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Wallace Rudolph "Wally" West is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics as the original Kid Flash and the third Flash.[1] His power consists mainly of superhuman speed. The nephew of Barry Allen, the second Flash, he first appeared in Flash #110 (1959), which depicted his transformation into Kid Flash. Under the mantle of Kid Flash, Wally was depicted as a teenage sidekick to his uncle and a founding member of the Teen Titans. After Barry's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, Wally took on the role of the Flash from 1986 to 2009 in DC's main lineup until Barry returned in The Flash: Rebirth. He is the fastest character to hold the mantle of the Flash.

Wally West
Wally West.jpeg
Artwork for the cover of The Flash Annual vol. 5, 1 (March 2018) depicting Wally West in his DC Rebirth costume carrying both his Kid Flash costume on the right hand and his original Flash costume on the left hand.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAs Kid Flash:
The Flash #110 (December 1959)

As Flash:
Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (March 1986)
Created byJohn Broome (writer)
Carmine Infantino (artist)
In-story information
Full nameWallace Rudolph "Wally" West
SpeciesMetahuman
Place of originEarth
Team affiliationsTeen Titans
Justice League
PartnershipsKid Flash (Bart Allen)
Flash (Barry Allen)
Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
Notable aliasesKid Flash, Flash
Abilities
  • Infinite Super-Speed
  • Supercharged brain-activity
  • Vibration to phase through objects
  • Enhanced perceptions and senses
  • Time travel by running faster than the speed of light
  • Enhanced reflexes, agility, and stamina
  • Creation of vortexes
  • Electrokinesis
  • Dimensional travel
  • Time manipulation
  • Able to give/take speed
  • Speed-Force aura

Generally portrayed as Caucasian with red hair and green eyes, Wally was reinterpreted as biracial for DC's 2011 New 52 relaunch. A desire from fans to see the original interpretation of the character restored, however, led to the first Wally returning in 2016's DC Rebirth, while his New 52 reinterpretation was established as a separate character.

In his debut as the Flash, Wally wears a distinct red and gold costume similar to Barry's, which, like his uncle, he traditionally stores compressed inside a ring. He later creates a costume directly out of Speed Force energy. Following his return in DC Rebirth, Wally obtains a new red and silver costume that generates blue and white lightning to demonstrate that the Speed Force is inside him more than ever before.

In 2011, IGN ranked Wally West #8 on their list of the "Top 100 Super Heroes of All Time", ahead of other speedster heroes, stating that "Wally West is one of the DCU's greatest heroes, even if he does not rank as the original Scarlet Speedster".[2] In 2013, Wally West placed 6th on IGN's Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics, also ahead of other speedsters.[3]

Wally West has appeared in many other forms of media and was featured as the incarnation of the Flash in the Cartoon Network series Justice League, voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, and the 2010 film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, voiced by Josh Keaton. As Kid Flash, he appeared in Cartoon Network's Young Justice series, voiced by Jason Spisak. Wally made his live action debut in the Arrowverse, portrayed by Keiynan Lonsdale and based on his New 52 reinterpretation, where he was featured on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

Contents

Fictional character biographyEdit

Kid FlashEdit

Wallace Rudolph West, or Wally West, was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and introduced in The Flash #110 (1959). The character was the nephew of the existing Flash character's girlfriend and later wife, Iris West. During a visit to the Central City police laboratory where Barry Allen worked, the freak accident that gave Allen his powers repeated itself, bathing Wally in electrically charged chemicals. Now possessing the same powers as the Flash, West donned a smaller-sized copy of Barry Allen's Flash outfit and became the young crimefighter Kid Flash. Wally had a strained relationship with his own parents and often looked to his beloved aunt and uncle for moral support and guidance. He also operated as a lone superhero in his hometown, Blue Valley, Nebraska, when not partnering with the Flash.

This costume was later altered (in The Flash #135 (1963)) to one that would make him more visually distinctive. The original red was replaced with a costume that was primarily yellow with red leggings, gloves and lightning bolt emblem. The ear pieces initially remained yellow, but became red in later issues.

 
Wally as Kid Flash; art by George Pérez.

In addition to his appearances within the Flash title, the character was a founding member of the newly created Teen Titans, where he became friends with Dick Grayson, then known as Robin, later known as Nightwing.[1] Sometime later, Wally contracted a mysterious illness that affected his entire bodily system; the more he used his speed powers, the faster his body deteriorated. This could have been caused by one of two things, Wally was a boy when the electrified chemicals altered his body, which was still developing and maturing (as opposed to Barry Allen, who was already an adult when his accident occurred) or when his was struck with a weapon during his time with the Teen Titans. As such, as Wally's body matured, his altered body chemistry was slowly killing him.

The FlashEdit

During the 1985–1986 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry gave his life to save the Earth when destroying the antimatter cannon that was aimed at Earth.[4] Initially unaware of this, Wally was coaxed by Jay Garrick into assisting the heroes against the Anti-Monitor's forces. During the final battle with the Anti-Monitor, Wally was struck by a blast of anti-matter energy, which cured his disease. In the aftermath of the conflict, Wally took on his fallen mentor's costume and identity.[5]

The decision by DC Comics' editorial staff to radically change their fictional universe saw a number of changes to the status quo of the character. Wally West became the new Flash, but less powerful than his predecessor.[1] For example, instead of being able to reach the speed of light, he could run just faster than that of sound.[5] Also, the character had to eat vast quantities of food to maintain his metabolism.[6]

Those changes were quickly followed up and 1987 saw the publication of a new Flash comic, initially written by Mike Baron. These stories focused not only on the Flash's superhero exploits, but the state of Wally's wealth. West won a lottery,[7] bought a large mansion,[8] and began dating beautiful women. The character's finances and luck continued to ebb and wane until Flash vol. 2, #62, when his fortunes stabilized.

 
Flash vol. 2, #1 (June 1987). Wally West holds as first the Modern Age Flash; art by Jackson Guice.

The 1990s also saw further modifications to the look of the character, with a modified uniform appearing in 1991.[9] This modified costume altered the visual appearance of the traditional Flash costume, with a belt made of two connecting lightning bolts meeting in a "V" at the front (where Allen's costume had a single bolt in a horizontal band), removal of the wings from the top of his boots, a change in the material of his costume, and opaque lenses added to the eyes of his cowl. This modified design utilized elements of the costume designed by artist Dave Stevens for the live action television series The Flash.

A difficult encounter was made with a vicious foe, the first Reverse-Flash (Eobard Thawne). Thawne had been killed by Barry Allen shortly before Allen's death, but this version of Thawne was from a time period before he originally became Allen's enemy - also served to increase the speed of the character, forcing him to push past a psychological block he had placed on his powers. To prevent himself from truly "replacing" Barry, Wally had subconsciously limited his speed so that he could never become his mentor's equal, but when Thawne arrived in the present and briefly posed as Barry Allen, his bragging that he would become the true Flash forced Wally past this block, as he feared Thawne replacing Barry more than he feared himself doing so.[10] After this encounter, he was again Barry Allen's equal in speed, and eventually became even faster. Though he still had not been able to recover Barry's vibrational/phasing abilities for a time (he could vibrate through objects but this would cause the object to explode), he gained several new powers that Barry never had. He was able to share/steal speed, use his speed to kinetically upgrade his attacks, and super heal others.

Writer Mark Waid expanded on the character's powers thematically and further redefined the character by introducing the Speed Force, an energy source that served as a pseudo-scientific explanation for his powers and that of other fictional speedsters within the DC Universe. Using this concept as a basis, the character's ability to tap into the Speed Force was used to expand his abilities. The character was now able to lend speed to other objects and people[11][12] and create a costume directly out of Speed Force energy. Traditional powers such as the ability to vibrate through solid objects were also restored. Because of this, the Flash felt pressured into having to constantly be heroic 24/7. During this time, he joined the latest incarnation of the Justice League.

 
Wally as the Flash, on the cover of The Flash vol. 2, #207 (April 2004). Art by Michael Turner

The 2000s saw writer Geoff Johns revitalize the character by introducing new versions of characters such as Zoom; making significant use of the Rogues; and marrying the character to longtime girlfriend Linda Park.[13] Other changes included restoring the Flash to a secret identity; his identity had been public since shortly after Barry Allen's death, but the traumatic events of his first battle with Zoom prompted Wally to make a deal with the Spectre to erase his identity from public knowledge (although this was initially so successful that even Wally forgot he was the Flash).

In the miniseries Infinite Crisis, as a narrative device, Wally West and his family were seen leaving for an alternative reality. This allowed the character Bart Allen to become the fourth Flash and headline a relaunched third volume of the title, called The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive.

The critical reaction to this new version of the Flash was mixed and Bart was killed off in the final issue of the short-lived third volume.[1] It was decided that Wally West should return, and the JLA/JSA story "The Lightning Saga" was used to return the character to Earth along with his wife and children, who appear to have aged several years.

The character next appeared in All Flash #1 (2007), seeking vengeance on those who had killed Bart Allen. This was followed by The Flash vol. 2, which resumed publication after the long hiatus with issue #231 (October 2007). The series found the character struggling with trying to raise his two super-powered twins, plagued by accelerated growth and their inexperience in the heroic game, a task made more difficult by Wally's unemployment, his inability to keep a steady job, and the mistrust of the League for his decision to bring two children into the fold. The series was canceled with issue #247 (February 2009).

In Final Crisis, the character was reunited with Barry Allen, who had returned to life.

The Flash: RebirthEdit

Interviews with The Flash: Rebirth artist Ethan Van Sciver revealed that the character would adopt a newly designed costume in the limited series that reintroduces Barry Allen as the Flash.[14] The new costume is heavily inspired by the original changes made to the suit in Flash vol. 2, #50 (cowl lenses, "wingless" boots, the belt-line V-shape, a lightning bolt logo with a sharp S-shape, and the darker red color of the suit), which were slipping in and out of usage when the character was drawn by different artists. Wally's costume has also been given a straight cowl

Blackest NightEdit

During the Blackest Night, Wally West assists Barry Allen in spreading the word to every hero on Earth about the rise of the Black Lantern Corps. When Black Hand brings back Nekron, Barry is attacked by an army of Black Lanterns, while struggling to fight them off, Wally comes to his rescue, bringing with him the Justice League & Teen Titans, Bart Allen, the Kid Flash, among them. The three Flashes fight their way through Black Lanterns and charge at Nekron. Before they can strike, the Black Lantern Guardian Scar attacks them, attempting to convince them into becoming Black Lanterns. Right after, Hal Jordan and the leaders of the seven Lantern Corps arrive to assist. The heroes attack the Black Lanterns, but when Black Hand reanimates Batman's corpse as a Black Lantern, the resulting emotional shock allows the Black Lantern rings to latch onto the resurrected heroes, transforming Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Kid Flash into Black Lanterns. Black Lantern Bart Allen attacks Barry Allen, and the two brawl for a moment before Wally fights him off. A pair of Black Lantern Rings then lock onto Barry and Hal. Wally flees with Barry, with Barry telling him to stay and protect himself and Bart. Barry and Hal then flee the scene to avoid becoming Black Lanterns.

Return: The New 52 and DC RebirthEdit

Following the 2011 reboot of the DC comics universe, Wally West appears to have never existed. A seemingly new interpretation of Wally West was introduced in The Flash Annual #3. Originally portrayed as the New 52 version of the classic and original character and the biracial son of Rudy West, this biracial Wally, named Wallace West in later comics, was retconned in DC Rebirth #1 as being the cousin of Wally West, and the son of the New 52 Reverse Flash, Daniel West. Both cousins are explained as having been named after their great-grandfather.

The existence of the original Wally West is hinted at in the final issue of Titans Hunt, in which the various original Teen Titans remember their bond to each other, but realise that they are still forgetting an important final member of their team. They look out to the ocean as lightning strikes.[15]

 
Wally West's new costume as the Flash is in homage to his previous Kid Flash and the Flash costumes. Promotional art for DC Rebirth by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Wally West is reintroduced to DC continuity a week later in a DC Rebirth story. The story reveals that following the Flashpoint event, Wally became lost in the Speed Force for 10 years. While trapped, he came to realize that Barry had not been responsible for the mutation of the New Earth universe into Prime Earth but that an unknown entity had used Barry's time travelling as an opportunity to fundamentally alter reality. The fallout of the recent Darkseid War allowed Wally to try and reach out to his former friends in the hopes of either returning or warning them of the truth. Each attempt caused him to fall further into the Speed Force. After realizing that not even Linda (his traditional "lightning rod") could remember him, Wally sank into desolation and chose to appear before his uncle, Barry, one last time to thank him for the life he had given him. Just before Wally disappeared, Barry remembered him and dragged him out of the Speed Force. Wally's presence integrates his Pre-Flashpoint history to the new timeline to accommodate his existence, resetting his past and those who associated with him. Following a tearful reunion, Wally gave Barry his warning of the true source of the universal change and the dangers to come.[16] Although the two decide to keep Wally's return secret from Iris based on Wally's own experience with Linda, Barry encourages him to return to the Titans, but also recommends that he don a new costume to reflect that he is the Flash rather than 'Kid Flash'.[17][18] Wally goes to the Titans, and through both physical contact to Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal, Tempest and Lilith Clay with the Speed Force reminding them of their memories with him, creating a new history. After an emotional reunion with his friends, he tells them of the situation. Wally believes that the unknown entity will attack again to prevent them from finding out the truth, which they will do together as Titans.[19]

Directly after the events in Titans: Rebirth, Lilith has Wally repeat the story of his return in order for her to use it as a means of making the mental connections between him, herself and the Titans stronger. While doing this, she notices the most powerful thought in Wally's mind is that of Linda Park, which sparks various, but supportive, reactions from the other Titans. Nightwing encourages Wally to seek Linda out and try and make new memories with her. Elsewhere, Linda is still puzzled by Wally's sudden presence in her life and decides to investigate him further.[20] During a confrontation with Abra Kadabra, Wally is forced to push himself so fast that he is sent into the Speed Force while trying to save her and the other Titans from being killed by Kadabra,[21] but in a conversation with a manifestation of his memories of Linda, Wally is encouraged not to give up on the idea that he can make a new relationship with her in this timeline, subsequently using his memories of the Titans as a new 'lightning-rod' to return to Earth.[22] Afterwards, Wally is visited by Superman, who confirms that he, like Wally, remembers the world that existed before history was 'edited'.[23]

Later, Deathstroke wanted to use the Speed Force to save his son and takes out Wally. Wallace West and Damian Wayne managed to save Wally, but Damian Wayne had to stop Wally West's heart momentarily, making Wally West have a heart pacer. After that adventure, while on a mission with the Titans, Wally learned that he has the ability to go fast and stop time as well.

After a battle against Psimon, Mister Twister, and the Key, Wally used too much of his abilities, and he seemingly dies. However, Kid Flash (Wallace West) senses Wally's "death" and rushes to find him. After noticing Wally West "dead", Kid Flash senses that Wally is not completely dead and he revives him by jumpstarting his heart, curing Wally of his pacemaker condition. Wally West then helps the Titans defeat Donna Troy’s evil self from an alternate future, Troia and the other villains.

When Barry confronts Wally about how he has not made any real effort to make contact with Iris, rebuild things with Linda, or even try to make a new life for himself, Wally tries to compensate for this by tracking down Frances Kane, but his initial contact with her also re-awakens her old psychological issues, causing her to attack Wally before he calms her down by confessing his own fears about his current circumstances. Inspired by this conversation, Wally calls Dick Grayson to help him purchase an apartment. However, Wally is unaware that his friend-turned-foe Hunter Zolomon has returned. Now in a position of authority in the 25th century, Zolomon sends the Renegades into the past to arrest Iris for the murder of Eobard Thawne with the intention of provoking a war between the Flashes in order to make 'the true Flash' stronger through tragedy.[24] After the Flash Family defeated Gorilla Grodd in a battle, Wally meets Iris for the first time after his disappeance. He begins remembering Pre-Flashpoint memories after Iris remembers him. However, a confrontation with his former ally Hunter Zolomon provokes Barry and Wally into conflict, as Hunter convinces Wally that the Speed Force must be destroyed to release those missing allies still 'trapped' within it, including Wally's children, Jai and Iris West, Max Mercury and Impulse. Wally became determined to break the Speed Force open in a bid to free them which led to a frantic chase, with Barry Allen trying to stop Wally before he did something drastic, remembering all too well the damage he himself had done to the time-stream attempting to stop his mother's murder during the Flashpoint event. Unfortunately, Wally proved himself to be the true Fastest Man Alive and was able to outrun Barry and create the break he wanted. The resulting explosion sent both heroes back to Barry's hometown of Central City and into the clutches of a gloating Zoom who quickly revealed that his true intention in reminding Wally about the existence of his children was to trick Wally into breaking the Force Barrier - a cosmic barricade that concealed energies that could be tapped into by the right people in much the same way that the Speed Force empowers speedsters. These energies include the Sage Force - seemingly based around telepathic and telekinetic powers - and the Strength Force. Zoom discovered the existence of these energies reading 25th century history books and determined a way to tap into these energies as well as the Speed Force once the Force Barrier was broken. He also donned a replica of Barry Allen's costume, declaring himself the one true Flash, before deciding that he would spare Barry and Wally the pain of their future lives by ending them now.

Heroes in CrisisEdit

During the Heroes in Crisis story arc, Wally was initially believed to be one of the massacre's highest profile victims at the superhero rehabilitation facility known as Sanctuary, but is later revealed to be not only alive but actually the real culprit of the murderers. Wally explains all in his confession, one of the many recorded video transcripts that Wally himself sent to Lois Lane, while identifying himself as "The Puddler", that he's felt "alone" since his return, as his family remains wiped from existence, with no one even to remember them, except him. These tortured memories are what led him to Sanctuary in the first place, but he found no comfort there, instead, he relates how he still felt alone because he didn't see the same kind of pain in its other residents, and the program's anonymity only compounded his feelings of isolation. Wally therefore did some digging of his own into Sanctuary's resident records and uncovered a truth that he had been denying. Every one of the heroes at Sanctuary were in fact coping and trying to overcome their own personal traumas, just as Wally was. Uncovering all this information at superspeed led to a flood of emotional experiences that momentarily allowed Wally to understand he wasn't so alone after all. While this realization might have initially given Wally some comfort, it all came to him in a comparative instant. Instead of helping to heal him, the onslaught of emotions broke him. In turn, he momentarily lost control of the powers of the Speed Force contained within him and in another fateful instant, the powers of the Speed Force were unleashed on the other heroes within Sanctuary, killing them instantly.

Wally accessing Sanctuary's files had tripped the facility's alarm, and the moment of Wally's breakdown happened, Harley and Booster were immersed in their respective virtual reality therapy sessions. Taking advantage of that happy coincidence, Wally used his powers to deliver a superspeed sleight of hand at Harley and Booster's expense. As each exited their VR chambers, he reprogrammed them and tricked the pair into thinking they had left the chambers, when in fact they had not. Instead of seeing the actual massacre, what each instead saw was the other murdering Wally.

From there, Wally stole Booster's time traveling tech, went five days into the future, killed his future self and brought his future body back to present day to leave at the scene. Wally's machinations are what led Booster to discover that dead Wally's body was five days too old. Wally then relocated all the bodies of the others he had slain, staging the murders to place himself above suspicion, and set up Harley and Booster as the prime suspects instead. To complete the subterfuge, Wally then destroyed Sanctuary's computer and robot attendants, and scribbled the now infamous "The puddlers are all dead" on Sanctuary's living room wall. He successfully misdirected everyone involved in the investigation until Ted Kord, Booster Gold, Batgirl and Harley Quinn figured out that Wally was the key to the murders, and they devised a way to track Wally’s time disturbance by utilizing Skeets and Kord Industries tech.

They show up just as Wally is about to kill five-days-older-Wally, and five-days Wally reveals that after he accidentally killed everyone in Sanctuary, he didn’t travel back in time to “unmake” his mistake because that’s what Barry did during Flashpoint, instead he sent the confession files to Lois Lane to try to “make up for what happened,” telling the world what he’d done at Sanctuary, and encouraging people to get help before they made the same mistakes he did. Five-days Wally reveals that this is the same thing that happened to him five days ago - that he also didn’t kill the older Wally. Booster Gold explains that they can still “close” the loop, even without the dead body of five-days-old Wally. They can go to the 25th Century and “speed-clone” older Wally. Then younger Wally can take that cloned body back to the past. The Justice League eventually arrived and arrested Wally for the murders.

Doomsday ClockEdit

In the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock," Lex Luthor mentioned to Lois Lane that someone has been undermining creation like what Doctor Manhattan did with Wally West and the Justice Society of America.[25] When Doctor Manhattan altered the Metaverse (and in turn the Multiverse) and created the New 52 Universe, Wally (prior to being freed in DC Universe: Rebirth #1) briefly escaped the Speed Force to warn Doctor Manhattan that he knows what the latter did and that the heroes of the DC Universe will stop him. Wally was pulled back into the Speed Force afterwards.[26]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Wally's primary superpower is his ability to control the speed with which his body vibrates and to move and think at super speed, which he uses primarily to run at super-human velocities. This super speed is derived from his mainline-connection to the Speed Force: a vaguely defined extra-dimensional and infinite energy source from which most speedster heroes gain their powers. Wally is considered the fastest Flash and is significantly faster than Barry Allen.[27][28][29][30][31][32]

While most to all speedsters can make a connection and draw upon this force, West "mainlines" power from the Speed Force itself and cannot be cut off from the source. This connection to the Speed Force grants him unique abilities that other speedsters lack, such as lending and taking speed (which manifests in different ways, ranging from becoming speedsters themselves to bolstering others metabolisms and healing abilities, allowing them to recover from injuries in a fraction of the normal time), as well as absorbing kinetic energy in a less direct manner; he once absorbed the kinetic energy of the entire planet Earth while standing at the North Pole when his teammates were forced to move the planet to prevent possible earthquakes. Wally has also found a way to create a costume out of pure Speed Force energy.[33]

Like all Flashes, Wally is surrounded by a protective aura that allows him to resist the heat created by the pressure of compressed air caused by moving at super speed as well as other environmental consequences of moving at such velocities. It is not known how Wally is able to circumvent the damage moving at such great speeds would normally have on the environment, but it has been hypothesized that his protective aura allows him to "side step" such environmental consequences. Because of his powers and connection to the Speed Force, he can run at varying speeds for extended periods of time without needing rest or causing damage to his body. It is his connection to the Speed Force that constantly rejuvenates him while running, making it so he does not literally feed upon his own body to generate the energy for super speed. Even so, he has a sped up metabolism and finds it necessary to eat often and in great quantities to help supply the chemical energy needed.

Using his abilities, Wally can run at such speed that he can run on water, create powerful vortices with his arms or body, and vibrate at such speeds that he becomes invisible to the naked eye. Wally can also match the vibrational constant of solid objects and vibrate through them, passing his molecules through the spaces in between the atoms and molecules of the matter he is vibrating through, however, Wally accidentally destabilizes whatever he passes through, causing it to explode. While this has its drawbacks, Wally has learned to use this offensively in battle. In Rebirth 2016, this ability is improved, now Wally can vibrate through objects without causing them to explode.[34]

Instead of using the cosmic treadmill as his uncle Barry, Wally can use his speed to travel through time. He also outran death to the edge of the universe and beyond, where death didn't even exist and continued to run to get Linda back. There was a comic named The Human Race in which Wally ran faster than instant teleportation, Reaching Trans-Time Velocity. Flash vol 2 #177 had Wally outrun the gravitational pull of a black hole. Using Jessie Quick's speed formula combined with his speed steal, Wally can temporally accelerate to the point where he escapes linear time, essentially allowing him to function like the chronokenetic Zoom.

Wally's connection to the Speed Force grants him low level electrokinetic abilities. He generates large amounts of lightning while moving at super speed, as well as whenever he is angered. On certain occasions, Wally has been able to project arcs of Speed Force lightning, such as when he is lending speed, or when he was using the Speed Force to restore the memories of the Titans, during DC Rebirth.

Wally West is the fastest Flash and is arguably the fastest being that has ever existed as said by Max Mercury—and it has been remarked that Wally and Barry are the only two speedsters that were fast enough to even outrun death.[12] Wally himself has made several references to be faster than Barry and having surpassed him.[27]

Wally is fast enough to easily break all the speed barriers and even enter the Speed Force. Wally has, on several occasions, traveled much faster than light and entered and exited the Speed Force by his own volition. He has shown that he can achieve practically any speed he wishes and that there are no limits to his speed.

Some interpretations of Wally are shown as having above average strength. On the Justice League episode "The Brave and the Bold Part 2", the gorilla Solovar tells Wally that he weighed around 400 lbs; Wally then proceeded to lift Solovar and run to safety.

Wally is also a skilled science prodigy. In some versions, like Young Justice, Wally uses these skills to recreate the accident that gave Barry his powers by himself, granting himself his own powers. Like his mentor, Wally understands what his speed enables him to do, and uses his knowledge of physics to his advantage in battle.

After his return to the DC Universe, Wally is said to be even faster than before.[29] Titans (2016) #5 issue, established that the Speed Force is inside Wally more than ever before. He now generates white lightning, which combines all the colors of the Speed Force. He also created his new Flash suit out of pure Speed Force energy, a red and silver costume.[35] Also in DC Rebirth, Wally learned that he can sense when time has been manipulated, as well as listen to the Speed Force, which allows him to sense disruptions in the space-time continuum.

Wally has had some hand-to-hand combat training, and is skilled in Judo.[36]

Allies and friendsEdit

Wally's father, Rudolph West[37] (a Manhunter agent), was presumed deceased following an explosion in Cuba during the Invasion series. He reappeared years later at, among other places, his ex-wife Mary West's (Wally's mother) second wedding. They both later attended Wally and Linda's wedding.

While they disagree regularly, Wally has developed an odd friendship/respect with Batman, who has more than once made it clear that those feelings are mutual.

Like his predecessors, West is best friends with the Green Lantern of his time (Kyle Rayner). Wally also retained a close friendship with Kyle's predecessor, Hal Jordan, who often looked out for Wally even while he was the Spectre. His best friend is Dick Grayson, who served with Wally on the Teen Titans as the first Robin and served as Wally's best man at his wedding.

The members of the New Teen Titans, the team Wally served on as Kid Flash, have reappeared several times throughout his life. Although they are not always in close contact with one another, the team consider each other family; Wally is no exception.

Supporting castEdit

Wally has developed a very extensive supporting cast over the duration of his comic series that began in 1987. A few are former villains and adversaries, such as Pied Piper, Speed Demon and Chunk.

  • Linda Park-West – Wally West's girlfriend and later wife. Park is a news reporter, although she later goes to medical school.[38] Park is West's "lightning rod" when travelling in the Speed Force.
  • Mary West – Wally's mother.
  • Iris West Allen – Wally's aunt, returned from the future. Iris was a role model for Wally growing up and one of the inspirations behind his career as the Flash.
  • Dr. Tina McGee – A scientist/nutritionist with whom Wally had a brief romantic involvement.[39]
  • Dr. Jerry McGee (a.k.a. Speed Demon, Speed McGee) – Tina's (formerly ex-) husband and former super-speed villain.[40]
  • Frances Kane (a.k.a. Magenta) – A former love interest of West who later joins the Rogues and becomes a supervillain.[41]
  • Connie Noleski – A model and girlfriend of Wally's in his early career as the Flash. She is currently married to Chunk.
  • Chester P. Runk (a.k.a. Chunk) – A brilliant physicist who became a walking black hole after a matter-transmitting machine he invented imploded during its first test.
  • Mason Trollbridge – The former kid sidekick of a hard-edged Depression-era crimefighter known as the Clipper.
  • Pied Piper – One of Barry Allen's former Rogues whom Wally and Linda befriended. Piper even expressed his homosexuality to Wally on a rooftop while in discussion with him about the Joker.
  • Jay Garrick – The original Flash. Currently out of semi-retirement and a member of the Justice Society of America.
  • Jesse Quick – The daughter of Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick, Jesse is a second generation superhero and speedster like her father.
  • Max Mercury – The Zen Master of Speed.
  • Bart Allen (Kid Flash) – Barry and Iris Allen's grandson from the future. Originally codenamed Impulse. He was a member of the Teen Titans when he took on Wally's old identity.
  • Ashley Zolomon – Current Rogue Profiler with the Keystone City PD and former wife of Hunter Zolomon.
  • Jai West and Iris West – Wally and Linda's children. Aged 1 chronologically, but physically about 8 due to an unstable connection to the Speed Force. Wally had to teach them at super-speed, so they are mentally about the same age as they are physically. Following their nearly being killed by their powers, all of it was transferred to Iris, who became the new Impulse.

Group affiliationsEdit

Wally is a founding member of the Teen Titans,[42] the New Teen Titans,[43] the Titans,[44] Justice League Europe,[45] Justice League Task Force,[46] the "JLA" incarnation of the Justice League,[47] and Justice League Elite,[48] among other affiliations.

Other versionsEdit

Armageddon 2001Edit

In the Armageddon 2001 crossover, a possible future shows Wally has married and fathered a son. The Wests are forced to move into the Witness Protection Program to escape a mobster that can discern secrets with a touch. Wally's son gains his super-speed, but not his protective aura. After defeating the mobster and his older Rogues Gallery, Wally manages to pass on his abilities to his son, granting him the much-needed aura.[49]

Dark Flash realityEdit

The Flash vol. 2, #150–159 (1999–2000) introduces a version of Wally named Walter West, also known as the Dark Flash, who appeared in the main DC universe after Wally and Linda were apparently killed in a fight with Abra Kadabra after he tried to dispose of Linda by sending her into Walter's reality, prompting Walter to travel back to Wally's world to take his place in recognition of his other self's sacrifice. This version of Wally is revealed to be an older, scarred, more powerful and experienced version from another reality within Hypertime (although he only revealed his true identity to Jay Garrick, Donna Troy and Superman so that he could work with their various teams). It is revealed that this version of Wally was unable to save Linda from death at Kobra's hands. This made Walter a darker hero similar to Batman in The Dark Knight Returns storyline. After Walter's presence in the main DC Universe starts to cause other realities in Hypertime to bleed over into the main one, Superman and Wonder Woman force Walter to transverse Hypertime and return home. Although he leaves the main DC Universe, he appears to never make it back to his own reality. He seems to go from reality to reality with no success. After Hypertime was abandoned by DC, Walter West's continued existence becomes unclear.[50] Dark Flash/Walter West appears as an alternate costume for Flash in the video game Justice League Heroes.

Earth OneEdit

Wally is one of the children given powers from the Titans Project headed by Niles Caulder. Alongside Kole Weathers and Cassie Sandsmark, Wally is one of the first Titans to work for Caulder, even considering him a father. After a struggle with the other experimented children, Vic Stone, Tara Markov, Gar Logan, Tempest and Raven, a repenting Deathstroke and the alien Starfire, Wally turns on Caulder. In this universe, he takes on the name Impulse instead.[51]

ElseworldsEdit

An Elseworlds tale in Superboy Annual #1 (1994) shows a Wally West that had lost the use of his legs and had them replaced with bionic ones. With his artificial legs, Wally was not able to run at high speeds, though he could still move his arms at super-speed. This version of Wally died saving Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) from a yellow projectile.[52]

Flash AnnualEdit

Flash Annual #7 (1994, one of a series of Elseworlds annuals) shows a Flash who has become a superstar celebrity and film director. He was apparently left disabled by an attempt by the Weather Wizard to create a new Ice Age, which in this reality also resulted in the death of Barry Allen. Wally's film is repeatedly interrupted by the Weather Wizard's insistence that Wally's version is a lie (claiming that he had benevolent intentions and that Barry's death was a tragic accident) – much to Wally's horror, the Weather Wizard is given the authority to make changes to the film. During a confrontation in the carpark, the Weather Wizard's demonisation of Barry Allen is ended when he is killed by a lightning bolt (which Wally suspects may be divine intervention).

FlashpointEdit

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint storyline, Wally West acts as an assistant and cameraman for his aunt Iris, who in this reality is a television reporter. Investigating Central City's hero, Citizen Cold, Wally discovers that his true identity is that of a former low-level criminal. Citizen Cold confronts him before he can reveal this information and freezes him in a block of ice.[53] Wally was a childhood friend of Pied Piper, who arrives at Wally's lair and discovers Wally is killed by Citizen Cold. Pied Piper takes Wally's place in uncovering evidence of Citizen Cold's true identity.[54] Afterwards, a funeral is held for Wally by his Aunt Iris, along with her husband John.[55]

JLA: Another NailEdit

In JLA: Another Nail, Wally West (as Kid Flash) makes a brief appearance when all time periods meld together. He is flying with Wonder Girl (Donna Troy).

Kingdom ComeEdit

 
The Flash (Wally West) in Kingdom Come. Art by Alex Ross.

In Mark Waid's Kingdom Come, set on Earth—22, Wally has become the godlike embodiment of the Speed Force, being "everywhere at once", and "living between the ticks of a second". He keeps his home of Keystone City safe by patrolling it nonstop at super speed.[56] He joins Superman's revived Justice League, and helps establish the "Gulag", a high tech prison for superhuman criminals. Wally is one of the few superheroes that survives the United Nations nuclear attack on the Gulag.[57]

The sequel The Kingdom provides more background on Wally's future history. The Kingdom: Kid Flash #1 (Feb 1999) follows Wally's twin children, Barry and Iris West (originally mentioned in Mark Waid's The Life Story of the Flash, "written" by Iris Allen, where she describes her namesake in a positive light and Barry West as "a tragedy"). The twins have inherited their father's speed, but only Iris decides to become a superhero (as the new Kid Flash), while Barry is a slacker who uses his speed just to waste time. Wally at first rebuffs Iris' attempts to impress him, as he doesn't believe she's doing good for the right reasons. When Iris joins a team of second-generation heroes to travel into the past and confront Gog, Wally finally admits that she has earned the right to the name "Kid Flash."

Superman & Batman: Generations 2Edit

In John Byrne's graphic novel Superman & Batman: Generations 2, characters from the DC Universe are shown to age in real time. In this series, Wally appears as Kid Flash in 1964,[58] which is the year he first appeared in the mainstream DC universe as a founding member of the Teen Titans (though in this version, he is a founding member of the Justice League). By 1986, Wally has retired and been replaced by the fourth Flash (Carrie Allen, the daughter of Barry Allen).[59] Wally's son, Jay West, in turn, replaces Carrie in 2008 to become the fifth Flash.[60]

Collected editionsEdit

Wally West's stories from The Flash vol. 2 have been reprinted in several trade paperbacks.

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
The Flash: Born to Run The Flash vol. 2, #62–65; The Flash Annual #8; Speed Force #1; Flash 80-Page Giant #1 June 1999 978-1563895043
Flash: The Return of Barry Allen The Flash vol. 2, #74–79 July 1996 978-1563892684
Impulse: Reckless Youth The Flash vol. 2, #92–94; Impulse #1–6 April 1997 978-1563892769
The Flash: Terminal Velocity The Flash vol. 2, #0, 95–100 September 1995 978-1563892493
The Flash: Dead Heat The Flash vol. 2, #108–111; Impulse #10–11 August 2000 978-1563896231
The Flash: Race Against Time The Flash vol. 2, #112–118 July 2001 978-1563897214
The Flash: Emergency Stop The Flash vol. 2, #130–135 January 2009 978-1401221775
The Flash: The Human Race The Flash vol. 2, #136–141; "Flash of Two Worlds" from Secret Origins #50 June 2009 978-1401222390
The Flash: Wonderland The Flash vol. 2, #164–169 October 2007 978-1401214890
The Flash: Blood Will Run The Flash vol. 2, #170–176; The Flash Secret Files and Origins #3 June 2002 978-1563898792
The Flash: Blood Will Run (2nd ed.) The Flash vol. 2, #170–176; The Flash Secret Files and origins #3; The Flash: Iron Heights February 2008 978-1401216474
The Flash: Rogues The Flash vol. 2, #177–182 February 2003 978-1563899508
The Flash: Crossfire The Flash vol. 2, #183–191 March 2004 978-1401201951
The Flash: Blitz The Flash vol. 2, #192–200 August 2004 978-1401203351
The Flash: Ignition The Flash vol. 2, #201–206 March 2005 978-1401204631
The Flash: The Secret of Barry Allen The Flash vol. 2, #207–211, 213–217 August 2005 978-1401207236
The Flash: Rogue War The Flash vol. 2, #½, 212, 218, 220–225 January 2006 978-1401209247
The Flash: The Wild Wests The Flash Vol. 2 #231–237 August 2008 HC: 978-1401218287
The Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns, Vol. 1 The Flash Vol. 2 #164–176; The Flash: Our Worlds at War #1; The Flash Secret Files and Origins #3; The Flash: Iron Heights May 2011 HC: 978-1401230685
The Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns, Vol. 2 The Flash Vol. 2 #177–200; DC First: The Flash/Superman #1 April 2012 HC: 978-1401233914
The Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns, Vol. 3 Flash Vol. 2 #201–225; Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #214 September 2012 HC: 978-1401237172
The Flash by Mark Waid Book One The Flash Special #1; The Flash Vol. 2 #62–68; The Flash Annual #4–5; The Flash TV Special #1 December 2016 SC: 978-1401267353
The Flash by Mark Waid Book Two The Flash Vol. 2 #69–79; The Flash Annual #6; Green Lantern Vol. 3 #30–31 & 40; Justice League International Quarterly #10 May 2017 SC: 978-1401268442
The Flash by Mark Waid Book Three The Flash Vol. 2 #83–94 October 2017 SC: 978-1401273927
The Flash by Mark Waid Book Four The Flash Vol. 2 #0, 95-105; The Flash Annual #8 April 2018 SC: 978-1401278212
The Flash by Mark Waid Book Five The Flash Vol. 2 #106-118; Impulse #10-11 October 2018 SC: 978-1401284602
The Flash by Mark WAid Book Six The Flash Vol. 2 #119-129; "Green Lantern" and "The Flash: Faster Friends June 2019 SC: Template:ISNT
The Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar The Flash Vol. 2 #130-141; Green Lantern #96; Green Arrow #130 April 2016 SC: 978-1401261023
The Flash by Geoff Johns Book One The Flash Vol. 2 #164–176; The Flash: Iron Heights December 2015 SC: 978-1401258733
The Flash by Geoff Johns Book Two The Flash Vol. 2 #177–188; The Flash: Our Worlds At War #1; The Flash Secret Files and Origins #3; DC First: The Flash/Superman #1 May 2016 SC: 978-1401261016
The Flash by Geoff Johns Book Three The Flash Vol. 2 #189-200 November 2016 SC: 978-1401264987
The Flash by Geoff Johns Book Four The Flash Vol. 2 #201-213 December 2017 SC: 978-1401273651
The Flash by Geoff Johns Book Five The Flash Vol. 2 #214–225, 1/2 2018 SC:

Collected editions featuring the other Flashes Jay Garrick and Barry Allen as well as Wally West:

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told Flash Comics #1, 66, 86; Comic Cavalcade #24; Showcase #4; The Flash #107, 113, 119, 124, 125, 137, 143, 148, 179; Five-Star Super-Hero Spectacular; The Flash vol. 2, #2 February 1991
April 1992
HC: 978-0930289812
SC: 978-0930289843
The Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Flash Comics #86, 104; The Flash #123, 155, 165, 179; The Flash vol. 2, #91; DC Special Series #11 August 2007 978-1401213725

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

AnimationEdit

Live actionEdit

FilmEdit

Video gamesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit