeared and aided him.[13]

Bart spent four years in an alternate reality's Keystone City, where along with Wally, an alternate version of Jay Garrick and the ghosts of Max and Barry, Superboy-Prime managed to escape from his prison. The speedsters rallied together to return to their dimension. In an attempt to get there before Superboy-Prime, Bart absorbed the Speed Force using Wally's ring and Barry's costume to help him survive his journey.[14]

Wearing his grandfather's costume, an aged Bart reappeared in Tokyo just in time to fight alongside Superman and many other heroes in the Battle of Metropolis, unleashing his anger against Superboy-Prime for killing Conner Kent and so forcing the villain to retreat from battle. When the crisis was over, Bart explained to Jay where he had been and how the Speed Force was destroyed. Having used up the residual speed locked in his body in the fight for Metropolis, Bart gives Barry's costume to Jay proclaiming him "the fastest man alive".[15]

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive (2006-2007)

File:The Flash - The Fastest Man Alive 1 (2006).jpg
Bart Allen as the Flash. Variant incentive cover to The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (2006). Art by Andy & Joe Kubert.

Suddenly older than his friends, unable to remember his missing years, and harboring a secret—that the Speed Force was still around, and threatened to overwhelm him—Bart set about creating a normal, mundane life for himself. He got a job as a factory worker at Keystone Motors and tried to leave super-heroics behind him; however, trouble around him eventually led him to don the costume.

When his roommate gained super-powers and became the Griffin, Bart was forced to accept his legacy. He discovered that he had absorbed the Speed Force, and began learning how to control the power. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Bart Allen became the Flash. Not long after defeating the Griffin, the latest Flash moved to Los Angeles to start a new chapter in his life. As a civilian, Bart began training at the Los Angeles Police Academy, focusing on forensics.

Soon after donning the Flash identity, Bart was considered for Justice League membership and got particular support from Batman, who felt he was more than ready for the position. Robin contacted Bart and asked him to return to the Teen Titans. However, after fighting Steppenwolf with the newly reformed Justice League, Bart tried to join the League rather than rejoin the Titans.

When Bart confronted Captain Cold at his apartment, Zoom appeared and attacked Bart. Zoom apparently was enlisted by Bart's grandmother, Iris. It was later revealed that Iris only came to the past to warn her grandson about the Rogues (consisting of Abra Kadabra, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Pied Piper, the Trickster, Weather Wizard, and Captain Cold), led by Inertia, teaming up. Together they were trying to build a machine that would stop time. As their plan began to come to fruition, Bart was arrested for the fight with Steppenwolf, who was a New God.

Death and legacy

Bart revealed himself as the Flash in order to fight the Rogues. During the battle, it was revealed that the machine built by Inertia actually drains the Speed Force from an individual instead of freezing time. When the Rogues used it on the Flash, Bart's powers were stripped away from him, leaving him surrounded by the Rogues and leading to the appearance of the Black Flash. Inertia's machine proved unstable, however, and would destroy the West Coast if the Speed Force was not safely released from it. In order to buy Valerie time to release the Speed Force, Bart fought the Rogues before chasing after Inertia. After catching and beating Inertia, Bart again fought the Rogues. Panicked, Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Weather Wizard struck him down fatally.[1] His sacrifice saved thousands of lives.

Bart dies. Art by Tony Daniel.

Mourners held a candlelight vigil at the Flash Museum.[16] Outside of Titans Tower in San Francisco, a memorial statue of Bart in his Kid Flash uniform was placed next to the statue of Superboy.[1][17]

As Wally West's return to New Earth coincided exactly with Bart's death, Inertia alleged that Bart's loss of powers was a direct consequence of Wally absorbing the newly released Speed Force. However, no further blame was put on Wally, who then avenged his protégé by freezing Inertia's body in time but leaving his mind active. Inertia was put on display in a new area of the Flash Museum, dedicated to Bart's life. In Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge, Inertia was unfrozen and continued his rampage trying to kill Bart Allen's family, but was stopped by the Flash's enemy Zoom. Zoom revealed that he wanted Inertia to become the new Kid Flash. Inertia stole Zoom's time manipulation power, leaving Zoom unable to even walk, and renamed himself "Kid Zoom." The Rogues and Kid Zoom battled, and, Kid Zoom was incapacitated by the Pied Piper, at which point the Rogues killed him. The Rogues delivered Inertia's corpse to Keystone City with a message reading "Tell the Flash we're even – The Rogues."[18]

Marc Guggenheim, writer of the story arc in which Bart dies, has stated that this was an editorial decision, and that he was instructed that his five-issue run would have to end with Bart's death and the involvement of the Rogues.[19]

Keystone City held a funeral for Bart, in which Jay Garrick, Cyborg, Wonder Girl and Robin gave eulogies. At the end of his own speech, Robin played a video Bart made soon after he had taken on the mantle of Kid Flash. In it Bart relayed to his friends that no matter what happened to him, he would always be proud of having been a part of the Flash legacy, and how happy he was being a member of the Teen Titans.[20] Shortly after the Keystone funeral, a more private funeral was held for Bart at Titans Tower, where they erected a golden statue of Bart as Kid Flash beside the statue of Superboy.

During the Sinestro Corps invasion of Earth, Superboy-Prime's first act was to visit and defile Bart's grave which was inscribed "Bart Allen: The Flash". Superboy-Prime used his heat vision to cross out "The Fastest Man Alive" and write in its place "stupidest boy dead".

Return: Kid Flash Again

In Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds mini-series, Bart Allen returns as his teenage self in his Kid Flash attire when Brainiac 5 enacts phase two of his plan to defeat Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains. His resurrection is brought about by the activation of the "living lightning rod" first seen in The Lightning Saga.[4] Brainiac 5 explains that Bart was destined to die one way or another, because his leap from child to adult had jump-started Bart's hyper-accelerated aging again, and that had the Rogues not killed him, he would have been dead of old age within months. Because he is needed for the battle against Superboy-Prime, Brainiac 5 sends the Legion back to the 21st century to use Wally West's lightning bolt to house Bart's childlike Speed Force essence. In the 31st, he then uses the combined power of the Lightning Lads and Lighting Lasses, along with XS running on the cosmic treadmill, to release Bart from the Speed Force. Bart and XS make mention that they feel a new strength emanating from the Speed Force, suggesting they can feel Barry Allen's return, although Bart believes it to be Max Mercury instead.[21]

Soon after Bart's resurrection, Superboy is also resurrected by the Legion. Together the pair aid the Legion in defeating Superboy-Prime by having him destroy himself (literally). Bart tries to convince XS to return to the past with him, but she instead decides to stay in the future, getting to know their new Earth.[21]

Once returned to the present, Superman assembles the Teen Titans as well as the adult Titans together, and re-introduces them to Kid Flash and Superboy.[22]

The Flash: Rebirth

In the The Flash: Rebirth storyline, Bart quickly discovers that things had changed significantly since he had been away. Barry Allen, his grandfather and legendary speedster who had sacrificed himself against the battle with the Anti-Monitor, had also returned from the grave. At Teen Titans Tower West, where Robin and Wonder Girl have planned a welcome home party for Bart while everyone else is at the parades for Barry, Bart views his grandfather's return with skepticism, admitting a desire for things to "go back to the way it used to be". He wishes that Wally was still the primary Flash and he would still be his sidekick. Bart's bitterness, though, centers on feeling angry that Barry is the only one to escape the Speed Force and his former mentor, Max Mercury had not.[23]

Bart, along with others connected to the Speed Force, are struck with severe pain when Barry accidentally kills the speedster, Savitar by merely touching him. When Barry accidentally kills another evil speedster, it is revealed that he is now the new Black Flash.[24] The JLA and JSA work together to contain Barry in a machine that will sever his ties to the Speed Force. Bart rushes to the scene and confronts Barry over the reason why Max has not returned, but his grandfather cannot provide an answer. The Black Flash part of Barry quickly takes over, shattering the machine and attempting to reach out to the speedsters, including Bart, in the area. Barry is rushed away by his friends as Bart, Wally, Iris, and Jay look on.[25]

Superman tells Bart and the others that Barry has decided to run back into the Speed Force to protect them. Wally decides to follow Barry and bring him back, and Bart asks him to bring back Max. Shortly after Wally leaves, Linda contacts Jay and Bart to tell them that Professor Zoom, the Reverse-Flash, is at her house attacking Jai and Iris. Bart and Jay rush to the scene, and fight Professor Zoom through the city. During their fight, Professor Zoom criticizes Bart for being a pollutant in the Thawne line due to being a descendant of both an Allen and a Thawne. He bests Bart with ease and is about to stab him with his staff, when Max Mercury suddenly returns from the Speed Force. Bart is shocked and overjoyed by his mentor's return. Wally and Barry return as well and the group of speedsters charge the Reverse-Flash, ready for a fight.[26]

In the aftermath of the battle with the Reverse-Flash, an encounter with Jesse Chambers causes Wally's daughter Iris to manifest a connection to the Speed Force. Much to Bart's surprise, Iris decides to don Bart's old costume and become the new Impulse.[27]

Blackest Night

With Bart and Conner Kent's return, both of their statues are removed from the Titans Tower's memorial. However, Nekron, the "black personification" of Death, seeks to reclaim their lives during the Blackest Night crossover.[28] Bart, along with Wally, races across the globe to warn every hero of the Black Lantern Corps' invasion.[29] Bart later arrives at Coast City with Wally and scatters members of the Justice League and Teen Titans to take a stand against Nekron, who is responsible for the Black Lanterns. Despite being resurrected, Bart's previous status as a deceased still allows one of the undead lord's black rings to transform him into a Black Lantern.[29]

After his grandfather is chosen as a Blue Lantern by Ganthet of the Guardians of the Universe and leader of the Blue Lantern Corps, Bart immediately engages in battle with him.[30] Barry's blue power ring detects that Bart is still alive, but will die if he is not freed from the black ring soon. Barry nearly releases Bart from the black ring using blue energy constructs crafted in the images of Bart as Impulse and Kid Flash, before interference by Black Lantern versions of Professor Zoom and Solovar stops him. Wally and Blue Lantern Saint Walker join Barry to fight against them.[31] Bart attempts to use his speed powers to kill Wally, only to be temporarily returned to normal. Realizing that their mutual connection to the Speed Force can save Bart, Barry uses his powers to break the ring's connection, freeing him.[32]

Return to Titans

Sometime after Blackest Night, Bart and Conner are recruited by Cyborg to help rescue a current Titan by the name of Static, who had been kidnapped while visiting his hometown of Dakota. The three heroes arrive at the scene of a battle between the Teen Titans and a superhuman gangster named Holocaust, and intervene just as he is about to finish off the their comrades. Bart and Conner then comment that it's time for them to come out of "retirement" and rejoin the Teen Titans. Holocaust simply laughs and tells them to bring it, and Bart responds by saying "We were hoping you'd say that".[33] After a lengthy battle, Bart deals the finishing blow to the villain by running around him fast enough to open a vacuum which sucks him into the Earth's inner core.[34]

At the behest of Tim Drake, Bart travels to Gotham City and saves Selina Kyle from members of the League of Assassins while she is sleeping in her apartment. After knocking out the would-be killers, Bart remarks to Tim over the radio that Selina is "super-fine", and that this may be the best day of his life.[35]

Shortly after settling back in Titans Tower, Bart reveals to Conner that during his brief stay in the future, he went through a number of records and schematics concerning technology from the era. He also tells Conner that he is losing his memories of this future information due to the time stream being corrected, and that he is writing down everything he can remember.[36]


When Iris West Allen calls Barry home, she, Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Bart Allen are all troubled by the way that he has been isolating himself from everyone. Bart believes that Barry dislikes him and runs off until he is attacked by Hot Pursuit. Barry arrives too late, when Hot Pursuit discharges electricity at Bart with his baton and is engulfed in lightning.[37] However, Hot Pursuit mistakenly believes that Bart is not one of the anomalies that are affecting the timeline, known as the Flashpoint.[38]

The Earth is a changed alternate timeline, where Bart Allen wakes up in the 31st century in Brainiac's stasis pod chamber in 31st century and has lost his super-speed. After failing to avoid being re-captured by Brainiac, he is confronted by a female Hot Pursuit and with her help, pulls away from Brainiac. This Hot Pursuit reveals herself to be Patty Spivot, Barry Allen's assistant. Bart must find a way to get his super-speed back before being erased from existence.[39] Bart learns that Patty stole Hot Pursuit's motorcycle and has taken his place. Bart allows himself to be recaptured by Brainiac and is placed into a stasis pod, destroying Brainiac's security program from the inside. Patty holds of Brainiac and breaks an energy projector, which returns Bart's super-speed to him. Bart then runs through time to the 21st century, and promises Patty he will return and rescue her.[40] However, Bart's body was transforming into the Black Flash that had been controlled by the Speed Force, taking him to reduce the speedsters Max Mercury, Jay Garrick, and Wally West. Bart reversed from the Black Flash and runs into Barry, when he realizes that the Speed Force is encased for him. Bart is to be absorbed into the living embodiment of the Speed Force's light that gives Barry his power and tells him to save the world.[41]

The New 52

File:Kid Flash (Bart Allen) The New 52.jpg
Bar Torr as Kid Flash, on the cover to DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #12 (2015)
Art by Jorge Jimenez.

After the DC universe was rebooted in 2011, Teen Titans #1 opens with Bart six months prior to his first appearance, saving a mansion from a fire. He cannot explain how he is able to move at superhuman speeds, but he is certain that he has a connection to the Flash, and so begins to call himself "Kid Flash". The second issue identifies this Kid Flash as Bart Allen.[42] Virgil Hawkins, a brilliant intern from S.T.A.R. Labs, performs diagnostic tests on Bart and concludes that Bart is not from the 21st Century, indicating that he may possibly be from the 30th Century. Based on his test, Virgil presents Kid Flash with a new uniform, one that can keep his molecules aligned.[43] This Bart Allen is also hinted to be from the future as his flashes from the future [44] and the Legion Lost team's recollection of him from their history indicate.[45]

In Justice League of America's Vibe, Amanda Waller deduces from testing his abilities against Vibe's that Kid Flash draws power from the Speed Force, which Vibe is able to disrupt. When they accidentally touch, Kid Flash's past appears before Vibe's eyes, and he is shown to be a criminal from Earth's future. Kid Flash says he has no recollection of his past, nor why he has been sent back in time. The pair find the spot where he first arrived from Earth's future, which Kid Flash had been dreaming about for some time, but Bart flees the scene because he distrusts the JLA.[46] In The Flash #21, Kid Flash meets the Flash (Barry Allen). Barry learns Kid Flash is from the future and also senses that his powers do not stem from the Speed Force. Kid Flash claims that Bart Allen is not his real name, and refuses to say who gave it to him. He also denies the Flash the opportunity to share his own secret identity with Bart.[47]

Bart Allen's new origin story is later given in Teen Titans #25 and 26 (December 2013, January 14). His real name is explained to be Bar Torr, having been sent to the 21st century as part of a witness protection program ahead of his trial for terrible crimes.[48] A feared reactionary from a dystopian alien world Altros Prime in the far future, Bar Torr was the son of a religious couple who were murdered by the Purifiers, agents of the oppressive regime of the Functionary. An orphan, Bar managed to put his sister Shira into the care of a nunnery after many brutal years spent protecting her. Too young to kill any Purifiers himself, he joined their ranks instead. Following a space ship crash while smuggling contraband for the Purifiers, Torr discovered that by unknown means he had acquired healing abilities and incredible super speed, which he later used to get bloody revenge on the Purifiers, sending a message of hope to the oppressed people of his homeworld. He later assembled an army of reactionaries and began a full-scale rebellion against the Functionary which lasted many years, until members of his rebellion seriously injured an older Shira, who grew up on the side of the Functionary. This prompted Bar to turn himself in. Seeking penance, he promised the Functionary he would take down his own rebellion from the inside. While the prosecution assembled its case against Bar, he was sent back to the 21st century with a new personality and new memories, as Bart Allen, and only a lingering feeling that he was pursuing redemption.[49] In the present day, in the wake of an attack on the team by Johnny Quick of the Crime Syndicate, the prosecution retrieves Bart and brings him and the team to the future once again, where he awaits trial, and his friends learn of his past atrocities. During his trial, Kid Flash admits being guilty and the rest of his future resistance come and attack. During the fight Kid Flash and Superboy clash. During the fight Bart sees his sister. They speak and his sister convinces him to give up which he does. The fight ends and Bart is on trial again, and is sentenced to a prison planet. Solstice who doesn't want him to go says she loves him and will follow him anywhere kills a judge to be sent with him. After a brief goodbye with Red Robin they are sent away to prison.[48]

Powers and abilities

Bart's primary power is speed, along with abilities that are common to comics speedsters, such as creating whirlwinds, running on water and vibrating through matter. The latter ability results in "molecular taffy" if Bart does not concentrate; he also possesses an aura that prevents air friction while running. Bart does possess some abilities that other speedsters do not have. He has the ability to produce "scouts", Speed Force avatars that he can send through the timestream, but has used it infrequently since the death of one avatar put him in a coma during the "Our Worlds at War" storyline that crossed over among the Impulse, Superboy, and Young Justice titles. After being forced to use it during the "World Without Young Justice" crossover event, he was able and willing to use them with ease, up until he became Kid Flash.

Bart is resistant to the alterations in the time stream. His parents met only in post-Zero Hour continuity, but he arrived before the event. Bart has the ability to recall everything he has ever read, heard or watched (which includes speed-reading every book in the San Francisco Public Library), allowing him to spout encyclopedic information concerning the situation at hand as well as quotations from Mark Twain, of whose work he is fond.[9] He has also displayed the ability to create powerful radio waves by rotating his arms at high speeds and using the resulting vibrations in conjunction with his teammate Static's electromagnetic abilities.[50]

After Infinite Crisis, Bart's connection to the Speed Force is more difficult to control because he now contains the Speed Force and, in essence, is the Speed Force. When he taps into the Speed Force, Bart appears to have electricity crackling around him, and the Speed Force inside him becomes so lethal that he initially wears the Flash suit while running in order to prevent it from killing him.[51] After remembering his experiences on an alternate Earth during a fight with Griffin, he began to gain a measure of control over the Speed Force before it was released from his body just prior to his death.

Flash legacy

Since his first appearance in The Flash #91, Bart had been trained by several speed-endowed heroes such as Jay Garrick, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury. Prior to his reluctance to don the red and yellow, Bart showed a lot of enthusiasm toward his role as the future Flash. However, Wally West had a number of apprehensions about Bart, as shown by Wally's naming Jesse Quick as his successor and his refusal to deliver to Bart his invitation from Cyborg to join the latest incarnation of the Teen Titans. Bart took these acts in stride though, and, after Robin claimed that he will always live in the Flash's shadow, Bart even says that "the Flash will be in mine".[52]

Other versions

Numerous versions of Bart have appeared throughout comics.

Dark Tomorrow

Bart as an adult Impulse. Art by Carlo Berberi.

Following the death of Max Mercury and Helen Claiborne, Bart went back to the future to be with his mother, while his girlfriend Carol Bucklen came along. Carol began studying the Speed Force to use it for the benefit of humanity. The corrupt President Thawne, Bart's grandfather, took their research and made the Hyperguard, a group of hyper-fast soldiers. The adult Carol managed to pull her younger self and Bart into the future. Bart ended up preventing Max's and Helen's death, thus preventing this reality from happening. This reality appeared in Impulse #73-75.

Titans Tomorrow

Bart as the new Flash during the Titans Tomorrow storyline. Art by Mike McKone.

Bart was a crucial part of the Titans Tomorrow storyline. Here, Wally West was dead and Bart was the new Flash. The Teen Titans were now fanatic superheroes controlling the western United States. However, Bart was really a spy for Titans East, a rebel group led by Cyborg and Bumblebee. He seemed to have a romantic relationship with Rose Wilson.

The Titans Tomorrow group has recently returned, where it was revealed that due to Bart's recent death, the future timeline has been altered so these versions of him and Conner are actually clones of the originals, created by the alternate future version of Tim Drake. However, unlike his previous future self, the cloned Bart is completely on the side of his fascist teammates.[53]

Time and Tempest

Another alternate future is showcased in The Ray #25-26. Here Bart, Ray Terrill, and Triumph were "three rich guys with superpowers". Bart was in love with Ray's girlfriend, whom Ray treated like dirt. However, Bart realized that he did not have a chance with her either and ended up knocking Ray out and leaving him, not knowing that hitmen were on their way.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Bart is Kid Flash in this reality, and he, Superboy, and Beast Boy were heading to an Italian restaurant in Metropolis on the day the Joker's nuclear bomb went off, killing Bart and Beast Boy.

Legion of Super-Heroes (TV series)

In a comic based upon the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, Bart Allen made a guest appearance as Impulse. When Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel got trapped in a Virtual Reality game, they met up with Impulse, who aided them in saving the Virtual World that Bart was forced to live in (due to his hyper-accelerated growth) from being destroyed.


In the continuation of the Smallville TV show, Smallville Season 11, Bart reappears in the arc "Haunted" [54] teaming with Superman, and taking down Psimon in the streets of Metropolis. They get a message from Watchtower to stop Monsieur Mallah and Brain in Paris, robbing the Musée du Louvre, and in the middle of the fight, Bart gets "flashes of a speed demon" but prevail against the duo. Bart and Clark go on a quest to find Jay Garrick, the first speedster for knowledge to stop the demon. Bart sacrifices himself in a final altercation with the demon.[55] Bart's appearance here is different: he has shaved blonde hair and has a suit resembling Jay Garrick's original costume. In the following story arc, Argo while Clark celebrates victory following the defeat of Doomsday with the help of Kara and the Legion of Super-Heroes, he sees a young Bart to his surprise.

In other media



Impulse in the initial Justice League proposal.
  • In the original Kids WB pitch for the Justice League animated series, Robin, Impulse, and a teenage female version of Cyborg were to be seen as junior members of the League. It was later decided to avoid their introduction, so as to avoid making Justice League seem like the old Super Friends series. The corresponding short animation is available as a bonus on the season one DVD of Justice League.[56]
  • Bart Allen appears as Kid Flash in an episode of Mad, voiced by Jason Marsden. He joins the other superheroes in a musical number that asks Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman about being called "Super Friends." His part involved telling them that they would prove their worth if they sit through Twilight with him.
  • Jason Marsden reprises his role as Bart Allen in the Young Justice episode "Bloodlines". He is first seen in the year 2056 working on a time machine and being wished a farewell from an unknown person in a Belle Reve jumpsuit. He then travels back to the year 2016 and is transported inside Mount Justice where he is confronted by Nightwing, Robin, and Beast Boy. After trying to escape, he is stopped by Nightwing. He tells the three heroes that he is the grandson of Barry Allen and Iris West Allen and that he is a time-traveling tourist, but they could call him Impulse. To prove that he is from the future, he reveals the secret identities of all three heroes. Impulse then escapes and heads to Central City to meet his family. When he meets his grandparents, he inadvertently reveals that his grandmother is pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl, and also meets the retired Flash, Jay Garrick, and the retired Kid Flash, Wally West (who is Allen's first cousin once removed). The reunion is cut short when a villain calling himself Neutron attacks Central City. Impulse joins his grandfather and cousin in fighting the villain. During the battle, it is revealed that he's actually faster than Kid Flash and close to Flash's speed. When it seems that Neutron is going to overload and explode for a second time, Flash attempts to take him to the desert. This attempt fails when Impulse joins him and seems to accidentally trip the both of them. Neutron explodes again, but the two are saved by Kid Flash and Jay Garrick. Impulse then returns to the regenerating Neutron and throws an unknown device at him, which turns him into an ordinary human. When the other heroes ask him what happened, Impulse claims he has no idea how Neutron became human again. Later on back at the Mount Justice, Nightwing confirms through a DNA test that Impulse is who he claims to be. Impulse then enters his time machine intending to return to the future, but the machine was damaged and he claims that he has no idea how to fix it. The episode ends showing a flashback to 2056, just before Allen leaves for the past. The unknown person is revealed to be an older Neutron, who gives Allen the device that can cure him and informs him that he will not be able to return to the future. The flashback also reveals that Allen is going back to the past to save his grandfather's life and save the future. After he leaves Neutron is altered out of his jumpsuit into regular clothes, only to realize that nothing else changed. In the episode "Before the Dawn", it is revealed that his main reason for coming to the past was to stop Blue Beetle from becoming evil and causing a Reach apocalypse. In the series finale, "Endgame," Bart becomes the new Kid Flash after the apparent death of Wally West.

Live action

File:Run Smallville.jpg
Kyle Gallner as Bart Allen in Smallville's episode "Run".
  • An episode of Smallville entitled "Run" featured a speedster named Bart Allen, portrayed by Kyle Gallner. Bart also carried around identification with the names "Jay Garrick", "Barry Allen", and "Wally West", the first three Flashes in the main DC Universe. He was portrayed as a self-centered teenager who used his powers as a thief for personal gain, although he showed signs of changing his ways by the end of the episode when he helped Clark save his father. As a sort of in-joke, he flirted with Chloe Sullivan and told her that he is from 100 years in the future (he jokingly claimed that they were still in love by that point). At the end of the episode, after Bart said that he will travel the world to find others like him and Clark, maybe starting "a club or a league or something", Clark and Bart had a race; just as Clark seemed to be catching up to him, Bart turned and gave him a slight wave and disappeared into the distance. Gallner reprised his role in the season six episode "Justice", using the codename Impulse and wearing a costume of sorts for the first time on air. He appeared as part of a team led by Green Arrow. According to Green Arrow, he found Bart one night in Star City during one of his patrols and saw that he was about to help himself to a "free meal", but, seeing goodness in Bart, he helped give him "direction". Along with Aquaman and Cyborg, they formed a team to stop Lex Luthor and his LuthorCorp 33.1 project, the group rescuing Bart from a lab after he was captured. During missions, he was called "Impulse," a name he did not choose himself, much like in the comics. He was composed as more of a fusion of various Flash traits and personalities. When Clark and Lex disappeared from the arctic in the Fortress of Solitude, Bart and Victor Stone searched the entire southern hemisphere for them and found nothing. Later, Oliver mentioned that Clark went on a JL mission with Bart in Keystone City and he was seen along with AC, Victor, and Dinah on Chloe's computer screens in the Isis Foundation. Kyle Gallner returned once again in the season 8 finale "Doomsday" to help Clark fight his biggest enemy yet. However, he eventually turned his back on Clark in order to save him. He was last seen at Jimmy Olsen's funeral, and Chloe later mentioned to Clark that Bart, along with teammates Oliver and Dinah, disappeared from the face of the Earth and that she feared the worst. Bart's name is mentioned in the season 9 episode "Escape" when Clark tells Chloe that Bart is in town for the weekend. Impulse gets later mentioned (by codename) in the season 9 episode "Checkmate" by Amanda Waller, demanding to know everyone who had ever worked with Watchtower (a.k.a. Clark and Chloe).[57] In the season 10 episode "Icarus", Impulse attends Carter Hall's funeral but his face is not shown. In the Season 11 comic book continuation of the television series, Bart sacrifices his life, sending the Black Flash into the Speed Force, along with himself. However, Clark later meets a mother and a child when he time travels to the 30th century, and the latter's name is revealed to be "Bartholomew Allen" and he bears a resemblance to his namesake, suggesting a possibility that the boy is a descendent of Bart thus giving Clark hope that he is still alive.
  • In the Arrow/Flash crossover episode "The Brave and the Bold", Captain Quentin Lance mistakenly calls Barry Allen, Bart Allen.

Collected editions

Stories featuring Bart Allen from The Flash, Impulse and The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive have been collected into trade paperback:

Title Material collected
Impulse: Reckless Youth The Flash) #92-94
Impulse #1-6
The Flash: Dead Heat The Flash #108-111
Impulse #9-11
The Flash Presents: Mercury Falling Impulse #62-67
The Flash The Fastest Man Alive: Lightning in a Bottle The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1-6
The Flash The Fastest Man Alive - Full Throttle The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #7-13
DCU Holiday Special
The Brave and the Bold: Demons and Dragons The Brave and the Bold #13-16, The Brave and the Bold #181, The Flash #107, Impulse #17


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  3. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes #61; Zero Hour: Crisis in Time (September 1994)
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  5. ^ Flash #92 (July 1994)
  6. ^ The Flash #95 (November 1995)
  7. ^ New Titans #126 (October 1995)
  8. ^ Impulse #77 (October 2001)
  9. ^ a b Teen Titans #1 (September 2003)
  10. ^ Teen Titans #2 (October 2003)
  11. ^ Teen Titans #4 (December 2003)
  12. ^ Teen Titans #18 (2004)
  13. ^ Infinite Crisis #4 (March 2006)
  14. ^ Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #6 (January 2007)
  15. ^ Infinite Crisis #7 (June 2006)
  16. ^ Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13 (June 2007)
  17. ^ Teen Titans #50 (August 2007)
  18. ^ All-Flash #1 (July 2007)
  19. ^ Rogers, Vaneta; Brady, Matt (25 July 2007). "Flash Forward" (1049 ed.). Comic Shop News, Inc 
  20. ^ Countdown #43
  21. ^ a b Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 (April 2009)
  22. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (July 2009)
  23. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009)
  24. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #2 (May 2009)
  25. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #3 (June 2009)
  26. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #4 (August 2009)
  27. ^ The Flash: Rebirth #5 (November 2009)
  28. ^ Blackest Night #1 (September 2009)
  29. ^ a b Blackest Night #5 (January 2010)
  30. ^ Blackest Night #6 (February 2010)
  31. ^ Blackest Night: Flash #2 (March 2010)
  32. ^ Blackest Night: Flash #3 (April 2010)
  33. ^ Teen Titans #81
  34. ^ Teen Titans #82
  35. ^ "DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » Startling revelations in RED ROBIN #12". 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  36. ^ Teen Titans #88
  37. ^ The Flash #11 (April 2011)
  38. ^ The Flash #12 (May 2011)
  39. ^ Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1 (June 2011)
  40. ^ Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2 (July 2011)
  41. ^ Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3 (August 2011)
  42. ^ Teen Titans #1
  43. ^ Teen Titans (Volume 4) #6
  44. ^ Teen Titans #8
  45. ^ LEGION LOST #9
  46. ^ Justice League of America's Vibe #3 (April 2013)
  47. ^ The Flash #21 (July 2013)
  48. ^ a b Teen Titans #25
  49. ^ Teen Titans #26
  50. ^ Teen Titans #84
  51. ^ Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #3 (October 2006)
  52. ^ Teen Titans #5 (January 2004)
  53. ^ Teen Titans #51
  54. ^ Smallville season 11 #9
  55. ^ Smallville season 11 #13
  56. ^ "The World's Finest - Justice League". Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  57. ^ "Smallville Spoilers at the KryptonSite Spoilers Page". Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 

External links