Warning: SPOILERS for The Flash #50
Bad news, fans of The Flash: the fun of having Wally West back in the spotlight is going to be over soon. His return to the DC Universe after being written out of the New 52 was too long coming. But already, his time as a force for good may be coming to an end.
That's based on our interview with writer of The Flash comic Josh Williamson, who teases Wally's new path in the wake of DC's Flash War event. The good news is simple: when you've realized your children have been written out of existence by Flashpoint and are still trapped, forgotten, in the Speed Force, how much worse can things really get?
The bad news? Wally West is about to find out.
That's right, the former Kid Flash isn't even able to enjoy the final verdict from DC confirming Wally is the fastest Flash Family speedster. Not when he only achieved that title because he was racing to rattle the Speed Force itself, and free his kids, Irey and Jai. A race he actually didn't win.
Wally failed to free his kids, falling victim to the returned Hunter Zolomon's master plan. In fact, Wally didn't just prove unable to free them like he had been, but went on to break the Flash power of time travel (meaning he can't rewrite history to save them, either).
Needless to say, the conclusion of the Flash War is less than a conclusion for Wally. Because it's clear what he has to do, and Williamson warn he's still not any less desperate to restore his family.
As this chapter comes to a close, Wally is not only leaving Barry, but for maybe the first time since Rebirth he has a goal ahead of him. A pretty emotionally charged one that fans will be... maybe impatient to see addressed, since this story hinges on the emotion and terror of what Wally's dealing with right now. Is his path out of this book going to be just as desperate? Or a bit more calculated?
Oh, that's rough. I'm going to say out of those two options, definitely going to say desperate. It's going to be a hard run for Wally. Issue #51 is all about Wally, it's all about Iris and Wally. Barry is definitely in it, Kid Flash is in it, Commander Cold is in it, there's some other guest stars by other DC characters, but it's definitely all about Wally. You're going to get answers to a lot of what's going on with Wally past this. Because the whole issue, we had that little two page epilogue at the end of this, but really #51 is all an epilogue to FLASH WAR... I think a lot of the stuff people are going to ask and wonder about with Wally, and want to know where he's going, and how he's doing, what he's doing, will all be in #51.
That issue will be a must-read for fans, but the Flash War story could be a sign of things to come from Wally further down the road. As sympathetic as any fan or father may be to Wally's extreme actions, the fact remains: he freaked, struck out on his own, and didn't just give Reverse-Flash more power than ever before, but seriously damaged the Speed Force (and the fabric of reality).
So when we asked Williamson if there was anything Wally wouldn't do, or any line he wouldn't cross to save his children, we were prepared for the worst. While he didn't confirm one way or another, it sounds like that very question is one Wally fans may want to ask. And prepare for the answer, no matter what it might be:
We're trying to change the way these characters work a little bit, and put your stamp on them, add a little twist on them. I think with Wally, it's going to be a rough time. It's definitely going to be hurtful for him, and an emotional rollercoaster ride... Barry went through what he did, Barry had his mother taken away and he went back in time to try to fix it, and he caused the Flashpoint which caused a lot of trauma. So Barry definitely understands that... I don't know, how do you explain that to somebody? How do you tell someone you have to do this because of this? It seems so big, it's such a big thing. A person can say 'I'm going to risk it.'
That's essentially what Wally did in this story where he was thinking he was going to break the Speed Force, and he broke the Force Barrier, and Hunter kind of won that. But I think he looks at it and he's like, 'I need to be smarter about this, I'm not going to make the same mistakes that Barry made. But I'm not just going to sit here, I'm going to go find them. I'm going to figure this out.'
The Flash #50 is available now from DC Comics.