I owe Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver an apology…
** SPOILERS FOR FLASH: REBIRTH #5. Consider yourself warned. **
I’ve been ranting and raving about Barry Allen coming back as the Flash for over a year now. That’s not why I owe them an apology. I’m still pissed about that.
I owe Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver an apology for doubting them in regard to Wally West. I was fairly confident that Wally was going to get shafted as a result of Barry’s return. We knew a costume change was coming for Wally, that was frightening enough by itself. Then there were rumors that Wally would adopt a new superhero name, like Mercury or something similar. Given that Wally is one of my all time favorite characters, I was understandably unhappy with these possibilities.
Turns out I should have trusted Geoff and Ethan. They did a great job with Wally. Not only did Wally continue to keep the “Flash” name, but his redesigned costume provides him with his own distinct look and honors the costumes he’s worn previously. Below is a shot of Barry and Wally side-by-side.
You can see the differences right away. What you may not realize is that all of the new elements of Wally’s costume come from previous costumes he’s worn. Below is a quick breakdown of the differences in Wally’s new costume. I don’t claim credit for this list, it comes from the brilliant Kelson over at Speed Force.org. Check out his site for a thorough comparison between Barry’s costume, Wally’s new costume, and all of Wally’s previous costumes.
- The darker color, white eyes, and no wings on the boots from Wally’s first costume revamp (Flash vol.2 #50)
- The straight-across mask line, partial belt, no wings on the boots, and white eyes from Walter West’s outfit.
- Simplified lightning bolt, yellow border around the circle, white eyes, and no wings on the boots from the Justice League animated series.
- 3-D gold trim, darker color, no wings on the boots, and straight-across mask line similar to the 1990s TV costume.
There is also a great line in Blackest Night #5 reinforcing Wally as his own man, and not just a shadow of Barry:
- Wally: The bad guys have changed since the days I was the Kid to your Flash. Now I’m the Nightwing to your Batman.
- Barry: You’re the Flash to my Flash, Wally.
What a great line!
Long live Wally West… The Fastest Man Alive! If you’re a Flash fan, don’t forget to check out Speed Force.org. … Oh yeah, sorry Geoff and Ethan for doubting you about Wally.