What I want to see after Flash: Rebirth

Okay. Time to lay it all on the line. As much as I’m a Flash fan, I’m more specifically a Wally West fan.

I’ve read Barry’s entire run. I’ve read nearly half of Jay’s (and spent way too much tracking down back issues). I’ve read all of Impulse and the one year of Bart’s run as Flash. But Wally will always be my Flash. So obviously I’m facing Barry’s return and practically-guaranteed retaking of the spotlight with some trepidation. Some of the rumors floating around haven’t helped matters.

But I’m trying to be positive.

So, DC, I know you don’t care about one particular fan’s preferences, but here’s what would make me happy at the end of Flash: Rebirth and the start of the new era in The Flash.

  • Barry and Iris together.
  • Wally and Linda together.
  • Iris II and Jai alive, preferably somewhere between 8 and 17 years old physically & mentally so they can actually be characters. Powers optional. (Yes, I’m one of the weirdos who likes the twins. And yes, I’ve read last month’s issue. I’m still holding out to see how the cliffhanger resolves.)
  • Wally still prominent as the Flash, not shoved off into a corner or renamed “Mr. Zip.”
  • Jay alive.
  • Bart alive, if possible. It’s okay if he’s in the 31st century. And I think he worked better as Impulse (though I think he could have worked as the Flash, if DC had really gotten behind the series and given it a chance instead of bailing at the first sign of audience discontent).

What would make me feel that Wally hasn’t gotten shafted?

  • Nothing that screams “demotion” or “second-rate” or “sidekick.” No “Thanks for filling in, the real Flash is back. Go back to the kids’ table.” (Obviously some of this is inherent in Barry taking over the spotlight and Wally getting the costume change, but let’s minimize it, okay?)
  • Put him in an outfit that doesn’t evoke his old Kid Flash costume.
  • Have him appear in more than just The Titans on a monthly basis. I spent most of a decade picking up various incarnations of that book solely out of hope that it would get better, and finally broke myself of the habit during Infinite Crisis. (Actually, I did like the first year and a half of Geoff Johns’ run, but other than that, I didn’t really care for more than the occasional storyline from Titans Hunt onward). Unless I start hearing that it’s fantastic, I’m not going to pick it up just because it’s the only place I can read new stories with Wally West.
  • Wally in Justice League of America and Barry in Justice League. This is such an obvious win-win solution, especially since Barry’s friends Hal, Ollie and Ray are all supposed to be in the latter book.

Also, assuming Barry takes over the main Flash title, I’d like to see Wally in a parallel title. Some ideas:

  • Pick up Barry’s series as The Flash with #351, and start Wally’s series up again with #248 and a title change.
  • Launch The Flash starring Barry with #1, and launch All-Flash with a rotating cast of Wally, Jay and others, also with #1.

So, there you have it, DC. One of many points you can add to your marketing data.


22 thoughts on “What I want to see after Flash: Rebirth

  1. Andrew

    I like that the first volume of Barry’s series continued on from from issue #105 of Flash Comics (Jay’s series during the golden age) on its way to #350. The second volume of the series with Wally West is closing in on #250, but I think it would cool if they used Barry’s return to revert to the original numbering, plus Wally’s issues (meaning #250 would become #600). It would be a cool nod to history and continuity dating back to the beginning, and fitting for a character franchise that’s largely about legacy and lineage anyway.

    Also, my hope is that the series will focus on Barry Allen, and that a new series entitled All Flash will debut with a #1. That spin off title could focus on every incarnation of the Flash (Wally and Jay in particular) as well as supporting characters, and even future versions of the Flash. That way we can have a franchise of titles with a flagship series and a sister series exploring the whole mythology.

    As a side note, I’d also like to see an All Star Flash mini-series (maybe the following year) with a star writer and artist attached.

  2. Rockin' Rich

    It’s a nice wish list though the fact is that conflict is what makes drama interesting. Happy characters are boring, though the drama need not come from their domestic situations.

    Also, if the books don’t sell, it’s all moot. Perhaps an All-Flash might be the best bet — or at least the fall-back.

    That said, I have no problem with your wish list if it comes true. Put it under your pillow!

    .-= Rockin’ Rich’s latest blog post: Today only!! Dr. Horrible! =-.

  3. breakfast

    I do hate it when people suggest that Wally should change his costume or his superhero name. As if nearly 250 issues of his solo series + other appearances haven’t proved that he IS The Flash and deserves to wear the costume just as much as Barry. To just keep him on Titans, or to give him a Kid Flash inspired costume is just demeaning. Hopefully Wally’s costume change is just like Hal Jordan’s (although Wally’s costume is already different than Barry’s in the same way that Hal’s is different than his first one).

    I think I’d like it if Wally and Barry could star in the main book together, as some sort of dynamic duo, playing off each others differences. That might raise a challenge for future writers, because writers already tend to complain that writing The Flash is too hard.

  4. The Irredeemable Shag

    Kelson – I couldn’t agree with your wish list any further! Great ideas all the way around.

    Only one question/observation: Isn’t Iris supposed to be much older (like Grandma old)? I noticed in “Rogue’s Revenge” she looked fairly young. Creative license?

    Keep up the great work!

    The Irredeemable Shag

  5. Andrew

    “Only one question/observation: Isn’t Iris supposed to be much older (like Grandma old)? I noticed in “Rogue’s Revenge” she looked fairly young. Creative license?”

    Iris looked fairly young during Johns’ previous run on the book too, when Porter and Livesay were doing the art.

  6. the Desert Moon

    I don’t remember the issue any longer but I definitely hope they don’t replace Wally with Barry as ‘The faster man who has ever lived’.

  7. Dario

    Great post, Kelson. I’m with you all the way. Totally agree with every word. Even if, I must say, I’m glad to have Barry back if that’s the only way to get GOOD Flash stories again.

  8. Brandan

    I almost completely agree. I just don’t really want Bart back as much. If he does come back, I’d rather have that in the future than now.

    Also, I pitched your two Flash books to EVS on a GL board, so I’ll let you know what he thinks about it, and if he’ll pass it on to Geoff.

  9. Wally East

    I love all the suggestions. I’m in complete agreement that anything that suggests, “Thanks for keeping my seat warm, Wally,” isn’t going to be appreciated.

    I’m not going to be heartbroken if the twins die during Final Crisis. Like many sitcoms, children have changed the dynamic and not in a positive way. They’re starting to get there, though, I’ll say that.

    If Barry ends up with The Flash book, make another book and call it “Speed Force” or something and have it star Jay and Wally and the other speedsters (although, there aren’t any prominent ones still alive, really).

    Just one quick question.

    “Wally in Justice League of America and Barry in Justice League.”

    I’m not exactly sure what this means. Is there going to be a “Justice League” book and a “JLA” book in the near future? (I missed a lot of news from Comic-Con since I was on vacation.)

    .-= Wally East’s latest blog post: Chocolate Ice Cream =-.

  10. Kcnut

    Barry will not replace wally. I’m tired of everybody scared of barry return. Wally will be around with the kids. Jay will be there and bart too. This is a great time to be a flash fan so stop crying and enjoy the moment.

  11. Craig MD

    I agree with everything mentioned in your post, Kelson. My biggest fear regarding Barry’s return is that Wally will be forced to the background and will be seen as “the replacement Flash” or the “temporary Flash” who was keeping the boots warm for the “real Flash”.

    I do think it would be interesting to have Wally in Justice League of America (McDuffie wrote him really well in ish #23) and Barry in James Robinson’s Justice League series (due in January, around the same time Flash: Rebirth starts) with Hal and Ollie. Though I’d rather have Kyle Rayner in JLA than John Stewart (who could take Kyle’s place in GLC).

  12. Kelson Post author

    @Wally East: Yes, a few months ago DC announced that James Robinson will be writing a second Justice League title featuring Hal, Ollie, Ray, and several other characters whose names escape me at the moment. [Edit: Looks like Craig MD beat me to that one.]

    @Kcnut: I appreciate that you’re excited to get Barry back. That’s fine, and you can say so all you want here (within reason). But I resent being told that I should be happy to watch my favorite character fade into the background.

    Everything I’ve read indicates that Barry is replacing Wally as the primary Flash in the DC universe. That Wally will still be around in a team book that I don’t want to read isn’t much consolation.

  13. Jackcsco

    I understand your feelings. I grew up in the 70s and was a Barry Allen fan. It was crushing to me the DC killed my hero and replaced him with Wally. I knew how all the Jay Garrick fans felt in 1956. Now it is happening again and I am excited about Barry’s return and I never thought about Wally and his fans until I read this column.

  14. Will

    I agree with you. As far as I’m concerned, Wally is more of a Flash now than Barry was. He is more relevant, more with the times, and has gone through more interested and character changing problems. Pushing him to the side to answer a subset of fans that ‘miss Barry’ will be yet another huge mistake in a long line of Flash-ups (oh, I’m clever).

    I think DC would be better served to just put Johns back on the book. Bringing back Barry is a mistake and only serves to re-enforce the notion that nobody ever dies in a comic book. I wont be surprised when in several years we realize his legend and death were more important to the Flash, and the DC universe, than his return.

  15. huffa2

    I totally agree with all put forward in the post.
    Starting at #351 woudl be a cool continuation of the barry history but I think we’ve got a new #1 coming.
    And Wally will get shafted – to another dimension or time or something. Which is a nuisance.

  16. Heatwave the Rogue

    The Flash has always been my favorite character, with Barry Allen being the best among those that have had the name. I’ve enjoyed much of Wally’s run over the years and some of Geoff Johns Wally West stories will always be special to me. If this Barry Allen fanantic can enjoy Wally West, then you’ll find that you can enjoy Barry Allen. That enjoyment will come much easier for you, since you’re guy will still be around in new stories on a regular basis, and in continuity. You’ll still be able to get your fix when you need it. Your friend Wally West is still around active and living his fictional life so that you can read his adventures. Wally West has always been a character about change, it’s what has attracted many fans to him over the years. This is just another change.

    I don’t expect you to see this right now. I do KNOW that a Flash fan as big as yourself will come around regardless if it’s Bart, Wally, Barry, Jay or “Hank Wilson” under the mask.

    In the end, they are all great! Well, maybe not Hank.

    Life = Change.


  17. Timesobserver

    Well, to be honest, I hope that Wally’s powers are back to normal and not stuck at the speed of sound.

    And I really hope DC doesn’t kill him off or stick him on Earth 49 or something like that because they don’t know what to do with him once Barry Allen becomes the Flash again.

    I like Wally as the Flash and I enjoyed watching him grow as a character. He’s one of the first, if not only, sidekicks who took over for their mentor. It’s a shame that’s going to be taken away from him, in a sense.

  18. Jesse

    I’ve been a Wally fan for 20 years and grew up with him, and have never seen the appeal of Barry. I’ve gone back and read about half his series. Those ’60s-’70s stories just feel so flat now. Who are these people clamoring for Barry’s return? Are they in their 50s now? I think it’s just a vocal minority. I have trouble buying into the Alex Ross school of thought that the Silver Age was the best, and everything since then has ruined it. While the Silver Age was fun and innovative for its time, it’s nice to read comics now that have well-rounded, realistic characters and plausible dialogue. (Not ALL comics today, of course. But more than ever.)

    Don’t want to offend anyone, but that’s my soapbox. Plus, if Barry returns, it will officially mean that NO ONE in comics ever stays dead. Since Jason, Bucky, Supergirl etc came back, he was the last one. If we must revive him, keep Wally in the main Flash book and sideline Barry!

  19. Green Lantern Fan 2814

    I’ve read as much as I could find about Barry Allen’s return on this site, and I have a message for EVERYONE-fan’s of Barry, Wally and even Bart alike.

    Don’t sweat it. Stop worrying. I know I’m using a GL name, and not something Flashy (particularly like Wally East 🙂 but trust me on this one. I’ve read Green Lantern: Rebirth. And then I read it again, b/c it was so good. And then I collected EVERY SINGLE ISSUE I could get of GL that had Geoff Johns’ name on it. Trust me, you can bet that Johns won’t let anyone down, especially not the devoted following Wally’s received in the … how many DECADES has it been again since Crisis? Only one? Funny, it felt longer to those of us whose minds were travelling a good bit faster than the speed of sound as they read about a hero who made Warp Factor 6 eat his dust.

    Ok, so that never actually happened, and WF6 doesnt even have a mouth to eat dust with, but that’s not the point. the Point is that you can trust GJ to do the absolute best job that can be done with ALL of the Flashes, past and present, and I say this with conviction. If GL:Rebirth is any indication of what Flash: Rebirth will be like, you can bet there will be a significant focus on anyone remotely connected with costumes that feature lightning bolts. All the Flashes, the Black Flash, and the Rogues are guaranteed. And probably a significant amount of Grodd and Gorilla City. And definitely the Speed Force. And Hal Jordan, not only as a friend of Barry’s, but as someone who recently went through his own Rebirth. Anything that was good in any comic book that had the Flash featured prominently in it will likely at least have a cameo somewhere. Just wait and read it and if I’m wrong, you can say anything you want about the GLs without a complaint in me.

    THAT’S the kind of confidence Geoff Johns has inspired me with.

    See you Later, I see a bunch of fireworks, and its not July… crap its the war of light, gotta go!

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