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The “Death” of Wally West…Some Thoughts

Wally West 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 Flash Familylove 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.Kid Flash 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 The Flash Justice Leagueessential 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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14 Comments

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    • Thank you, Cara! In these trying times, us Wally fans must band together and tell them that we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore!

  • I completely understand your frustration. However, you could say I’m more on the optimistic side of the scale- I believe that if there was (is) a Season 3, wally would have indeed been brought back. I also believe that just because there is no Speed Force on Earth-16 doesn’t mean that this is impossible; Grandon are a creative bunch after all, and I’m sure they could come up with different ways to explain his disappearance. I’ve seen people come up with the theories of zeta radiation and transportation to other dimensions/planets, and they seem pretty cool to me. As a matter of fact, if you look here: http://elrickeyblade.tumblr.com/post/46276870925/brella-pyrinsomniac-opaul-you-know-what , it just might put you at ease. A bit. Hope it helps~!

    • I try to be optimistic about Wally, and I was content to think that Season 3 would have brought him back in some fashion. I should’ve just avoided the twitter feed of Vietti, but my curiosity got the better of me. Like I said, I refuse to accept Wally’s “death” because the death of a Flash is never permanent. Look at Barry!

      Nice tumblr! And some really interesting theories as well!

      • “Gone” and “Dead” are two different things. If the timeskip was any indication, the creators of Young Justice are very specific in their word choices when they respond to pepole. They said season 2 would pick up right where season 1 left off. They weren’t technically wrong.

        Wally could just be gone from the planet earth, his dimension, and/or his time. None of this proves Wally is truly gone.

  • Well said Ms. Cross. I don’t know if you saw it, but I asked Mr. Vietti via twitter whether or not that storyline was effected by any sort of Editorial interference. He never replied. I got the impression from his other tweets that, even if there were a season 3, that Wally would remain dead as it completed his “story”. Vietti’s definition of “story” and mine are at odds with one another. The points you mention in your article do not add up to anything resembling a fleshed-out story.

    Sigh. It’s a heavy burden to be a Wally fan for the last five or so years.

    • It’s frustrating when the creators go dark on what they will or won’t answer about a show after the fact. They basically killed him because they needed there to be “consequences” and who better to kill off than the one guy we’ve barely seen for most of the season. Had Wally been a major part of the 500 storylines going on, maybe his death would’ve meant something. I admire the ambition of Young Justice, but there was really no reason for Wally to die other than the fact that they needed a death to happen. Kinda depressing, actually.

      Yep, we Wally fans have to shoulder this one with our heads held high and hope for the best when someone eventually brings him back in the comics.

      And thanks for the kind words!

  • Wally West sucks. He’s a little red headed Jimmy Olsen level bt!ch who had to have The Flash hold his hand every step of the way. I’m glad it was Wally that went instead of Barry Allen, I’m tired of them always killing of Barry, he is my favorite Flash, the original scarlet speedster, and he’s also the greatest Flash. I am also tired of these hybrid Flashes like the JL/JLU show did, where they used Barry Allen’s story, Wally West’s name and appearance, and Bart Allen’s personality, rolled it together, and called it “The Flash”.

    I hope Barry sticks around for a long time. There’s no reason why he has to die, I thought he was awesome in Young Justice. Wally always struck me as kind of lame and I’m personally very glad they didn’t shoehorn him into Barry Allen’s outfit. They had two Kid Flashes on the show pretty much, it was either time to send Bart back to the future or off him or get rid of Wally. So it makes perfect sense to me, even though I’m sure he’ll be back.

    Anyway, here’s hoping they do a Flash series featuring Barry soon.

    • ill admit that i’m tired of the hybrids as well. like drawing his suit is so much harder, but wally doesn’t suck and only took his place when he sacrificed his life to stop the antimonitor. wally is cool in his own right as he had to work his ass off to overcome his problems and to carry on the namesake. wally was cool in his own style and the grants respect.

    • Enjoy your whiter than wonderbread Barry Allen then. Some of us actually like a character like Wally who has actual flaws. Wally on Young Justice was NOTHING like Barry Allen. If there was a season 3, I don’t think Barry would’ve been a part of it.

  • ok. i’m going to tell you my reasoning. the reason why dc seems to block wally from having any sort of a happy ending is this. One wally was the best, he was the first of the young heroes who took the mantle of there predecessor. wally showed his growth into coming into the role. becoming the flash and raising his own side kick who from there became the flash. they killed of his wife and children and what did wally do he got them back. took him a bit and sure he fell hurt laying crawling through the pain but what gave him the edge was that he didn’t give up and kept pushing till the end like his mentor showed him at his end. the flash, he was the inspiration to others about the growth of sidekicks and how like storms. he became a man who writing for was increasingly challenging. cause wally had the experience the speed and the heart to take it. you are a flash fan so you know my words to be true. wally was is the greatest in my book because of his history and what they do in the shows is cause of this history. if they added a speed force to this it would center the comic too close to the flash. as bringing Bart and watching him run and work was already tilting the scale. as when he came along most of us wanted to see what he did and how he would act. when i saw him in the kf suite i thought too myself that this was something i wanted to see even though i wouldn’t be able too. getting back to the point is that it couldn’t happen as this show if for the team not flash. hell yj has a comic for the tv show. it was nice seeing it it would be nice if they had a nother season.anyway i’m dabbling aren’t i, RIP Wally and thank you for being our hero.

  • As you said the writers obviously had some good insight into the characters of the dc universe. But I don’t think they portrayed the best aspects of the flash family. As Impulse said in the Young Justice show, he is super fast but not super strong. For a long time this has made the flash family the weakest members of most of the super hero teams although they make for great distrations. They are highly intelligent in the use of their powers (even if they are impulsive and run before thinking). The point being that in any team they fight the hardest despite only having speed to their advantage and deciding to take out the speed force has got to be the worst decision for them regarding the flash family. I mean seriously you take out the basis for all speedster power and substitute with nothing. The metagene was mentioned but that being the basis for all superpowers a hero isnt born with was veeeery weak in my opinion. I was lazy writing and seeing as this show was pretty short lived maybe it was just being rushed for time anyway all I am saying is that killing Wally so early in his career was a bit mistake. For that as far as I’m concerned superman should have kicked the but and they should have made a way for connor to eventually get his powers. Yeah that is a bad plot mistake but that in my opinion is exactly what they did to Wally.

  • im a wally west fan and i think they should come back with young justice season 3 leading off his return and relationship with artemis

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