Tag Archives: Daniel West

“Sins of the Father” Review of THE FLASH #18

“Sins of the Father” starts here, in THE FLASH #18 – and we may have the makings of a classic. This issue makes the most of the page count for DC books of late, with the feel of a complete story even though this is just the first chapter of a larger tale. Wally is dealing with the revelation that Daniel West, aka the Reverse Flash is not his uncle but rather his father…and that’s just the jumping off point for a great arc. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


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A Brief History of the West Family

The West family has been a key part of the Flash supporting cast since the 1950s (and in fact one West was the main character of the series from 1987-2006), but they’ve changed a lot in that time.


Reporter Iris West is introduced, dating Barry Allen. Little is said about her family.


Wally West, Iris’ nephew, first shows up visiting his aunt in Central City. He meets Barry Allen (as the Flash), is struck by lightning and chemicals in a freak repeat of the original accident, and becomes Kid Flash. Wally’s parents appear in his solo stories when he goes home to Blue Valley.

Strangely, I can’t find any instance of Iris and her brother interacting on-page anywhere. Not even in the later Wally stories of the 1990s or 2000s.

Iris’ father Ira West is a college professor, brilliant but absent-minded. We never see or hear about his wife until much later.


Iris is revealed to be adopted. Born to Eric and Fran Russell in the distant future, she was sent back in time to save her from a terrible war. A flashback shows Ira and Nadine West as they discover the time capsule.


With Wally West as the main Flash, his parents get more attention — and names: Rudolph and Mary West. Rudolph is revealed to be a sleeper agent for the Manhunters, and the illusion of an idyllic family life is shattered.

Wally’s aunt Charlotte and his uncle Edgar Rhodes are mentioned, but I’m not sure they ever show up, and it takes a while before anyone cements which side of the family they’re on.


“Born to Run” retcons Wally’s childhood into a dysfunctional one more in line with the way things turned out once his father’s true colors were revealed. Iris, rather than just being Wally’s aunt, is now the only member of his family who really understands him.

The future heroes the Tornado Twins, Don & Dawn Allen, are revealed to be Barry and Iris’ children. Don’s son Bart Allen travels back in time with his grandmother Iris to the present day.


Wally West and Linda Park marry and have twins, whom they name Iris West II and Jai.

2010s: New 52

DC restarts their entire line, establishing new versions of some characters and younger versions of others.

As with the Silver Age, we begin with Iris West. After a while we meet her younger brother Daniel, who becomes the Reverse-Flash and tries to use his power to go back in time and kill their abusive father William (who turns out to be worse than Rudy ever was in the pre-Flashpoint universe). Their mother isn’t named. All we know is that she died giving birth to Daniel.

Later we find out about her older brother Rudy, who skipped out on his wife and their son Wally some time ago. Wally’s mother disappears (presumed dead) when Central City is taken over by Grodd and the Crime Syndicate, and Iris, who barely knows him, takes him in as the only family he has left.

TV Show (2014 on)

Iris grew up with her father, police detective Joe West, and believed her mother died when she was young. When she was around 11 years old, her friend Barry Allen lost his parents, and Joe took him in.

Francine West hadn’t died, but ran away after checking into rehab. Unable to find her, Joe decided it would be kinder to tell his daughter that she had died rather than abandoned her.

Years later, Francine reached out to the family she left behind in Central City…and Iris learned about her long-lost brother. At the end of the fall finale, we left off with the first meeting of Wally West and his sister Iris and father Joe.

A Brief History of Zoom and the Reverse Flash

The main villain for Season Two of the Flash TV show is Zoom … but who is Zoom, and how does he differ from the Reverse Flash?

As with Reverse Flash, they appear to be taking inspiration from a couple of sources in the comics, though Zoom’s true identity on the show is being kept mysterious for now. I’m including a few other villainous speedsters whose stories or designs may be relevant.

Reverse Flash a.k.a. Professor Zoom a.k.a. Eobard Thawne (1963)

Flash #139This 25th-century criminal reverse-engineered Barry Allen’s powers from one of his costumes, beginning a centuries-spanning rivalry as the two speedsters traveled through time to battle each other over and over. Thawne developed an unhealthy oobsession with taking over Barry’s life, particularly with his wife Iris.

Thawne eventually killed Iris, and years later tried to kill Barry’s new bride Fiona — but Barry killed him while protecting her. This led to a lengthly trial for the Flash, which ended just before Barry’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The Blackest Night crisis brought Thawne back from the dead, and he proceeded to start running back in time to mess with Barry’s life earlier and earlier, culminating in Barry’s mother and framing his father for the murder. [Full bio]

Savitar (1995)

SavitarA cold war test pilot whose plane was hit by lightning. On gaining super-speed, he became obsessed with the speed force, learning more than anyone else about its secrets. A battle knocked him forward in time several decades, during which his followers became a powerful cult.

Savitar’s greatest desire was to become one with the speed force, and to do it he meant to block — or eliminate — all other speedsters. It took a full coalition led by Wally West and featuring every other speedster hero active at the time to take him down. [Full bio]

Black Flash (1998)

The Black FlashUpdate: As Lee H. points out in the comments, it looks like the show has drawn visual inspiration from the personification of Death as it comes for speedsters. The Black Flash is a force of nature, pursuing speedsters whose time has come and ushering them across the threshold to death.

It was later shown in Flash: Rebirth that an actual person could become the Black Flash, more like the New Gods’ concept of the Black Racer: An ordinary person takes on the role, whether they like it or not, and they have a job to do. This happened to Barry Allen briefly in Flash: Rebirth, and in an interesting bit of timing is happening again in Darkseid War right now. [Full bio]

Zoom a.k.a. Hunter Zolomon (2003)

ZoomA criminal profiler with the Keystone City police who became friends with Wally West during his time as the Flash. An attack by Grodd left him unable to walk, and he tried desperately to convince his friend to travel back into the past and fix his mistakes. When Wally refused, Zolomon tried to activate the cosmic treadmill himself.

The accident gave him time-based powers that simulate super-speed. He became obsessed with making the Flash a “better” hero…by making him experience more personal tragedy, so that he would be more willing to risk altering reality for others. [Full bio]

New 52 Reverse-Flash a.k.a. Daniel West (2013)

Flash #23.2 - Reverse Flash #1The younger brother of Iris West, a juvenile delinquent who got out of jail around the time a disaster hit Central City and linked him to the speed force. He gained the ability to travel back in time for short hops, and went around killing others who had gained the same connection in order to use that power to go even further back in time — to kill his own abusive father.

New 52 Future Flash a.k.a. Barry Allen (2014)

Flash Annual 3Two decades from now, an older and angrier Barry Allen would discover that the speed force had been damaged by the Reverse Flash’s time travelling, and he started heading backward in time to seal the breach when it was still small enough to repair. On the way he killed a few villains and stopped a few disasters, until he came face to face with his past self.

Note the dark blue costume with glowing trim…

New 52 Professor Zoom a.k.a. Eobard Thawne

Flash Annual 4We don’t know his background yet, but we do know he really hates Barry Allen, and he’s traveled throughout history collecting people who have gained various powers from the speed force and convinced them that the Flash is a monster disguised as a hero, someone who needs to be stopped.


There you have it! Zoom, Professor Zoom, and the Reverse-Flashes, plus two speedsters who (judging by previews) may have inspired the TV show’s take.

You can read about some of the Flashes’ other opposite numbers in our Guide to Rogues and Reverse Flashes.

(Incidentally: In the process of re-reading the New 52 stories, I was reminded how much I love Francis Manapul’s and Brian Buccellato’s art and layouts.)

Media Blitz!: Flash Writers on Wally West, Future Flash (via Newsarama)

Following back-to-back weeks with new Flash issues hitting the stands, the new writing team of Van Jensen and Robert Venditti sat down with Newsarama last week to talk about some of the major introductions made and threads introduced.


Be warned, the two go into some spoiler-level detail if you have not read the last couple issues.  For more on Wally West, his parents, Future Flash and more, follow the jump!

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Who is the New Reverse-Flash?

The Negative Flash

DC recently announced that a new Reverse-Flash will debut in Flash #17, the final chapter of “Gorilla Warfare,” and will feature in the story beginning in Flash #20. Writers Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato wouldn’t reveal much this early, though the next story is going to focus on the question of “Who is the Reverse-Flash?”

Looking back at the interview, they don’t outright say that it won’t be Eobard Thawne or Hunter Zolomon, though that’s the way Comic Book Resources took it (and in the New 52, it makes sense to take that approach).

According to Manapul, the character “is going to be a complete re-imagining of him in the same way that we kind of tinkered with what the Speed Force is. We’re going to be explaining what the opposite side of that is.” Buccellato adds, “unlike previous Reverse-Flash iterations, we really take the ‘reverse’ part of it seriously.”

Of course, we’re comics fans, so it’s never too early to start speculating about the possibilities!

Dr. Darwin Elias. Initially an ally of the Flash, a scientist who has studied the speed force and the Flash’s powers. It turns out that he has a serious problem with ethics. He turned popular opinion against the Flash just to see what it would take, and gave the Rogues super-powers just to see what would happen. He and Barry Allen both being scientists could make for an interesting dynamic. Edit: On the downside, he’s already got potential in his current form, so folding him into an existing role takes what could be two villains and cuts them down to one.

Daniel West. Iris’ brother, recently released from jail after serving time for a job that was tharted by the Flash. He’s looking for his missing sister, who vanished during one of the Flash’s battles and is now trapped inside the speed force. It’s not hard to see motive, and if he somehow finds Iris, he could easily end up connected to the speed force in some way.

Iris West. The Flash could use some more female villains, she’s in the speed force right now, and it would be interesting to have the new Reverse Flash be someone with a romantic link to the Flash. That said, that angle has already been explored a lot with Batman, Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul; Iris doesn’t really have motivation to go villainous; and it would be a major change to a long-established character. On the other hand…

Patty Spivot. She’s mad at the Flash for “killing” Barry Allen. Unlike Iris, she’s actually dated Barry seriously in this timeline. She’s met someone (Turbine) who has been in the speed force, and could conceivably end up linked to it — in fact, in the last moments of the previous DCU timeline, she was linked to it, taking up Hot Pursuit’s outfit and speed force-powered motorcycle just before Flashpoint transformed the universe. She’s had enough page time for the audience to appreciate a switch, but not as much historical inertia as Iris.

Wally West. His fans have been clamoring for his return, and DC has been very coy: either they have no plans, or they’re saving him for something big. We don’t know what he’s up to in this timeline (if he even exists), but since Flashes have a history of dimension travel, we can imagine a pre-New 52 Wally West being trapped in this timeline, wanting to repair it, and blaming Barry for wiping his family out of existence. On the downside, DC has already gone down this road with Hal Jordan as Parallax and Superboy Prime (not that they’ve ever shied away from repetition). More importantly, perhaps, DC has been very insistent on not offering any “escape hatches” that might allow fans to think the old DCU could possibly come back, ever. Having a character explicitly from that old continuity sounds like something they’d want to stay away from. This option also didn’t fare well in the polls. 71% of Wally West fans and 64% of non-Wally fans, or 70% of the total responses, were opposed to the idea.* Update: Some additional thoughts on Wally West as a candidate.

Other possibilities: Bart Allen’s unlikely, as he’ll also be appearing in the same arc. There are other people at the crime lab, like Singh or Forrest. There’s Captain Frye or even Henry Allen. I’m fairly certain that Barry Allen’s literal evil twin, Cobalt Blue, has been long-since erased from history, but the science/magic dichotomy could still play out with another character.

My bet is either Dr. Elias or Daniel West, though I’d like to see what the book might do with Iris or Patty. What do you think?

Who do you think is going to be the new Reverse-Flash?

*The poll asked people to choose whether they were “a fan of Wally West” or “not particularly a fan of Wally West,” and whether they would be “OK with” the reveal. Of 106 votes: 67 fans opposed, 28 fans OK, 7 non-fans opposed, 4 non-fans OK.

Media Blitz!: Manapul and Buccellato on Gorilla Warfare, the New Wests (via Newsarama)

A new interview appeared over at Newsarama yesterday, featuring the Flash creative time of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.  The duo discuss last month’s issue #0, their plans for the upcoming Gorilla Warfare story and the introduction of a new member of the West clan.

Media Blitz! features highlights from recent Flash news items.  Follow the jump for more on the Speed Mind, the structure of the #0 issue and the advent of Daniel West.

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