[Warning – SPOILERS for The Flash season 4, episode 3 ahead!]
With Barry returning from his sojourn in the Speed Force during the The Flash season 4 premiere, it would seem that the writing was on the wall in regards to Wally West’s future with the series. While season 3 spent a bulk of its episodes exploring Kid Flash’s powers – even teasing that he’d eventually become a faster speedster than Barry ever was – his tenure as Central City’s only Flash was short lived.
In the final minutes of tonight’s episode, ‘Luck Be A Lady,’ Wally shares with the rest of Team Flash his plans to leave Central City. The news comes as huge shock to everyone (especially poor Joe), though as he points out, not one of them noticed he was gone for most of the action this episode. And frankly, audiences probably didn’t notice Wally’s absence either seeing as he’s been given very little to do this season.
While Barry and the rest of Team Flash were dealing with a serious case of bad luck, Wally went to talk with Jessie on Earth-2, needing more closure from their relationship than what was offered in Harry’s super awkward explanation of a break-up box. As it turns out, getting dumped while he’s already feeling pretty redundant within Team Flash proves to be the tipping point for Wally, leading to him to decide it’s time he figure out what to do with his life.
Wally tells the team he’s going to stay a with a friend for a while in Blue Valley – a city whose mention should strike a chord with comic book nerds as Blue Valley, Nebraska is the hometown to DC Comics’ original ginger-haired Wally West. There, the young Kid Flash, also Wally West, lived with his parents, Rudy and Mary West, and is the president of and the only member in the Blue Valley Flash Fan Club. Later on, Wally visits with his Aunt Iris in Central City, which is where he meets her boyfriend, Barry Allen. The two hit it off, but it isn’t until Wally experiences a similar accident involving spilled chemicals and lightning that he learns Barry is actually his favorite hero, The Flash. Having also been transformed into a speedster by his accident, Wally becomes Barry’s pre-teen sidekick, Kid Flash.
Obviously, The CW’s Flash has created its own very different origin for this version of Wally West/Kid Flash, making him Iris’ brother as opposed to nephew and therefore much closer in age to Barry. This hasn’t deterred the show from having Barry act a bit like a mentor to Wally, his step-brother and soon-to-be brother-in-law, but Wally has clearly outgrown being Barry’s sidekick and is ready to become his own hero. Barry even recognizes this, telling Wally: “Every hero has their own journey. If yours is taking you on a new path, you owe it to yourself to go.”
So what awaits Wally in Blue Valley? For the time being, probably nothing much. The name of the city itself is likely no more than a fun easter egg for fans, but Wally’s departure from Team Flash is ripe with potential. For starters, it’s been getting pretty crowded at S.T.A.R. Labs, and with Harry re-joining the team, there’s less reason than ever for Wally to stick around. This season’s Big Bad is a thinking man’s villain, not another speedster, so Harry’s brain (a much-needed improvement from last season’s Earth 19 version, “H.R.”) is sure to prove more useful than Wally’s speed.
Additionally, Wally has already demonstrated his own effectiveness as hero when he teamed up with Citizen Steel on Legends of Tomorrow. With it already announced that Martin Stein actor Victor Garber is exiting the series this season (leaving Firestorm’s future in question, too), there’s room on the Waverider for someone new. Perhaps Steel (AKA Nate Heywood) is the friend that Wally is intending to stay with? There is a connection that can be drawn between Heywood and Blue Valley, though not one The CW’s Arrowverse has made explicit. In the comics, the Star-Spangled Kid also hails from Blue Valley, and on Legends, it was revealed that Heywood’s grandfather, Commander Steel, worked alongside Stargirl (a later alias for the Star-Spangled Kid) as part of the Justice Society of America.
It isn’t definitive proof by any means, but having Wally travel to Blue Valley might just be a clue on the part of the writers that Wally’s new path finds him joining his pal, Steel as the newest member of the Legends. Either that, or he’s looking to start the Blue Valley Kid Flash Fan Club.
The Flash season 4 continues next Tuesday at 8pm/9c with ‘Elongated Journey Into The Night’ on The CW.
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