The Flash (Bartholomew Henry "Barry" Allen) is a fiction character, a superhero in the DC Comics universe. He is the second character known as the Flash. The character first appeared in Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956), created by writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome and penciler Carmine Infantino. His name is a portmanteau of those of talk show hosts Barry Gray and Steve Allen. His death in 1985 removed the character from the regular DC lineup for 23 years. His return to regular comics occurred in 2008 within the pages of Grant Morrison's Final Crisis limited series.
As presented in Justice League of America #9, when the Earth is infiltrated by alien warriors sent to conquer the planet, some of the world's greatest heroes join forces—Allen is one of them. While the superheroes individually defeat most of the invaders, they fall prey to a single alien and only by working together are they able to defeat the warrior. Afterwards the heroes decide to found the Justice League of America.
During the years, he is depicted as feeling attracted to Black Canary and Zatanna, but he never pursues a relationship because he feels his real love is Iris West. Allen also becomes good friends with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), which would later be the subject of the limited series Flash and Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold.
In The Flash # 123 – "Flash of Two Worlds," – Allen is transported to Earth-Two where he meets Jay Garrick, the original Flash in DC Continuity; it is revealed that Jay Garrick's adventures were captured in comic book form on Earth-One. This storyline initiated DC's multiverse and was continued in issues of Flash and in team-ups between the Justice League of America of Earth-One and the Justice Society of America of Earth-Two. In the classic story from Flash #179 – "The Flash - Fact or Fiction?" – Allen is thrown into the universe eventually called Earth Prime, a representation of "our" universe, where he seeks the aid of the Flash comic book's editor Julius Schwartz to build a cosmic treadmill so that he can return home.
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