Four Biggest Ways DC's 'The New 52' Has Changed the Flash

Posted by G-Man (34236 posts) - - Show Bio

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 ==

The Ring/Costume

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).

Staff
#1 Edited by Jordanstine (907 posts) - - Show Bio

A) The whole "Flash isn't experienced with his powers" isn't much of a shocker, I mean it's the "NEW 52" (mainly used as an introduction).

Even the new Superman isn't experienced with his powers, and even he was written much more weaker, and like the Flash, actually caused damaged to the city.

B) The whole "Flash isn't with Iris West" was a bit of a shocker initially, but not so much now, just like the new Superman wasn't with Lois Lane...

Hmm... I'm sensing a theme here.

#2 Posted by mikeclark1982 (424 posts) - - Show Bio

THE PINK GLOWY LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

#3 Posted by PrincessSolaria (156 posts) - - Show Bio

Great!!!

#4 Posted by budokaz (4 posts) - - Show Bio

" The curious part is it looks like the costume is worn over his civilian clothes."

Barry's costume went over his clothes back in the Silver Age as well, an early Cary Bates issues in the 70s mentioned he had to treat his outfits so that they would not crease when the uniform forced them to conform to a specific shape.

#5 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio

@mikeclark1982 said:

THE PINK GLOWY LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

at first i thought it was the pink glowing lady talking in the OP scan

#6 Posted by Outside_85 (9014 posts) - - Show Bio

Sadly the Flash just seems to continue in the same boring track he occupied pre-Flashpoint.

#7 Posted by TheMess1428 (2176 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm wondering here, did any of the big events still happen? How about Crisis on Infinite Earths? Zero Hour? The Final Night?Identity Crisis? Infinite Crisis? Final Crisis? Blackest Night? Brightest Day? Have Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter or Oliver Queen ever been dead? None of this is making any sense.

#8 Edited by Wattup (648 posts) - - Show Bio

Is the New 52 supposed to be more realistic? I'm having a hard time buying an American as Earth's fastest dude...

There's Kenyans who will probably read this issue and be saying, "Barry Allen, my butt!"...

#9 Posted by LordRequiem (1315 posts) - - Show Bio

I bet he's not still the source of the speed force. That was an excellent idea, I assume they've scrapped it.

#10 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

Flash is back!

#11 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio

@KRYPTON said:

Flash is back!

back since rebirth dude..

#12 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33432 posts) - - Show Bio
@Wattup said:

Is the New 52 supposed to be more realistic? I'm having a hard time buying an American as Earth's fastest dude...

There's Kenyans who will probably read this issue and be saying, "Barry Allen, my butt!"...

and then they'l be Jamaicans standing behind the Kenyan going "yea, what ever"
#13 Posted by Degalon (737 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sorry, but Barry was always my least favorite of the flashes...he's just so...one-dimensional.

#14 Posted by DonavanWolfMaster (136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wattup said:

Is the New 52 supposed to be more realistic? I'm having a hard time buying an American as Earth's fastest dude...

There's Kenyans who will probably read this issue and be saying, "Barry Allen, my butt!"...

...He's right.

#15 Posted by RareCheshire (190 posts) - - Show Bio

Does he remember the Flashpoint?

#16 Posted by jointron33 (1902 posts) - - Show Bio

@Degalon: then read this book

#17 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting changes! Got nothing against the slightly different method of change that happens with regard to his ring and his costume. The inexperience with regard to his power and the screw-ups are a dead giveaway that this story most likely is in tandem with the "five years ago" theme that is currently running in New 52. As for the love life, I've made my opinion on this painfully clear already, heh. As for the secret identity, that is just fine for now. With his current status as the only Flash (excluding Kid), it makes me all the more curious for Garrick and the upcoming Earth 2 reality that will be arising in due time with regard to this new DCU. Good stuff!

#18 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

@difficlus said:

@KRYPTON said:

Flash is back!

back since rebirth dude..

Dude I've known that for years now. Who doesn't know it, my reference was to New 52.

#19 Posted by GraveSp (318 posts) - - Show Bio

@Degalon said:

I'm sorry, but Barry was always my least favorite of the flashes...he's just so...one-dimensional.

Agreed. I miss Wally. He was fun.

In regards to his ring/costume I can't help but think how weird the ring thing is. If you read All Star Western, great book, one of the major plot points involves Jonah Hex and Dr. Arkham identifying a possibly serial killer based soley on a ring that he was wearing. After reading that I can't believe that nobody thinks "Hey, Barry Allen wears a ring with the Flash symbol on it and is never around when the Flash is. That's kinda weird"

#20 Posted by Migz13 (169 posts) - - Show Bio

Seems interesting enough. I love the artwork!

#21 Posted by ImperiousRix (1069 posts) - - Show Bio

Really loved the art in this issue, though I was left a tad wanting with the overall narrative. I just felt like it was an odd way to start the "first" Flash story; the first time a reader is going to be reading about Barry Allen. The art and the layouts definitely saved it, but I was a little disappointed I couldn't love the whole issue unconditionally.

#22 Posted by Wonder_Thunder (5 posts) - - Show Bio

>Suit Made of energy

>Not in a stable relationship

>Inexperienced with his powers

>Had a secret identity, then he didn't, now he does again

So basically they've just took various parts of Wally's character throughout the years and created a new Barry from them.

#23 Posted by eternalxmisfit (4 posts) - - Show Bio

shouldn't it be " four ways the flash changed the dc universe"??
#24 Posted by Trodorne (2590 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Barry should be yelling out SHAZAM! every time he uses his ring like that?

#25 Posted by gambitpryde1993 (160 posts) - - Show Bio

Hopefully Wally will appear in later issues, maybe as a kid cousin of Iris'? I'm a huge fan of the DC relaunch. Barry Allen is the fourth character that has been humanized (along with Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Superman in Action Comics)

#26 Posted by Planewalker (326 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked this one! As for Iris I think heroes shouldn't be married so just keep it like this

#27 Posted by KINCART (225 posts) - - Show Bio

I won't buy a Flash title until Wally is the Flash again. I don't understand why people care about how much they made Barry like Wally it's still not Wally.

#28 Posted by Golden Cod (425 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wattup said:

Is the New 52 supposed to be more realistic? I'm having a hard time buying an American as Earth's fastest dude...

There's Kenyans who will probably read this issue and be saying, "Barry Allen, my butt!"...

Barry Allen is probably drinking POWERTHIRST so he can run as fast as Kenyans ;P

#29 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

My favourite Flash story ever was the one where he teamed up with Firestorm to fight the Atomic Skull.

Firestorm absorbs a bunch of energy and it makes him drunk.

No fooling.

Flash has to drag a drunk Firestorm around with him and picks a fight with him to get him mad so he can take the Atomic Skull out.

If that story isn't brought back within the first five issues of Flash i'm gonna pee all over Geoff Johns desk.

#30 Posted by Gambit1969 (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Barry should remember the old DC Universe and Flashpoint...he seems to have those memories at the end of Flashpoint when he gives Bruce the note from his father and Bruce has his new-52 Batman costume on.

#31 Posted by kennybaese (1117 posts) - - Show Bio

I think everyone is getting waaay too hung up on continuity on these books. I guess continuity isn't ever something that has mattered a ton to me, I just want good stories, and I get that it's important to some people, but I think everyone just needs to relax. It'll be explained at some point, I'm sure, and the well written issues have so far done a good job of already explaining it.

There are some seriously good books as a part of this relaunch, but I feel like there are some people who are passing on them just because they don't fit into what they think continuity should be. It's a bummer.

@Gambit1969 said:

Barry should remember the old DC Universe and Flashpoint...he seems to have those memories at the end of Flashpoint when he gives Bruce the note from his father and Bruce has his new-52 Batman costume on.

I think he remembers Flashpoint, but I think the implication was that some things changed because Barry was forgetting different things while he was in the Flashpoint U combined with the changes the glowy pink lady made, or got Barry to make, or whatever. What Barry remembers of the DCU is just what the DCU is now, I think.

#32 Posted by JBBuc (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Where is all the crying about how impractical it is for his flash uniform going over his street clothes? From the image above, Barry is wearing a collared shirt with a sweater over it, and jeans. Go buy a fitted Under Armor shirt and try to put it on over two other shirts and tell me how comfortable it is.

Half of you DC weenies are boo-hooing over WW's outfit but this is WAAAAYYYY more impractical to me.

#33 Posted by JazGalaxy (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Absolutely. It's just good writing for a characters personality to reflect on their powers and for their powers to reflect on their personality. The Writers for Wally and Impulse GOT that. Barry is just... boring. BUT, hopefully they will update him personality-wise.

#34 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2242 posts) - - Show Bio
"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."  
  
 
What? I'm sure there's a typo in there, but I can't figure out what part is wrong, just a huge contradiction. What is it you're trying to say there?
#35 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

Why are people still whining that Barry Allen is boring? Oh wait...it's because they haven't given him a chance. I was all pro-Wally, anti-Barry but then i started reading his stories and low and behold, he's actually a really cool character. There's really not that many differences between him and Wally. Wally wasn't exactly the jokester he was in the JL cartoon.

Though i love Wally West and he's cool and he was a legacy, i think Barry is just as interesting. Barry has a life and a secret identity. He's a CSI! THat's really cool and interesting to me.

They didn't get rid of Wally. THey can't, he's too huge a character. Give them time whiners, he'll be back. We haven't heard anything about a lot of characters yet. It's only been a month. Chill. And Give Barry a chance, he'll surprise you.

#36 Posted by kal-el09 (74 posts) - - Show Bio

I have a feeling kid flash is gonna end up being wally west again, i'm sure how I would feel about that

#37 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

Everything's perfect! Barry's a fun character, the book's great, the tone, the story..

Iris is set up as his future love interest, this makes the book feels like more of a YEAR ONE story than a reset/reboot.

But to nitpick a bit, my only problem comes with the costume. The way he dresses up, the way it looks..and why does it looks so much like Wally's Post-Flash Reborn's own costume? Can't they leave Barry have his classic bolt lightning around the body instead of Wally's twin lightnings-thingies? It's just a personal comment. I mean, the book could have mean 100% the same by calling our hero Wally West and having Linda Park instead of Iris..

#38 Posted by Mercy_ (92698 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be interested in Flash again when they start using Wally. Until then, no.

Moderator
#39 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:

I'll be interested in Flash again when they start using Wally. Until then, no.

Ditto
#40 Posted by jarsamson (22 posts) - - Show Bio

I noticed that Flash is way hotter now :P

#41 Edited by daredevil21134 (11828 posts) - - Show Bio
#42 Edited by BiteMe-Fanboy (7849 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm loving the new direction they are taking with Barry. I miss Wally, but Barry is def. taking back the Flash mantle just fine.

Almost every issue I read of Flash since Rebirth ends with me saying 'Ohhhhh sh*t, what you gon do now Barry?' Then I spend a month of no patience waiting on the next issue. It's been really fun.

#43 Posted by arthurkerr (531 posts) - - Show Bio

I prefer Barry as well as the flash. He is the best at it to me.

I like wally but he was never The Flash to me.

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