Wally West in the New 52

Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

So with the New 52 a lot of things changed, one of the most dramatic differences was the lack of many fan favorite characters, including Wally West.

Wally was originally created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in 1959 as the nephew of Barry Allen’s longtime girlfriend, Iris West. Wally was involved in an identical accident as Barry that resulted in him gaining the same speed powers, thus Wally West became the Kid Flash! As Kid Flash, Wally worked as the Flash’s sidekick and a member of the Teen Titans until 1986 during the maxi-crossover event: Crisis on Infinite Earths. During CoIE, Barry Allen sacrificed his life to save all the worlds and Wally heroically took on the mantle of the Flash! Wally West was the Flash until 2011 when Flashpoint seeemingly erased him from existence.

Having been around since the 50s and having been the Flash since the 80s, Wally is the hero a lot of people still recognize as the Flash. He’s gained popularity through a long running solo series and membership in the Justice League of America. Hiis appearances in other media, such as the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons as the Flash and in the Teen Titans and Young Justice shows as Kid Flash have brought him to a wider audience. My point being, Wally is a very beloved character.

But in the new 52 Universe, he’s nowhere to be found. And despite endless fan begging and the hopes of the co-writers of the current Flash series, Wally West is benched.

My Theory behind the benching of Wally West is that DC just doesn’t know what to do with him. Though that could be said for a lot of characters DC is using, I mean that they don’t know how to introduce him into the new timeline for things to make sense. And I think that’s fair.

In the New 52 timeline, Barry has only been the Flash for 5 years. If they were to introduce Wally as a protege, there hasn’t been time for that yet. And there’s the question of how old he’d be. Historically, Wally is the same age as Dick Grayson (Nightwing) and Roy Harper (Arsenal) and the other original Titans. That would put him in his early 20s, which wouldn’t make him much younger than Barry.

So the problem is, Wally doesn’t fit well into this new universe. At least not well or not yet. But with Flash #0 we got a little tease about the West family with the brief introduction of Daniel West:

A lot of fans are speculating that this could be the stepping stones being laid out to introduce Wally West. I think they’re right. But to what capacity he’ll “be back” is still very speculative.

What DC Should have Done:

Introduce him right away as Kid Flash. My initial knee-jerk reaction to that idea was “NO!” because he’s outgrown the mantle and Bart Allen has taken it. But I think that it makes the most sense. Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again, why not put Wally back in the Gold and Red? He’s currently being Kid Flash in the Young Justice animated series, and it’s his iconic role.

What would that mean for Bart? Make Bart Impulse. Another step back? Yes. But it’s Bart’s original role, it’s fitting for his character and it again parallels with the YJ show which cleanly has 4 generations of Flashes.

They could’ve had Wally in his late teens/early 20s along with Nightwing and given him either a supporting role in the Flash series or a solo series, or left room for him to come in and be Kid Flash. Arguably the thing that is getting in Wally’s way the most is Bart Allen being Kid Flash, which sucks because I love Bart so much too.

What DC Could do:

Bart Allen and Barry Allen haven’t met yet in the new 52. There isn’t much connection between the 2 beyond the name in the New 52. DC could either have Bart change his codename to Impulse and stay more independent and introduce Wally and have him become Kid Flash or they could introduce Wally and have him become Impulse. It’s a recognizable name and would let Wally run again.

I’d like to see Wally come back through Iris and we could watch him become Barry’s apprentice. I think that’s the safest way to bring him in. Whatever name he takes, isn’t really as important, but we can’t really have Wally West as the Flash. Barry has been strongly established as the Flash and I don’t think that it’d be smart to add a third Flash to this confusing New 52.

I understand we all want Wally back. But do we really? The New 52 has proved time and time again to be a giant clusterfuck of half baked ideas and mis-characterizations. If he’s going to come back, I need it to be well done and I need him to actually be the Wally West I know and love. But luckily, The Flash is the only series I still even collect anymore, and I think if anyone could find a way to make Wally work it’d be Brian and Francis.

My Advice to Wally Fans: Be patient, stay vocal, and enjoy the old stories. Read old Wally comics, watch Wally on Young Justice. He’ll be back, it’ll just take time.

#1 Posted by PassionFlower (963 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Wally is Flash to me I loved him in JLU and he is a favorite of mine in YJ. If they used I'd be interested if not well I'm not very interested in Flash.

#2 Posted by fodigg (6148 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't need Wally to have superpowers. I just need him back in the Flash titles because Barry is not that entertaining. He'd be a good supporting character.

#3 Posted by Billy Batson (58269 posts) - - Show Bio

Well said.
BB

#4 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

Great post, and I didn't even catch the Daniel West thing.

Wally will be back. I have faith.

#5 Posted by joshmightbe (25021 posts) - - Show Bio

Or they could have Wally from the pre 52 U find a way into the DCNU. Then you have the same character with all his development and have him choose a new code name maybe say he's surpassed the title.

#6 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@PassionFlower said:

Well Wally is Flash to me I loved him in JLU and he is a favorite of mine in YJ. If they used I'd be interested if not well I'm not very interested in Flash.

You're missing out then. The new Flash title is awesome! Definitely one of the best things about the New 52.

@fodigg said:

I don't need Wally to have superpowers. I just need him back in the Flash titles because Barry is not that entertaining. He'd be a good supporting character.

I would like to see Wally back in any capacity too, but I disagree about Barry not being entertaining.

@Billy Batson: @Gambit1024: Thanks!

@joshmightbe said:

Or they could have Wally from the pre 52 U find a way into the DCNU. Then you have the same character with all his development and have him choose a new code name maybe say he's surpassed the title.

True. That's been a part of the speculation too. But that would be insanely confusing to explain. It'd be more trouble than DC would want to deal with. :/

#7 Posted by fodigg (6148 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mbecks14 said:

@fodigg said:

I don't need Wally to have superpowers. I just need him back in the Flash titles because Barry is not that entertaining. He'd be a good supporting character.

I would like to see Wally back in any capacity too, but I disagree about Barry not being entertaining.

I liked Barry in DC: The New Frontier, when he was written as more rebellious. Otherwise he's one of the least interesting to me of any of the major superheroic properties. He's like stale toast to me. And the reboot didn't help much. He's still the same old boring Barry except now he's sad about his Mom and they try to distract you from his lack of personality with outlandish new powers. His villains are far more interesting than he is. When Mob Rule appeared was the only time I really felt engaged in the book. IMO, Wally is the Flash and Barry is just a part of his backstory.

#8 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg said:

I liked Barry in DC: The New Frontier, when he was written as more rebellious. Otherwise he's one of the least interesting to me of any of the major superheroic properties. He's like stale toast to me. And the reboot didn't help much. He's still the same old boring Barry except now he's sad about his Mom and they try to distract you from his lack of personality with outlandish new powers. His villains are far more interesting than he is. When Mob Rule appeared was the only time I really felt engaged in the book. IMO, Wally is the Flash and Barry is just a part of his backstory.

Hm well that's disappointingly close minded.

#9 Posted by fodigg (6148 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mbecks14 said:

@fodigg said:

I liked Barry in DC: The New Frontier, when he was written as more rebellious. Otherwise he's one of the least interesting to me of any of the major superheroic properties. He's like stale toast to me. And the reboot didn't help much. He's still the same old boring Barry except now he's sad about his Mom and they try to distract you from his lack of personality with outlandish new powers. His villains are far more interesting than he is. When Mob Rule appeared was the only time I really felt engaged in the book. IMO, Wally is the Flash and Barry is just a part of his backstory.

Hm well that's disappointingly close minded.

How so? I'm still buying the book to support team Flash.

#10 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg said:

I liked Barry in DC: The New Frontier, when he was written as more rebellious. Otherwise he's one of the least interesting to me of any of the major superheroic properties. He's like stale toast to me. And the reboot didn't help much. He's still the same old boring Barry except now he's sad about his Mom and they try to distract you from his lack of personality with outlandish new powers. His villains are far more interesting than he is. When Mob Rule appeared was the only time I really felt engaged in the book. IMO, Wally is the Flash and Barry is just a part of his backstory.

Gotta say I feel the same way. Don't get me wrong: Barry is very important and he, as a character, is great, but his personality is very bland. The only thing I can say with confidence regarding the New 52's Flash title is that I love what they did with the Rogues. Other than that, the title's been.. lackluster, imo. It's missing something, and I really think that Wally is that something.

@joshmightbe said:

Or they could have Wally from the pre 52 U find a way into the DCNU. Then you have the same character with all his development and have him choose a new code name maybe say he's surpassed the title.

That makes sense. Why should Barry be the only one who can run to other dimensions?

#11 Edited by greencrapweasel (137 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank you for this! I really miss Wally and this really kinda helped! :D

I also REEEEEEALLY miss a green Beast Boy.....get working on that one now pleeeease!nh

#12 Posted by Omega-Man (766 posts) - - Show Bio

There is one way for Wally to be Kid Flash in the new 52. Put him on Earth 2 and he can be Jay Garrick's Kid Flash.

#13 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@Omega-Man : That's totally an option. I don't think I'd want that though :/ I want Wally to be able to work with Barry

#14 Posted by stephens2177 (1076 posts) - - Show Bio

i wish DC would usey idea for wally,where he would still get his powers the same way,but instead of speed and vibrational powers,wally got pure kinetic energy speedforce abilities.all the powers that are not in play in the nudcu can be given to wally to differiante him from barry.thimgs like speed stealing and lending,or making suits out of speedforce energy,etc,the list is long.instead of augcog which barry has,wally could see everything that moves and uses kinetic energy.look up speedforce abilities there is tons of them,this would be wallys powerset.

#15 Posted by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

great post, op. in response to the barry is boring argument, i have to say that i just dont see it. barry is more pure and less edgy than most other heroes, but that is what sets him apart from the others in my book. some people have a stronger more defined moral compass than others. barry is one of these people. i loved the part where he buys a drink for one of his enemies at the bar.

i cant think of any other mainstream hero that would do that. to me, it is barrys goodness that sets him apart. i dont think we need to make him all edgy and cool.. comics are already full of dark brooding rebel like characters. for me, barry reads like a breath of fresh air.

sorry for the lack of punctuation. phone wont let me for some reason.

#16 Posted by KZR (487 posts) - - Show Bio

That Daniel West thing is something I instantly picked up on. But I'm wondering if he's got some connection with Iris as they're both in the book, both have brown hair and both have the same surname. Coincidence? Hmm I don't think so. I'll wait to be proved wrong...or right.

#17 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@stephens2177 said:

i wish DC would usey idea for wally,where he would still get his powers the same way,but instead of speed and vibrational powers,wally got pure kinetic energy speedforce abilities.all the powers that are not in play in the nudcu can be given to wally to differiante him from barry.thimgs like speed stealing and lending,or making suits out of speedforce energy,etc,the list is long.instead of augcog which barry has,wally could see everything that moves and uses kinetic energy.look up speedforce abilities there is tons of them,this would be wallys powerset.

That would actually be really really cool!!

@Reignmaker said:

great post, op. in response to the barry is boring argument, i have to say that i just dont see it. barry is more pure and less edgy than most other heroes, but that is what sets him apart from the others in my book. some people have a stronger more defined moral compass than others. barry is one of these people. i loved the part where he buys a drink for one of his enemies at the bar.

i cant think of any other mainstream hero that would do that. to me, it is barrys goodness that sets him apart. i dont think we need to make him all edgy and cool.. comics are already full of dark brooding rebel like characters. for me, barry reads like a breath of fresh air.

sorry for the lack of punctuation. phone wont let me for some reason.

Thanks! And yeah I totally agree. I like that Barry is such a good guy. He's the kind of man I'd want to be and I'd want to be friends with which makes me enjoy reading him.

#18 Posted by stephens2177 (1076 posts) - - Show Bio

im hopijg francis manapaul thinks its a good idea to give wally the speedforce kinetic energy powers,cause i want wally back,and this is a way to do it.

#19 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1683 posts) - - Show Bio

Excellent post and I completely agree. Its a real shame that Wally was a casualty of the Flashpoint (Wonder how Barry would feel about that if he ever remembered he caused it) I think that there's definitely potential for Wally to return, and lord knows the demand is there. If he did, I wouldn't mind them just completely starting from scratch. As in he's a supporting character at first with no powers, maybe a kid Barry mentors somehow like a student, and then the accident happens and he gains his powers again. Then they go from there. Another way would be (Though I could only really see this is the Flashpoint event was going to be overturned or brought to light in the new universe) to have the Pre-Flashpoint Wally just show up in a flash of lightning demanding to know what's happened.

#20 Edited by Skulexander (104 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe because he's such an iconic and beloved character, they're planning to reintroduce him as completely separate from the Flash identity, since they've already established Barry Allen as the New 52 Flash. As in, it'll be the same Wally, with the same personality, but he'll have a different costume, different superhero name, and different backstory (if only slightly).

#21 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

@Skulexander said:

Maybe because he's such an iconic and beloved character, they're planning to reintroduce him as completely separate from the Flash identity, since they've already established Barry Allen as the New 52 Flash. As in, it'll be the same Wally, with the same personality, but he'll have a different costume, different superhero name, and different backstory (if only slightly).

That would be very counter-intuitive to the whole "iconic and beloved character" thing haha but I think if they gave him a new identity, that would work. But you gotta keep the Flash connection.

#22 Edited by Skulexander (104 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah. It'll definitely be tricky trying finding a way to introduce him, but I'm confident they'll find a way that's appealing.

#23 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mbecks14: I think this "Daniel West" thing is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. They've said repeatedly that the main reason why they haven't brought Wally back is because they know that if they do, people are going to expect him to become the Flash eventually.

#24 Posted by stephens2177 (1076 posts) - - Show Bio

best way to get rid of that perception is to not give wally superspeed.yeah i said that,instead i would give him the ability to control and perceive all things with any kind of speed.how scary would it be for barry to run upmto a guy standing still who could slow him down or push his speed into overdrive,what im getting at is give him every speedforce power that any speedster has had pre flaspoint,just NO actual speed. 
thats how i would do it.

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