While Barry Allen has become the most well known version of The Flash thanks to his long-running comic book history and the excellent new CW show, he isn't the only man to take on the mantle of The Flash. He's actually the second. I'd argue the most popular version of The Flash is Wally West. That last name sounds familiar, right? That's because in the comics (before DC's company wide 2011 reboot) Wally West is the nephew of Barry's wife, Iris. Wally initially starts out as Kid Flash until he takes on the role of The Flash when Barry Allen dies in the Infinite Crisis series. Could Wally West ever appear on The CW's The Flash ? One of the series' executive producers, Geoff Johns, actually wrote Wally West as The Flash for quite some time, which makes the idea of his addition even more intriguing. For a generation of readers, which I count myself amongst, Wally West is the Flash. Since he started his run in the mid 1980s and appeared on such shows as Justice League Unlimited, we've grown up with his character. And it seems like it's only a matter of time until this Flash joins Barry Allen on TV.
At PaleyFest this year executive producer, Greg Berlanti discussed the possibility of fan favorite Wally West appearing by saying, "We made [the] Wests African-American so that we could head in that direction." As comic readers know, Wally is now black in the comics. The Flash is more of a legacy character than his peers Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman and his history is rich with family dynamics, it would make sense for the show to tap into that, especially with Iris being an important part of the show. But that doesn't mean Wally is going to show up anytime soon.
In the midseason finale, "The Man in the Yellow Suit," The Flash fully introduced us to Reverse-Flash, pulled back the curtain on Harrison Wells, and gave us more time with Caitlin Snow's totally not dead, fiancé Robbie, now a metahuman known as Firestorm. The show has a lot of ground to cover before introducing the legacy aspect of The Flash.
While we have been given so many comic book movies and shows over the years, it seems like few, if any of them, deal with the dynamics of superhero moving beyond his glory days and passing on his mantle to a successor (or dying). A lot of this is likely due to the desire to stay rather formulaic and keep the same actor in the leading, superhero role for as long as possible.
The Flash also has already cast Linda Park, who will oddly be appearing as a potential love interest for Barry. While it's about time Barry gains a romantic interest besides Iris, Linda Park is a weird choice, because in the comics she is Wally West's girlfriend and then wife. For Wally, his marriage and family play a huge role in his characterization. So, then how could Wally West be introduced on The Flash?
I am loving Barry Allen on the series, but I know I can't be the only one to notice how his personality seems a lot like Wally West (maybe with a bit of Marvel's Peter Parker thrown in). It's especially clear in the video below.
The wisecracking, cocky yet still really dorky dynamic is lifted straight from Wally West. The show has incorporated aspects of other Flashes into Barry. The need to keep eating to keep up with his super fast metabolism, plus that opening line of narration comes straight from Wally West's run as The Flash in the comics. When we see Wally, I imagine Barry will still be a bit older than him and we'll see him introduced through a family issue or event going on in the West family.
The Flash doesn't have to shy away from giving Wally West Barry's abilities either. After all, in the comics he started off as his sidekick, Kid Flash, and wasn't fully able to tap into his abilities until after his mentor's death. A funny, kind of troublesome Kid Flash can easily fit into the show, but again, don't get your hopes up about him appearing anytime soon. Images: Diyah Pera/The CW; Giphy; theflashgifs/Tumblr