The Flash (Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen) is a fictional superhero who appears in comics published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Showcase #4 (October 1956), created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino. His name combines talk show hosts Barry Gray and Steve Allen. Barry Allen is a reinvention of a previous character called the Flash that had appeared in 1940s comic books as the character Jay Garrick.
His power consists mainly of superhuman speed. Various other effects such as intangibility are also attributed to his ability to control the speed of molecular vibrations. The Flash wears a distinct red and gold costume treated to resist friction and wind resistance, traditionally storing the costume compressed inside a ring.
Barry Allen’s classic stories introduced the concept of the Multiverse to DC Comics, and this concept played a large part in DC’s various continuity reboots over the years. The Flash has traditionally always had a significant role in DC’s major company-wide reboot stories, and in 1985’s crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry Allen died saving the Multiverse, removing the character from the regular DC lineup for 23 years. His return to regular comics occurred subsequently in 2008 within the pages of Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis crossover story and Geoff Johns’ accompanying The Flash: Rebirth limited series. He has since played a pivotal role in the crossover stories Blackest Night (2009), Flashpoint (2011), Convergence (2015), and DC Rebirth (2016).
The character has appeared in various adaptations in other media. John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen in the 1990 CBS television series and Grant Gustin currently plays him in the 2014 The CW television series. Alan Tudyk, George Eads, James Arnold Taylor, Taliesin Jaffe, Dwight Schultz, Michael Rosenbaum, Neil Patrick Harris, Justin Chambers, Christopher Gorham, Josh Keaton, Adam DeVine, and others have provided the character’s voice in animation adaptations. In feature films, he is played by Ezra Miller in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, followed by Justice League in 2017 and a solo film called Flashpoint in the works.