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The Flash (John Wesley Shipp) in motion (header version)


(1990s version - John Shipp) (Part #2)


This is the second half of this article, since 4,000+ words in one go is a bit much for some.

The .



A tall White male with excellent muscle definition, a strong brow, thick tousled hair, and a square chin. Barry Allen has the smooth features of a classic leading man or Golden AgeSuper-hero comics from the late 1930s to the early 1950s hero.

While at work, Barry wears business casual attire, donning a lab coat when appropriate. Off-duty, he dresses in loose button-up shirts and jeans – or dresses up in dark slacks and silk shirts.


As the Flash, Allen dons a scarlet bodysuit with integral cowl, textured like velour laid over sculptured musculature. This is the result of the material shaping itself to Barry’s body.

His forearm-length gloves are made of the same material. His boots are leather and in a darker shade of red.

This outfit is accessorized with:

  • A symmetrical golden lightning bolt-shaped trim around his waist and the ends of his gloves.
  • Golden winged earpieces reminiscent of those on the Greek god Hermes’s petasus  .
  • A chest logo consisting of a small white circle overlaid with a large golden lightning bolt.

The costume makes an interesting contrast to the dark, gritty urban environment of Central City. The speed with which the Flash moves and the color of his costume often leaves witnesses describing him as “scarlet lightning,” a crimson blur, or a blood-red demon.

Flash (TV Series) (John Wesley Shipp)


Barry inherited his father’s devotion to the police department and its motto to protect and serve.

As a consequence, he is constantly pushing himself to produce results. This is borne both out of a sense of duty to the force and to prove that he is a good cop in his own way.

Allen was initially concerned about his accident-derived powers and only wanted to be cured. However he soon realized that he could put those powers to use in assisting the police in a way that no one else could.

This allowed him to become more involved with community problems after gaining his powers. He could directly intervene in crisis situations both in his civilian identity and as the Flash.

Father figures

One of the driving forces in Barry’s life has been living up to the standards his father figures had set for him.

It was from his father Henry that he received his sense of duty to the public. It pained Barry for a long time that his father never seemed to appreciate his scientific contributions to the CCPD.

His college mentor Preminger became like another father to Barry by virtue of encouraging Barry’s intellectual development. Barry was deeply hurt when the two became estranged after Barry left archaeology for police work.

Fortunately Barry has had the chance to reconcile his issues with both men. When Barry and Henry worked together on one of Henry’s old cases, Henry explained that he actually respected Barry. His discomfort stemmed from not being able to relate to the work that Barry did.

Solving the case in question together helped Henry Allen gain a better understanding of his son’s contributions.

A similar settling of old conflicts occurred when Barry helped provide security to one of Preminger’s museum exhibits. During this incident Barry explained why he had changed professions and how useful his old instructor’s lessons continued to be to him.

Preminger apologized for shutting him out and even began cultivating an interest in archeology in Barry’s nephew Shawn.

Flash (TV Series) (John Wesley Shipp) in the lab

Driven to Extremes

Barry was already a workaholic before the accident. His acquisition of superpowers raised his tendency to overwork to new levels.

He is constantly out on the streets as the Flash. The lack of rest often leaves him tired both physically and mentally.

This is a continuing source of disagreement between Barry and Tina McGee. McGee’s husband died while testing an experimental chemical designed to enhance human abilities. Thus she is acutely aware of the dangers Barry faces when he overexerts himself.

While much of this urge to be constantly patrolling is based in his desire to help others, it is not entirely rooted in altruism. Barry also enjoys the excitement of being a superhero.

This is often reflected in his tactics as the Flash. When taking out opponents, the Flash uses superspeed tricks as often as he throws a simple punch. Some stunts he has performed include:

  • Dismantling drums and grabbing the liberated cymbals to smash them together around someone’s head.
  • Juggling a bunch of candlesticks in a circle around an enemy – which struck him when he tried to run away.
  • Playing an amped electric guitar at superspeed to disable a group with the intense noise.
  • Stopping a would-be thief in a museum by throwing a shield to cut a tapestry’s lines loose, dropping it over the felon, and then pinning him to the wall by firing a dozen arrows at superspeed to nail the tapestry down.

That last example also illustrates how Barry’s enthusiasm sometimes drives him to impulsive acts. The tapestry in question was over 5000 years old and he subsequently regretted punching numerous arrow holes through it.

Defensive running

Barry took on the Flash identity to help others and to demonstrate in an indirect way that he is a capable protector.

Thus, he is particularly vulnerable to criticism and frustration in these areas. He was infuriated when the Flash was sometimes painted as a potential public menace. Or was otherwise castigated for doing an inadequate job.

These incidents can even bring his father-figure issues to the fore again despite the aforementioned reconciliations. He has even been tempted to quit his superheroic work or leave Central City on a couple of occasions.

This most notably occured when it appeared that his brother’s killer Nick Pike would go free while the Flash was being painted as Jay’s real murderer. Howbeit, his sense of responsibility to others ultimately pulled him back from such measures.

To a lesser degree, Barry experiences the same defensiveness when the CCPD’s efforts in general or the crime lab’s specifically are questioned.


Doctor: “Mr. Allen, you’ve been exposed to highly volatile and reactive chemicals, you’ve suffered lacerations, abrasions, and head trauma.”
Barry: “Oh, in other words, cuts, bruises, and a headache. Hardly enough to keep me in the hospital.”

Barry: “Uh, listen, my skin really isn’t affected by speed. Do I really need to wear this (suit) ?”
Tina: “Well, as your clothes keep falling apart, it’s either this or you can run buck-naked.”
Barry: “Oh. Thank you.”

“I realize how an unhappy childhood probably led you to all this, but that’s really no excuse.”

“I used to haunt the lab. It was the only place I felt in control. Now it feels cramped, confined. I have this overwhelming need for space. For speed. The accident changed me… Maybe more than I know.”

Flash (TV Series) (John Wesley Shipp) black background

DC Heroes RPG


Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 024 HP: 050


Air Control: 05*, Claws: 10, Projectile Weapons: 03*, Regeneration: 06, Superspeed: 10, Systemic Antidote: 04*

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Contingent Upon Superspeed (-1FC each).
  • The Flash cannot use Air Control to propel himself on gusts of air (-1FC).
  • Claws requires an object of opportunity that Barry can spin such as a fan blade. Even a blunt object such as a cue ball will serve for this purpose (-1FC).
  • Projectile Weapons requires a small object of opportunity — see “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” below (-1FC).
  • Projectile Weapons has no AV — use DEX or Weaponry (Missiles) instead (-0 or -1FC depending on house rules).
  • Superspeed is not subject to the rules concerning the environmental effects of high-speed objects (+1FC).
  • Superspeed cannot substitute for hand-to-hand EV (-1FC).
  • Superspeed is Fatiguing when used at more than 08 APs, but only “attacks” at 05/05 AV/EV and the RAPs can be reduced by Last Ditch Defense (-1FC).
  • Systemic Antidote does not add to RV versus the initial application of drugs, but instead adds to the EV or RV of subsequent attempts to overcome their effects. This represents Barry using Superspeed to burn drugs or toxins out of his system (-1FC).


Acrobatics (Athletics)*: 04, Artist (Guitar): 04, Detective (Clue Analysis, Legwork)*: 05, Gadgetry*: 05, Martial Artist (All except Techniques)*: 04, Medicine (First Aid): 03, Military Science (Demolition): 04, Scientist (Analysis, Observation, Research)*: 05, Thief (Stealth)*: 10, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee, Missile)*: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

Thief (Stealth) is a Powered Skill Contingent Upon Superspeed (-2FC).


Attractive, Expertise (Archaeology), Familiarity (Jazz Music and Musicians), Mystique (-1CS to the OV of Intimidation attempts as the Flash, though using this Advantage usually requires Barry to perform a Superspeed stunt to demonstrate his abilities).


Dr. Tina McGee (High), Julio Mendez, CCPD forensic scientist (High), Desmond Powell, M.D., Ph.D. a.k.a. Nightshade (High), CCPD Lt. Garfield (Low), Fosnight, small-time criminal and stoolie (Low), Megan Lockhart, private investigator (Low).


MIF (Snakes), MPR (Barry’s hyper-metabolism requires him to eat frequently and copiously, especially after extended use of Superspeed), Secret Identity (Barry Allen).


Upholding the Good.


Police Scientist.






  • COSTUME [BODY: 07, Cold Immunity: 01, Flame Immunity: 01]. Tina McGee provided Barry with this suit incorporating reactive insulation. This material smoothly sculpts itself to the wearer’s body to provide minimum drag and also regulates the wearer’s temperature.
  • RADIO EARPIECE [BODY 01, Radio Communication: 10]. Initially, the right wing of the cowl on Barry’s suit had a built-in radio earpiece set to pick up standard emergency frequencies and to act as a transceiver transmitting data from sensors that monitored the Flash’s vital signs and allowed Dr. McGee to track his location (a +1FC Bonus to Radio Communications).
    The latter functions proved unreliable at hyperspeed (R#05) and Barry did not like “being kept on a leash” so this device was eventually removed from the suit. It was periodically re-installed when circumstances required Dr. McGee to precisely monitor Barry’s location or his current medical condition.
    Barry continued to use a smaller version of the device that was small enough to look like a conventional hearing aid, though it lacked the vital sign monitors. This version’s smaller size allowed him to wear it unobtrusively even in his civilian identity.
  • INFRARED CONTACT LENSES and WRIST MODULE [BODY 01, Thermal Vision: 04, Limitation: +1CS to the OV/RV of vision-based Perception Checks].
    These experimental contact lenses, used in conjunction with a strap-on control bracelet, allowed the wearer to see in the infrared spectrum. However, the resolution of the images was rather poor. Barry borrowed these from the CCPD’s Search and Rescue Unit to foil a villain using a stealth device that made him invisible to normal sight.
The Flash (John Wesley Shipp) using infrared lenses

Running on Empty

When Barry Allen first acquired his powers, it took a while for his body to adjust.

During his early adventures, he had the equivalent of an R#5, which he rolled against every Phase that he planned to use Superspeed or any Contingent Powers. If he failed the roll, he was Stunned for 1D10 Phases during which he could not use Superspeed at all.

Because Barry frequently worked himself to the point of exhaustion in both identities, he regularly underwent Power Complication Subplots. These usually took the form of Superspeed becoming fully Fatiguing or dropping to 08 or 09 APs. Or Barry suffering a +1CS to the OV of all actions due to medical issues such as long-term insomnia.

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Though the Flash usually prefers to simply dodge bullets, he will on occasion catch them instead. This is usually only done in extremis, such as intercepting an already-fired bullet before it hits its target.

Catching a bullet requires the Flash to make Check with his DEX as AV/EV versus an OV/RV of 12/12 (the OV/RV of such an attempt would normally be 14/14, but I’m assuming that Barry’s superspeed perceptions would reduce the difficult by one Column).

The Flash can substitute his Superspeed for DEX as usual for this purpose, but will usually spend some Hero Points as well to make sure he is successful. Because Barry is moving at the same speed as the bullet, he is not harmed by catching. This may not be realistic but falls within the realm of comic book physics.

Barry can also use bullets he has caught or other small objects as thrown weapons. Bullets use their original EV as the Flash can throw them back as quickly as they were originally fired.

Another use of this ability was seen when Barry, while tied up, plucked a button off of his shirt with his teeth and spit it with sufficient force to shatter a lightbulb, allowing him to finish his escape at superspeed without being observed using his powers.

Smaller objects like a button still use the Projectile Weapons Power but probably only have an EV of 01.

The Flash (John Wesley Shipp) trying his costume

With Dr. McGee.

Looking to the Future

Though this version of Barry Allen was not as powerful as the comic book version, he showed signs of developing similar breadth of abilities.

Exposure to the drug Blue Paradise caused him to inadvertently use Dispersal: 10 as a Trick Power of Superspeed. He moved intangibly through a brick wall before resolidifying on the other side. It is possible that the Flash could eventually learn to use this technique deliberately.

The Flash has travelled through time twice so far. The first time was due to being pushed forward by a large explosion while already running at top speed, which sent him forward ten years (27 APs of time).

This also burned out Barry’s Superspeed. Though it could be momentarily restored by electrical shocks or a metabolism boosting shot.

The Flash was able to return through the tear in space-time left by his initial trip when propelled by a nuclear explosion while running at superspeed and merged with his past self, undoing the effects of his travel through time but leaving him with the memories of the alternate future he witnessed.

By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: The Flash (TV series), character played by John Wesley Shipp.

Helper(s): Morgan Champion, Ethan Roe.