How Did Flash Get His Powers? Explained

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The DC Universe is packed with many amazing superheroes who captured our hearts the moment we met them. One of those characters is definitely the Flash, also known as the fastest man alive. This speedster is popular because of his abilities and speed, which always guarantee thrill and action. However, before Barry Allen became a speedster, he was just like any other citizen of Central City. So, let’s explain how Flash got his powers.

Barry Allen got his power and became the Flash when a lightning bolt struck a lab he worked in. He was a forensic scientist working with the chemicals, which, combined with the lightning strike, changed his molecular structure and turned him into the fastest man alive.

That sums up how the Flash got his powers. Over the years, we met many speedsters, but Barry Allen/The Flash is the most popular one. His origin story is similar in many iterations; that’s why we’ll get a bit more in detail about the original version of his origin story in the comic and mention some changes that happened later. So, keep reading to learn more!

Barry Allen became the Flash when a bolt of lightning struck the lab he was working in

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As depicted in ‘Showcase #4,’ Barry Allen was a forensic scientist working at the Central City Police Department’s crime lab, and he was fascinated with a comic book hero, Jay Garret, a.k.a. the Flash. One night, an unexpected storm raged over Central City, and lightning bolts were all over the sky.

Barry was in a lab, reading over the comic of his beloved superhero, imagining how awesome it must be for the Flash to have all that power and speed. He wondered what it would be like to have that kind of speed. Little did he know that he was about to find out soon enough.

A bit later, Barry continued working on the test in his lab with many chemicals everywhere. Suddenly, a lightning bolt struck the lab, and the lab exploded, leaving Barry unconscious and bathed in chemicals. When Barry came to his senses, he realized what happened but didn’t know what it did to him.


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He picked himself up and decided it was time for him to go home. He was trying to reach the cab but was seconds too late. Barry knew he must sprint toward the cab to catch it because it would be hard to find another one at night if he missed this one. So, Barry did the same thing that would later become his specialty – he ran.

As soon as he started running, he felt a force inside him, and he easily flashed by the speeding cab. Everything felt so strange to him, and he thought that the explosion in the lab had him so shaken and that he only imagined storming by the cab. To get his mind straight, he went to rest in a diner nearby, and the same thing happened there; he easily caught all the falling objects that the waitress accidentally dropped. Still, Barry considered it best to get home and get a good night’s sleep, as he clearly needed it.

Barry Allen gladly accepted his new powers, and it was like a dream come true for him

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The next morning, Barry was sure that it wasn’t all a dream and in his imagination. As he was meeting Iris for a date, he saw a bullet in slow motion racing toward Iris, and if he hadn’t pushed Iris out of harm’s way, she would most likely have been shot. Later, Barry returned to his lab, and thanks to his intelligence, he did not need to think very much about what must have happened to him.

Barry concluded that an accident caused by the lightning strike and a strange combination of chemicals must have somehow changed his molecular structure, resulting in him having superspeed. He knew immediately what he wanted to do now – to be a superhero like Jay Garret.

He made a costume that could fit in a ring on his finger and then used a chemical solution to swell the costume into a real-life person’s size. And he was set for his first mission. There was a robbery in the Central Bank, so that’s where Barry headed. When the speedster started running, he realized he was running so fast that gravity did not affect him, and he cracked the sound barrier.

Speedster’s first opponent was the Turtle Man, ironically called the world’s slowest man. After Barry captured the Turtle Man, the reporter interviewed Barry and wanted to know his name. Without any hesitation, Barry said – The Flash. Soon, the word about the fastest man alive spread, and the legend was born.


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It is worth mentioning that the exact details of how Barry Allen acquired his powers have varied in different iterations and retellings of his origin story over the years. For example, in ‘The Flash’ TV show, Barry becomes the Flash while working in his lab, and the lightning strikes. But the details were changed to fit in the show’s overall storyline.

Back in S.T.A.R. Labs, a particle accelerator exploded, creating many metahumans around Central City. Each of them gained different superpowers, and Barry was one of them. It was later revealed that it was all part of Eobard Thawne’s plan to make Barry become the Flash so he could eventually use him for his personal agenda.

What do you think about the Flash and his origin story? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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