PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceLegion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #13 (October 1990)
CharactersKent Shakespeare
Bart Allen
Irey West
See alsoFlash
Kid Flash
Series publication information
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateApril 1995 – October 2002
Number of issues90, 2 annual
Main character(s)Bart Allen

Impulse is an identity shared by three comic book superheroes published by DC Comics.

Publication history

Kent Shakespeare was the first DC Comics superhero known as Impulse, and he debuted in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #12 (October 1990). Bart Allen is the second DC Comics superhero known as Impulse in Flash vol. 2 #92 (June 1994). Iris West is the third superhero known as Impulse, when she debuted in Flash vol.2 #225 (October 2005).

Fictional character biography

Kent Shakespeare

Main article: Kent Shakespeare

Richard Kent Shakespeare was revealed to have used the codename in a flashback sequence in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #53.[1][2]

Bart Allen

Main article: Bart Allen

Suffering from a hyper-accelerated metabolism, Bart Allen was aging at a faster rate than that of any human being thus causing him to appear the physical age of twelve when he was chronologically, and mentally only two years old. To prevent him from developing mental health problems, he was raised in a virtual reality machine which created a simulated world that kept pace with his own scale of time. When it became clear that this method was not helping, his grandmother, Iris Allen, took him back in time to the present where The Flash, Wally West, tricked Bart into a race around the world. By forcing Bart into an extreme burst of speed, Wally managed to shock his hyper-metabolism back to normal.[3] Because he had spent the majority of his childhood in a simulated world, Bart had no concept of danger and was prone to leaping before he looked. The youth proved to be more trouble than Wally could handle, and he was pawned off onto retired superhero speedster Max Mercury, who moved Bart to Manchester, Alabama. In Impulse #50, it was revealed that Batman actually named Bart "Impulse" as a warning, not a compliment.

Irey West

Main article: Kid Flash (Iris West)

Iris "Irey" West discovered that she and her twin brother Jai were sharing access to the Speed Force, and decided to end that symbiotic relationship, taking all the power into herself. Jesse Chambers, guided by the late Johnny Quick, uses her Speed formula to save Irey' life. Irey embraces her new role, choosing to take up the mantle of Impulse, which Bart used before he joined the Teen Titans as Kid Flash.[4]

In other media



Live action

Video games

In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Bart Allen's name is listed on a hit list during Deathstroke's outro.


  1. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) Annual #3 (1984)
  2. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #53 (January 1994)
  3. ^ The Flash (vol. 2) #92 (July 1994)
  4. ^ Flash: Rebirth #5 (January 2010)
  5. ^ "The World's Finest – Justice League". Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  6. ^ "Smallville Spoilers at the KryptonSite Spoilers Page". Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  7. ^ ""Flash's" Shipp Hints At Bart Allen, Reveals Possible Spinoff Title". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-13.