Updated: Jan 24, 2020
I still remember as a little kid, my mom getting me my first comic book. It was FLASH #82, by Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo. Ever since that day, not only has he been my favorite character, Wally West has been MY Flash. From Mark Waid's legendary run to Geoff Johns' epic run, Wally has long been one of DC's best characters and had some of the best stories told. These runs have, and always will, hold a special place in my heart. I know I'm not alone in this, just look at the reactions from HEROES IN CRISIS.
When DC got rid of Wally in "The New 52", I was furious. "Why would they get rid of him?" The they brought a new version, Wallace West, which felt like a slap in the face to al Wally fans. Don't get me wrong though, I've enjoyed this new Kid Flash character and I think he's a great addition to the Flash family, but at the time, I just wanted MY Wally back.
Flash forward a couple years and Geoff Johns, shakes up everything with the DCU in DC Rebirth, he brings Wally back. He set Wally up as a symbol of hope, a centerpiece to what had been missing in the DCU since FLASHPOINT. From there with the exception of the inaugural TITANS arc, which focused on Wally, and a few scattered appearances, Wally was relegated to the background.
If you haven't read HEROES IN CRISIS, spoilers ahead
Cue HEROES IN CRISIS, Wally is left murdered in the first issue, from there we learn that he's the one responsible for the massacre. While it was an accident, he still covered up the murder and framed Booster Gold and Harley Quinn. While his grief was understandable, it was his actions after that felt somewhat out of character. At first I was mad at Tom King and then I read a post where he said:
"This was always about those three characters. It was a Harley story, a Wally story, and was a Booster story." And in the end, King says that Wally West is his favorite character, and the events of Heroes in Crisis are actually the best thing to happen to the character in 15 years. "Wally hasn’t had a successful solo comic since, when? 2003? What I’m saying is, the idea behind this is to elevate that character. Everyone is now talking about Wally. Everyone wants to see where Wally goes next. Everyone wants Wally to get the attention that that character deserves. He’s my favorite Flash. He’s my entry into DC comics — The Flash #53 by Messner-Loebs and Larocque was my first DC comic. I love that character. I have a page above my desk of Wally from that Flash run and I think this, at the end of the day, will shine a spotlight on my character and put him at the center of the DC universe, in a place he hasn’t been for 15 years."
It made the pill a little easier to swallow, but I was still left upset that my FAVORITE character was in a jail cell. With the announcement yesterday of Wally getting a new series by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth. I hope that DC can somehow turn this tragedy around and bring Wally back to the forefront of the DCU. He's one of the most beloved characters and deserves to be treated as such. To me, he was and always will be, THE Flash.