Tag Archives: Walter West

Walter West: Adventures in Hypertime

Walter West

Today’s guest post is by by Joe Grunenwald.

The Flash was gone. Wally West was dead, having entered the Speed Force after saving Barry Allen’s life from Cobalt Blue. Then, out of the night sky, a bolt of lightning, a crack of thunder, and a new speedster appeared – older, scarred, but familiar, and known to the precious few to whom he unmasked.

Walter West was only around for a handful of comics (ten issues of The Flash, one issue of JLA, and six issues of Titans, plus a couple of annuals), but he left an indelible mark on me. “Chain Lightning” and the ensuing story that came to be known as “The Dark Flash Saga” hit at the very height of my Flash fandom, and the mystery of who the new Flash was had me baffled. I was convinced, up until the moment of the reveal, that it was Barry Allen, so to see a blue-eyed Wally West under the mask was quite the shock, and the rest of the story, detailing how he came to be in the ‘main’ hypertimeline, along with Wally and Linda’s eventual return and Walter’s tragic departure, are still some of my favorite Flash comics of all time. I waited for years for Walter to show up again, to no avail.

One of Walter’s less memorable adventures.

But man, how great that reappearance could have been!

Walter’s status quo as it was at the end of The Flash #159 leant itself perfectly to more stories. A speedster, hopping through hypertime, trying to find his way home – who wouldn’t read that? It’s Sliders meets Quantum Leap meets the fastest man alive. He can’t stay in any timeline for too long or he risks destroying it, so there’d be a built-in sense of urgency behind every one of his adventures. There’d also have to be a change of scenery/universe for each different story, which would be a fun opportunity to see alternate versions of the DCU. He could get sucked into problems in each new timeline he visits – perhaps problems that he causes himself when he arrives unexpectedly – and he could make enemies or even a big bad who somehow tracked him during his world-jumping.

Angela Margolin

And then there was Angela Margolin, Walter’s ladylove from whom he was separated at the end of the original story. A scientist herself, it’s easy enough to envision her trying to find a way to cross hypertime to find Walter. Throw in Rip Hunter as a recurring foil, or even the Challengers of the Unknown (who were left exploring hypertime themselves at the end of the “Hypertension” storyline in Superboy). This series – or miniseries, or series of backup stories in the Speed Force title that never materialized – could have had it all.

Alas, it clearly was never meant to be. Hypertime was underutilized and ultimately disavowed by DC editorial. Where Mark Waid told sweeping stories that spanned time and space, Geoff Johns took The Flash in a different direction, telling grounded stories that built up Keystone City and Wally’s rogues gallery. Now, over ten years later and with a rebooted universe in which Wally was never The Flash, the odds of an alternate universe Wally showing up are likely slim to none.

But it’s fun to consider what could have been, isn’t it? After all, this is comics we’re talking about – anything is possible.

Joe Grunenwald writes about comics at NerdSpan.

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.)

Covers: It Can’t Be…YOU?!

As it turns out, the Flash was right. The man removing his mask in the prologue to “Chain Lightning” wasn’t who Wally thought he was at first. But Cobalt Blue certainly looked like the classic Scarlet Speedster! (Flash v.2 #144, 1999).

Interestingly enough, the series returned to the cover concept less than a year later during the Dark Flash saga, reversing the lighting, the angle…and who was doing unmasking. (Flash v.2 #154, 1999) Continue reading

Flash First Impressions: Why I don’t like Joan Garrick

Today’s guest post is by Ken O of That F’ing Monkey.

I’m going to make a confession and I realize it sounds irrational, but I don’t like Joan Garrick. I know that sounds bad. You hear something like that and think, “How can you hate that nice grandmotherly lady?” Before we even get into the whys I want to clarify, I dislike her, I don’t hate her. I wasn’t cheering when she came down with fake-cancer. Besides the fact that cancer isn’t really cheer worthy, I didn’t want to see her die.

So what started all this craziness? Her first appearance. I’m not even talking about her issue as a whole; I’m talking about the first page of Flash Comics #1. Our hero, young scientist in training Jay Garrick meets Joan at school and asks her out to the Victory dance. Her response is, “I…I don’t thinks so, Jay…You’re…a scrub on the football team…and captain Bull Tryon’s already asked me!!”

Wow. How nasty is that? She could have easily said, “Sorry, but someone already asked me,” or anything like that. Instead she decides to bust on his football skills. And bless his heart; Jay somehow still wants to impress her. He gains super speed and immediately uses it for football. Maybe it’s because I’m not a football fan? I’ve also though of Joan as cold hearted after that.

I realize Iris didn’t come off any better. In her first panel she’s chastising Barry for being late. I’ve read a number of other people’s complaints about how nasty Iris was during all those early adventures, but for some reason I never disliked her. Maybe it is because I’ve been stood up before and I know what a soul crushing blow to the ego that can be.

How did the other women in the Flashes’ lives fare with their first appearances? Continue reading