There’s a warfare brewing within the DC Universe, nevertheless it’s not going to be fought by armies or troopers. As Barry Allen closes out the house stretch of his pricey confrontation with Gorilla Grodd, there’s one other battle looming simply past the horizon…and it is one which could possibly be much more devastating than the rampage of an enormous telepathic gorilla despot. “Flash War” is coming and, such as you may collect from the identify, it is an occasion which will simply tear the Flash Family aside.
Of course, to actually perceive the depth of what meaning, we’ll have to take a look at simply who and what the Flash Family is, and for that, we will take a better take a look at one in every of its foundational partnerships.
That’s proper, this month’s Relationship Roundup is all about Barry Allen and Wally West, the quickest duo alive.
In the Beginning
Barry Allen had been round for a short while earlier than Wally burst onto the scene—about three years to be actual. Wally debuted in 1959 after Barry’s 1956 debut. The Silver Age Flash workforce did not waste a lot time. Wally’s first look was additionally his origin story and it wasn’t precisely difficult. Just like Barry, Wally was trapped in a lightning storm whereas coated in chemical compounds from the Central City police lab, which subsequently gave him the facility of tremendous velocity—a very literal “lightning strikes twice” second.
So, why was Wally in Central City to start with? He was visiting his Aunt Iris, Barry’s girlfriend (and eventual spouse). Wally was from a small city in Nebraska, however sadly, did not get alongside properly together with his mom and father. So, the keen younger ginger seemed for each excuse he might discover to go to stick with his Aunt and almost-Uncle, who turned the closest issues to actual mother and father he had.
Fortunately for everybody concerned, Wally wound up being a reasonably fast research with the entire superpowers factor and instantly turned Kid Flash, working aspect by aspect with Barry to assist hold each Central City and his Nebraskan hometown protected. Originally, he even wore a fancy dress that was virtually equivalent to his mentor’s, however that was later modified to the yellow and pink we acknowledge as Kid Flash right now, simply to maintain issues from getting too complicated.
Wally went on to turn into a founding member of the Teen Titans the place he showcased one of many healthiest hero/sidekick relationships on the roster. Barry took his position as Wally’s unofficial caretaker very critically and in a approach that solely somebody like Barry Allen actually might. He wove science classes (Flash Facts!) into their every day routines and seemed out for Wally’s wellbeing as greatest and as compassionately as he might, which set them aside from nearly all of Wally’s barely dysfunctional teammates and buddies.
In brief, issues between Wally and Barry have been actually nice for a reasonably very long time.
…And then Barry died.
Life in a Shadow
In probably the most well-known superhero deaths of all time, Barry Allen (actually) bit the mud in the course of the universe-altering CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS within the 1980s, leaving Wally to select up the items of the Flash legacy left behind.
It’s in all probability unsurprising that Barry’s shut mentorship and the great steerage he offered Wally in life truly turned a kind of roadblock for the youthful speedster in demise. Barry’s shadow was large and looming nearly in all places, leaving Wally to really feel like he was simply by no means going to be fairly ok, robust sufficient, or quick sufficient to ever actually be the Flash.
That rigidity—which, truthfully, typically oscillated proper into bitterness or anger—carried him for years as he settled into his new position. It obtained so dangerous that he even opened up about it to a therapist every so often.
Of course, that is to not say that Wally ever resented the time that he and Barry spent collectively after Barry was out of the image. Far from it! Wally would typically be the primary individual to defend Barry’s reminiscence from anybody who spoke ailing of him, however that did not imply he wasn’t carrying a weight round on a regular basis. And carrying weight is actually the other of what you need whenever you’re making an attempt to run on your life on the velocity of sound.
In Barry’s absence, Wally grew as much as domesticate his very personal rendition of the Flash Family. He married Linda Park, a TV reporter who typically coated the Flash, had youngsters of his personal, and labored intently with heroes like Bart Allen, Max Mercury, Jay Garrick and Jesse Quick to create a community of speedsters that helped share the burden of Barry’s legacy till it stopped being one thing that was dragging all of them down.
…But then Barry got here again.
Barry’s revival got here in a comic book guide occasion referred to as THE FLASH: REBIRTH, which resurrected the well-known hero almost twenty-four years after his dying. And as you possibly can in all probability think about, it threw fairly a wrench into issues for poor Wally in solely the best way that the sudden return of your childhood mentor-slash-idol-slash-guardian might.
However, regardless of his quarter-century of labor cultivating himself because the Flash and therapeutic from Barry’s demise, Wally was one of many few individuals to be utterly and completely optimistic about Barry’s revival. Others seemed on the revived Barry with suspicion and concern (which was comprehensible—they’ve definitely all lived by means of some fairly bizarre stuff of their days). For Wally, whereas the years had been difficult, that they had actually achieved wonders for his capability to take a look at Barry as a multifaceted human being, somewhat than the immeasurable best he had constructed him into instantly following his dying.
That stated, issues did not keep calm for very lengthy and it seems they did not have all that a lot time to reconnect. Barry infamously sparked the occasions of FLASHPOINT quickly after, and issues received somewhat tough (learn: non-existent) for Wally for a number of years.
But, identical to with Barry’s personal demise by the hands of a cosmic disaster, Wally’s vanishing act wasn’t everlasting, and in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, the 2 Scarlet Speedsters lastly received the prospect to reconnect in a approach that really, actually caught.
Their reunion was so lengthy awaited and so emotionally resonant that it truly sparked the beginning of a complete new period for the DCU, ushering in a full universe-wide Rebirth within the wake of the New 52.
Of course, that is not to say every thing is all the best way again to regular. Just prefer it was troublesome for Wally to regulate to life with out Barry, there have been moments the place it has been troublesome for each Flashes to regulate to life again on the earth collectively. It hasn’t all the time been straightforward, particularly now that they are coming from two very, very totally different locations, and, nicely, with Flash War arising, it won’t get simpler any time quickly.
“Flash War” kicks off in THE FLASH #47 by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter on May 23, 2018.