Tuesday, August 23, 2011


First off, I want to apologize for NOT having done any new blog entries in a while. I intended to do 4-5 a week, but picked a REALLY hectic time to be so ambitious. On top of my normal coloring and writing work, I just finished a stint as my director pal Tim Story’s assistant for a movie he just shot for Screen Gems. It was a cool experience and I enjoyed being on set… but MAN, OH MAN did it eat up a ton of hours. We wrapped at 7:30am on Friday and I have been recovering/ playing catch-up ever since.

Now I am a LOT more rested and should be able to tackle this blog on a more regular basis. This leads me to the topic I wanted to discuss…


To those of you that don’t know who he is, here’s a primer…


In a nutshell, Wally was the teen speedster, KID FLASH, who mentored under BARRY ALLEN’S FLASH until the mid 80’s when Barry died during a major DC event called “Crisis On Infinite Earths”. After Barry died, Wally took the mantle of The Flash and held onto that role for a LONG time…

…until a few years ago when Barry Allen made his return.

Barry took over the role he possessed about twenty-five years ago, and supplanted Wally… who hasn’t been heard of since. This has created a divide between many Flash fans that fall into two camps – Pro-Wally or Pro-Barry (although sometimes it seems more like anti-Wally and anti-Barry). And these passionate Flash fans LOVE “their” guy and are not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. While I haven’t actually witnessed any Flash Fan rooftop shouting, I have read many forum threads across the world wide web that lead me to believe that this yelling does actually take place.

And one thing I can safely say is… Wally fans ain’t happy that their guy is MIA.


As most people know by now, Francis and I have the honor of writing THE FLASH for DC’s New52 re-launch. The Flash we are writing is BARRY ALLEN. What does this mean? DC Comics has served up plenty of ammunition for the pro-Wally set.

“Wait a second, are you telling me that NOT ONLY are we gonna have that old school, bowtie wearing chump, Barry, but it’s gonna be written by a freakin’ artist and a dude that I have never ever, EVER heard of (and whose last name I can’t pronounce).”

Hey, I get it.
Francis gets it.
We both get it.
And we are okay with it.

We accept the challenge and are looking forward to showing the fans that we know what we are doing. We are genuinely excited, proud and feel like we got it covered. We also believe that all it’s going to take is getting the book into the people’s hands for them to come around. We are either optimistic or deluded. But the good thing is we will find out soon enough.


That’s the part of the equation that remains unchanged. We often get asked that very fair question, and we wish we had an answer that would satisfy. But the simple truth is we don’t. Our book is about Barry. We are focusing on Barry. And there is nothing we can say to put Wally fans at peace.

Sorry, guys. I really am.

And we are not bothered when we are asked about Wally. It’s okay to ask us… I’m glad there are people out that that feel so strongly about The Flash. Unfortunately, there is no new information to impart. I can’t tell you why there is no Wally… but I CAN offer my speculation as to…


Obviously, he is the Flash that DC has chosen to continue the tradition of the Scarlet Speedster. That’s the easy answer. Why do I think HE was chosen instead of Wally? (DISCLAIMER - there is NO Insider Information at work here. This is just me giving my two cents)


1. As part of the re-launch, Barry makes more sense than Wally. Because, if you are trying to introduce The Flash to a whole new audience, Barry’s origin is straight forward and not dependant on Wally. Wally’s origin, on the other hand, IS completely dependant on Barry Allen’s run as the Flash. It’s just that simple. And if you removed Barry’s association with Wally and retconned a new origin for him, he WOULDN’T be Wally any more. He would just be a new flash with Wally’s hair color and name. Wally’s much beloved journey from Kid Flash to Flash (and the death of his mentor) DEFINE who Wally is. So I just don’t see how you can start with him.

2. Warner Brothers is going to make a FLASH MOVIE. It’s gonna happen. It’s in the works. And for the same reasons as stated above… it’s gonna be Barry. So EVEN if someone (smarter than I) were able to figure out how to solve those issues AND retain Wally’s essence… it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. Warner Brothers would NEVER buy into that. Wally was never an option for the movie.

However, that said… who is to say you couldn’t introduce Wally West as Kid Flash in a sequel and have him take over in a later sequel. Right?

You never know… it could happen.


  1. Welcome back, Mr. BOOCH-eh-LOT-oh.

    Great post, and your reasons behind "why Barry" are sound. I honestly think these are solid reasons. Now, just because your book is about Barry doesn't mean there could be a chance, in the far-far future, for a return of Wally, right? Don't get me wrong - I love Barry. I'm a Barry-Flash fan. But for the sake of the pro-Wallys. I asked Francis if he had plans of putting extended Flash family in the book: Wally, Bart, Jesse, Max, etc.; and he said that, for now, it's about Barry. But he'd like to.

    So, Wally fans, don't give up hope. And TRUST in the writers. Don't hate. Don't flame. There's NOTHING you can do about it. Just sit down and read the book. I love Francis's art, and I think he's going to make a great writer (you too, Brian).

  2. Thanks for the kind words, David! I remain hopeful that Wally will return... and that Francis and I will play a part in it. But until that time... I'll happily ride shotgun with Barry. :)

  3. The problem with the Wally's origin excuse is that DC doesnt apply that to any other character. How is Nightwing starring in his own title when his journey is extremely similar to Wally's? "Because of the name."; is what I'm sure you're saying but then you need to ask yourself if that is a justifiable reason to completely bench a character who's been THE name, face and...CHARACTER...associated with that name for the last 25 years. The answer, as everyone knows, is a resounding "HELL NO!"

    Being PRO-Wally does not make one Anti-Barry. I love Barry Allen. Seeing comments like "Why Barry" is what makes me slightly Anti-Barry Allen. Why can there be no coexistence? There are 10+ Batman titles that DC Comics expects new and current readers to understand and enjoy. So if the concept of Batman is adaptable from book to book, why can't superspeed the same way?

    I won't take up any more room on Brian's post because this is far from the proper forum of discussion. So I guess I'll ask you, Brian, to sell me on Barry Allen not The Flash. I'm sure you and Francis are thinking up ways to wow me with new speed concepts, but be sure to sell me on Barry Allen the person because THAT is what will keep me around.

    Also, congrats on the Tim Story gig.

  4. I won't argue with your logic... it's sound. And I can't defend the reasons for the choices that are made at DC. But perhaps the justification is economic -- Batman titles sell better. Would that make it right? Only in terms of dollars and cents.

    Anyway, that aside... I have a hypothetical question... not to instigate, but because I would honestly like to know how you feel. If Wally had his own book as (let's make up a name) "JETTSETTER" would you want that, knowing that he would NOT be the Flash any more?

    And we are doing out best with Barry... I hope you like! :)

  5. Why not make Wally inbetween hero and sidekick like Dick is. Make a new name for him. Look at Dick story it's connected to Bruce's.

  6. I would absolutely read a book that starred Wally West, new name and all. Look at how many people scream about Jason Todd at conventions. He's not only gone from Robin II to Jason Todd to Red Hood but he's had several outfits and inconsistencies in personality to go with it. And fans continue to stick by him.

    I can admit that its easier for Jason to survive since he can have the world's most popular comic book character popup at any moment, but what's stopping TPTB at DC from making that move with Wally? Test the market. What's the phrase...."What's in a name?" As long as this hypothetical new Wally West book still focused on the Wally West we all have come to love over the last two decades, then I'm sure no hastily designed costume and "jetsetting" name would stop me and others from enjoying it.

  7. Wait a minute... you don't like the name, JETSETTER?!

    I'm hurt.

    And appreciative of your response. Well said.

  8. I think those are all good points, and the point remains that even were Wally to get a relaunch of his own book, there would still be people who were unhappy. But yes, there is still the possibility that he may show up again.

  9. The funny thing to me is that it was just a few years ago that Warner Brothers had a script for a The Flash movie by David Goyer that was... Wally West.

    This is with all due apologies Brian, but there is a 0.0000000% chance I will spend a dime on a Barry Allen book when there isn't a Wally West one, no matter how beautiful the art is (and DAMN those preview pages are beautiful) and how interesting the concepts are. Just will not happen.

  10. Oh, and, yes, I would go out and buy a Wally book with a different superhero name in a heartbeat. Assuming it really was Wally, and not, as you mentioned above, just someone with his name and hair color. But Wally, the one who kept the legacy alive, surpasses his former mentor, became "the Fastest Man That Ever Lived", married Linda Park, had twin children, etc etc etc... And if that came out, I'd probably give Barry's book a shot, too.

  11. You can absolutely tell Wally’s origin without having Barry as The Flash, especially NOW since you’re rewriting the entirety of DCU continuity.

    Young Wally West visits his uncle’s crime lab. A freak lightning bolt hits Wally, knocking him into a rack of chemicals. He gains super speed and decides to become a hero. His Uncle Barry names him Kid Flash as an homage to Barry’s childhood comic book hero, Jay Garrick. Barry mentors Wally, advising him on his adventures and providing useful Flash Facts. During one adventure, Barry sacrifices himself to help save humanity. The loss of his uncle causes Wally to ‘grow up’ and become The Flash.

    Boom. Done. And is it any weirder than any of the other reinterpretations of origins than anyone else in the DCnU? Clark without Lois or the Kents? Blue Beetle without any mention of Dan Garrett or Ted Kord? Mr. Terrific without a mention of Terry Sloane? Hawkman without a mention of the JSA? Teen Titans without Garth or Donna as founders?

    The problem is the powers that be at DC see Barry Allen as “their Flash” from their fanboy days and would never dream of dismissing him and his adventures from 25 years ago in favor of Wally. But they have no problems dismissing the last 25 years worth of Wally stories for Barry.

  12. I'm interested in seeing your take on the character. I am one of the "Where's Wally" crowd, but my question to you and other DC higher ups is this. In this new re-boot, you've decided to not only un-marry Superman, but the Flash as well. Hell reading some of the preview stuff he isn't even dating Iris any more. How in the world can his grandson Bart be Kid Flash, if you refuse to allow him to have some kind of relationship with Iris West??? Also, since this is a re-boot, are you by chance going to bring back Cobalt Blue (Malcolm Thawne), I mean he is Barry's twin brother after all!!!

  13. Frogprinze, I totally get where you are coming from. There really is no satisfying justification to be had. It's frustrating for Wally fans... but the one thing I will say is that nothing ever stays the same in serialized fiction. Change is the only constant... so I am sure Wally will have his day again.

    When and in what form... who knows?

    Also, I'm not sure if it's been made clear... DC is NOT rewriting the entire history of the DCU. Nor are we totally rewriting Barry's history. Many of the events from his past are still intact.

    It really ISN'T a complete reboot.

    And to Jame G...

    This is NOT a spoiler of any sort, but rather a general comment about Barry's world. He's younger, he's single... and he hasn't been married to Iris or anyone. Does this mean he will NEVER meet someone and get married? No. It could be Patty, It could be Iris... it could be Olivia Wilde. The point is... there are places for him to go. He has a life yet to live and we plan on making the most of it.

    All that to say, It's too early to weigh in on what happened to Bart or Iris. #1 isn't even out yet. :)

  14. Firstly, I love all the new preview pages and congrats on flash selling above 100,000 not even including preorders.

    Secondly, I'd love to get any book with the flash in it. I could hardly care if its barry or wally, they all look to same to me. Im sorry. But I'll be more than willing to do anything to see to a flash movie and I just wanna read a damn good story of the flash, be it barry or wally

  15. Thanks for the response. And I agree that change is the only constant in serialized storytelling.

    "Many of the events from his past are still intact. It really ISN'T a complete reboot."

    That's a matter of perspective. You could start a brand new universe and keep a Kryptonian named Superman and say "it's not a complete reboot" and technically be correct.

    Some of the events that are in continuity aren't even the same. "Death of Superman" is still in. But he wasn't married to Lois, his dad didn't have a heart attack on the Kent farm, etc. "Blackest Night" is still in continuity but did Donna Troy fight her dad husband and son? Did Booster fight dead Ted Kord? Was the JSA present/involved? Did Ravager fight her dead brothers & mother or was she only Superboy's handler at Cadmus then? Was Stormwatch present but hiding?

    It IS a complete reboot. Keeping certain elements doesn't negate that. The company might be keeping some of it's "best selling" events as part of this new continuity but keeping bits and pieces while radically altering others (the JLA's founding, Superman's up-bringing, adding Wildstorm characters, removing the JSA, etc.) is a complete overhaul.

  16. I'm another pro-Wally (but emphatically not anti-Barry) fan. The one thing I'd like to add with respect to your original post is that DCnU already has a Kid Flash in it, and it isn't Wally. Still, that's a minor issue. You asked a pro-Wally fan if he'd buy a book about Wally if he was given some other codename ("Jetsetter" was your tongue-in-cheek sample name choice; and let this forever be known as the "Jetsetter question"). As recently as earlier this year, there were noises of a "Speed Force" book that would be featuring the rest of DC's speedster family. This book would have been to "the Flash" as "Green Lantern Corps" was to "Green Lantern". It would have included Wally, but it wouldn't have focused exclusively (or even primarily) on Wally. I would have bought it, even if Wally were to take on a new codename or even not used any codename at all. All that I would have asked would have been for Wally to be written true to his past adventures. That said, I'm not sure that Barry's retconned status as a single hasn't destroyed that possibility: Wally met Barry because of his Aunt Iris, Barry's fiancee.

  17. I understand your concern about Barry's retconned single status... but also consider the fact that he is a younger Barry and has a whole life ahead of him... at some point he will meet and hopefully marry THE ONE. This isn't me giving insider info or spoiling, it's just me offering context regarding Barry in the New52 DCU. His current single status is not an absolute for all time, kind of thing. This is how we have chosen to begin out relationship with the younger Barry. Hopefully people will enjoy the ride. :)

    The only constant in serialized fiction is that all what comes around...

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  20. I do think reverting Barry back to single does undercut part of the appeal of the entire Flash family/legacy/etc. Flashes are the marrying kind. Joan and Jay. Iris and Barry. Linda and Wally. The whole "anchor in the Speed Force" idea. I mean, Barry married Iris in what, 1968? That's a long time of being established as a married man. Until Iris died in the mid-late 70's... And then the marriage more or less "resumed" at the end of his book. And again with Final Crisis.

    Even the ladies man Flash, Wally West, eventually settled down and found true love. Flashes are about family...

    But, then, I don't understand splitting Lois and Clark, and I haven't bought a Spider-man comic since One More Day, so, where I stand on this issue is pretty clear.