The October 20, 2004 episode of Smallville, “Run,” featured a new version of the Flash. This Flash was not Barry Allen like the 1990 TV series, or Wally West like the then-current comic book, but was an early appearance of Bart Allen (originally Impulse, then Kid Flash) as the Flash. Bart returned on January 18, 2007 in “Justice,” and again in the May 14, 2009 espiode, “Doomsday.”
The Flash / Impulse
Known Relatives: Unnamed parents
Occupation: Adventurer, petty thief
Base of Operations: Metropolis
Played by: Kyle Gallner
Young Bart Allen was in some sort of accident with a bright flash of light, giving him the ability to move at super-speed, even run across water. Feeling outcast even at home, he ran off to live the life of a street urchin and petty thief. Impulsive, irreverent, unconcerned with laws or property, he financed his alternately homeless and extravagant lifestyle with stolen goods and credit cards until the day he saved Jonathan Kent from an out-of-control truck... and stole his wallet.
Kent’s son Clark tracked Bart down and confronted him. Bart was amazed to find another person with super powers. Clark was amazed to find someone with powers who wasn’t from Smallville. He also set about trying to teach Bart a sense of responsibility. It took some effort. Bart stole a priceless manuscript from Lex Luthor, tried to fence it, and was promptly attacked by the fencer. Clark helped him out of the jam, and Bart decided to return the manuscript on his own.
Bart left Smallville to travel the world, looking for others like himself and Clark.
Bart Allen’s travels took him to Star City, where he was spotted by industrial heir Oliver Queen. As Green Arrow, he was investigating a LuthorCorp project called 33.1. Luthor was experimenting on people with super-powers, and building an army. Bart began working with Queen, breaking into LuthorCorp facilities across North America and stealing information.
Green Arrow also recruited two more team members: Victor Stone, a cyborg who had once been captured by LuthorCorp, and underwater powerhouse Arthur Curry. The team investigated 33.1 for months, eventually setting up a base in Metropolis.
Inevitably, Bart crossed paths again with Clark Kent. After their last encounter, Clark was suspicious of the speedster. When he learned that Bart had broken into a LuthorCorp facility, he told Lionel Luthor about him. The next 33.1 facility targeted was a set-up, and Bart was captured. Lex Luthor proceeded to interrogate him.
Clark confronted Green Arrow about Bart’s activities, and the archer told him what LuthorCorp was doing. The team staged an attack on the facility to rescue Bart—or Impulse, as they called him. Their secondary objective was for Cyborg to retrieve the project’s computer files, with the tertiary mission was to destroy the facility. In the process, they learned that 33.1 was expanding globally. They invited Clark to join them in shutting down the project, but he declined.
Justice & Doom
Bart continued to work with Green Arrow and the others, locating 33.1 facitilies across the globe and shutting them down. They crossed paths with an enhanced soldier who had Bart’s speed and Clark’s strength, and learned that outside forces have been guiding the formation of their team.
Impulse returned to Metropolis with Black Canary and Green Arrow to take down Doomsday. Clark wanted to separate Doomsday from his human host Davis Bloome before burying the “beast” alive, but Green Arrow believed it was safer to kill him in human form. Green Arrow stopped Clark with a Kryptonite arrow to keep him out of the way while the Leaguers captured Bloome and Chloe Sullivan. Doomsday proceeded to soundly beat all three of them before battling a revived Clark. All three survived the battle with only minor injuries.
- Costume: Publicity still from “Doomsday.”
- Racing & Profile: Screen captures from “Run” courtesy of The Flash at KryptonSite and Devoted To Smallville.
- Backlit by fire: Publicity still from “Justice.”
- Drawn: Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom Episode 3
- Smallville episode #4.5: “Run” (October 20, 2004)
- Smallville episode #6.11: “Justice” (Janaury 18, 2007)
- Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom animated shorts (Spring 2007)*
- Smallville episode #8.22: “Doomsday” (May 14, 2009)
- When Clark looks through Bart’s fake ID cards, the names are Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West—the first three Flashes from the comics.
- The pick-up line Bart uses on Chloë, about being from the future, is a nod to the comic-book Bart Allen’s origin.
- On Smallville, Bart is clearly faster than Clark. In the comics, the Flash and Superman are usually evenly matched, sometimes with the Flash being slightly faster. (He is the Flastest Man Alive, after all!)
- Bart remarks to Clark that, if he does find more people like them, they should “start a league.”
- Bart is never called the Flash onscreen during “Run,” but was given the name (and a logo) in promotional spots.
- When Clark tells Chloë that he wasn’t the one who rescued her, she says, “I thought you were the fastest man alive.” This is, of course, one of the Flash’s nicknames (and is the subtitle of the current comic book).
- Bart eats enormous amounts of food, just like the TV version of Barry and Wally early in his solo career.
- When Lex Luthor holds Bart captive, he says, “I know you.” This may be a reference to the fact that Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex on Smallville, also voices the animated Flash in Justice League Unlimited.
- Bart flirts with Chloë at every opportunity, not unlike Wally in his younger days.
- Green Arrow says that Bart “didn’t get to pick his nickname.” In the comics, Bart was also given the name Impulse by others.
- Ollie remarks that while the team hasn’t chosen a name, it should be “Something with ‘Justice’ in it.” Put it together with Bart’s comment in “Run,” and you get the Justice League.
- While tracing Bart’s phone records, one of the holding companies is JL International; During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the league had UN sponsorship and was known as Justice League International. (Thanks to de.m.on for pointing this out)
- By the end of the episode: Bart’s identity is known to the other Justice League members, to Clark, Chloë, Martha Kent, Lionel and Lex Luthor (and possibly to some LuthorCorp employees involved in 33.1).
- * The five-part Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom premiered during commercial breaks in the April 19, 2007 episode of Smallville. The animated series focused on the show’s version of the Justice League. Episodes were available online during April and May 2007, and appear on the Season 6 DVD set.
- Bart is mentioned several times in Season 8 before actually appearing in the finale. “Odyssey” refers to him and Victor Stone searching for Clark. In “Hex,” Clark misses the opening scenes because he and Bart are on a Justice League mission in Keystone City.
- Smallville Legends at Crimson Lightning