We're in the final week of the first month of DC's 'New 52.' Despite this, it's a safe bet that we will be seeing a lot more changes in the coming months. Barry Allen has had a convoluted history. He became the Flash, died, turned out not to be dead and then returned the current DCU.
With Barry Allen back in Central City as (apparently) the only Flash around (not counting Kid Flash), he is essentially getting a third lease on life. We're not completely sure what has still happened in his past or even how long he's been active as the Flash. Some changes are apparent.
The Flash #1 has set the tone for fun and adventure with Barry Allen. We'll have to wait and see how others in his life have changed, including the Rogues. There will be some minor spoilers below. It's strongly suggested you check out the first issue to see what the fun is all about (and check out our review here).== TEASER ==
Barry Allen was always with his costume. In his civilian guise, he was able to keep his ring in a secret compartment in a special ring. Through a combination of special fabric, compression, a special gas and comic book physics, Barry could store the costume neatly at his fingertip. When trouble came about, he simply needed to pop it open and his costume would shoot out. We can assume he would change at superspeed without needing to worry about anyone seeing him.
The new ring acts a tiny bit differently. It still comes out of his ring but you see it appears to be a harder material and is in multiple pieces. The curious part is it looks like the costume is worn over his civilian clothes. This would save him the problem of having to fold his clothes or worry about where to store them while running around after the bad guys.
With the form-fitting nature of the costume, you have to wonder if the costume is so snug it just pushes down his clothing. That doesn't seem too comfortable and could cause his shirt or slacks to get a little wrinkled. Perhaps we'll see an explanation in a future issue or in the back of an annual (like the old days).
Barry Isn't an Expert With His Powers
Barry was the ultimate Flash. He's the one able to help put a stop the the Crisis and managed to out run death. He could do things that it took Wally years to figure out, such as vibrating through walls and traveling through time on the Cosmic Treadmill.
This Flash seems a little less experienced. There's no indication that this issue takes place five years ago like Justice League #1 did.
When trying to put a stop to a group of bad guys, things don't go quite so smoothly. You could say he causes a little bit of damage to the city. He knows how to use his powers but it feels like he's still testing them out.
This isn't to say he just got his powers. People know who 'The Flash' is. Iris West introduces herself to him as does a scientist that says, "Thank you, Flash. It's a pleasure to finally meet you."
Flash has been in action. The people of Central City do know of his existence. Barry just needs to start practicing using his powers more and get a full grasp of what he's capable of before causing any more damage...or worse.
Barry's Love Life
Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato mentioned back at San Diego Comic-Con that Barry was not dating Iris. When Barry Allen made his first appearance, he was immediately interested in Iris.
It's unclear what past Barry and Iris share. They clearly know each other. She tries using their friendship in order to get information on the Flash to report on the story. She also has his home phone number.
The issue opens with Barry taking his old friend Patty Spivot on a date. She mentions that it's taken him two years to get the nerve to ask her out. What has Barry been up to during those two years?
Barry Allen's Secret Identity
When Barry was the Flash, eventually the world became aware of his secret identity. Everyone knew Barry was the Flash. His identity was mostly a secret. Iris eventually found out but she is unaware here. She's trying to report on a story involving the Flash. Because of Barry's job as a police scientist, she's hoping he can give her any information on what happened including Flash's involvement. She doesn't seem to know that he is the Flash.
Also, after his death, Barry was honored at the Flash Museum as being the Flash. I recently read Flash #200 where Wally was talking to a statue of Barry with the inscription "The Flash -- Barry Allen - Savior of the World." It was Hal Jordan (as the Spectre) that erased people's memory of who the Flash was but that's another story altogether.
What other changes might we see? Is this all the differences there are with Barry? We'll soon see the Rogues. With Iris here and Bart in Teen Titans, where does that leave Wally? Be sure to check out the first issue. You won't regret it. There's a particularly cool panel on the bottom of page 13 (counting ads).