Posts tagged Wally West

The Flash: The Movie; is Barry Allen the right choice?

So, good news and bad news. Good news: I totally got comics this week! Bad news: You really don’t want me to review them. I just spent about an hour rolling around on my Animal Man and Sweet Tooth issues, basking in how good Trillium is. Instead, you’re getting another rant. So turn on, tune in, drop out, drop in, switch on, switch off, and explode, folks, because today I plan to talk about the Flash movie.

No, not the one that I just reviewed. The one that was falsely reported at SDCC a few weeks ago. As it turns out, there will be no Flash movie in 2016, though there will be a Flash TV show, probably as soon as 2014. Barry Allen is going to be a recurring character on Arrow starting in the second season, which is set to be hilarious, as Barry and Ollie get along about as well as two cats in a sack, unless Hal is between them playing Switzerland. “In brightest day, in blackest night, I’m going to punch the both of you in the face if you don’t stop this shit right now.” It goes without saying that, should there be a Flash movie, the man in the red suit would most likely be Barry Allen, as he’s the Flash DC has been focusing on for the last few years. But truthfully, I really think they could make a Flash movie with Wally in the lead, through the long-held DC tradition of blending.

In JLU, Wally was a police scientist, his uncle’s career. He lived in Central City, and was the only Flash. He had a museum dedicated to him. And yet…he had an excellent sense of humor, something that hadn’t really been present with the last TV Flash, Barry, in the live action show from 1990. JLU Wally was the comedy relief with a heart of gold. JLU was, in my opinion, the best example of character blending that there could be.

A few years after Flash-Wally first appeared on the small screen, Teen Titans showed us a Kid Flash-Wally…who had the same voice actor as his adult counterpart, leading me to personally believe that Wally got his powers in an accident as a child, and grew up as a superhero. You can base a movie on that, just leave out the lab accident.

Speaking of accidents, the origin where Wally gives himself powers via his uncle’s notes in Young Justice is a good origin, really! But his comics origin was very different, and involved him accidentally getting powers in a freak coincidence where the Flash was showing him how he’d gotten his own powers in Barry Allen’s lab. Wally didn’t learn that his uncle was the Flash until a bit later. Still, in both instances, his powers are gained through his adult mentor, something that would have to be changed for a movie.

It would, of course, mean that you’d be cutting out Barry Allen completely, something that the big hats at DC don’t want to do. Still, in Earth-2, Jay Garrick got his powers from the god Mercury. In the new 52, Barry got his powers from the same old experiment. Wally’s been shown to be a fairly bright kid, maybe he was struck by lightning while carrying home his science fair project and that’s how he got his powers in JLU/Teen Titans. It was never really addressed, I don’t believe.

To the current generation of young adult comic readers, Wally is our guy. We remember him from Justice League and JLU. Teen Titans. The Batman. Hell, he even raced Superman in Superman: The Animated Series. He is, to people between the ages of 18 and 25, the best known Flash. Aka, the demographic that the Flash movie would be hoping to reach, alongside the 8-14 year old demographic that all superhero movies hope to pander to. 

But the people in charge of such a thing are part of the nostalgia generation. Dan DiDio recently stated that DC was making comics aimed at 45-year olds, a pretty stupid business practice. Let me put it this way: cigarette companies used to market their product in a way that would interest kids. Get them smoking young, and they’ll carry that habit into adulthood. Comics are the same way, and just as bad for your heart. DC’s obsession with Barry Allen and subsequent refusal to touch Wally West will hurt them in the same way that letting Scott Lobdell write Starfire hurt them. Comics have an audience of 100-200 thousand, for the best-selling titles. The least-watched episodes of Teen Titans and JLU still drew in over a million viewers. Casual fans look for what they know. Casual fans don’t know Barry Allen. You do the math, DC.

See y’all next week, when we take a look at the wonderful world of Li’l Gotham!


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