‘The Flash’: Nora Dawn Allen’s Powers & History

Tatiana Hullender
TV The CW
TV The CW DC Sci-Fi

Now that Iris and Barry’s daughter from the future has taken The Flash Season 5 trailer by storm, fans are wondering what her story is and how it will fit into Season 5. While we can’t know what the show has in store moving forward, we can look backwards to the comics for clues regarding the life and times of Nora West-Allen.

Without further ado – but with plenty of decades old comic spoilers – let’s dive into a brief history of Dawn Allen and how The Flash might incorporate her story.

Developing a Legacy

Iris with Dawn & Don in "The Life Story of the Flash" (1997)

While Nora arrived alone to visit her parents, her comic counterpart Dawn Allen usually has a partner in crime-fighting. Together, Dawn and her twin brother Don form a superhero team-up called the Tornado Twins. They were first introduced in Adventure Comics #373 in 1968, where they were merely “direct descendants” of Barry Allen who had not inherited his speed. But that changed after “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and by 1991 they were reintroduced as Iris and Barry’s metahuman children who had to hide their powers on pain of death. Wally even learns from Iris that her kids died after saving the world from Dominators and her grandson was experimented on by the government. There’s hints of this kind of future on The Flash as well, given the introduction of Dominators during “Invasion!” and the phone call Barry made to Gideon in 2056 about having lost too many people.

As the years went on, the family tree expanded further and more details were added. Flash Vol. 2 #92 introduced Bart Allen in the flesh, revealing that he was Don’s son via a forbidden romance with Meloni Thawne. Their Romeo & Juliet-esque marriage was the cause of a lot of heartbreak, thanks to a centuries old family feud between the Allens and the Thawnes. At one point, Meloni and Iris even team up to rescue Bart from the clutches of his other grandfather before being forced to hide him somewhere in the past. Dawn’s own daughter Jenni first showed up in 1995, discovering her powers after a terrifying run-in with Dominators and exposing herself in order to save her father.

The most tragic part of all? Much like Barry never got a chance to meet his kids before dying, Dawn and Don didn’t get to spend much time with their children before being executed for treason for the simple crime of being metahumans who tried to help others. Not knowing her dad in the future would certainly explain her eagerness around him in the past.

Changing the Future

The twins debate using their powers against Iris' wishes. (The Flash Vol. 2 #114)

If Nora does indeed hail from a reality as dark as Dawn’s, that would explain her forlorn speech to Cecile in “Therefore She Is” about not having much time. How could such a bleak backstory come into play on The Flash, which tries to maintain a lighter tone and clings to hope above all else? One way rests in a key part of Nora’s identity: the fact that she’s from the future. The show has previously played with time travel, subtly marking the difference between changing the past in “Flashpoint” and changing the future when it came to saving Iris from Savitar. Interestingly enough, Nora’s adventures thus far have followed a path similar to her father’s.

Her reasons for coming to 2018 are unclear, but it’s certain that helping Barry stop the satellite was a “big, big mistake” for Nora to make. The trailer even hints at her revealing a secret about the future to Barry, which might lead the team down another causal loop like the one in Season 3. But it’s important to remember that even if her personal future is dark and depressing, it’s still nothing but a potential outcome. Instead of letting the future’s inevitability weight them down like it has before, Barry and Iris help their daughter with a more enlightened understanding of time travel and the speed force. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to watch Barry teach his daughter the lessons he previously refused to learn.

The future as a malleable experience also has its roots in the comics, which recently allowed Barry and Iris to glimpse a possible future in which the Tornado Twins are criminals hell-bent on getting revenge against their father for not being around enough. Despite being shaken by the prospect, Barry and Iris have since resumed their relationship with the knowledge that just because it could happen doesn’t mean it will. When it comes to The Flash TV show, Nora currently seems like an angel – albeit one who makes as many mistakes as Barry – but what if her brother is the one who has gone rogue? Watching Barry, Iris and the rest of the team trying to save someone they haven’t even met yet would certainly be a new experience.

Nora Allen’s Powers

Nora’s powers are very similar to her father’s:

  • Connection to the speed force
  • Accelerated healing
  • Superhuman agility
  • Superhuman strength
  • Ability to time travel
  • Creation of vortexes
  • Enhanced senses
  • Phasing

The Flash Season 5

Make room for XS!

The possibilities for how to incorporate Dawn’s origins into Nora’s story are endless, but they all promise to make good use of both time travel and family dynamics. And what more could we want from a show about a time traveling speedster whose ever-growing family keeps him on a heroic path?

As for Nora’s journey ahead, FANDOM caught up with actress Jessica Parker Kennedy at San Diego Comic-Con. According to Kennedy, she is definitely a Daddy’s girl. “Nora is a lot like Barry, the way that Barry was earlier on. She’s finding her footing. She’s goofy, she’s dorky, she very young-spirited, she’s prone to making mistakes and needing other people to clean them up — she’s in the experimental phase of her life.”

As for joining the show, Kennedy knew her character’s journey from the beginning. While Nora was lurking at Barry and Iris’ wedding, Kennedy knew exactly who she was and why she was there. “My favorite moment so far has been in the crossover where I talk to him at the wedding. There’s a sense of wondering and imagining what it would be like to meet your parent whom you’ve never met as a young person.”

Does that mean Barry isn’t alive in her timeline? Is that why her relationship with her mother is strained? Kennedy did confirm that her relationship with Iris would be different than her relationship with Barry. “Something has definitely happened that makes her feel more closer to her father than her mother. It’s something that you’ll find out relatively early on in this season.”

The Flash returns to the CW on Tuesdays this fall.

Tatiana Hullender
Lover of comic books and shows about them, I come to Fandom so that I can think too much about my favorite stories with a community of fans as passionate as I am.
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