Quote1.png I am normal. It's the rest of the world that's weird. Quote2.png
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Bart Allen was a teenage speedster and a member of the Flash Family who went by several code names. He was born in the 30th Century, the grandson of time-traveling speedster Barry Allen, although he returned to the past to continue his family's legacy. Because of his strange origins, he aged at an inconsistent rate. Originally, he took the name Impulse to reflect his impulsive nature, but later changed his alias to Kid Flash when he grew older. There was a brief period when he became The Flash after Infinite Crisis, but he was killed by the Rogues during Full Throttle. Later on, he was resurrected during Final Crisis through his connection to the Speed Force and returned to his role as Kid Flash, before sacrificing himself during Flashpoint. Bart Allen was a member of the New Titans, Young Justice, the Teen Titans, and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Early Life

Bart Allen was the product of the union between two families who had been bitter rivals for centuries. His father, Don Allen, was the son of Barry Allen, the second Flash, and his mother was Meloni Thawne, daughter of the Earthgov president and descendant of Flash villains Cobalt Blue and Professor Zoom.

Shortly after Bart's birth, his family was attacked by Zoom, wishing to end the union of the rival families. They, along with the family of Don's sister Dawn, attempted to flee to a parallel Earth using the Cosmic Treadmill. However, Zoom sabotaged the device, causing an explosion which created a rift in the multiverse. Zoom was ultimately defeated by an army of three different Legions of Super-Heroes, but Bart and his family were subsequently stranded on Earth-247.[2]

Bart arrives in the past.

Bart arrives in the past.

Bart was born with his grandfather's speed. He had an incredibly high metabolism and also aged at hyperspeed. When he was chronologically 2 years old, physically, he appeared 12 years old. President Thawne had the Dominators kill Don and his twin sister, Dawn Allen. The Dominators then abducted Bart, who was later captured by Earthgov for observation and experimentation, including the creation of the clone, Inertia. The scientists of Earthgov raised him in a virtual reality environment so that he aged as swiftly mentally as he did physically. Bart was going to die of old age very quickly, with Earthgov not doing anything to fix his problem. His grandmother Iris West took him away and brought him back to the 20th century, so that her nephew, Wally West, the third Flash, could show him how to control his speed.

He later adopted the superheroic identity of Impulse.

Impulse

Bart as Impulse.

Bart as Impulse.

After Wally helped him solve his aging problem and Bart helped Wally defeat Kobra, Bart moved to Manchester, Alabama with Max Mercury. Max had used his connections to supply Bart with a birth certificate, etc. Bart began the ninth grade at Manchester Junior High. He managed to make quite a few friends, chief among them Carol Bucklen. Max continued to train him in the art of superspeed, having him run obstacle courses while dodging axes and knives, solve jigsaw puzzles in mid-air, etc., ultimately enlisting his aid to battle his old foe, Savitar. During this time, Bart served a brief stint with the New Titans before becoming one of the founding members of Young Justice.

After Max became lost in the Speed Force, Bart was taken in by Jay Garrick, the first Flash, and his wife Joan Garrick.

Kid Flash

Bart as Kid Flash.

Bart as Kid Flash.

Following the breakup of Young Justice, Bart joined the new Teen Titans. He soon had his kneecap blown out by Deathstroke (who was at the time possessed by Jericho). While recovering from surgery, Bart read every single book in the San Francisco Public Library and reinvented himself as the new Kid Flash. Even with an artificial kneecap, he could still run close to light speed. After Superboy-Prime attacked Superboy (Conner Kent) in Smallville, injuring and killing many Titans, Bart joined with Wally West and Jay Garrick to stop the rampage of Superboy-Prime by running him at top speed into the Speed Force. Jay reached his limit before entering the Speed Force and Wally turned into energy and vanished, leaving Bart alone with Superboy-Prime. Barry Allen, Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, all of whom had previously been absorbed into the Speed Force, appeared and aided Bart. After taking Superboy-Prime into the Speed Force, Barry told Bart that "Wally is waiting for you." After they disappeared, Jay claimed that the Speed Force was gone.

Grandfather and grandson team-up against Superboy-Prime.

Grandfather and grandson team-up against Superboy-Prime.

A speedster wearing Barry's costume returned in Tokyo shortly thereafter to warn of the return of Superboy-Prime. This same Flash, still wearing Barry Allen's costume, would appear in the middle of the Battle of Metropolis against the army of escaped super villains. Superboy-Prime reveals that the person in the Flash costume is Bart Allen, aged 4 years older. Bart explains to the nearby Wonder Girl (who was surprised by her fellow Titan's transformation) that his grandfather's uniform was the only thing that could survive the trip back from where he had been, and that he was the only one there "who could still run." Bart then unleashed his anger against Superboy-Prime for killing Conner Kent, pummeling him at superspeed and forcing Superboy-Prime to retreat from the battle. When the crisis was over, Bart explained to Jay that he spent years in an unknown dimension where time passed quicker, causing him to grow older. Bart confirmed that the Speed Force was destroyed and he used up the residual speed locked in his body fighting in Metropolis. He gave Barry's costume to Jay and said Jay was now the fastest man alive once again.

Flash: The Fastest Man Alive

Bart as The Flash.

Bart as The Flash.

Bart shunned his superheroic past for the next year. He received a job working at Keystone Motors and began sharing an apartment with another young man named Griffin Grey. However, he was still connected to the Speed Force, but the connection threatened to kill him. S.T.A.R. Labs modified one of his grandfather's old costumes to help him control his connection. While at first he refused to don the costume, he finally gave in and became the fourth Flash. He also began a relationship with S.T.A.R. Labs employee Valerie Perez.

Bart decided to get a fresh start and moved to Los Angeles, applying for a job in forensics with their police department.

Inertia hired the Rogues to help him build a device in Los Angeles with the purpose of transferring the Speed Force from Bart to himself. Despite warnings from his grandmother, Bart confronted them.

The Death of Bart Allen.

The Death of Bart Allen.

The machine was successful in removing his powers, but in doing so, it threatened to detonate with the energy of several atomic bombs. Bart sacrificed himself heroically, distracting the Rogues while Val deactivated the machine.[3]

Bart returns as Kid Flash.

Bart returns as Kid Flash.

A funeral was held for Bart in a stadium in Keystone City. It was attended by a large number of costumed heroes, including his former Teen Titans teammates Robin, Wonder Girl, Raven and Beast Boy, and televised around the world. Eulogies were given by some of his old friends, including Jay Garrick, who revealed Bart's secret identity to the world. The funeral ended with the presentation of a video he had recorded shortly after becoming Kid Flash, to be shown in the event of his death.[4]

During Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, XS charged a lightning rod with the assistance of different versions of Garth and Ayla Ranzz in order to restore Bart to life. Bart returned as a teenager again and he received his Kid Flash costume ring from Brainiac 5.[2]

The Flash: Rebirth

Bart initially viewed the return of his grandfather, Barry Allen, with skepticism, admitting a desire for things to "go back to the way it used to be" with Wally as the primary Flash and himself as Kid Flash. Bart asked Barry why Max was unable to come back, while the JLA tried to decontaminate Barry of Zoom's Speed Force. Bart and Jay were then attacked by Zoom, who especially hated Bart because he was both a Thawne and an Allen.[5]

Bart and Wally were present when Barry brought back Max Mercury from the Speed Force, (Barry was unable to bring back Johnny Quick, as he had already been "killed" by Professor Zoom's Negative Speed Force) and Bart was overjoyed to see his old mentor again.

Bart, Barry, Wally, Max, Jay, Jesse Quick, and Iris West II (now taking up Bart's mantle as Impulse) and the Justice Society and the Justice League then helped Barry strip Zoom of his connection to his Speed Force.[6]

Blackest Night

With Bart and Conner Kent's return, both of their statues were removed from the Titans Tower "Hall of Fallen Titans" memorial. However, Nekron, the personification of Death, sought reclaim their lives during the Blackest Night crossover.[7] Bart, along with Wally, raced across the globe to warn every hero of the Black Lantern Corps' invasion. Bart later arrived at Coast City with Wally and scattered members of the Justice League and Teen Titans to take a stand against Nekron, who was responsible for the Black Lanterns. Despite being resurrected, Bart's previous status as a deceased still allowed one of the undead lord's black rings to transform him into a Black Lantern.[8]

Bart as White Lantern.

Bart as White Lantern.

After his grandfather was chosen as a Blue Lantern by Ganthet of the Guardians of the Universe and leader of the Blue Lantern Corps, Bart immediately engaged battle with him.[9] Barry's blue power ring detected that Bart was still alive but he would eventually die if not freed from the black ring soon. Barry nearly released Bart from the black ring using blue energy constructs crafted in the images of Bart as Impulse and Kid Flash, before being interfered by Black Lantern versions of Professor Zoom and Solovar. Wally and Blue Lantern Bro'Dee Walker joined Barry against them.[10] Bart attempted 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 used his powers to break the ring's connection, freeing his grandson.[11]

Return to the Teen Titans

Titans Together!

Titans Together!

Sometime after Blackest Night, Bart and Conner were 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 arrived at the scene of a battle between the Teen Titans and a superhuman gangster named Holocaust, and intervened just as he was about to finish off their comrades. Bart and Conner then commented that it was time for them to come out of "retirement" and rejoin the Teen Titans. Holocaust simply laughed and told them to bring it, and Bart responded by saying, "We were hoping you'd say that."[12] After a lengthy battle, Bart dealt the finishing blow to the villain by running around him fast enough to open a vacuum that sucked him into the Earth's inner core.[13]

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

Kid Flash Lost

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This section of the history takes place during Flashpoint, a massive crossover event set in an alternate timeline to the mainstream DCU. History was completely changed when Professor Zoom finally found a way to erase his nemesis the Flash without harming his own legacy.

Lost in time.

Lost in time.

Bart's second stint with the Teen Titans was cut short when he was captured by Brainiac and taken to the future of the Flashpoint universe. Brainiac sought to study Bart because he was a time anomaly, but Bart managed to escape and ran into the Speed Force to try to get back home. But he became connected to the Black Flash and was flung around through time, forced to absorb power from other speedsters. Eventually, Bart encountered his grandpa, Barry Allen, as he was trying to undo the events of Flashpoint. Bart transformed into the White Flash and realized that Barry didn't have enough speed to change reality. So Bart chose to transfer all the energy he accumulated into Barry, withering away in the process, just as Barry did during Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Powers

  • Speed Force Conduit: Speed force conduits possess a connection to the Speed Force, a cosmic force that allows its users to push the boundaries that keep time and space. As a conduit of the Speed Force, all aspects of their physiology are accelerated and enhanced.[14]
    • Accelerated Healing: By having a connection to the speed force, every speed force conduit has an incredibly fast healing factor and can heal from most injuries in seconds and devastating injuries in minutes.[15]
    • Enhanced Senses: The Speed Force enhances the speedster's senses, allowing them to perceive and process thoughts faster than the normal person.[16]
    • Phasing: Speed Force conduits can tap into the Speed Force to vibrate their molecules in a way to achieve intangibility for short bursts, allowing them to phase through objects.[17]
    • Speed Force Aura: The Speed Force manifests an aura around the speedster and whatever they are carrying, protecting them from adverse effects of their speed, such as friction with the air.[18]
      • Superhuman Durability: The Speed Force Aura also protects speedsters from kinetic impacts, which in turn, makes them much more durable and resistant to injury than any normal human.[19]
    • Superhuman Stamina: The Speed Force grants its conduits with a great increase of stamina, allowing them to fight or run much longer than the average person. Although a great increase, it is not unlimited.[16]
    • Superhuman Speed: The universal factor of being a Speed Force conduit grants its user with imperceptible amounts of speed. All powers that conduits possess derives from their speed.[16]. This also confers:
      • Superhuman Agility: The speedster's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to superhuman levels. This allows them to easily maneuver while moving at superhuman speed.[16]
      • Superhuman Reflexes: In conjunction with their enhanced senses, The speedster's reflexes are heightened immesurably, allowing them to dodge or react faster than normal.[16]
    • Vortex Creations: Speed Force conduits are able to create vortices of air by running in circles or rotating their extremities at super-speed. These vortices can be used for a number of effects.[20]
    • Enhanced Mental Process: The Speed Force enhances Bart's mental capacity to levels greater than any normal human, allowing him to take in and process information at an accelerated rate. While most speedsters will eventually forget information they rapidly receive, Bart does not.[21]
    • Invisibility: By vibrating his atoms and molecules at the right frequency, Bart can turn invisible.[22]
    • Electrokinesis: As a conduit of the Speed Force, Bart generates large amounts of electrical Speed Force energy from his body. This Speed Force Lightning emanates off of him especially when moving at super-speeds. Bart was able to charge his hand with the lightning to electrocute Jay Garrick, in order to restart his heart.[23]
    • Speed Scouts: Bart has the ability to create "scouts", which are energy-like avatars of himself which he could send through the time-stream, then absorb their memories when they returned.[24]
    • Decelerated Aging: Along with every speedster that draws from the speed force, the loved ones of the speedsters will gain eternal youth like Jay's wife and Barry's wife ages have shown.[25]
    • Speed Force Empathy: Bart can sense when another Speed Force conduit is troubled, and can be drawn to the location of that speedster.[26]

Abilities

  • Photographic Memory: Unlike other speedsters, Bart has a true photographic memory; that is, he can permanently remember everything he has ever read, seen or heard. Other speedsters generally lose that information almost as fast as they gain it.[26][21][27]
  • Multilingualism: Bart can speak both English and Interlac fluently (he hardly ever makes use of the latter, despite it technically being his native language), and presumably more on a basic level due to his speed-learning.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Was trained by the Teen Titans,[28] Red Robin and the LAPD in combat.[3] He also has the complete knowledge of the human anatomy, which he's willing to exploit if the need is necessary.[3] Bart has fought off an army of speed enhanced assassins alongside the rest of the Flash Family.[29]
  • Criminology: During his time as the Flash, Bart attended Forensics Classes at the LAPD and applied a job as a Forensic Scientist like his Grandfather.[31]
  • Hypnosis: Bart once taught himself hypnosis and used it to hypnotize Lil' Lobo into suppressing his violent tendencies. The hypnosis was not a perfect job, but it was successful enough to keep the Top Teen calm for a dinner date.[32]

Weaknesses

  • Illness (Formerly): Bart has suffered hyper-accelerated metabolism, causing accelerated aging.
  • Artificial Kneecap: Bart suffered from a blast wound to his kneecap and had to get it replaced with a prosthetic, thanks to Jericho possessing Deathstroke.[33][34][21]

Equipment


  • Max Mercury trained Impulse to get a proper handle on his powers.[35]
  • Bart can move so fast that he can operate in stop-time, keeping up with Wally West and Jason Garrick.[36]
  • Bart had been quoted on several occasions stating that he would never become Kid Flash.[citation needed]
  • Bart had expressed a romantic interest in Rose Wilson, the Ravager. The feeling seemed to be mutual, as Rose once described him as "cute."[37][38] And an alternate timeline, adult versions of Bart and Rose did become lovers.
  • Bart once channeled the Speed Force in the form of lightning to kick-start Jay Garrick's heart.[39]
  • Both Superboy and Impulse once commented on how "their" comics had been canceled yet some heroes, who were no less worthy just seem to go on, at this point Robin walked in and both of his friends gave him the "evil" eye when he asked, "What?"[40]
  • Bart strongly disliked the band Hanson.[41][42]
  • Batman was credited with giving Bart the "Impulse" moniker.[43] Although Bart introduced himself as Impulse during Zero Hour, choosing the name from Wally West's frequent complaints about his impulsive behavior. Batman was the first person to address Bart as Impulse, creating the confusion.
  • Bart briefly controlled the power of Infinity Man when he merged with the Forever People. While he had a verbal cadence similar to the standard Infinity Man, Impulse's personality was the dominant one.[44]
  • Bart's favorite TV series was Tiny Titans.[45]

Related

Footnotes


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