There have been four characters that have worn the red suit and called themselves Flash – Jay Garrick (1940-Present), Barry Allen (1956-1985, 2008-Present), Wally West (1986-2006, 2007-Present) and Bart Allen (2006-2007)
All incarnations of Flash have had the ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and violate the laws of physics.
Every Flash has also been a part of DC’s premier teams: The Justice Society of America, The Justice League and Teen Titans.
Wally West and Bart Allen were both “Kid Flash” before assuming the title of Flash.
Each Flash has their own origin story.
Jay Garrick obtained his powers when he inhaled heavy water vapors while taking a smoke break inside his laboratory where he had been working. He didn’t originally wear a mask to keep his identity a secret; he would vibrate his entire body so that any photograph would come out blurry.
Barry Allen gained his when working late in his lab and a freak lightning bolt struck one of his shelves and he got doused with a cocktail of unnamed chemicals.
Wally West’s origin is similar to that of Barry Allen’s. He was involved in a freak accident that left him doused in a concoction of electrically-charged chemicals.
Bart Allen is the grandson of Barry Allen and his wife, Iris. He suffered from accelerated aging and went back in time to get help from the then-current Flash, Wally West. He helped him figure out how to slow the aging and adopted the name Kid Flash or Impulse.
This character has made a speedy ascendant into mainstream television with the creation of DC’s The Flash on CW that premiered on Oct. 7, 2014.