To this day it’s not really clear how far ahead the 2007 death of Bart Allen and return of Wally West (not to mention the subsequent return of Barry Allen in 2008) were planned.
Interviews with Mark Waid and Marc Guggenheim at the time made it clear that it was in the works “nearly a year ago,” and definitely before Guggenheim took over as writer. Dan Didio has suggested it was their plan all along, though many fans find this idea suspect, and find it more likely that it was put in place after the first few issues of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive failed to catch on with readers.
While looking for something in Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1, I noticed something interesting in the Barry Allen dream/origin sequence:
It shows Barry’s death, along with the Black Flash, who figured prominently in the last few issues. And that last remark: “Will you ever outrun the shadow, Bart?”
It could simply be setting the dark mood that pervaded the beginning of Bart’s run. On the other hand, maybe they did have this planned all along.
Originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings.