Barry Allen: Player

One of many pieces of Flash news from Comic-Con that just didn’t sit right with me was the news that Barry Allen and Iris West were being retroactively split up for the New 52, and that Barry would be “playing the field.”

Really? This is the guy who, after Iris’ untimely death, when he finally forced himself to move out of the house where he lived with his late wife and try to get on with his life, promptly fell for the new girl next door. The idea of him dating someone else isn’t preposterous, but a player? That seems a little far-fe—

Oh, wait. Never mind.

(Seriously, though, this is one of the things that bugs me, because in my opinion, the Barry/Iris relationship should be central to the character(s). It might bother me less if DC wasn’t undoing the Lois/Clark marriage at the same time. I still haven’t decided whether to actually put together a post listing all the announced elements I do and don’t like and why.)

20 thoughts on “Barry Allen: Player

  1. Lia

    Post this the next time someone insists Barry’s boring :>

    Between Barry/Iris, Clark/Lois, and the demise of the Spider-marriage, one wonders what comic companies have against marriage. (Well, I know the reasoning for it, but if they really think it’s such a kiss of death one wonders why they have characters marry in the first place)

    Reply
    1. Realitätsprüfung

      Well, marrying the characters off is all about selling “The Wedding!” specials, and to an extent adding a twist to the superhero’s personal life.

      And it CAN work, though it’s rare – like when they add kids to a TV show cast. Most often, that’s just evidence they’re out of ideas – the question of, “What else CAN we do?” That’s why they killed Superman – it was the one event they hadn’t done for real, in all the decades he’d been around.

      In a long-running serial, of course, this also means eventually it has to be undone – but that’ll be by someone else, long after the person who did it is gone. Which is sort of like spilling your coffee by the elevator on your last day of work. You leave it there because it isn’t your problem anymore – someone else will eventually clean it up.

      Which is DC in 2011 – cleanup mode. (Though the current crew helped make some of these messes, too.)

      Reply
    1. Kelson Post author

      I would hardly say they’re just slapping one Flash’s nametag on another’s personality. They do, however, seem to be incorporating elements of both Wally and Barry into an amalgam Flash.

      Reply
  2. Realitätsprüfung

    As for Barry being single, I always thought of Iris as a core aspect of Barry’s identity. Though I did read the stuff after she died, and that was interesting too.

    But this is a new DCU, a new path. Barry may end up with Iris, or…events could transpire differently. I’m kind of hoping we’ll see new paths/supporting characters show up in the series.

    Reply
  3. Phantom Stranger

    It might be interesting to see Barry date another superhero or even a supervillain. Barry’s dating life has been a little vanilla compared to his friends like Hal Jordan or Bruce Wayne.

    Reply
    1. Lia

      Well, swinger jokes aside, not everybody’s a playa. Barry’s a bit more introverted than some of the other heroes (which is what I like about him, actually — and hopefully this isn’t going to be changed in the new DCU).

      Reply
  4. Perplexio

    What I still don’t get… If Bart is going to be Kid Flash in the new 52 but his grandparents are no longer together… well, how is DC going to resolve that? Is Bart going to be like a Marty McFly character constantly trying to get his grandparents together?

    Reply
    1. Kelson Post author

      What’s to resolve? As long as there’s a possibility that Barry & Iris could get together in the future, there’s a possibility that they could have children & grandchildren. The thing with Marty was that, barring a freak accident, his parents would never have gotten together, and when he prevented that accident, he had to find some other catalyst to take its place.

      This assumes, of course, that Bart’s still their grandson in the new history, and not Barry’s unspecified distant descendant, or even a cousin from the present day.

      Reply
  5. Jesse

    Having them be unmarried just adds to the lack of diversity in the line … which now seems to be a slow but steady trend towards all-same-age (young) all-single all-white men.

    Reply
  6. Savitar

    What I find strange is that, unlike Marvel, DC’s relationships/marriages appeared more stable and more acceptable by readers and fandom over the years. Clark & Lois, Barry & Iris, Ralph & Sue (mostly), Ollie & Dinah, Carter and Sheira, I don’t recall ever seeing any cries for dissolvement over any of these relationships.

    Thus, I find DC’s decision to forego these pairings (at least here in the beginning) sad and troubling.

    Reply
    1. Ben Hall

      Too true, especially Ralph and Sue who were the Nick and Nora Charles of the DCU. Nick and Nora Charles are the primary couple in The Thin Man book and movies.

      Reply
    2. Realitätsprüfung

      But doesn’t it make sense that now that the primary heroes are all in their mid-20s and starting their stories over, that they wouldn’t necessarily be locked into a “permanent” status quo that future creators will have to either adhere to or undo?

      It seems like DC’s strategy is to start open-ended, and build from there. I much prefer that to locking down continuity and relationship histories – especially if they rely upon pre-Flashpoint continuity.

      Reply
  7. Martin Gray

    Aw, Fiona Webb, we barely knew you. Thank goodness.

    And it’s true, Barry never even got together with Zatanna when he had the chance. Just Imagine any kids they had, zooming around the DC Universe, casting spells everywhere, every second.

    Reply
    1. Alton

      Stop giving DC great ideas.This could be an exttremely interesting satirical Else Worlds. Why waste an idea like this on DC? They could newver pull it off.

      Reply
  8. Michael Kramer

    At least it beats what I thought they were gonna do (Kill off Jerry McGee and have Barry start seeing Tina!……….hmm maybe there’s hope for Julio Mendez after all)

    Reply

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