DC’s New 52: Flash is About the Uniqueness of Barry Allen. So Long, Wally West.

DC has four sessions on The New 52 at Comic-Con, and it sounds like they’re presenting on a different chunk of their line each day. The Flash wasn’t in today’s presentation, but people asked about it during the Q&A session. More specifically, people asked about the fate of Wally West, and for once, Dan Didio actually gave a straight answer.

From CBR’s coverage:

Asked about Wally West and his family, DiDio said “there are no plans for Wally West in the ‘Flash,'” because that series is about the “uniqueness of who [Barry Allen] is and how he moves through the world.”

Newsarama has a little more detail:

A fan who liked the multiple generations of speedsters asked about Wally West and his family in the DCnU

DiDio: “Right now there are no plans for Wally West in the new Flash series”

The series focuses on the uniqueness of how someone who moves and thinks near the speed of light lives.

Q: “I’m here to still talk about Wally West…”

DiDio: “okay…”

Fan: “Last year you said you took Wally off the table so Barry could be the sole focus, and now you’re still saying that again.”

DiDio: “We did say that last year cause we did want to build Barry Allen up as much as possible, and this year with the relaunch even more so”

Fan: “How does that work when you have four Robins running around?”

DiDio: “I think we could do that with all the characters” He ended the conversation by saying “I think we’ll be sticking with Barry for awhile.”

As you might imagine, I have some thoughts on this. I’m going to save them for later so that I can collect them properly.


40 thoughts on “DC’s New 52: Flash is About the Uniqueness of Barry Allen. So Long, Wally West.

  1. Phantom Stranger

    At least it was an honest answer, if an answer not many of us wanted to hear. I wanted Barry back for decades, but am surprised that DC is basically dropping the character completely. We all know it will be temporary, as there are many fans of Wally. Wally is by far the most popular third-generation DC character.

    I wonder if he is planned to be featured in the reboot as a secret character, possibly as a villain or something when the time is right.

  2. Kev-In

    The uniqueness of Barry Allen, huh? And that’s why Bart Allen is the Teen Titans’ Kid Flash? You’d think with that mindset, there would be room for only one super-speedster in the DCnU. Mixed emotions, most leaning towards negativity. On one hand, they’ve basically erased him from existence. On the other, they didn’t bring him in (yet) to be killed off, turned into a villain or twisted into something equally unlikable. And I’m split 50/50 on the idea that he’s not the Kid Flash of this new direction. He grew up and filled the boots of the Flash, so going back to Kid Flash would have felt like he couldn’t cut it as a Flash… when most of us know he could and did for 20+ years. Will it stick? Probably as long as Didio has the big chair.

    1. Penny Dreadful

      “Probably as long as Didio has the big chair.”

      …or until they realize the “one-Flash-only” policy won’t win them new readers.

      I still don’t get why there isn’t a Speedforce book.

  3. Penny Dreadful

    Sounds like Didio et al. are in a hole that they dug for themselves. Are they really going to chuck 25 years of history, not just with Wally but with Linda, Hunter Zolomon, and the Rogues? Because if they do that, they’ll be alienating a built in fanbase.

    Wish they hadn’t spent three years blowing smoke to get fans to keep coming back.

    Where are Johns, Kolins et al. in all this?

    1. Kelson Post author

      Why wouldn’t they? DC is throwing away as much, if not more, from the Superman, Wonder Woman, and other character histories.

      1. Penny Dreadful

        This is true. Honestly, the last year has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have no interest in the relaunched Flash.

        Sorry, but I think they’re cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

  4. Zachary Adams

    I’m trying to figure out how Barry Allen’s grandson from the future is more accessible than his nephew and biggest fan as a Kid Flash concept.

    And I’m still predicting that Kid Flash I died during the Crisis, in whatever form it now exists.

    1. Kelson Post author

      I wouldn’t assume that Bart’s origin is the same. EVERYTHING is up for grabs except Blackest Night and Batman, Inc., and even there, I’m sure details will have changed.

      1. Zachary Adams

        Yeah, but that raises the question “If you take away the things that make Bart unique, why even call him Bart?”

  5. JohnnyWellens

    My opinion:

    Uniqueness? I find Barry Allen to be the exact same character he was back in 1956. He hasn’t changed. He hasn’t grown. He’s, for lack of a better term, boring. I cannot support this Flash. As much as I want to. As much I want DC to succeed with a Flash character, I just cannot bring myself to support Barry Allen being the one and only Flash.

    DC just took a giant sh*t on top of the Flash Legacy, and an even bigger one on top of Wally West fans. DC, I will not be buying any of your comics that include Barry Allen. I just…just can’t do it.

    1. cm22

      My interpretation of the “uniqueness” comment was that they were referring specifically to the uniqueness of The Flash as an entity, not Barry Allen (even from the quote above Barry is just implied by the source, different sources imply different things) and that they’re saying if you have Barry AND Wally running around, then the special view point of a man with super speed is diluted.

      It’s still a silly argument to support a silly decision, but it makes slightly more sense than arguing that Barry is so unique and that Wally would some how dilute that.

      1. Steve

        But they have argued that. Specifically, Johns and Manupal have argued that and held it up as a reason why Wally wouldn’t be featured in their Flash run. They felt it would interfere with Barry’s reintroduction as the Flash.

  6. Steve

    If DC really wanted an accessible new Flash, they’d just create a new one. Now they still have to worry about whether Iris is a time-travelling clone or not, and if she’s not, where Bart came from, and why Barry sired children in the future if he’s still supposed to be a younger dude.

  7. Esteban Pedreros

    I have 2 words for Didio and they are not nice 😀

    But I kinda expected this. At least they should collect more of Wally’s title in TPB… please DC; I want to give you my money!!

  8. Kyer

    I’m so P.O’d I’ve been nigh speechless all day.

    So..Superman got de-powered so that he can only leap and not fly, but Barry Allen is essentially the same (at near light speed), is Wonder Woman now without the speed of Mercury so she can’t go fast either? Wait! Bart is okay to keep around as a speedster even though he can’t possibly be Batholomew’s grandson because…because…because…magic or something? Maybe his last name is no longer Allen or maybe he’s now Barry’s son or nephew…displacing Wally totally in that as well?

    Now, the only thing that gives me the tiniest, itsy-bitsy sliver of hope (the old blue ring is really sputtering here or maybe it’s just the overhead light) is that Didio specified the Flash book. It’s possible that Wally could be in another book; albeit not as a speedster (again, never mind Bart….do not see the mystery of Bart, just accept the anomaly DC fans because Didio wants you to.)

    But what options are there then for Wally?
    Time Travel is out. No more time travel…(Hey, what about Booster Gold!) I don’t want him as a villain or a regular joe (look what happened when Kollins made him a regular joe!)

    Maybe he can tag along with Frankenstein’s group? You know, as one of the unwanted monsters (in the eyes of DC Editorial) X(

    This is such the joke. If they wanted to re-launch, they should have relaunched with the JSA as young men. Or created all new heroes like they did with the Silver Age. This DCPU…eh DCnU is just DC’s head honchos having a mid-life crisis. Why couldn’t they have just bought a little red sports car rather than mucking with other people’s creativity and a certain other red speedster?

    Dear god, and that’s just my thoughts on WALLY! Should I go on about Oracle, Stephanie, Cyborg as a token black in the ‘diverse’ DCnU’s Justice League, ect?

    I posted about this on my obscure little profile page and I’ve gotten pm’s from some very irate DC fans. They are also beyond angry—and all are fairly NEW fans…the kind that DC is supposedly courting. I guess DC is only looking for brand-spanking new fans who have as yet no idea what a tortuous beast DC can be.

    1. Steve

      Didio confirmed that Stephanie has a place in the DCNu at the same panel, so there’s more of a solid hope for her.

      1. kyer

        Hyperion, I have never once put down Barry Allen fans save for Didio, Johns…and now a bit to Kollins. Even then I have nothing against them as human beings but against their *actions* in regards to the DCU. Look at how they make up these reasons that are so easily picked apart because their other actions show them to be false? Everything is changed…except for those bits of continuity they personally liked…those will survive into DCnU? Little loopholes to preserve what they like? Meanwhile they have trashed the character of Wally West because….he’s taking the limelight away from Barry? Totally false since I started out in this franchise almost from day one (my second Flash read was the Return of Barry Allen) wanting Barry to return to run *with* Wally and Jay. This, apparently, was *never* what DC Exec fanboys had in mind. What they had in mind was installing Barry as everything Flash while feeding Wally fans dribbling bits of data to keep us as quiet as possible until while they told the writers to put slowly put a stopper on allowing Wally in any stories where he was the Flash. Then they had Wally do nothing but try to convince us that Barry was the be-all-to-end-all.

        That’s how I see it and I’ve had enough of their self-serving ‘shenanigans’.

        Until I see Wally West on a google search where multiple entries are proclaiming him back–and cheering it–I’m done paying attention to DC other than to rant on my profile page when the urge becomes too overpowering like it has all this week.

        To think I was so happy and thrilled back in 2008 to re-discover Flash and the Justice League! What a wondeful escape from the disasters going on in my real life! I actually had one wonderful near-year full of fun (mostly from discovering Flash Trade Books) before the reality of DC’s Richard-ness struck so hard I could no longer keep up my attempts to smile and overlook it.

  9. Brian Fowler

    20 years, give or take, I have been a DC fan. Always more DC than Marvel.

    This is the final nail in that coffin. I have the two Wally retroactive books, and the end of Batgirl and Secret Six… And when those are bought, that’s it, no more money for me to DC, until Wally West, The Fastest Man Alive, is back, with his wife and children, as the lead character in a book.

  10. Josh Boman

    Let me throw in my two cents as a brand new Flash reader. To me the news sounds great. I have no attachment to a “Flash family” and honestly I found the idea that there are all these people with the same powers to be really silly and a turn-off. I understand multiple Robins and Lanterns, but Flash’s speed should be a unique thing that defines him. I don’t care much whether it’s Barry or Wally or someone new (although I was very attracted to the idea of a guy lost in “time” that has to catch up with a DCU that moved on without him). So far, the only thing this fan doesn’t like about the reboot is the chin strap. Again, my two cents, but I think my perspective may balance that of all the seeming long-time fans that are a bit disgruntled over the latest news.

    1. Steve

      You were clearly jazzed by the notion of a guy “lost in time” and catching up to the modern DCU. That has nothing to do with running fast or being the Flash. It’s a character trait tied into Barry’s history that writers could have capitalized on (but ultimately never did). Believe me when I say that there are lists and lists of similar “hooks” in Wally’s history that make him appealing to old fans and would make him popular with new fans as well.

      1. Josh Boman

        I agree that Wally could make a great Flash. I just think they should narrow down the list of speedsters. To have Jay, Barry, Wally, Bart, Irey, XS, etc all have the same basic power and be running together makes them all seem less special in my opinion. I don’t mind who is the Flash, but give me one guy who runs fast (maybe throw in a Kid Flash, too), but no more. Make the Flash stand out amongst his supporting cast, not just be one of many.

        1. Steve

          Just to continue the debate for a second…if it’s the powers you’re concerned about, what about all the people in the DC universe who are superstrong? Why is it only a problem with superspeed?

          Also, if you’re a brand new fan, and you already know who XS is…obviously this information isn’t so impenetrable.

          1. Josh Boman

            Well I have to admit that my knowledge of the larger DC Universe is fairly limited. For example, I only know about XS because of the coloring controversy with the preview to Flashpoint. So I don’t know off the top of my head who all these superstrength characters are that you refer to. My main exposure to Flash until recently was the Justice League animated series. What set Flash apart from the rest was his super speed and the face that we was kind of an idiot (my opinion). Then I read Rebirth and thought, “Wow, he doesn’t seem like an idiot. I can get into this.” At the same time, I see all these people running around in Rebirth with superspeed that was my biggest turnoff in the book. It was getting the same way in Batman comics with all these Batman knock-offs crowding the scene: too many Robins, Red Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Knight, Squire, etc. Batman Incorporated helped somewhat in giving all those characters a place to exist and larger threat that required such a supporting cast. But you don’t need special powers to be “the Batman of Indonesia”, just martial arts and training. To be a Flash, you need super speed. On the Marvel side, this whole Spider Island thing seems similarly stupid. Flash was hit by lightning with this specific mix of chemicals. To me it cheapens that to have all these other people popping up with special powers. Again, that’s my perspective as a new fan. I have to attachment to most of these characters as people yet, I just see too many people with speed powers in one section of the DCU. Let Bart stay over in Titans or whatever the book is called – I hope Barry stays the only heroic speedster in Flash.

  11. liquidcross

    I’m not pleased at all, but such is life. At least DC saved me some money this way; I’m not going to bother picking up the new Flash book after all.

  12. Lee H

    Makes sense. Barry was killed off in 1985 and Jay Garrick was sent to a limbo dimension from 1986-1992, so Wally West went his first 71 issues without encountering another Flash (unless you count the brief Lady Flash). Shortly afterwards they all came back in one form or another.

    It’s all cyclical. Everything will be fine.

    1. Steve

      To explain why things are different this time: Barry Allen’s legacy and Jay Garrick’s legacy were kept alive long after they were dead. Readers were constantly reminded of who they were and why they are important. If Wally never became the Flash in the new continuity, his legacy would be totally destroyed. New readers would never know that he had any importance at all. This isn’t just a death or limbo, this is the destruction of everything Wally contributed to the franchise IF in fact, they are revoking his status as a Flash.

      1. Kyer

        Exactly…Wally has effectively been *erased* from history as 1986 on never happened.

        What am I saying?

        Its worse than that because Wally West actually became a character just about ten issues into Barry’s original run. He was Iris West’s nephew, a young boy who adored the Flash and thought this ‘Barry’ guy his beloved Iris was dating was as boring as chalk. I can still picture him sitting there bored to tears as Barry droned on about his work. (Not that what Barry did was boring, just that Wally was something like 10 at the time.

        All of that ERASED because Didio can’t accept that Wally became popular? Well, I don’t particularly care for Wonder Woman, but I’d never deny her fans a comic book with her.

        Set Wally in the future. Explain it that the events of Flashpoint sent him and his family hurtling forward in time just like they got sent to another planet so that Bart could be the Flash. It’s all fiction and fantasy fiction at that. Anything is possible IF YOU HAVE THE WILL.

  13. muggins

    This really, really, really pisses me off. So much so that I don’t think I’ll be purchasing the new Flash books.

  14. KC Flash

    Meh…Kinda bored of the soap opera and disrespect shown to the character of Wally West and HIS legacy as a member of the Flash family. I will wait to see the reviews of the series to see if I purchase the HC’s or not. It’s just disappointing to see that there is NO interest currently from DC to continue his character in the DCnU.

    One of the other things that frustrates me is that DC believes that Flash #1 and Flash #2 need 1/200 sketch variants. I mean, really, how many LCS in their right mind would purchase such a book with the expectation that they would actually sell 200 copies of Flash #2?

    Oh well, this will just give me more time to read my other books until DC figures out that they need the JSA, Jay Garrick and Wally West.

    As THEY used to say in All-Star comics, “keep ’em flying!”

  15. Savitar

    After 2, 3 years, Dido finally gives an honest answer. Why he or anyone else in Editoral couldn’t do this before now instead of stringing the fans along with slim to dim hope is beyond me.

    This is truly a great loss.

    I also don’t get this comparing powers. EACH Green Lantern has the SAME ring with the SAME abilities yet we can have 3600 or more of them. But we can’t ONE extra speedster in this ‘new’ DCU??? C’mon Dido, give me a break…….

    1. Penny Dreadful

      IMO, the Flash franchise has borne the brunt of Didio’s bad creative decisions (Countdown to Final Crisis, making Bart the Flash, etc.). This is nothing new.

      I wanted to like the series, but I just don’t have any interest anymore. I’m done.

  16. Outsider

    Barry was The Flash for only FIVE YEARS in this new timeline. How do you think that’s enough time for Wally to start being Kid Flash at 12? When did he become The Flash? At 15? 16?

    Wally’s history as The Flash is gone.

    1. Kyer

      Wally was essentially terminated the moment Didio knew he had amassed enough power to pull it off (imho). Whether this was in 2010 or 2007 I don’t know.

      Kid Flash in the Teen Titans is Bart. Presumably one of those troubled teens the book is going to focus on as well as a belligerent Superboy and so forth. I dread to think what they are going to do to Bart, but I won’t be reading that book so I’ll only find out through search engine happenstance.

      Right now Wally is alive in the Young Justice book and show, but he’s barely redeemable (as shown in that kitchen scene where he made to be both lazy and greedy while Barry was shown as kind and considerate. I know…imagine that, right?)

      Oh…and there *may be the Wally Kid Flash in Tiny Titans…although repeated questions to the fate of that book were met with utter silence in another forum, so I can’t be sure he wasn’t terminated from there as well.

      If I drank alcohol I’d be out getting plastered right now.

  17. Mike W.

    I had to stop reading all the comments about halfway down the page. This is the one thing that just boggles my mind about the entire thing. I understand that they brought Barry Allen back etc. I understand that they wanted to feature him in a new book which focuses only on him. I understand that the the editorial staff and decision makers at DC are pulling a Star Trek and resetting itself the DCU back to the starting point and in the process cleaning up some of the continuity problems that just don’t make sense… at all. C’mon the Golden Age heroes thing finally needed to be put to rest. Eventually they would have to be made the heroes of the first Gulf War fighting the forces of Saddam Husein(sp?) and the forces of Al-Queda. I get all that and I know that some of ya’ll also understand that.

    This is the part that I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Why did they have to go backwards with the Flash? They already had a character who was the Flash, Wally West. He was established and he had been running along nicely for 25 or so years in his own book. Those were 25 years of some incredible stories. Instead of ditching the character all together why not just have Wally go back to school or something and become a cop? Forensic Criminology like Barry Allen would be fine too. Then they could have had Wally in the crime lab and doing the exact same things Barry was doing only it would be Wally West. And in the process they wouldn’t have pissed off an entire generation of fans who as I’ve read are a little more than upset about the whole thing.

    For the last few years, DiDio and Johns and whoever else have been straight out lying to us about the fate of Wally West. Oh yeah he’ll be back. He’s the one who “fans the flames” “we have great things in store for Wally” Other than the shelf, I cannot see any plans for Wally? And some other characters as well. Fan favorites such as Donna Troy and Power Girl are also no where in sight? Well perhaps not Donna Troy…???

    Never-the-less, I want DC to really understand just how upset a majority of the fans are with their decision I really do. Does all this mean that I am NOT going to pick up the new Flash title? Absolutely not. I have every intention of picking it up. Hopefully the new Barry Allen will be less of a square than the previous iterations. Hell, the new look of the uniform doesn’t even have wing boots. NO WING BOOTS! Yeah! Being a lab geek doesn’t make him entirely square any more. Sure back in the 1950s and early 60s when the character was created that was the expectation. Now the expectation is CSI:pick a city!

    I am actually looking forward to the new title. And think that everyone should give it a chance. If someone had told me 6 years ago that a television show about a serial killer would be one of the things I look forward to watching every fall. I would have said they were crazy. Now, I can’t get enough of it. Same thing goes for NCIS:LA, HIMYM, and that show with the beauty and the four geeks? If you give something a chance, you might actually like it.

  18. Nikki

    Yeah. No reason to read the new comics. Wally was the reason I got into comics and without him I don’t see any need to continue spending money on this company.


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