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Friday, February 27, 2009 

DiDio fails to provide any logic for bringing back Barry Allen

In one of the latest Q&As he's been providing for Newsarama, this exchange comes up (via Titans Tower Monitor):
NRAMA: It seems like an uphill battle – for this generation of DC readers, or for the under 30 segment of DC readers, Wally has been The Flash for them. Barry coming back will appeal to a certain group of older fans who knew Barry as the Flash, and a group that you want to convince that Barry is “the” Flash for the DC Universe.

DD: There was a point in time where we convinced a group of fans that Wally West was the Flash after Barry’s death. There was a point in time when we convinced fans that Bart Allen could be the Flash. And you can argue that there was a time before Barry even appeared who believed that Jay Garrick was the only Flash. What we’re doing is we’re looking at all the new Flashes, and building new story on Barry. There are many things that make this character great and unique, and more importantly, we’re hoping that this will appeal to people who are fans of the Flash franchise.
Oops, that's where he slips - they didn't succeed in convincing readers that Bart Allen could be the Flash, thanks mainly to poor writing. And they only made things worse by killing him off at the end of the short-lived 3rd volume they'd launched with Bart as the star.
You say I’m talking to fans who’ve never known Barry as the Flash, but the truth is, Wally has seen him and interacted with him. We have told stories from Brave and Bold to Flash itself where Barry was front and center. We’ve told stories with the Justice League where we’ve referred back to Barry. Quite honestly, Barry Allen has never been gone from the DC fans’ psyche for an extended period of time. It’s the same argument that I’ve made with Hal Jordan. When Hal Jordan was “dead,” he was in books just as much as when he was alive, both as The Spectre and in flashback appearances.
Here too is a part where his logic collapses. If, as he says, there's fans out there who don't know Barry Allen, why then doesn't he just point them in the direction of their archives of past storytelling, where there's plenty of Barry as the Flash? It's all just a laughable cover for their weakness in current writing.

When Barry Allen debuted in 1956, that's what started the Silver Age and a resurgence in popularity for comics, but bringing him back so arbitrarily could be what helps to end it all. With a drastically reduced, divided fanbase and little interest from the wider public, this is not likely to go over so well.

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