DC Reboot: An Opportunity for Wally West

DC’s don’t-call-it-a-reboot is the perfect opportunity to give Wally West a costume that’s recognizably The Flash, but different enough from Barry Allen’s costume that even a casual reader can tell them apart at a glance, even if the artists miss a few details. Especially since several elements of Wally’s new costume from Flash: Rebirth (the raised yellow outline around the chest circle, and the V-shaped belt) have been incorporated into Barry’s new outfit.

Walter West, the Dark Flash

Yes, I’m talking about the Dark Flash costume, worn by Walter West, a version of Wally from an alternate reality. It wouldn’t have worked in the post-Crisis continuity because of what the experience meant to “our” Wally (he didn’t want to be reminded of what he could have become), but in a revised history, it doesn’t need to have the same associations.

Brighten it up again, make it crimson and gold (like Wally’s current costume), and I think it’ll do the trick.

Assuming, of course, that DC has a place in the New DCU for an adult Wally West, and has neither erased him from history or reverted him back to Kid Flash. (I’m trying very hard to stay positive here.)


28 thoughts on “DC Reboot: An Opportunity for Wally West

  1. Wellens

    I’m with you, I was disappointed with Wally’s costume and think it needs to reboot. I did really like the Dark Flash costume for Walter since it conveyed his darker nature. I’d actually like to see a combination of Jay and Barry’s costume. Wally west mentored by Jay after Barry left, hell he even named his son after him. I’d like to see Wally in a blue, red and yellow costume. And if not that, make it drastically different and go green! The jealous speedster.

    1. West

      I didn’t realize that “Jai” was based on “Jay.”. I always pronounced it like it with a long-i sound.

      Also, while I know you’re joking, some of the other ideas about the costume change are pretty awful. If we want Wally differentiated, then let’s make him look REALLY different – enough to overcome what Kelson wisely recognizes as artists’ tendencies to miss certain distinct elements in otherwise identical costumes.

      As always, I strongly favor Walter’s costume, for many reasons:

      The silver looks cool as he’ll. (But then, I seem to be the last guy who digs Iron Man’s old red and silver armor.) And, it is a Bold change from the typical Flash look/color scheme.

      The chin guard that Kelson dislikes makes the cowl look a bit more helmet-like and, thus, practical for an athlete and adventurer. Also, it looks cool. ­čśÇ

      Finally, Wally needs to be his own man. It is past time that he had his own identity that wasn’t tied directly to Barry’s. Now that this ridiculous “I am the Speed Force” crap is canon, he needs to be his own man in style and substance, if not in power. Make him look differently and he can be written differently, independently, without storytelling or artist confusion, and without appearing to be an also-ran.

      Make this man his own man instead of a character who, if he did have his own title, ought to be called *a* Flash.

  2. russ_005

    Wally rebooted I’m down, but I think it may be time to seperate him from the Flash look. I like the Walter look, but maybe he needs to be his own Speedster now.

    Maybe I am just burnt out on Barry or the way Johns has written him recently. I don’t know, but Wally West is more important than the Flash Mantle to this fan.

  3. Kyer

    I like the suit.
    In fact, I’d love it if Walter returned.
    Maybe it was WALTER who found young Wallace West and it was WALTER who trained Wallace to be the best speedster he could be and now together with Linda there is a speedster family racing the lightning.

    Daydreams…the refuge of the downtrodden. ­čÖü

  4. Kyer

    Oh, btw…

    Mattel’s JLU line has put out another Flash action figure. Has the story of how Wally West beat the stuffing out of Lex/Brainiac on the back along with two screen pics of Wally hitting his stride.

    Burns my beans that the action figure is clearly of Barry Allen.

      1. Kyer

        Oh, it’s not that because I was hoping they’d make a Barry, WallyKF, Jay, Zoom set for that Requiem For A Speedster episode in Batman B&B. It’s the back cover blurb about what happened in JLU’s Divided We Fall. I know..not intentional…but it does seem to be trying to take Wally’s accomplishment and tie it to Allen instead of West. It’s these little things like that that make my blood boil. If not for whats been going on the past few years, I would have just shook my head. Now? It’s just another hint of Barry Allen Is All at DC whether they meant that or not.

  5. Perplexio

    I like your costume idea. I like the dark crimson color idea, but to tie it to Barry’s legacy go with gold coloring on the lightning bolt and boots instead of the “chrome” look from Walter’s costume…

    And then just to keep things mixed up a bit have Hunter Zolomon design a new costume that’s the reverse of Wally’s so his costume will be better differentiated from Eobard Thawne’s costume.

    1. JonQCitizen

      I would love to see; and would definitely collect, a monthly centered around Wally! I don’t think it should be called Speed Force though, since Barry IS the Speed Force….rather maybe just something like “Speed”. That gives it a little separation from The Flash title, but still definitely gets the point across.

      Maybe even change his name from The Flash (“The” being relative) to Speed, or some equivalent to his great powers.

  6. Lee H

    I think it would help to have a different colour scheme from Barry’s costume. This costume in black and yellow would look pretty sharp.

  7. Devin "The Flash" Johnson

    I like the idea of using this costume and was pretty much expecting it to be used when they redesigned his costume for Rebirth.

    While the idea of Wally taking on another identity makes sense, I think Wally earned the right to be called at least a Flash. At the same time it is better to have Wally in some capacity rather than none.

    I just wish I could stay positive about all this but the first thing I thought when I heard about this and saw the pics was that Wally was going to end up being Kid Flash again. The recent announcement that they aren’t throwing all of the old continuity out and that not all heroes are being rebooted back to their original state gave me a little bit of relief. That is until I realized that The Flash was probably one of the main catalyst for this.

    Barry was bogged down in too much past continuity with being married, having dead children in the future, etc etc. They also probably felt like their were way too many speedsters. So this is the perfect opportunity to introduce Barry as a rookie again. Give us a new spin on The Flash of Two Worlds, redesign and reintroduce his rogues, make Iris his girlfriend again and her nephew Wally his sidekick once again. I’m really worried about Bart Allen if they go this route.

  8. Jimmy

    If Wally is still an adult I don’t see why he can’t just take back the Kid Flash costume and still be called The Flash. For one nothing about it looks kiddy or sidekickish. It looks like a heroic costume in its own right. Second Wally looks better in it then Bart because he’s tall and slender while Bart (like Barry) is short and chubby. Third, the fact that Bart wears it is only bringing down the point that he’s a Allen/Thawne love child (lot’s of yellow and equal red). When Wally wears it, it’s not apparent especially considering he debuted the look before Professor Zoom came on the scene.

    Bart can be Impulse in his old duds. That costume and name is great on him. It’s individualistic and is more mature sounding than “Kid Flash.”

    Irey on the other hand is a kid and should be “Kid Flash” as she’s destined to be. She can go back to her old outfit or have a variant of Wally’s classic costume.

    1. Kelson Post author

      “If Wally is still an adult I don’t see why he can’t just take back the Kid Flash costume and still be called The Flash.”

      …because it’s the Kid Flash costume?

      1. Jimmy

        In a reboot says who? If they had to have a Kid Flash they can design a new costume. I know what you mean in tradition, but it’s Wally’s costume.

  9. Xian

    To the extent that Wally wants to retain a costumed identity, I tend to disagree. Wally is The Flash. It’s who he wanted to be and who he had to be and who he grew into. It’s a character history and arc that makes him unique and sets him apart from being an also-ran to Dick’s Nightwing character arc. Granted, the fact that post-FP Barry is borrowing even more costume elements from Wally’s costume makes such a stance harder- particularly if you want a glanceable distinction- but I tend to think character and story considerations trump such branding distinctions especially if you’re effectively shelving the character anyways. In the “Return of Barry Allen” arc, the costumes were actually fairly similar yet distinguishable so the same can remain true even if Barry apes some of the costume characteristics of Wally’s costumes.

    That said, assuming they’re keeping Wally around, I don’t think I’d mind them retiring his costumed persona in general and opting to be a plainclothes hero / mentor / father / teacher along the vein of the modern X-Men (X-Factor, the films, the multitude of semi-regular costume redesigns, etc). Wally was always one of DC’s most Marvel-like characters so as long as DC is not interested in pushing him as a DC flagship, they might as well take advantage of his Marvel-like attributes and give him a rotating wardrobe of semi-street clothes costumes which have become vogue at Marvel (Luke Cage, etc). He’d be easy to tell apart and would be consistent with his vague retirement story (which a full fledged costume is not as consistent- why an elaborate costume when you’ve determined you’re not going to wear it and just look after your kids?) and his former public identity past.

    Everything under the neck is negotiable, the main feature for such a look is, of course, going without a cowl or mask… and given his shock of red hair, he should remain fairly distinct in-panel art whatever the circumstance.

  10. Esteban Pedreros

    I hope I’m wrong but I think Wally won’t be coming back… I caught myself thinkng “Why does Didio insist on pissing off people when they ask about Wally?”.

    I think they don’t want to say it, but they are ready not to use him anymore. Everytime he appears, it only motivates peaople to thrash Barry and ask about Wally… if Johns wanted Barry so badly that he waited until he was in charge to bring him back, I’m pretty sure they are standing behind that decision. They wanted Barry back and they want him to stay, and a way to support his return is making us, Wally fans, feel tired of asking “when is he going to come back”.

    Maybe 10 years from now, Johns will be writing movies or TV show full-time, and our generation’s Geoff Johns will write Wally’s return.

    Who knows?!

    1. kyer

      The only thing that stops me from agreeing is that they put Wally in the Young Justice cartoon. I think the concept for that cartoon is at least how far back they were intending to de-age Wally in the books. They aren’t getting rid of him…they are continuing their long-term plan to marginalize him. Kind of like the plot of Fahrenheit ### (I forget the temp of combustibility.)

      Anway, if Wally gets a new name, I want him to be called (and this is a joke!) Good Vibrations (by the Beatles.) His new identity: surfer dude….with a Woodie decked out in lightning logos. Life guard, beach security, protector of beach babes everywhere. What male writer would not go for this? ­čśë

  11. Married Guy

    Walter’s costume was just 10 kinds of awesome.
    Tweak the colour scheme a little, and voila!!

    Instantly recognisable as Wally against Barry.
    Sadly, I don’t see Wally being part of any Flash related book in the forseeable future. DC seem adamant that it’s Barry or nothing.

    Even with 52 books coming in September I would be shocked if Wally West gets a go in any capacity.

  12. Kev-In

    Feel free to place this in any category that it might fit into better than this one, but I cannot believe that for the last 7 or 8 years, DC has continued to write themselves into some sort of ‘Crisis’ corner… meaning that every single time they play the change game, the characters suffer as a result. Wally West was the center of a ‘Flash’ book that was nowhere near in danger of cancellation, but Dan Didio decided that “You can’t have a ‘Crisis’ without a Flash facing some sort of grim ending”.

    Since then, we’ve had Bart take the role, then Wally return with pre-teens, and finally the move that was supposed to set the book back where Didio felt it needed to be, with Barry Allen returning from the dead.

    Was it deliberate? Write characters into a corner as opposed to adjusting to the challenges? It’s not just with Wally West, either, but the number DC did with Mary Marvel, for example. Instead of finding an ingenious way to fix matters, they apparently broke it to the point that this is their only choice. This might be DC’s equivilant to ‘One More Day’.

    Wally was someone we watched grow up into the role. He made mistakes, was selfish early on, but grew into the man we respected and followed. Had DC done this in the first five years Wally became the Flash, none of us would’ve complained: he wasn’t the hero he was going to become during Waid’s first run. Thanks to William Messner-Loebs, he started to turn the corner and when Waid got the book, we saw the potential Wally had as the Flash.

    To chuck that away, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. Brandon

      I agree with you 100%. It’s criminal what they’ve done to Wally–even attributing the Speed Force to Barry. It’s a joke. Wally is my favorite Flash forever. I’d love to see him in blue & black like the Blue Lantern Flash.

  13. Realit├Ątspr├╝fung

    I like the costume – almost as much as the classic Barry Allen costume. If they used something akin to it, that’d be great – Wally in dark red with silver would make him visually distinct from Barry’s crimson and yellow.

    But the idea there will be more than one adult Flash (save Jay in JSA) is a BIG “if” at this point. It depends on how significantly they plan to alter DC history in the reboot; there may not BE a Kid Flash yet – the new, younger Barry might not have met Iris’ nephew. Assuming she even has one in the new continuity.

  14. Savitar

    The design element I like the best regarding the Kid Flash costume is the open-hair look, with no cowl. What better way to show speed than with your hair whipping in the wind?

    Combine that with some form of goggles like he has in the Young Justice cartoon or like Iris West II had in her costume. I think that would be a terrific look that would reflect both his Kid Flash and Flash heritage.

    But reverting Wally back into Barry’s sidekick? That would be the worst insult, not to mention undoing over two decades worth of character growth. I have this same fear with Tim Drake. He’s finally matured into his own hero. So what, he’s going to be Robin again??

    Once again, I like Barry, I like Wally (I am a FLASH fan) There are myriad ways for the two to co-exist in the same fictional universe. If only DC would employ them, any of them….

    1. Realit├Ątspr├╝fung

      Well, I think it’s less insult and more just a byproduct of DC keeping their primary characters in their prime and most marketable. I’ve been reading comics for 20+ years, and read lots of great stories about characters aging, evolving and dying off.

      But I understand that every so often it’s time to rebuild and give newer readers their own entry point. A reboot provides a clean slate – they can start fresh and reinvent characters as need be.

      1. Savitar

        I’ve been around comics long enough to understand that as well. Publishers re-invent, re-imagine, re-boot characters to keep them fresh to modern readers.

        But I view Wally as a unique case in comics. To a generation of readers, Wally is the only Flash they’ve ever known. A character who, through struggle, adversity, faith, and love, fulfilled his role by succeeding the hero he so admired for all these years. Not only fulfilled, but also created an enduring legacy of his own.

        To see him relegated back to some secondary function after watching that would seem redundant. I’d rather not see him at all if that is truly the case. Better they do give him some new identity, one complete unto himself.

  15. TheFlash1990

    I’ve always thought they should just put silver where the gold is on Barry’s suit and have that be Wally’s outfit. Maybe with a slightly different logo. That’s more than enough to distinguish the two. But the Walter West suit is cool too.

  16. Phantom Stranger

    Some elements derived from the Kid Flash costume would be cool for Wally. I always liked that yellow in it.

  17. russ_005

    I have read some rumors of Wally West coming back as Kid Flash.

    He is over that like Nightwing was over Robin.

    Don’t do it.

    Give me six issues and I will keep reading or walk away until DCU figures itself out.


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