As The Flash speeds toward its fourth season, the latest episode may have just teased the arrival of yet another speedster. Not that the show is lacking any at the moment. While this has not been confirmed by any means, it couldn’t hurt to get acquainted with this speedy hero. So, how much do you know about Bart Allen?
Bartholomew “Bart” Henry Allen II, created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo, made his first appearance in Flash #92 in 1994. Bart was born in the 30th century to Meloni Thawne and Don Allen, and is part of a complex family tree made up of superheroes and supervillains. His father is one of the Tornado Twins while his grandfather is Barry Allen, the second Flash. On his mother’s side, he is a descendant of supervillains Professor Zoom and Cobalt Blue. Bart’s genetic connection to the speedforce grants him superhuman speed, stamina and durability, photographic long-term memory, speedforce clones, molecular control, time and dimensional travel and resistance to temporal disruptions, generation of whirlwinds, electrokinesis and the ability to control the entire speed force.
Due to his hyper-accelerated metabolism, Bart was aging at a faster rate causing him to appear 12 years old when he was chronologically only 2 years old. To prevent him from developing mental health problems, he was raised in a virtual reality machine. When it became apparent that this simulated world wasn’t helping, his grandmother, Iris West, took him back to the present. After racing the current Flash, Wally West, around the world, he managed to shock his hyper metabolism back to normal. Since he spent much of his life in a fake world, Bart had no concept of danger and was often getting into trouble. This personality flaw inspired his alter ego, Impulse.
As Impulse he joined the Titans before becoming one of the founding members of the superhero team, Young Justice. After the Young Justice group disbanded, Bart joined some of his former teammates in a new line-up of the Teen Titans. Who knows, maybe the next place we see Bart is in the center of S.T.A.R. Labs.