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The Flash is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (January 1940).
Nicknamed the "Scarlet Speedster", the "Crimson Comet", "The Blur", and "The Streak", all incarnations of the Flash possess "super speed", which includes the ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes, and seemingly violate certain laws of physics. Thus far, four different characters—each of whom somehow gained the power of "super-speed"—have assumed the identity of the Flash: Jay Garrick (1940–present), Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Wally West (1986–2006, 2007–2012, 2013–present), and Bart Allen (2006–2007). Before Wally and Bart's ascension to the mantle of the Flash, they were both Flash protégés under the same name Kid Flash (Bart was also known as Impulse).
The second incarnation of the Flash, Flash (Barry Allen), is part of the Silver Age of comic books. Each version of the Flash has been a key member of at least one of DC's premier teams: the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans.
The Barry Allen version of the character (with Wally West elements) was featured in a live action television series, simply titled The Flash, in 1990, starring John Wesley Shipp. The Wally West version of the Flash (but with many elements of Barry Allen's story) is featured in the animated series Justice League. All four incarnations of the character have appeared in the Young Justice animated series, with the Wally West version of Kid Flash as a main character in the first season.
A new television series, also simply titled The Flash, starring Grant Gustin in the title role premiered on the CW on October 7, 2014. This new program features a younger Barry Allen with numerous elements of the earlier show as well as using many characters from the larger DC Universe.