Well, it’s been a good run…again…


I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention when the flood of solicitation information for the various companies came rolling in because I totally missed that this was the last issue of Wally West as the Flash.  It’s like deja vu all over again. Is DC setting itself up for another round of fan backlash, or the beginning of the greatest era of comics since the 1980s?

flash247cover.jpgLast issue, Wally’s beloved wife Linda was in dire straits as she lay on death’s door after being stung by a swarm of Queen Bee’s bees.  To make matters worse, the mighty Queen absconded with Wally’s kids in an attempt to use their connection to the speed force to attack her enemies.  With his powers not up to speed, Wally did the only thing he could think of doing – he went to the Spectre for help.

The only problem is, old green cape isn’t the same spirit Wally went to when he did that whole mind wipe thing (something that predates Spider-Man’s OMD), and that cranky bastard Crispus Allen isn’t willing to go to bat for the scarlet speedster.
One of the really nice items I’ve liked about Wally and Linda’s romance is how for year’s we’ve seen Linda act as Wally’s anchor when he’s been hopelessly lost.  This time, after Linda’s passing, it’s Wally that serves as Linda’s anchor, which brings her back to her body (cue the awwww).  Of course this OBE wouldn’t have been made possible without the help of Zatanna and Raven serving as messengers to the other side.

With Linda in the clear, Wally can turn his attention to his children, and with the help of his magical friends, he is able to open a speed force portal to the Queen Bee’s lair, where we discover Iris has been hypnotized into thinking the Queen Bee is her real mother.  Queen Linda has been testing Iris’s control of the speed force to capture and prematurely age (to death) those trapped in the speed force bubble.

Wally and the rest of his Titans friends jump through the warp and are able to rescue Jai before realizing the Queen Bee and Iris have set out to do harm to others.  Slowly, through the last couple of issues, Alan Burnett has brought the original Teen Titans together for one more grand adventure.  I like this touch, as it once again emphasizes Titans Together, Titans Forever!  But while it is a nice moment, there isn’t enough time for the members to show their battle skills as Wally must zoom off to find his daughter.

And as luck would have it, the speed force trail leads Wally to Justice League headquarters, where he is able to rescue everyone, and turn Iris’s phasing ability onto Queen Bee, who begins to vibrate to the center of the Earth.  Seems kind of drastic for a hero, but I guess this is the kind of justice that is served when a baddie messes with family members.
With everyone out of harms way, what is Wally going to do next? He’s retiring.  Yup, he’s walking away from being a hero, so he and his family can spend time together.
The End.

Wait. What?

Yup, this appears to be the final Wally West adventure, unless of course you count Wally’s appearance in Final Crisis, the Titans series, and other titles.  I can’t say I blame Wally for deciding to take time off for family matters, It seems like the right thing to do, but this forced exit just so Barry Allen can return seems a little off.  Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that Bart Allen took over the speedster job, only to be offed so Wally could return when fan outcry got a little heated.

I feel like going off on a whole “The world doesn’t need Barry Allen” rant, but that is probably better served in a stand alone feature instead of this review.  So let’s just stick with the issue at hand.  I liked how the dilemma was resolved, and even though the pace moved at a break neck speed, it all made sense by the last page.  Even with three artists on board, the art jumps weren’t that drastic.  If this really is the last Wally West adventure, which I doubt, I would say the series ended on a high note.  Flash #247 deserves 4 out of 5 Stars, with the big negative being this is the second end of the Wally West era in two years.  Anyone willing to bet he’ll be back in a year?



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. December 28, 2008 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    I’ll take that bet.

    I suspect that all of these relaunched titles will just be relaunched again in three or four years. Remember, The Flash reset itself out of Infinite Crisis, and that was barely four years ago, and when the book wasn’t working right, they killed Bart for effect.

    We’ll have to see where it all goes, but I suspect that the idea of Barry returning as Flash isn’t going to be as interesting in the long run as they seem to think it will be…

  2. Jacin
    December 28, 2008 at 11:09 pm — Reply

    How about rather than “Wally’s not the Flash anymore, so [Insert another Flash here] is!” stories, we just do something crazy like, oh, I don’t know, put a quality writer back on the book … ?

    Seriously. I used to love the Flash. I jumped in right before the build-up began for The Rogue War, when Mark Waid took over the title from Geoff Johns. The book made me sad I hadn’t discovered it sooner.

    Then, we hit all of the turbulence with Infinite Crisis and One Year Later and the whole Bart-as-Flash nonsense (which I get, legacy character and all …) and everything just seemed to kind of be … well, mediocre.

    If DC wants to revitalize the title, rather than bringing back a character that’s better left dead, why not just bring in another good writer to tell Flash stories with Wally as the titular character? Why do we always have to see some sort of stunt where someone else winds up taking over the mantle (see also: Batman, Captain America, etc.) … ?

  3. Turks
    December 29, 2008 at 10:17 am — Reply

    mayb bart will take his place now so it makes room for static in the titans

  4. December 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    I do think this worked better than the last “final issue” that Wally had, which was much too abrupt. I didn’t get a sense that he was retiring, though. That last page, with the whole West family running and carrying a suitcase, screamed “family vacation” to me. Plus there’s the fact that it all takes place before Final Crisis, which shows Wally running around with the Justice League long before everything falls apart.

  5. January 9, 2009 at 12:41 am — Reply

    Jacin, I’m with you on this:

    “If DC wants to revitalize the title, rather than bringing back a character that’s better left dead, why not just bring in another good writer to tell Flash stories with Wally as the titular character? Why do we always have to see some sort of stunt where someone else winds up taking over the mantle (see also: Batman, Captain America, etc.) … ?”

    Wally is a much more interesting character than Barry ever was.

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