Bart Allen is a male comic superhero that features in DC Comics.
Bart Allen was the son of Meloni Thawne and Don Allen who was one of the Tornado Twins that lived in the 30th century. This made him the grandson of Barry Allen and Iris West where he inherited his ancestors superspeed. (Impulse v1 #23) Shortly after his birth, the family came under attack from the time-travelling Professor Zoom who sought to prevent a union between the rival families of the Allen's and the Thawne's. This saw Don, his sister Dawn and Meloni attempted to flee to a parallel Earth through the Cosmic Treadmill though the device was sabotaged by Zoom thus causing an explosion that created a tear in the Multiverse. Despite his efforts, Zoom was ultimately defeated by three different versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes though Bart along with his family came to be stranded on Earth-247. (Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds v1 #3) Bart's father Don and aunt were said to had perished in defeating the threat of the Dominators of their era leaving Meloni a lone parent to her son. However, a faction of Dominators struck where they kidnapped the infant Bart due to his parentage and wanted to conduct experiments on him. He was freed by EarthGov with the Science Police freeing him but the boys abilities fascinated them as well. Thus, they decided to tell Bart's mother Meloni that her son had died and tricked her into going on the run after masquerading that she died in an effort to keep her away. During this time, Bart's hypermetabolism spiralled out of control causing him to age at an exponential rate thus forcing the scientists studying him to placing him in a virtual reality environment to keep up his mental development. Around this time, the boy's grandmother Iris West began to investigate and used her news reporter instincts to determine that EarthGov was lying about Bart. She then made her move to free Bart Allen from his captive environment where with the help of her biological parents she took her grandson into the past of the 20th century so that her nephew Wally West could help cure him of his hypermetabolism problem. (Impulse v1 #23) Upon arriving in the present day, Iris came separated from her grandson with Bart operating at superspeed and struggling to operate in the real world as he came to believe it to be another virtual reality simulation. In this disoriented state, he was half-way around the world when the Flash Wally West came to help him but Bart attacked him instead. (Flash v2 #92) Bart attempted to flee but the more he ran then the quicker he went through a painful aging process. Wally was in pursuit and decided to give his hypermetabolism a push so that it would better adjust to his superspeed and thus operate normally. He then helped save his grandmother Iris West along with Linda Park from members of the Kobra Cult. (Flash v2 #93)
Whilst at the hospital, he healed his injuries after which he used his super-speed to go to the nearest library and began to speed read through everything inside. Bart was moving at such speeds that he effectively appeared invisible making the people think a ghost had haunted the building. His comrades Robin, Superboy and Wonder Girl had arrived but Bart was not responding to them as he kept moving books around and read through them. The other Titan's then departed to confront Deathstroke where they discovered it was actually former member Jericho in control of his father Slade's body in an effort to disband the Teen Titans. Bart arrived on the scene where he had taken the name of Kid Flash and helped in the battle. (Teen Titans v3 #4) Jericho initially began to switch between the various young heroes as host bodies leading to Kid Flash being briefly possessed. This was until Jericho was banished by Raven who herself was taken by a mystical threat. The Teen Titan's then returned to Titan's Tower where Bart had a talk with Tim Drake about wanting to surpass the Flash rather than be seen as an impulsive idiot which was why he changed his name to Kid Flash. (Teen Titans v3 #5)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events. As a result of reality's shift, both Bart and Wally West were trapped within the Speed Force with them unable to interact with their loves ones. (The Flash Annual v5 #2) Later on, Hunter Zolomon was shown to had used Barry Allen and Wally West to shatter the Force Barrier thus giving him access to Hypertime so he could choose a reality where he himself was the hero. It took the two Flash's to defeat him but the event caused the Force Barrier to be detached from the space-time continuum. One of the consequences of this was freeing Bart Allen from the barrier thus returning him to Earth. (The Flash v5 #50) Upon being freed, Bart attempted to find his family but found everyone he knew missing and that the world had changed. He eventually found his grandfather Barry Allen alongside other speedsters as they fought against Godspeed with Impulse helping to defeat the villain who fled after accomplishing his objective. Bart then went to the Flash Museum and found out that Wally had died with a sad Bart looking for clues to the changes in the world leading to him seeking out his friends. (The Flash Annual v5 #2) He journeyed to Metropolis that was under attack by warriors from Gemworld where he reunited with his compatriots as they re-formed Young Justice. (Young Justice v3 #1)
Personality and attributes
Whilst in the present, he decided to operate as a superhero and looked to choose a name where after kissing a random woman he decided to call himself Impulse. (Flash v2 #95)
Powers and abilities
Unlike the other speedsters, Bart was to speed-read through information and retain it within his mind. (Teen Titans v3 #1) He absorbed the entire reading content of a library at super-speed where he effectively spent a year and a half going through the information that he retained in his mind. This included everything relating to aerodynamics and athletic equipment to medicine which he applied in the field. The former books allowed him to tailor make a new costume that was based on the Kid Flash and was able to handle running at high speeds. (Teen Titans v3 #5) His ability to retain information meant that he came to know a lot of facts that aided him in his studies as he could get perfect scores. However, at the same time, his teachers in his civilian life came to believe that he was cheating. Bart enjoyed being around Robin as he made him feel stupid and thus more normal. (Teen Titans v3 #7)
His accelerated metabolism meant that Bart even healed tattoos as his body thought these were injuries or an infection leading to his dermis cells replacing themselves. (Teen Titans v3 #13)
- Bart Allen was created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo where he made his first appearance as Impulse in Flash v2 #92 (July, 1994).
- In Teen Titans v3 #17 (2004), an alternate future version of Bart Allen was show in a timeline called Titan's Tomorrow. This led to him adopting the name of the Flash where his powers had improved allowing him to steal the speed from others. He along with the other Titans brutally killed criminals in order to bring about peace on the planet.
- In Justice League of America v2 #25 (2008), an alternate timeline was created by the god Anansi where Batman never existed as the young Bruce Wayne shot Joe Chill with a gun after which he became a vigilante called Paladin. On this world, it was Bart Allen who travelled from his future timeline into the present day where he became the Flash.
- In Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century v1 15 (2008), a version of Bart Allen appeared in the comic series based on the Legion of Super-Heroes animated cartoon. Bart Allen was shown to be suffering from hyper-accelerated growth due to his speed powers forcing him to live in a virtual reality with a simulation of Keystone City. Fatal Five member Tharok invaded this virtual reality world with Legion of Super-Hero members Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl opposing him. Once inside, they encountered Bart who aided them in defeating Tharok who was disconnected from the system. Bouncing Boy offered to take Bart to the real world but he refused as he stated he needed to get better control of his powers after which someday he would emerge back into the world.
- In Young Justice v3 #8 (2019), an alternate version of Impulse was shown to exist in the Multiverse on Earth-3. On that world, the black male villain was part of a gang run by Amaxon Thunder where the speedster operated under the name of Speedzone. He operated on Earth-3 in a time after the disappearance of the Crime Syndicate of America.
In other media
- In Smallville, Barry Allen was referenced in the live-action television series fourth-season in the episode "Run". It was one of the identities Bart Allen had stolen with his super-speed and allowed him to operate in different lives.
- In Young Justice, the character made multiple appearances in the second season starting with the episode "Bloodlines" where he was voiced by actor Jason Marsden. He was shown a being native to the year 2056 and was the grandson of Barry Allen aka the Flash. The future he came from was devastated as a result of the actions of the Reach with Bart with the help of Neutron devising a time machine for him to avert his timeline. This leads him to arriving in the present in 2016 where he met the Team.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Bart Allen was referenced in the fighting video game where his name was listed on a hit list during Deathstroke's outro.
- Flash v2:
- Impulse v1:
- Young Justice v1:
- Teen Titans v3:
- Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds v1:
- The Flash v5:
- The Flash Annual v5:
- Young Justice v3: