February 1, 2013

A Case for Wally West as the New Reverse Flash

Category: Opinion — By @ 7:00 am

Flash #117 Blood Spot

Today’s guest post is by Scott Timms.

Every fan of the Flash has a favorite character who has taken up the mantle. There is no shame in loving Wally, being partial to Barry or the other way around. I personally lean toward Barry, but growing up in the 90s I understand the loyalty to Wally. On one hand, Barry is the current Flash and on the other hand Wally had the Flash mantle for just as long as pre-crisis Barry did. No one who has the characters’ best interest in mind would want Barry to be killed off to make room for Wally, and just having Wally appear as another Flash would be ill-conceived at best. How can Wally’s half a century of Kid Flash and Flash duty be honored, tied in, and introduced in a post Flashpoint New 52 world?

First, let us explore the answer that won’t sit well with any Flash fan: ignoring he exists with no explanation. For the Wally fans, consider how disappointing that option is. How relieving was it to find out why Captain Cold doesn’t use a cold gun anymore? Changes are fine, I just want some explanation or some bridge to the version of the story I hold dear. I present to you an interesting solution: Wally being introduced as the new Reverse Flash. It would give the character teeth and keep interest in his run as the Flash. It makes Flash #1-247 relevant in a way keeping him out of the New 52 universe simply doesn’t. The argument is always Barry or Wally. If you introduce Reverse Flash as an equal to Barry then you allow that question to come to life. Wally and Barry on the same page battling it out is an invigorating idea. Introducing a beloved hero such as Wally as a villain while at the same balancing the homage Wally is due will challenge the creative team and the preconceptions of the fans.

Here is an idea Wally fans will eat up. Wally doesn’t have to stay a “villain” or the Reverse Flash. How compelling are super hero team ups of two characters once at odds? How tantalizing would a story line be which introduces and establishes Wally as Reverse Flash, but then brings the two together? During their time at odds fans can see the “Barry vs. Wally” scenario play out before their eyes and brought together fans can have a fully reintroduced, explained, and character developed Barry/Wally team back to their comic books. Wally as Reverse Flash doesn’t forever doom Wally as an evil villain. It is an avenue by which he can be reintroduced. A mutual threat could bring Barry Flash and Wally Reverse Flash on the same side, and see Wally come back into the super hero fold. All this is speculation, but the directions the writers could take it are endless.

Wally as Reverse Flash is an intriguing idea. It challenges the status quo and gives Wally the provocative return he deserves. Do any Wally fans out there want the writers to simply have him appear and say “Poof! Here he is!”, or give Wally some lackluster, poorly executed return? Wally needs a place and his past stories have relevance. Being introduced as Reverse Flash could give him the reintroduction he deserves. Wally’s personality and place in the hearts of fans could take Flash/Reverse Flash to new heights.

For thoughts on other candidates for the new villain, check out our previous article, Who is the New Reverse-Flash?

50 responses to “A Case for Wally West as the New Reverse Flash”

  1. Sam says:

    I could see it happening, if he is the sole survivor (with Donna Troy) of the pre-Flashpoint universe.

  2. Perplexio says:

    Regardless of who the Reverse Flash ends up being… Manapul has mentioned he’ll have a different costume… I’d like to see the new costume being like a Reverse Dark Flash costume… Gold with a dark crimson lightning bolt over the shoulder.

    I’d like to see Wally, Stephanie Brown, and Donna Troy all somehow have survived Flashpoint… They could be the 3 lone characters who remember the Pre-Flashpoint universe. Stephanie could revert to being Spoiler since Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again.

    This could make for a very bitter Wally… especially if he remembers Linda and the kids… and now suddenly his entire family has been wiped from existence thanks to Flashpoint… that could create enough hostility towards Barry to make Wally snap….just a thought.

    • Kyer says:

      I started reading this and immediately the TV show Three’s Company! sprang to mind. Only it would be a darker version….three tenants out to murder a murder investigator while dealing with Mr. Roper.

  3. Miguel says:

    I love your idea. It’s somewhat original and IMO would be a breath of fresh air on the whole Flash mythology. But, then again, I’m a huge fan of Barry and not so crazy about Wally. So, seeing Wally become the villain would probably not have the same impact on me as it would have on a die-hard Wally fan.

  4. Mike says:

    How about a new twist,let walley become new named type of Flash like maybe Lightspeed Flash,Sonicboom Flash,SonicSpeed flash and for Costume pay Tribute to other Flash’s like maybe red mask of barry,but top of mask open like kid flash,then the suit can Be Yellow like silver age Reverse flash,the chest logo circle red,inside circle Sliver lightning bolt inside a red lightning bolt and finally the streeks of lightning across wrists and waist in Silver,then walley could say it’s in honor of past flash’s.

  5. I don’t mean to be rude but I hate this idea. Wally is not a villain, and just to think of that it disgraces his name. It’s obviously you are a fan of Barry Allen because it doesn’t sit well with Wally fans. Wally is a character that grew up with us and he won the mantle of the Flash. I don’t want a “new” Wally because Wally is his personal history and the roads he had to overcome. He is not simply a name. To bring him back as a new character is disappointing, to bring him back as a villain is simply outrageous.

    • Scott Timms says:

      Not rude to not be onboard with an opinion. I understand your dismay. Who knows how all this will play out. Thank for giving it a read.

  6. Demps says:

    What if he returned as the Black Flash, an icon of the death of the old universe and the only one who remembered things as they once were. He could help Barry avoid the same mistakes that were made in the past.

    • Colin Crebs says:

      I thought Flash: Rebirth was going to end with Barry Allen becoming the Black Flash. I thought it was headed that way after #2 I think, and that it would be awesome. So I’d be very down with Wally West as Reverse or Black Flash.

  7. Kyer says:

    I don’t really want to see Barry vs Wally in any form whatsoever…even temporarily. Can’t even stomach the online forum debates on this. Been pretty plain every time this comes up that Wally as a bad guy is not something I’d stand for. If they do this, I’d actually prefer it was Walter who showed up, give Walter a decent story, and leave Wally clear for something more…heroic from the get-go.

    Suppose a good litmus test for any scenario Flash or another book would be: turn it around.
    Change out Wally for Barry. Does the idea still appeal to the same people? If so it might work. If it only works one way…something is off kilter.

  8. mrmaczaps says:

    Wally grew. the DC52 is really no place for him.
    DC should do an anthology of the old universe… bi weekly. I’d buy those Wally stories… Linda & the kids. a bart allen that isn’t some kind of crazy killer from the 31st century… spoiler (& her kid… remember that?) and Donna Troy….
    meanwhile in the back issue bins…

    • Kyer says:

      This. This is the best way. However somebody somewhere high up is going to see it as admitting defeat that not everyone is crazy about the whole DC52 universe and nix it instead of thinking…good way to regain loyalty from those who preferred the old universe. (Yes, she doesn’t expect to ever return fully to DC because while the art in some books is awesome and she’s naturally disposed towards DC characters more than Marvel ones….her DC *was murdered as an inside job* with little hope of an eventual ‘JSA’ version of the old characters coming about via another dimension. Loyalty can only stand so much abuse. They’re lucky I’m currently willing to buy even the Flash trades and that’s because I still feel *something* for Barry due to how Wally felt about him.
      (God, three years is not enough time for me to get over the loss of a silly fictional character. I need a life. *sigh*)
      Lia, nice thought. If only we had access to that party.

  9. Lia says:

    I like to think that all the characters missing in the reboot are living in a 24/7 party dimension. It beats the alternative.

  10. Kyer says:

    Gah! k’ay, maybe I should have calmed down before posting this but….
    Just when I was bemoaning the loss of Young Justice on TV…they do a character bio of Impulse. Yes! Only…they end the bio with the reaffirmation that Bart is way faster than Wally and can also vibrate through walls no problemo.
    Way to go, dudes. Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way to cancellation.

  11. Scott Timms says:

    Thanks for all the comments! First blog! Just want Wally back in some form. Change is hard. I hated the new Jay Garrick and was up in arms about the change to his look. Then I read Earth 2 and now I am no board with it. Just hope they take chances that pay off.

  12. Savitar says:

    An intriguing notion, but one I think goes against the grain of the character. Wally was always about striving to be a better hero so his coming back as a villain would be odd.

    If there is a Multiverse again, I’d rather Wally to be the Flash of another world. Have him be married to Linda, with the kids, the whole deal, just that he was always the first and only Flash of this other Earth.

    Re-do Flash of Two Worlds but instead of Barry and Jay, let be Barry and Wally.

  13. Mr. F says:

    Nope. Not feeling Wally as a villain. Not at all. As much as I hate the absence of Wally, I’ll be damned if they pervert the legacy of my favorite character just to give him back to the fans. If you’re gonna give me back Wally West, give me back Wally West…not some corny, hateful, evil version of Reverse Flash who stole his name.

    • Scott Timms says:

      No one said anything about corny or hateful, nor about doing it just to give Wally back to fans. Just a thought about what might happen. We will all see as the reverse flash story arc plays out.

  14. KoderKev says:

    I thought that Flashpoint established that Zoom was a living paradox that no longer required Barry (as Flash) to exist in order for Reverse Flash to exist. My point is, isn’t Zoom “still out there” as the Reverse Flash?

    I know a lot of Wally supporters are angry at Barry’s return. Personally, I would have returned Wally as Kid Flash and left Impulse/Bart out of the new 52, maybe to return later on. I think it’s strange that all the adult superheroes were returned to their original places, but the original Teen Titans (Wally, Donna, Speedy, Robin) now no longer existed. Speedy is now Arsenal and Robin is Nightwing, Wally and Donna are gone, and the “second” Teen Titans is the only one that ever existed. So I guess Dick and Starfire never had a relationship, either. See how bollocksed this is?

    • Kyer says:

      See, here’s their thing…it’s about the kaputness of it all:
      Everything you knew and loved is kaput…except for those things that they specifically bring up in the new books. That stuff is not kaput. Since the original Teen Titans were younger than the originals and they made the originals young & upcoming….the original Teen Titans are kaput (save for ones like Robin because they know if they got rid of Dick then the Batman fans would make DC kaput.)
      For the record, not all of us Wally fans didn’t want Barry back. Back in the sprign of 2009 some of us were thrilled. Less thrilled by the summer of 2010 when cracks in our rose-colored glasses appeared, but still not hating on Barry the character.
      We reserve that for DC Ed. 😀

      • KoderKev says:

        That’s what editors are for: So you hate them and not the creative team. It’s actually been proven that editors thrive on loathing and disgust. It’s true.

        What I always tell my friends is that if you hate retcons, quit buying comics. Seriously. Both Marvel and DC find ways to reboot their characters periodically. Abrams even did it with Star Trek. I just wish DC had established the underpinnings of the reboot better.

        • Kyer says:

          Yeah, I know. Didio smirks and does verbal finger salutes at his customers. Doubt he’s reading this or any other non DC hq. forum as he’s too busy, so I’m not actually feeding his beast.

          The Star Trek reboot movies? Trekkie since 1966. Movie had some nice special effects and was okay. I treat it as an Elseworld despite Nimoy being in it as Spock because the basic plot of the movie and some major changes to the characters are abhorrant to me. Didn’t buy a single book, DVD, toy, or notebook pad. Flash is the only DC52 book I started buying (well, one trade so far) and that has more to do with nostalgia for a ghost than anything else. When push comes to shove with my pay grade it will be the first non-essential left that I drop.

    • Lee H says:

      “I thought that Flashpoint established that Zoom was a living paradox that no longer required Barry (as Flash) to exist in order for Reverse Flash to exist.”

      It did. Then Batman killed him!

  15. Steve says:

    No matter how it’s done, it will be a Barry story at the expense of Wally. At the very least, it continues to define Wally only by his relationship to Barry. He goes from being Not-Barry to Anti-Barry, and that’s not an improvement in any way, shape, or form.

    The best way to bring Wally back would be to respect the themes of his original series and write him as his own man. His own Flash. Otherwise, it’s a thematic regression. A re-run. Different dimensions are totally the way to go. Give him a new origin as the Flash without Barry Allen involved in any way, shape, or form, and so long as Wally’s a character with inner-conflict, self-doubt, and a lot to live up to, it will ring true. Just as it rang true in the Justice League animated series.

  16. Steve says:

    And to be honest, I’d prefer they keep him out of stories rather than turn him into a villain, because then at least the potential would still be there for future creators who actually like him.

  17. Steve says:

    Because the best idea for what should be done with Wally in all likelihood won’t come from somebody who merely acknowledges his existence and figures “hey, anything I do will be better than nothing at all.” It will come from a creator who is also a fan and has some investment in the character. That’s how pretty much ALL of DC’s best stories are told.

    • Scott says:

      I get where your coming from. I yhink Dr. Elias makes sense too as RF. I do believe if Wally isnt the RF the story will be the vechile to reintroduce him. Just cause I hate leaving him out doesnt mean I want him brought back half-assed or “just because”. However, ignoring him is not an option I believe DC will take and I feel they sense fans impatience with his absence. Wally as RF is just an idea I find intriguing and want Wallys run as Flash to have relevance in the current run (no pun intended).

  18. lightspeed says:

    Daniel West doesn’t have to be Wally’s father just because he’s Iris’ brother. Wally could be another sibling who went missing one day while riding his bike or something. Maybe he rode his bike through an energy portal that lead to the Speed Force. Maybe he finally leaves the Speed force all grown up feeling betrayed that no one went looking for him. Just an idea off the top of my head.
    Huge Wally West fan by the way.

    • Scott says:

      I agree. There is a ton they could do with Daniel, but I don’t think he is going to live very long in the series. Then again I predict wrong often.

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