Jay Garrick and Wally West MIA in the New DCU…For Now

DC has officially announced 48 of the 52 comics being relaunched in September. The remaining books are sure to include Action Comics and Superman, and covers have leaked featuring Superman, Supergirl and Superboy. It seems a safe bet that unless one of the younger heroes is headlining Action, that wraps up the 52 series.

Conspicuously absent from the DC Reboot (from a Flash fan’s perspective): Justice Society (of the JSA roster, only Mr. Terrific has appeared so far) and the second Flash book, Speed Force, announced by Geoff Johns last summer.

While Barry Allen headlines The Flash and Bart Allen appears as Kid Flash in Teen Titans, there appears to be nowhere in the initial wave for fans to read about Wally West or Jay Garrick.

Factor in the emphasis on younger heroes, the implication that Barry Allen is still learning the ropes in the new series, and the focus on keeping things simple for new readers to figure out, and you have to wonder whether Jay and Wally even exist in the new DCU.

I asked as much on Twitter, and The Flash co-writer/artist Francis Manapul replied:

https://twitter.com/#!/FrancisManapul/statuses/78942736841060352

It’s neither a confirmation nor a denial, but at least the writer working on the new book wants to keep them around, if the higher-ups allow it.

Reportedly there are more series planned for the following months. We know, for instance, that Batman, Inc. will relaunch in 2012 after a hiatus to allow Grant Morrison to work on another project, and we know that Batman Beyond will be back, though it’s not among the 52 books announced for September.

Are there plans for Wally West and Jay Garrick in a second wave of launches? Have they been wiped from existence? Are they still around, sitting on the back burner, waiting for someone to use them? Are their fans (OK, Wally’s fans) still willing to wait after years of false starts, broken promises, and generally being jerked around?

Update: Dan Didio has this to say about the Justice Society (thanks, @SpeedsterSite):

AS for JSA, we have decided to rest this concept while we devote our attention on the launch of the three new Justice League series. As for other characters and series not part of the initial 52, there are plenty of stories to be told, and we’re just getting started.

So it sounds like the “back burner” approach, at least with Jay and the JSA.

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39 thoughts on “Jay Garrick and Wally West MIA in the New DCU…For Now

  1. Dylan

    Shocker. I’ve been saying for YEARS that Johns and DiDio were going to do this. I hope they like losing money – based on their decisions the last 6 years, they do – because that’s exactly what’s going to happen. They’ve lost me, and I’m one of the few who has commited to pick up EVERY Flashpoint main series, cross over, one shot, and mini series issue. I only read DC, but because of this BS I’m dropping my entire pull list. I’m not comin’ back until both DiDio and Johns are out of the picture.

    Reply
    1. Penny Dreadful

      Don’t know why they’d pursue this bad business strategy, and don’t care.

      Let them have what they want…and start taking bets on when the next Flash relaunch will be. I’m giving it under two years.

      Reply
  2. Savitar

    As a comics fan, I am forever looking for the silver lining in all the various re-boots, re-starts, and cancellations. But after this, even I am seriously wondering if we’ve seen the last of Wally.

    But to lose Jay as well? That hurts even more. The First, the Original, the Helmet.

    Guess that means Max Mercury is gone too.

    Damn. Such a rich Flash mythos, all but destroyed…..

    Reply
  3. WallyEast

    Is it better to buy Barry’s book and make them think there’s enough support for a second Flash book or not buy it and make them think they need to dump Barry?

    There are presumably enough Wally fans out there that it could make a difference.

    Previously, if they had announced something at San Diego or New York, I would’ve been excited. Now? Not until it ships.

    Reply
    1. Kelson Post author

      My suggestion: Make your decision based on whether you want to read the book itself, not on what message you think you’re sending — because from what I’ve seen, as long as the current regime is in charge, the message won’t get through.

      Success won’t encourage them to do a spinoff with Wally, it’ll simply tell them they made the right choice with Barry. Failure won’t tell them to replace Barry with Wally, it’ll tell them to take Barry in another direction.

      Reply
      1. Penny Dreadful

        What other direction? The book has been running in place since the relaunch.

        Flash fans must have a lot of patience to put up with this. At some point, it is just not worth getting worked up over this.

        It’s DC’s dishonesty that bugs me. That’s what soured me on the book. I’m just too disgusted to give it another chance.

        Reply
      2. kyer

        Buy the two Wally retro’s…and NOTHING else.

        I’m so pissed it’s gone around and become nearly apathy.

        They dragged Max from the SF to leave him in limbo.
        They killed Johnny for….what?
        They brought back Barry for…fanboy flaunting.
        They gave more empty promises than the U.S. government.
        They still can’t say yea, nay, or “we regret to inform you…”

        Am not getting anything more with Barry. They turned that name more sour to me than year old milk. Want to cry when I recall how excited I’d been at first hearing of Rebirth.

        Not even going to watch Green Lantern movie…eh, I have an unopened toy from that to return as well. Got to remember to get that receipt after off the net.

        Hell, as much as I’ve enjoyed Blitz, I’m not getting any more collections with Johns name on it.

        btw, just saw that they have Gifften doing a grim and gritty book. Best comedy writer…doing G&G. Plus those new costumes…the Teen Titan insect woman….there’s NOTHING in the new line up that stirs me enough to overlook the multiple slaps in the faces DC has been giving me.

        Going to stop now as the rage is really starting to build now that the shock is over.

        Reply
  4. Yossarian1373

    This is getting absurd. Looking at the announcements so far: Barry has a book. Bart has a book. Hal Jordan has a book. Guy Gardner has a book. Kyle Rayner has a book. Bruce Wayne has a book. Dick Grayson has a book. Tim Drake has a book. Jason Todd has a book! Considering that DC does not seem at all concerned with duplicate titles, do they really believe that the Flash franchise draws so little that it cannot support a second title starring the character that held the title of “The Flash” for just shy of 20 years?

    Reply
    1. Penny Dreadful

      Well, the Flash relaunch didn’t pan out (possibly because it was mishandled), so it sounds like they’ve moved on.

      Treat Citizen Cold as a coda to what was once an interesting title with a cool universe.

      Reply
    2. Hyperion

      Do you seriously think that Bart’s fans are happy about this? Because the majority of reactions I’ve seen about this new TT title are very negative indeed.

      Reply
  5. Penny Dreadful

    I find it incredible that they would do business like this: alienating fans by shoving aside established characters instead of keeping said characters around to draw in new and existing readers.

    DC chose the latter strategy with Batman and Green Lantern. Clearly, they chose the former with the Flash. I am not sure what motivated them to do so, nor do I care. IMO, DC’s treatment of Flash’s long-established fans involves a lot of false promises, disorganization, mediocre execution, and misleading advertising. I do not know their motivation for these decisions, nor do I care. I’m disappointed so far, and I can’t abide blatant dishonesty.

    I will not buy anything Flash-related after Citizen Cold, because I don’t think DC, or ANY business, should receive positive reinforcement for shoddy, disrespectful business practices. I will instead focus on other DC titles that look promising.

    Reply
    1. Kyer

      Penny D, I’d only seen the five preview pages of Cold #1 and while I liked the artwork a lot (kudos to Kollins on that) I’ve also found a reviewer who gave a bare bones

      *SPOILER WARNING!*

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      that W get frozen by C after an argument. If this is true than W is dead and in a really ho-hum way. Hardly the blaze of glory Barry got. Frankly, I now wish Kollins had just not added W in at all.
      .
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      .
      End of SPOILER WARNING!

      Reply
      1. Lee H

        Pretty sure that Citizen Cold is set before Flashpoint #1. I’d be surprised if we don’t see more of Wally in the next two issues.

        Reply
  6. TheFlash1990

    Calm down guys. I’m sure they will all show up eventually. I think it will be interesting to see a young Barry for a while….don’t get me wrong, Wally and Jay are great, but the’re not really necessary to appear in the immediate DCU the first couple months of its inception ya know…

    Reply
    1. Kelson Post author

      We’ve been told for the last three years that it’s perfectly reasonable that our favorite character has been sidelined, and that we shouldn’t really want him anyway, because hey, this other guy is better, and if we really, really want to see him, we should just be patient and trust DC, because they’ll make good on it when the time is right.

      Bull.

      Geoff Johns told us Wally was going to kick ass, but he disappeared instead. We were told there would be Wally West backup stories and a Kid Flash solo book, but those were scrapped. We were told we’d see Wally in the second major arc, and while we technically did, it was only long enough for him to tell Barry how amazing he was. We were told a lot of things were coming up after the first arc of Flash vol.3 that never materialized. We were told we were getting that second Flash series, but that seems to have been abandoned as well.

      And all the while, we were told we should just be patient, trust Geoff Johns, and trust DC, and eventually we would get what we wanted.

      Sooner or later, you realize that Lucy is never going to let you kick the damn football.

      Reply
      1. Kyer

        Never kick the football? She’s downright hidden the thing. Possibly after puncturing it full of buckshot, sticking it in a lead-lined box and burying it in a landfill during the dead of night.

        What next wave? I thought 52 was it? (At least until some of those books die an early death.)

        Reply
      2. Dario

        You are SO right Kelson. What need there was to for the to throw out of the window characters like Wally, Donna, the entire JSA? Are they really so un-creative that they couldn’t come up with a better solution? They want to shove Barry down everyone’s throat as THE ONE AND ONLY FLASH? Couldn’t they just give another identity to Wally then, and keep him around, at least in a team book? For God’s sake, he and Donna have been around since the Silver Age, non-stop. Why is it that these 2 characters and the JSA are the only ones being flushed down the toilet?
        We were told there would have been backups. Then a second series. Now the whole Flash family is gone because some genius thinks that you can’t have more than one Flash and one Kid Flash around or the “new readers” (a mythological entity) would be confused. They probably aim to sell books to simpletons only.

        Well, they can’t have their cake and eat it too. Until they come back, I’m so back to Marvel. And I will finally have some money extra to pick up Shooter’s Dark Horse line tpbs.

        Reply
    2. Wally East

      Are you sure they’ll show up eventually? What makes you sure? What in the last two plus years makes you think that?

      Also, what makes you think young Barry will be interesting? What about him has been interesting so far?

      And if Jay and Wally aren’t “necessary” in the new DCU now, why would they be necessary in a year or more?

      Reply
      1. TheFlash1990

        Let’s be real here, the fundamentals of the DCU are pretty much being covered. If you’re not seeing much of Wally it’s because he and Barry are too much alike….the Flash stories for the past several years could pretty much have been told with either, especially the more DC made Wally like Barry (reporter wife, a Kid Flash, police job, bringing the Rogues back, even giving him his own Reverse Flash, hell, even twins (a boy and a girl to boot),…all staples of the classic Barry Allen Flash). Barry was back a loooooong time ago, the only thing missing was pretty much his name and likeness. Like I said, I am sure both Jay and Wally will show up sooner or later, they’re a part of the mythos too, it’s just we don’t need 5 guys running around calling themselves “The Fash”….hopefuly the universe is more streamlined like when the silver age began and Jay is on Earth 2 and Barry is this reality’s Flash. That is much easier to access for people and the stories never overlap that way.

        I’m just saying….with a rebooted universe, Barry becoming The Flash, you have everything covered. The origin of the powers, the police job, the red suit….what is it that you’re not getting with Barry that you could get with Wally? Brooding over a dead uncle and how he will “never live up to him”? That’s not really relevant to a new DCU, in fact, I’d dare say it hasn’t been relevant the past 10 or so years even with The Flash comics as Wally West even moved on from this.

        Point is, despite what Wally and Bart fans want to think, despite what people have tried to turn The Flash into, he is, at his heart, NOT a legacy character. There were never supposed to be ten of them or whatever runing around. When people think of the big 7, they think of one guy who runs fast. That was what The Flash was in the golden age, but more importantly that’s what he was in the silver age (the most identifiable and best known incarnation of the character), conceptually, he just works better that way. It isn’t like Green Lantern where there’s at least a semi logical explanation for why there’s more than one GL. Green Lantern was reinvented that way in the silver age and it works best that way. They tried to singularize him with Kyle Rayner and that did not work, and they tried doing just the opposite with The Flash, and, that too, inevitably has failed and returned to its roots.

        And although it’s already pretty obvious, I like Barry Allen. I have always liked his character. I loved Darwyn Cooke’s take on him in New Frontier….I have an interest in him. He’s interesting to me because he is The Flash, and for a longtime I would only read occasionally because Wally was heading the book. I’ve wanted to see new Barry stories for a longtime now so that’s why I’m interested in the reboot. Don’t get me wrong tho, I like Jay. I like Wally too, in fact I enjoyed quite a few of his stories when Mark Waid wrote him in the early-mid nineties when his character was semi interesting, but I think they have their place.

        That said, I’m sorry if you feel as tho you are “going without”. I am sure Johns, Waid, etc, all had plans for the characters and at the time they made their statments they probably were unaware of the business decisions to come. You can’t begrudge them for not saying right up front.

        To quote Captain Boomerang, “what goes around comes around”. How long ago was it when Barry and Hal fans were alienated when EEEEVVVERYONE had a book except them? For years if people wanted to read The Flash they had to deal with Wally or read back issues, Barry was nonexistant except for the occasional “dear Barry” sob or prologue, and he headlined the book longer than anyone. I honestly don’t think it’s too much to ask from Wally diehards to just sit back and enjoy the ride for now. He isn’t dead. Plus you guys always have your back issues ya know. 😉 You might even like the new book…ya never know.

        And as for the costume, yes, that too is Barry Allen. Changing his belt does not make it Wally’s but a variation of The Flash costume. It really is not that big a deal. Red, dark red, shiny red and gold, it’s the same suit. I’m fine with the new suit except maybe the chin strap. I just hope the boots are still there.

        Reply
  7. Kelson Post author

    So, who actually expected a Wally West book in this launch? I’ll admit I was kind of hoping, but it was a longshot, so I’m not really shocked. The lack of a Justice Society book surprises me, though. I’m sure the JSA still exists in the new DCU, at least in the past, but I wouldn’t count on them still being around in the present day.

    I just wish we knew for sure whether Wally West was still part of the new DCU.

    Reply
  8. Phantom Stranger

    Barry Allen is my Flash, but it still is shocking to hear that Wally might be out of the picture. Anyone think this move is to get the DC Universe versions in line with future movies? If the Green Lantern movie does well, the Flash movie is the next logical selection. I am pretty much going off the assumption they would use Barry as the main Flash for a movie version, with possible cameos by both Wally and Jay.

    Reply
    1. Kyer

      They’ve already said that movie Flash is Barry just like every toy is Barry.

      Jay and Wally cameos? pfft. Jay who? Wally who? Didio doesn’t know who they are nor does he care. Why would he take a tiny photon of spotlight away from his precious fanboy love? They didn’t have Wally orJ ay (other than a fake i.d. and a painting) in Smallville, why would they have them in a movie?

      I’m pretty certain that Wally will be the first to die in YJ DCAU and that KF in Tiny Titans will magically be found to actually have Bart’s name.

      Reply
  9. hugo

    Kelson, you speak about Wally and Jay, but you forget 2 other missing speedsters : where the hell are the girls ?

    Where are Jenni and Jesse ?

    According to the covers of both Legion titles, Jenni doesn’t seem to be in the lineup of the teams.

    Wasn’t XS supposed to play a big part in Flashpoint ?

    Nevertheless, I think we should talk with a little caution.

    We have only seen covers and read rather short descriptions.

    The status of a lot of quite important “A to B”-list characters are still unknown, and it doesn’t affect only speedsters : Donna Troy, nearly the whole JSA (veterans and “rookies” alike), The Atom, The Marvel Family, …

    Reply
    1. Kelson Post author

      Good point. I wouldn’t count XS out just yet because the LSH cover we’ve seen only showed 3 characters out of the huge cast.

      Jesse, though, I suspect is in the same boat as Jay. We’ll have to wait and see what the status is of the JSA in this world.

      Reply
    2. Savitar

      DC is aiming for the youth movement by shelving their 75+ history. Why else would they renumber both Action & Detective Comics, the longest-running titles in the industry.

      The Golden Age heroes are a simple reminder of such. Jay and Allan will be conspicous absences.

      But I’m also mad over the absence of the Marvel Family. They screwed over Mary Marvel and Johns left their story hanging in their last JSA appearance.

      But what else can I expect? They’ve been treated like red-headed stepchildren ever since the 70s.

      Reply
  10. Lee H

    Given DC’s emphasis on diversity in this relaunch, I doubt they’ll remove XS, one of their few black female heroes, from the Legion. And being set in the future her existence does nothing make the Flash family too unwieldy or confusing.

    I’m expecting the JSA to once again exist only on Earth-2 or some equivalent. It takes A LOT of shoe-horning to make Alan Scott a viable and easily understandable character in a universe with the Green Lantern Corps. Putting them in their own universe and time frame also side steps the ageing issue.

    As for Wally West, I was pleasantly surprised by what they’re doing him with Flashpoint. I’d love to see him have a role as a super hero in the new DC Universe, but not necessarily a speedster. At the very least he’s still one of the main characters in the Young Justice comic and TV show, which gives him a lot more exposure than Jay Garrick.

    Reply
  11. Luke

    Well, we know that there will be at least one new #1 in October (My Greatest Adventure), so I suppose hope can still be held out for more.

    I suspect that as others have suggested that Jay, Alan, and others will end up on Earth-2, and perhaps debut in the “DCnU” (ugh) in a “Crisis on Two Earths” style story in Justice League of America.

    Although I don’t know why I should add my comment here since you guys all apparently hate Hawkman…

    Reply
  12. Jesse

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m going to call that the new Flash series is Wally, not Barry. I know this goes against everything we’ve heard, and is probably akin to those end-of-world nuts still clinging to their beliefs after the world didn’t end last week, but I’m going to go out on a limb anyway.

    I predict that at the end of Flashpoint, the world has to be remade according to Barry’s wishes/memories, and he sacrifices his life to return the world back to normal, except there are changes.

    And if I’m wrong, oh well, I can just read Fables and Invincible.

    Reply
  13. Kyer

    Bit late…had some *reverse* shopping to take care of which is now completed. You could say that I said BCnU to some recent purchases.

    I don’t know about Wally being something other than a speedster. The only time we saw him as something else he was Kid Lantern or depowered and I loathe that idea.

    Reply
  14. Xian

    I hate to get your hopes up but an interesting thing to note is that the solicit does not explicitly call The Flash “Barry Allen” (compared to the Bat family where everyone is listed both by name and alias, Aquaman, and several of the other solicits- not including the Superman ones however). Manapul’s interviews aside, take that as you will….

    Reply
  15. Kino

    Is there honestly anyone under the age of 30 who prefers Barry Allen to Wally West? 40 even?

    No one has responded to Barry’s relaunch in the last 2 years because there was no demand to being with. This isn’t Hal Jordan, it was wrong to think of the two situations as parallels.

    Reply
    1. Lia

      I’m 35 and I prefer Barry over Wally. I didn’t even read comics back in the Silver/Bronze Age — I only got into DC in the last five years — and yes, I really do prefer Barry over Wally.

      That said, I’m not entirely thrilled with the way Barry’s been written since his return. But I’ve read a ton of old back issues and he’s my favourite Flash. I actively dislike Wally (sorry Wally fans, I still sympathize with you).

      Reply

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