Where Does The Flash Get His Inner Strength?

Bary, Iris, Joe, Harrison, Cisco, Caitlin, Jay - The Flash

Inner strength – a trait that is important to have if you are a super hero. Actually, thinking about it, even if you are not a super hero, inner strength comes in handy with all of life’s inevitable travails. Of course, if you happen to be a super hero, trials and tribulations definitely come with the territory, so the strength to overcome them certainly comes in handy.

Let’s be clear that I am not talking about physical strength. We all know that The Flash is not the strongest super hero out there. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Barry Allen, but he is not the muscle man Oliver Queen is, for instance, and Barry gets beat up on a regular basis. But, thankfully, Barry heals really, really fast!

What Barry lacks in muscles he possesses in heart and soul, and speaking just for myself, those traits are actually more appealing. Oh, sure, Oliver Queen is very easy on the eye, but when it comes to compassion and tenderheartedness, he pales in comparison to Barry Allen! Now, this tendency can cause problems for Barry, but that is part of the inevitable drama needed to make the program interesting. Since I enjoy variety in my super heroes, all of this works very well for me. I can balance the dark brooding of Oliver with the light optimism of Barry in the same week.

Family
 

Joe and Iris - The Flash

Barry is immensely fortunate to have a surrogate family in the form of Joe and Iris. After his mother died and his father was wrongly jailed for her murder, something young Barry witnessed and knew the truth about, Joe was there to pick up the pieces. He welcomed Barry into his home and did his best to protect him from the fallout of having a father in prison. Iris became Barry’s best friend, and eventual love interest, which of course ended badly. But, through it all, both Joe and Iris have been there for Barry. They are his rock in a stormy sea.

As for his birth family, Barry never lost faith that his dad was innocent of murdering his mother, and one of the reasons he went into forensic science was to help prove his dad’s innocence. And, while Barry was always there for his father despite his limited access to him, his father also looked out for him as best he could from his remote location. His dad believed in him and was supportive of his super powers when Barry revealed them. I am now going to stick my fingers in my ears and hum loudly as I ignore the way Henry Allen left abruptly once he was released from prison. Most fans can’t understand that and just count me in.

Team
 

Cisco, Caitlin, Harrison, Jay, Barry - The Flash

For many super heroes, their team is a fundamental ingredient to their success in crime fighting. Of course, not all super heroes have a team, but those that do typically rely on them for a variety of types of help, including logistical, technical and emotional support.

The logistical and technical support come in many forms, including raw muscle power and data mining that would make the NSA proud. But the emotional support is what keeps our heroes going, and sometimes even in the right direction. When a super hero strays from his or her path, the team is there is to nudge him or her back onto the correct track. Barry’s team at S.T.A.R. Labs can always be counted on to point out the importance of the work they do, or find a way for Barry to overcome the latest obstacle.

Eternal Optimism
 

Barry - The Flash

What is it about Barry Allen that makes him so gosh darn special? I think it is accurate to think of him as the “little engine that could,” or maybe even the “Energizer Bunny,” for his dogged pursuit of his goals and unbounded enthusiasm. Oh, sure, he occasionally has doubts, but when that happens, see the two previously mentioned sources of his strength to get him back on track. Once there, however, it is his own optimism that keeps him steady on his course.

And of course, this is not to say that he never has doubts. As mentioned earlier, he gets beat up on a regular basis because you know, things are always darkest before the dawn, yadda, yadda… but when he rebounds, usually after a good talking to by someone, our Barry is back, better than ever! His smile brings the sunshine to Central City!

 

Do you think Barry has other sources of inner strength I forgot to mention? If so, please let me know in the comments section below. I also welcome any other thoughts you might have on this topic!