When a freak lightning accident exposed crime scene investigator Barry Allen to a mixture of unknown chemicals, it connected him to a mysterious force enabling him to move far faster than any living creature should. Inspired by a hero he had read as a child, Barry Allen became the Flash, defender of Central City and fastest man alive.
Like Mercury, herald of the gods, the Flash's passing constantly signals the changing eras in the DC universe. The arrival of Barry Allen officially heralded the Silver Age of comics, and it was his adventures that bridged the gap to the Golden Age Flash in "The Flash of Two Worlds." With Crisis on Infinite Earths, the death of Barry Allen marked the end of that era. In the time he was gone, Barry Allen's sidekick, Wally West, claimed the mantle to great acclaim. Yet Barry Allen's rebirth would herald a new age, both in Flashpoint and the New 52.