Before you start in on the broken record bit, I swear this will probably be the last time I bring up my love for Wally West and my continued disappointment and frustration with DC Comics for keeping him out of the New 52 as well as Young Justice for killing him off. Probably. That being said, I’m going to speak my peace on the subject one last time, or at least until DC Comics does something I don’t agree with, but my ire is focused squarely on Young Justice this time around. So, to Mr. Brandon Vietti and Mr. Greg Weisman, with all due respect to the show you created that I love a great deal, killing off Wally West in the season/series finale was just about the worst decision you could’ve made. In the 20 episodes of Young Justice: Invasion, Wally appears – prominently – a total of six times, and yet you say it’s the end to his story. What story are you talking about? If we’re supposed to take Season 1 into account, then perhaps there’s a story, but you kind of ruined it by killing him. Let’s say, just for giggles, that Wally’s overarching story through the entire series was his inability to be as fast as The Flash. Okay, fine, that’s all well and good. You somewhat established it in Season 1 with “Coldhearted” and then brought it back up again in Season 2 with “Bloodlines.” But to make that the central focus of his character and then squander it by barely showing Wally in Season 2 before killing him off reeks of either trying to fall in line with the comics or as the worst kind of manipulation towards fans of the show who love Wally and consider him their favorite character. The saddest part is you could have made “Wally’s story” work better if you’d just committed to what you’d previously established and followed through by playing out the storyline from Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wally’s two plot points have been that he’s 1) not as fast as The Flash and Impulse and 2) that he wants to go back into retirement with Artemis after everything’s all said and done. So why not use that to your advantage? Wally’s not fast enough, so when he joins his family to help siphon off the energy coming from The Reach’s bombs, why didn’t Barry push his nephew and future grandson out of the vortex they’d created and sacrifice himself? It’s more in line with who Barry is, kills a major player in the Justice League, and becomes the impetus for Wally becoming The Flash in Barry’s honor while Bart becomes the new Kid Flash. Wally still has a complex about his speed but he can’t in good conscience stay out of the fight. Becoming The Flash puts an enormous weight on his shoulders, which could have added tension between Wally and Artemis as well as Wally and Dick. Because of Dick’s leadership, Barry was killed, so Wally might have held some resentment toward his best friend. Being on The Justice League would also put his relationship with Artemis in trouble because of the tremendous responsibility he now has to be like his uncle. Now I could have accepted Wally’s death and the bare bones reasons behind it with the knowledge that this would have led to his return in Season 3 because of the well-known Flash-universe plot device of the Speed Force. In the last two seasons, Young Justice has proven time and time again that its writers and creators know and understand the DC Universe. You’ve found a number of clever ways to incorporate lesser known characters within episodes as well as throw a few Easter eggs in the fold for those of us paying attention. But then you had to go and say that there’s no Speed Force in Young Justice, which is something I truly can’t accept because, as a fan of The Flash, and Wally West in particular, I know two things to be true: the Speed Force has been a part of the Flash universe since Barry’s tenure during the Silver Age and Wally West is The Flash that fully introduced readers to the Speed Force and its potential via writer Mark Waid. From there on out it was a free-for-all as to what speedsters within the DC Universe could accomplish via the Speed Force. That’s it. Those are the basic tenants of The Flash universe – other than the fact that a Flash will sacrifice him or herself to save the world. Justice League: Unlimited touched upon it through Wally and even the New 52 has put Barry Allen within the Speed Force, so saying that it doesn’t exist in the Young Justice universe is kind of a weak sauce way of saying you didn’t want to bring Wally back. I understand that other heroes have died on the show, but ignoring the Speed Force is ignoring an essential part of The Flash Family history and legacy, concepts the show seemed to honor and respect. Honestly, I don’t know why Wally is such a toxic character right now, but Young Justice was the last place I could find him on a regular basis. Yes, I have the Justice League cartoon and the comics featuring him as The Flash are still available to purchase, but knowing that Wally was a main character on a popular cartoon gave Young Justice a leg up on the comics that have continually denied me one of many characters I grew up with. While I still love the show, I respectfully refuse to accept Wally’s death. Call it denial, call it delusion, call it extreme fandom, but I’ve done the math (MAAAATH!!!) and it doesn’t add up. Should the cartoon gods shine upon you and you either get a Season 3 or a direct-to-DVD movie, I hope you’ll look back at the outcry over Wally’s death and reconsider your plan because I know for a fact that it’s “the end of Wally’s story”, more than the reveal of Darkseid, that resonated strongest amongst fans. So to make myself, and a bunch of other Wally fans, feel better, here are some highlights of The Flash III, Wally West.
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