is for Kid Flash. Yes....Kid....Flash....
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, Kid Flash debuted in Flash #119 (1959) as a sidekick to the fastest man alive...The Flash.
The costume was, originally, worn by Wally West (later by Bart Allen)...the nephew of Barry (The Flash) Allen. Wally gained his powers in the exact same way that Barry did, which defied almost all logic. I mean, you can almost believe that a lightning bolt smashes through a window, shattering a wall full of chemicals, and dousing a police lab scientist....giving him super-speed. But, to have it happen twice?? I'm not sure if they were just being lazy on the origin stories here, or what, but that's what they went with.
They're the ones getting paid, so what do I know?
Anywho, Wally has been a staple in the D.C. Universe for many years whether it be on his own or as a member of the sidekick group, The Teen Titans.
The New Teen Titans, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez was a series instrumental in developing the character deeper than he had ever been developed before. It was here where he revealed his identity to his parents (before that, only Barry knew his secret), fell in love, and decided he wanted a "normal" life.
Yes, he was one of 'those' sort of super heroes. He could, almost, outrun light...and yet wanted the big house and white picket fences of suburbia, like his parents.
Wally's powers were, pretty much, identical to his mentor, the Flash. He could run at superspeed by tapping into the "Speed Force". This force also lets him vibrate his atoms to allow him to do such things as walk through solid object, run on water and up the sides of buildings, and create mini vortexes with his arms and hands. Also, like his mentor, when he runs he is surrounded by an aura that protects him from friction and lets him breathe.
Later on in Wally's career (come on, you didn't think he was really going to have a 'normal' life...did you?), after taking up the mantle of his dead friend and mentor, he becomes just 'The Flash' and begins to mainline the "Speed Force" instead of just tapping into it. His powers grow to not just include himself, but he could give others superspeed.
He also manages to marry and have two children....both of which exhibit his speedy tendencies.
While I was never a huge fan of Kid Flash, I did like him within the Teen Titans dynamic where he was characterized as the 'wholesome kid from the Leave it to Beaver family'. A characterization that didn't quite follow him to other books.
Tomorrow, with a little 'luck', we'll talk about another lesser known hero...