Arrowverse’s Flash Family: Every Member Explained
The Arrowverse is introducing Bart Allen in The Flash season 7 as he becomes the newest member of the Flash Family from the DC comics to join The CW.
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The Flash has introduced most of the members of the Flash Family into the Arrowverse now that another iconic DC speedster is on its way. Ever since its beginning in 2014, the CW’s adaptation of the Scarlet Speedster has never shied away from using as many of the heroes and villains as possible from the comics. While Barry Allen is always at the forefront of the series, the concept of the Flash Family was something that was established early on in the TV show. Since the hero’s comics legacy relies heavily on time-travel and the Multiverse, it has allowed DC to make the speedster dynamic one of the longest-existing corners of their brand.
For comic readers, some may have grown up with Jay Garrick, others with Wally West instead of Barry and the others. The Arrowverse has managed throughout The Flash’s run to incorporate most of them at various points. Some of them have a long history in the CW’s DC TV universe than others do or did. But thanks to this show specifically, it’s one of the few DC properties in live-action that has gotten to bring in so many legacy players. Soon, The Flash season 7 will be introducing Bart Allen, a.k.a. Impulse, one of the last remaining big members of the speedster family.
Since The Flash is currently in its seventh season, it’s appropriate that they’re at the point where they will bring in Impulse. While the CW has renewed the show for an eighth season, it’s unclear how much longer the DC drama will go on. Hopefully, the end isn’t coming for a while as there are still plenty of stories to tell. As Bart joins the series later this season, he’s joining a big roster of the Arrowverse’s version of the Flash Family.
Barry Allen/The Flash
Introduced to the Arrowverse in Arrow season 2, Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen is one of the central figures of CW’s DC TV universe. Throughout The Flash’s run, Barry has been through a long journey that involves becoming a powerful superhero in the Multiverse, finding love, and being a beacon of hope. Over the course of seven seasons, Barry has gone up against a number of threats from evil speedsters to a wild variety of Rogues. But as the fastest man alive has grown, Barry has also had to learn the massive responsibility by being a speedster, including not altering the timeline regardless of whether it’s the past or the future.
Barry’s role as the Scarlet Speedster is also what allowed the Arrowverse to introduce the Multiverse concept. Even though The Flash pilot foreshadowed that Barry would vanish in Crisis on Infinite Earths, destiny was rewritten and he instead became one of the important key players in helping reboot the Multiverse. Gustin’s Barry is also the only one in the entire Arrowverse to have interacted with the DCEU, specifically his cinematic Flash counterpart played by Ezra Miller. But as important as Barry is in the Arrowverse, he’s only one of many in the Arrowverse’s Flash Family.
While she may not be a traditional speedster, Candice Patton’s Iris West has and always will be an essential member of the Flash Family, which the Arrowverse has made very clear. Since The Flash pilot, Iris was one of the most important people in Barry’s life. From childhood, Iris was Barry’s ultimate love and they eventually found their way to each other and have been married since The Flash season 4. While Barry protects Central City as the Scarlet Speedster, Iris uses her role as a journalist to represent the voices of the people Team Flash is saving.
But the Central City Citizen Editor-in-Chief has also had her own speedster adventures as Iris did have Barry’s powers temporarily in The Flash season 4 episode “Run, Iris, Run.” Even now, Iris has a connection to the Speed Force herself by being Barry’s lightning rod, another symbolic meaning of their love and her impact on the fastest man alive. But The Flash has also incorporated her additional connections as part of the Flash Family which is a good transition for the next big speedster in the Arrowverse, one who is a big part of Iris’s life.
Wally West/Kid Flash
When The Flash introduced Wally West into the Arrowverse, the writers brought Keiynan Lonsdale’s character in with a twist. In the comics, Wally is Iris’s nephew but in the CW version, he got established as being Iris’s long-lost little brother as well as the son Joe West never knew he had. This incarnation of Kid Flash is an amalgamation of the pre-Flashpoint Wally in the comics as well as The New 52’s Wallace West. Throughout his early run on The Flash, Wally had Barry as his mentor while also growing closer to the family that he didn’t get to grow up with. But in the middle of The Flash season 4, Wally ended up going over to Legends of Tomorrow season 3 as a means of finding himself.
Wally’s time on the Waverider helped Arrowverse’s Kid Flash come to peace with his place in the world, especially outside of Central City. Even though Kid Flash’s gig on Legends of Tomorrow was short-lived, Wally would begin exploring the world and develop his skills as a speedster. Wally did pay his family a visit in The Flash season 6 after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths as he had begun to notice that something was wrong with the Speed Force. He’s the one that ends up telling Barry that their power source was dying due to The Flash’s actions during the crossover. With the creation of the Artificial Speed Force, The Flash season 7 will hopefully establish if Wally has his powers or not.
John Wesley Shipp is no stranger to the world of The Flash after having played Barry Allen in his own show back in the ’90s on CBS. But while his iteration never got to establish the Flash Family, Shipp got to play one of the other big ones from the comics. In The Flash season 2, Jay Garrick was introduced coming from Earth-2, but ended up being an imposter with Hunter Zolomon, a.k.a. Zoom, pretending to be him. It turned out that Zoom had stolen Jay’s identity and kidnapped the Earth-3 hero while keeping him a prisoner on Earth-2. When Arrowverse’s real Jay was revealed, it was a shock at first because of the fact that he was the doppelgänger of Barry’s father, Henry, who had recently died.
Before Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jay would help Barry from time to time before eventually retiring to train a new Flash on Earth-3. But thanks to the Anti-Monitor, Earth-3 was destroyed during the Crisis and Jay’s whereabouts, at least to Team Flash, has been a mystery ever since then. However, Shipp will be reprising his Arrowverse character, but with a Crisis twist as he’ll be retroactively established as the Golden Age Flash on Earth-2. Stargirl season 2 will have a crossover with The Flash where it will reveal that Jay was a part of the Justice Society of America as that universe’s Scarlet Speedster. Whether or not Jay is still alive in the present time is the big question that Stargirl will have to answer.
Jesse Wells/Jesse Quick
The Flash season 2 was a busy year for the CW drama as the Arrowverse didn’t only introduce Wally and Jay, but also one of the female speedsters from the comics. When Harry was brought in as the latest incarnation of Harrison Wells, the writers used the character to connect him to Jesse Quick as her father. While Jesse is traditionally the daughter of Libby Lawrence, a.k.a. Liberty Belle, and Johhny Chambers, a.k.a. Johnny Quick, the character Violett Beane plays had her entire family linage altered in the show. When The Flash season 2 introduces her, Jesse is Zoom’s other prisoner as Harry was initially forced to work with Zolomon to defeat Barry in order to get his daughter back.
Jesse ends up becoming a speedster when Team Flash recreates the accident that gave Barry his speed. The Flash season 3 sees her finally become Jesse Quick while also setting up her larger role in the Arrowverse Multiverse. After having temporarily taken care of Earth-3 during Jay’s temporary Speed Force imprisonment, Jesse eventually moves back to Earth-2 to become that world’s speeding protector. Her last episode was “Enter Flashtime” in The Flash season 4 as Beane ended up becoming the lead on CBS’ God Friended Me. Currently, Team Flash is assuming that Jesse is dead because of Earth-2 being destroyed as they don’t know that the Multiverse still exists. But thanks to Crisis and Earth-2 being recreated as Stargirl’s world, maybe Jesse Quick’s post-Crisis’s fate will be answered properly in the Arrowverse’s near future.
The Flash season 5 went further into the family aspect when Jessica Parker Kennedy’s “Mystery Girl” ended up being Nora West-Allen, Iris and Barry’s future daughter. The Arrowverse iteration is a combination of Dawn Allen (one-half of the Tornado Twins) as well as Jenni Ognats, a.k.a. XS, who is Dawn’s cousin in the comics. It turns out that in an alternate timeline, as teased by Reverse-Flash in the 100th episode, Nora was actually named Dawn. XS travels into the past to meet The Flash as she never got to know her father before Barry vanished in the original Crisis. Nora discovered in 2049 that she had inherited Barry’s speed after finding out that her mom had planted a power-dampener chip inside of her. This only made Iris and Nora’s mother/daughter dynamic more complicated which is why XS turned to Reverse-Flash to learn about how to master her speed.
Throughout The Flash season 5, Nora learns from her father while also trying to stop the metahuman serial killer, Cicada, who then existed earlier in Earth-1’s history because of XS’s time travel. Nora would forge a better relationship with her mother while also getting to truly know the father that she never met in her timeline. But Nora’s involvement with Eobard Thawne caused tension toward the end of the season. While XS and The Flash manage to stop the second Cicada, Reverse-Flash escaped his death sentence in the future. Nora begins to suffer from the timeline having been changed again as XS ceased to exist, essentially dying in front of Iris and Barry. Post-Crisis, however, in The Flash season 6, a new version of Nora lives again in a rewritten Arrowverse future that Wally had seen through the Speed Force. So at some point, Nora is born again and perhaps Kennedy will reprise a different take on XS.
The Arrowverse’s next big member from the Flash Family on his way is Bart Allen, a.k.a. Impulse. Jordan Fisher has landed the part of the iconic DC speedster, but Impulse is getting reimagined for his second live-action treatment after Smallville. While most fans know Bart as the future grandson of Iris and Barry, Fisher’s iteration will instead be their son. His first appearance will be in The Flash season 7, episode 17 that also serves as the show’s 150th milestone episode. The CW’s official character description teases Bart to be the fastest teenager on Earth who has “wildly impulsive behavior” which will require his parents to teach him patience.
But Bart’s other big role is that he’ll be working together with his family and Team Flash to help them take on the yet-to-be-revealed biggest threat they have faced thus far. Fisher’s Arrowverse gig is being described as recurring so depending on how many episodes The Flash season 7 has this year (due to the global pandemic), Bart will be around for a while. Since the CW has already renewed the show for an eighth season, it wouldn’t be shocking if Impulse carries over into next year. Given that the Arrowverse did retool Jay, Wally, Jesse, and Nora, it’s not too surprising that Bart’s family history was reworked too. While Nora is currently not set to appear in The Flash season 7, it’ll hopefully be doable to see XS and Impulse together at some point.
The Flash is one of the few DC properties, especially in the Arrowverse, that has gotten to introduce almost all the big players in a shared legacy line-up. While most of them may be a bit different from their comic counterparts, the Flash Family has gotten a chance to come to life on the CW. The only thing left for The Flash to do before its Arrowverse time is up is have all of the Flash Family members together at the same time, which might be easier said than done, but hopefully not impossible.