Top Facts and Evolution of the Fastest Cartoon Characters

The Flash is a collective term referring to generations of DC Comics superheroes, which have the skill of moving fastest. They also have other powers, which include the ability to react faster and go against some laws of physics. Over the years, cartoon characters from various occupations have developed the qualities of the Flash either accidentally or by virtue of their lineage. Superhero animated characters of DC Comics get their powers from the Speed Force – energy generated by the universe.

flash family

The Flash Origin of the Fastest Cartoon Characters

  • Jay Garrick


The Flash made its maiden appearance in 1940’s Golden Age Flash Comics. The character was created by Harry Lampert and Gardner Fox. Jay Garrick was a college goer. One day, he happened to breathe in hard water vapors while sleeping and became The Flash. Two decades later, in the 1960s, the story of origin went through a slight modification. It revealed that it was through an encounter with heavy water that Jay had become The Flash.

Jay Garrick as The Flash became one of the popular cartoons and was spotted in the editions of Flash Comics as well as in All-Flash Quarterly. He was also a part of the first team of superhero cartoon characters called Justice Society of America. In 1949, the last Flash Comics featured The Flash with negative qualities. It was called Rival.

  • Barry Allen
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Post Second World War, the popularity of superhero cartoons came down considerably. However, a few years later, DC Comics came with the idea of re-launching the cartoon characters in a new avatar. The Flash was the first one of the animated characters to receive a makeover from Carmine Infantino (cartoonist), and John Broome and Robert Kanigher (writers). The first comics came on the stands in 1956 by the name of Showcase.

The character’s name was Barry Allen and he was a police scientist. He becomes the Flash when a shelf stacked with chemicals falls on him. However, Barry calls himself the Flash only after reading a Flash Comics featuring Jay Garrick. This Flash was well received by the readers and with it followed the makeover of other cartoon characters too. In the edition called Flash of Two Worlds, it was revealed the Flash could time travel. Hence, in the comics, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen cartoons were shown together. They met and developed a bond of friendship.

Barry Allen as the Flash continued to entertain people for more than two decades before coming to an end in 1985. By the early 1980s, DC Comics realized how Barry Allen’s life had become complicated so they decided to write him off and create another Flash character. The last edition was called Crisis on Infinite Earths. In it, the Flash fights one of the terrific battles with other cartoons and dies a hero’s death.

  • Wally West
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The third Flash did not need much introduction because he had appeared in earlier editions of Barry Allen’s Flash Comics. His name was Wally West, who was Barry’s nephew. He first appeared in 1959 edition of The Flash and was then called Kid West. During a visit to Barry Allen’s laboratory, a shelf full of chemical bottles is hit by lightning and Wally is soaked in chemicals. Just like his uncle, Wally too gains the ability to move faster than every other being on the earth as well as travel through time. Before becoming the Flash, Wally was a member of Teen Titans, a team of teenage superhero animated characters. Wally featured in the 12th edition of Crisis on Infinite Earths. In it, after the death of Barry Allen, Wally wears his suit and becomes the newest Flash. In 1987, Wally as the Flash began his series, which carried on for 19 years and ended in January 2006.

  • Bart Allen


Bart Allen was Barry Allen’s grandson. He suffered from a disease, which caused him to age rapidly. In order to protect him, he was kept in a machine but his grandmother, Iris, wife of Barry Allen, wanted him to be cured. She removed Bart from the machine and time traveled to reach Wally West – The then Flash. Wall could slow down the aging process. Thereafter, Bart became a Teen Titans member and took up the name Impulse.

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Bart Allen’s becoming of the Flash was genetic. However, for years he believed he had no powers because of the disappearance of the Speed Force. Nevertheless, the Force had not disappeared completely and some of it had entered Bart’s body. Soon after realizing the fact, Bart wore a similar suit to the one worn by Wally West the Flash and became the latest Flash. In the 13th edition of Flash Comics, Bart is murdered by the Rogues.

  • Who was the Flash after Bart Allen?

Since the Flash can travel back and forth in time, the animated characters are resurrected by DC Comics from time to time. Bart Allen after his death appeared in the 3rd edition of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. As per writer Geoff Johns, Bart will appear in The Flash: Rebirth and will play key role in it.

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