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"Hey, slugger."
—Henry Allen to his son, Barry Allen[src]

Dr. Henry Allen (1955[1] – May 17, 2016) was the father of Barry Allen, the husband of the late Nora Allen, and a good friend of Joe West. Henry was framed by a time traveler known as the Reverse-Flash who had killed Nora and sent to prison. Along with the people at S.T.A.R. Labs, and Joe and Iris West, he also knows Barry's secret; that his son is the Flash. After Eobard Thawne was erased from existence, Barry was given a recording where the former confessed to murdering Nora. Henry was released from prison, though he told his son he had to leave town as he didn't want to get in the way of his son being a hero. However, after seeking advice from Henry months later, Barry returned to Central City with him where he made a final decision to stay. Soon after, Henry was murdered by Hunter Zolomon. However, after Hunter was defeated, Barry went back in time to prevent his mother's murder, resulting in Henry being alive in the new timeline. However, Barry soon realize that he made a big mistake of creating this timeline, and he allowed the Reverse-Flash to kill his mother a second time, so that the timeline would restore to the way it was, but different.

Biography

Early life

At some point, Henry Allen met and fell in love with Nora and on March 14, 1989, they had a son, Barry Allen.[2]

In 1995, Henry, Nora, and Barry traveled to Midway City for a science expo but hit a flat tire on the way. Their car was towed to a garage in Masonville and they were stuck there all day. To pass the time, the family had ice cream and french fries with gravy at a local diner and watched a fireworks display that night, having a rather fun day in Masonville.[3]

Original timeline

Originally, in an erased future that Eddie Thawne never killed himself and thus preserved the Thawne family's existence, Henry had never been killed by Zoom and lived at least until 2024 when the Flash ran back in time to stop the Reverse-Flash.

Pre-Flashpoint timeline

In 2000 when his son, Barry, was 11 years old, a red and yellow tornado-like blur came into their home, and in the middle of the tornado seemed to be a man. Henry held Barry back, telling him to run, and before either of them could do a thing, the blur shoved and knocked Henry out, murdered Henry's wife and swept Barry 20 blocks away from his home. Following Nora's death, her murder was pinned on Henry and he was sent to jail in Iron Heights Prison.[4][5]

Henry disallowed Barry from seeing him as he didn't wish him to see his father in jail. However, Barry eventually snuck in by running to the prison. Henry assured Barry that he couldn't help him in any way, so instead he wished him to be the good boy that both of his parents believed he was.[6]

Incarceration in Iron Heights

Henry was incarcerated in Iron Heights during the Undertaking in 2013. At some point while in prison Henry gained the respect of another inmate after doing an impromptu surgery for a ruptured appendix when there was no doctors around. Years later, in late 2014, Henry was still incarcerated in Iron Heights. He had Barry come to visit him from time to time, and despite him previously having told to change his name out of embarrassment, Barry stated that he was incredibly glad that he didn't, as he was more than proud to be Henry's son.[5]

Eventually, Joe went to visit Henry. Joe explained that Barry was fine, he had just felt like it was long since due that he visited Henry. He promised that he finally believed Henry, that he knew he hadn't killed Nora, and he was finally reopening the case. He apologized, though Henry stated that he never cared about Joe's belief in him, but his belief in Barry. Suddenly, The Mist entered the room and began suffocating the guard. He soon moved on to Joe, causing him to choke, before Barry came, in disguise, and saved him with a counteracting injection. Henry watched as the seemingly unidentified man saved Joe's life. Barry turned towards his father, blurring his face so he wouldn't recognize him; Joe soon came back to life and Barry ran off to stop The Mist. Barry later came to visit his father. He expressed how he missed his mother, which led to Henry telling a story about when Barry learnt to walk: being a late bloomer, Nora believed that he'd walk when he had some place to go. Finally he learnt how to walk, but rather than walking, he ran in to his mother's arms, finally having some place to go.[7]

When the man in yellow reappeared in Central City, Barry visited his father again, saying he had had his mother's murderer but let him escape, and saying that because he had failed to stop him, he was now partly responsible for Henry's imprisonment. Henry told Barry not to blame himself, that the man in yellow had already taken enough from their family, and that Barry should live his life rather than let Nora's killer take anything more from them. He also revealed that he had long known about Barry's unspoken love for Iris.

During Barry's investigation of Clay Parker's breakout of Iron Heights, Joe arranges for Henry to be moved by a police officer past the crime scene so that him and Barry could enjoy a short time together. Later, without Barry's acknowledgement, Henry asks around the inmates for information on Clay so as to assist the investigation. Barry tells Henry to not endanger himself anymore, which Henry consents to. Despite this, Henry stays in contact with Joe and continues to search for more information. As a result, he is stabbed and beaten by Julius, an inmate working under Marcus. He reveals that he continued to investigate because he wanted to be there to help Barry like Barry did for him. At Barry's insistence, he tells him that it was Julius who harmed him.

The next day Henry is seen in his infirmary bed, discussing Barry's recent date. He then mentions The Flash in the newspaper, recollecting the time he witnessed The Flash save Joe from The Mist. Henry then notes the coincidence of him recently being harmed by Julius and of The Flash extending Julius' prison sentence due to his breakout, comparing it to The Flash saving Joe, implying that he believes Barry is The Flash. Barry denies being The Flash, saying that Henry would have been the first to know. Henry then states that if The Flash were his son, that he'd first tell him that the world is dangerous and that he should be careful. Second, he would tell him that he is a hero who is saving many lives, and lastly that his father would be proud of him, leaving a teary-eyed Barry looking up at Henry.[8]

Henry was later kidnapped by James Jesse, who wanted to use him and his connection to the CCPD as an bargain in case his plan failed. However, Barry ended up rescuing him at the last minute and subsequently confirmed his father's theory of him being the Flash by removing his mask.

Before returning to prison, Henry received a small tour of S.T.A.R. Labs and thanked all members of Team Flash for being there for Barry.

After "Harrison Wells's" deception and real identity as Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash was exposed, Thawne, in order to return to his own time period, offered the idea of Barry traveling back in time and saving his mother from her death in 2000. Unsure of whether to take up Thawne's offer, Barry met up with Henry in prison but Henry discouraged the idea, knowing that Nora's averted fate would not be what she would have wanted if it meant that Barry would lose everything he had. Despite Henry's advice, however, Barry later ran back in time with the intent to save Nora but backed out at the last minute, heeding his father's words and noting what he already had in the current timeline.

After Barry returned to the present without saving Nora and Eddie Thawne committed suicide in order to erase Eobard from existence, a singularity formed atop Central City, causing heavy destruction to the city as Henry watched from his cell. Henry witnessed Barry and Firestorm destroy the singularity and save the city.

Exoneration

Six months later, Barry received a video from Thawne meant to be viewed in the event of his death. In the video, Thawne (as Harrison Wells) briefly taunted his nemesis before providing a confession of Nora's murder, admitting all the details of the night she was killed. A shocked Barry gave the video to the police, who later released Henry from prison and cleared all his charges. A joyful Team Flash celebrated Henry's return in the West household, where Henry revealed his plans to leave town and explore the world once more, much to Barry's initial dismay but later support.

Temporary return

However, shortly after Barry suffered a beating at the hands of Zoom and became temporarily paralyzed, Henry returned to provide moral support to his son. After Barry revealed his doubts of going up against Zoom and knew that Zoom caused Central City to lose faith in their hero, Henry confided in Barry all the feelings he went through when he was accused of murdering Nora, and told him that he only got through because he kept family in mind. Barry revealed his relief at having Henry back and was able to resume his work as the Flash before Henry left once again.

Return to Team Flash

Several months later, Barry lost his speed to Zoom and went by car to talk to his father after Harry Wells explained that another particle accelerator explosion could return his speed. Henry was bewildered when Barry told him that "Jay Garrick" was really Hunter Zolomon/Zoom, with Henry explaining that "Garrick" was his mother's maiden name. Needing his father's help in deciding whether to pull through with Harry's plan, Barry brought Henry back to Central City but later revealed that having Henry with the team made the decision so much harder rather than easier. After Zoom slaughtered the police force at Jitters, however, a desperate Barry decided to pull through, to Henry's initial skepticism but later support.

Despite the best efforts of Harry and the team to recreate the particle accelerator, it failed and resulted in Barry being vaporized, much to Henry's anger. Despite his frustration with Harry, Henry agreed to revive Harry's daughter after she was knocked unconscious by the accelerator blast. After Barry returned to the normal world from the Speed Force with his powers restored, Henry was relieved. With their latest win, Henry became a permanent member of Team Flash to the joy of the team. While celebrating Henry's return, however, Zoom crashed the party and took Henry hostage as Barry watched on in horror. Zoom then sped off with Henry as Barry followed suit.

Death

Zoom killing Henry

Henry murdered by Zoom.

Zoom took Henry to the Allen House, finding it to be poetic justice to murder Henry at the same place where Nora was killed in 2000. Barry followed and pleaded with Hunter to let his father go and take him instead, but Zoom insisted that the death of Henry would push Barry to be just like him. As Hunter taunted Barry, Henry managed to declare his and Nora's love for Barry before he was cut short by Hunter's hand phasing through his chest, stopping Henry's heart. Barry yelled out in grief and crouched to see his father one last time before Henry took his last breath and died, leaving Barry to grieve at his side before charging at Zoom in rage.

A seething Barry later swore on his father's grave that he would kill Zoom for what he did to Henry.

Flashpoint timeline

After defeating Zoom, Barry confided in Iris the guilt over his father's death on top of his mother's despite their victory. Desperate to be truly happy, Barry decided to travel back in time and stop the Reverse-Flash from killing Nora in 2000. Due to Barry's changes, Nora remained alive as a new timeline set and Henry was never sent to prison for her murder.

Barry took Thawne, traveled to 2016, and set out to live a normal life, which included living with Henry and Nora, alive and well. After three months of living with his parents, Henry and Nora tried to ask Barry to find an apartment. Barry seemed surprised and asked why they wanted him to move out. They said that they only wanted him to have his own place in case he got a girlfriend. He then told them that he had a date with Iris West, to their surprise and encouragement.

After the death of Wally West/Kid Flash at the hands of The Rival in the Flashpoint timeline, Barry realized that his alterations of the timeline allowed him to have a better life but ruined or worsened the lives of those around him. Barry asked Thawne to travel back to 2000 once more and undo Flashpoint by killing Nora once again, to which Thawne obliged.

Current timeline

After Thawne reset the timeline, Henry went to prison for Nora's murder as he did in the original timeline. He was additionally killed by Zoom like the original timeline although the time of his death was possibly changed due to the fallout of Flashpoint.

Legacy

After Henry was wrongfully accused of Nora's murder and arrested, Barry decided to devote his life to find his mother's real killer, knowing that Henry was innocent, becoming a forensic scientist with the CCPD. It was also because of this event that Barry decided to become the Flash.

After his death at the hands of Hunter Zolomon,[9] Henry was deeply mourned by Team Flash, but his death affected his son the most. Barry struggled to forget this event and was at first successful at doing so. However, when Barry met Henry's doppelgänger, Barry's depression returned. He looked back at the many losses he had in his life and, in order to feel success and rid himself of his suffering, traveled back in time to 2000 and saved his mother from the Reverse-Flash, forming a new timeline where she survived and Henry was never sent to prison or murdered by Zoom.[1] He realized his mistake in creating the new timeline after seeing Wally die at the hands of Rival and allowed Thawne to undo his changes to the timeline, causing Henry to be killed by Zoom once more albeit at a different time than the original timeline.[10]

In 2017, Henry's death was avenged when Killer Frost killed Hunter (as Black Flash) when he charged toward Savitar to erase him from the timeline.[3]

After Barry was wrongfully sent to prison in 2018 for the "murder" of Clifford DeVoe,[11] fellow inmate Dave Ratchet remembered Henry's kindness and went out of his way to save Barry from attacks by other inmates, knowing that Barry was innocent just as Henry was for Nora's murder. Just like Henry, Barry was mentioned to be a model inmate by the Warden. During his imprisonment, Barry was imprisoned in the same cell as his father, carving "SO WAS BARRY" beneath the previously-carved "HENRY ALLEN WAS HERE," causing Barry to sadly remember his father and noting the irony of it all.[12]

Personality

"Henry Allen. Henry suffered two great losses in his life. He lost his wife, Nora, and he lost Barry. He suffered guilt, embarrassment, ridicule, shame, and everything that comes with being blamed for a crime he didn't commit. Henry Allen was proof that love can get you through the darkest of days, and that love will keep him alive in all of our hearts."
Joe West's eulogy at Henry's funeral[src]

Henry was a kind, caring, sympathetic, compassionate, selfless, and intelligent man. He was a very devoted husband and father to Nora and Barry Allen, whom he loved deeply. When the Reverse-Flash stabbed Nora in the heart with a knife, Henry did everything he could to save her, and was devastated by her death.

Henry used to be good friends with Joe West, until the latter chose to believe he was guilty of Nora's murder. When Joe came to visit him after 14 years of minimal contact, Henry was cold and frosty to him due to Joe's past refusal to accept his innocence. Despite his anger towards Joe, Henry frantically tried to call a for help when Joe was poisoned by Kyle Nimbus. Joe and Henry eventually reconciled when Joe admitted his mistake and affirmed Henry's innocence, vowing to get him out sooner or later.

As some may expect, after multiple clues, including Iris West's photos of the speedster, Henry eventually discovered that Barry is indeed the Flash. He immediately accepted Barry's life as a superhero, proud of the man his son had become. Henry also developed an almost fatherly camaraderie with most of Team Flash.

Henry could have been considered someone who "gave up on" his own life, but not in a suicidal sense - He had realized his son had a bigger purpose than him, largely because of the impact that, as "the Flash", had changed Central City, and may have eventually realized the full-scope of what he would or could become. Through this, Henry was supporting his son, and while he did not agree with his judgement, like going back to stop Eobard from killing Nora, his wife, Henry objected, but reaffirmed to his son why it was better. Henry had all but given up on getting out of jail, and even tried to persuade Barry from pursuing "the man in yellow", aka the Reverse Flash. It could be argued that, while Henry now knew what Barry could do, he believed there was a natural order, and that with Henry being sentenced to life in prison, there was a reason he is in there, and, in some instances, it showed that Henry believes his "reason" for being in there, was for Barry.

Through this, Henry had accepted his wife's being gone, and had learned to live with it, but also had learned to live "alone", in that he had realized he can't be apart of Barry's life, and while he wants to, badly, he wants Barry's life to be his own, and not allow Barry to undo his own growth for the sake of him or his wife.

Due to having a history with science from his path to being a doctor, Henry believed the natural order of things should not be interfered with. As a result, he protested against Barry going back in time to save Nora, even if it meant Henry would have been able to raise Barry with his wife, and his lost honor as a doctor and innocent man would be restored.[3]

Abilities

  • High-level intellect/Expert medic: Henry was a very intelligent individual, allowing him to gain an M.D. and become a renowned doctor. Despite being imprisoned for 15 years, Henry's skills have not diminished. Henry performed surgery on David Ratchet when the latter suffered from appendicitis[13] and did a medical examination on Caitlin Snow following her captivity with Zoom.[9] Henry is a very observant man, able to determine his son, Barry Allen, was the Flash,

Appearances

Arrow

Season 2

Season 4

Season 7

The Flash

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6


Supergirl

Season 3

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 2

Comics

The Flash: Season Zero

The Chronicles of Cisco

Behind the scenes

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Race of His Life"
  2. "Cause and Effect"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Finish Line"
  4. "The Scientist"
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Pilot"
  6. "Fastest Man Alive"
  7. "Things You Can't Outrun"
  8. "Crazy for You"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Invincible"
  10. "Flashpoint"
  11. "The Trial of The Flash"
  12. "The Elongated Knight Rises"
  13. "Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash"


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