Heroes & Villains: Can Wally West Be Saved?

To preserve the writer’s artistic vision the following column will be presented in the 4:3 aspect ratio.

A peek behind the curtain: I write these columns on Tuesday evening after my normal workday is done and the cats have been fed. Prior to my move I enjoyed the privilege of getting my new comic books a day early which was my inherent laziness masquerading under the guise of needing new books to review for the column. It also didn’t hurt that my friend who works at my local comic shop had to drive by my old place on his way home.

Now that I’ve relocated to REDACTED people are very rarely in my area and even though I had considered making my pal drive half an hour out of his way I instead opted to get my books on Wednesday. Like a normal person.

This website has a working relationship with most publishers and we’re able to get advance PDF review copies of a lot of books. It’s a major perk, yes, but one publisher has continually eluded us.

The short version is that there’s a book I had WANTED to review but CAN’T review until I read it. I’m already buying a physical copy at my friend’s shop and I flat out refuse to buy a digital copy.

So here’s a book I’m looking forward to reading this week.

The Flash #768
Jeremy Adams (W)
Darko Lafuente, Brandon Peterson, Marco Santucci (A)
DC Comics

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Flash and while I came in at the tail end of the Barry Allen era, I was raised on Wally West. So it’s been extra upsetting to see how dirty DC has done Wally over the last decade or so. For a longer look at this click here.

Now that Dark Nights: Death Metal has done whatever it was that it did everything’s cool again, continuity matters except for the stuff you didn’t like, and those mean people on the internet can’t hurt you anymore. DC is taking a “let’s see what sticks” approach to storytelling now as evidenced by the incredibly wide net cast by Infinite Frontier #0.

Admittedly, I kind of skimmed the whole thing and read the parts that interested me. In brief, Barry Allen is off to fart around the multiverse or something and he needs a speedster to sit in as The Flash while he’s away. To the absolute surprise of no one he taps Wally West as his successor. He’s got some experience at the job seeing as he WAS The Flash for about twenty years post-Crisis in the DCU.

Here’s the blurb:

The retirement of Wally West begins! After the events spanning from DC Universe: Rebirth to Heroes in Crisis to Dark Nights: Death Metal, the former Kid Flash decides to call it quits. But the current Flash needs his former partner now more than ever. As fallout from Infinite Frontier hits the Flash, Barry Allen and Wally West must confront the past by way of a Justice League led by Green Arrow.

Honestly, I’m still not sure what to make of it. The DC Future State books seemed like a holdover of the DiDio era with the company and were content to continue paddling Wally West at every possible opportunity. The Nightwing title has seemingly done an about face with its relaunch, even going so far as to joke about Dick Grayson’s time as a hard drinking, non-superhero cab driver after he got shot in the head (not in his own book even). I’m hoping The Flash will continue the trend by restoring one of DC’s most important legacy characters to his much deserved prominence in the wider DCU.

Join me next week when my column hopefully isn’t, “LOL NOPE.”

Leave a Reply