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Friday, December 25, 2009 

Wally West and Bart Allen won't get their own stories this coming year

Several months ago, DC said that Wally West and Bart Allen would get their own backup stories and a new Kid Flash ongoing series, respectively, when the new Flash series with Barry Allen begins. Now, as the Speed Force blog reports (via Titans Tower Monitor), it turns out that neither will get their own starring stories after all. They say they're "on hold", but more likely they're buried before they started.

There's plenty of highly disappointed replies, and reading the topic, I think I should have a little say of my own here: I too am a fan of Barry Allen, the first story I read with him being in The Flash #230 Vol. 1 from November 1974, and I'd begun reading comics when I was about 6 years old, at which time Barry was still around. And I'll say in fairness that maybe it is possible to bring him back to the land of the living. But it would have to be done with the consideration that his demise in Crisis on Infinite Earths was done respectfully, and thus Wally taking up the mantle was legitimately and plausibly earned, in sharp contrast to Kyle Rayner, whose own inheriting of the Green Lantern role from Hal Jordan was not, that's why, if Barry is to be brought back, it should be as a fatherly figure in a secondary role, just like what Jay Garrick has embodied for many years now. By bringing Barry back as the full time star and dumping Wally wholesale, that only serves to alienate the many fans Wally earned over the years, and makes this another example of DC's backtracking for the sake of cash-grabbing.

Since I am a Barry fan, that's also why I WON'T be reading the upcoming series next year. Not only is it pretty apparent this isn't the Barry I knew from my childhood, it's already clear that no matter how the Rebirth miniseries turns out, the ongoing series will be anything but kid-friendly, family-friendly, or even new-reader-friendly. And let's not forget that Geoff Johns was the same writer who depicted Inertia obliterating an infant for nothing more than shock's sake in Rogues' Revenge. Why then should I trust him not to keep on doing things that only drown out the real fun and sense of humor? In fact, the upcoming Flash Secret Files for 2010 puts Barry into a murder mystery as his first case post-return. Whatever happened to the good old robberies and hijackings? Seems like today's writers don't have confidence in those kind of premises and plots anymore.

Even if Wally hadn't been shafted as a solo star, I think the book still stood to lose audience after a while, as Johns' writing was likely to wear out as fast as it does. Thinking back on his body of work, the main problem he has is that he may have a momentary idea of what he could do with the Rogues and other villains, but beyond that, it all becomes stale. The new Zoom, for example? After 2-3 appearances, Johns pretty much ran out of ideas, or lost interest in his own "creation", which wasn't much to begin with. That doesn't mean we won't see Hunter Zolomon again, but it does show how, if anyone thought Johns was trying to introduce a formidable foe, he didn't, really.

I hope this news will encourage Flash fans to follow the example set by many Spider-Man fans and avoid this already abortive "direction" DC is taking with the Fastest Man Alive in the slowest motion possible. And for now, that does look likely to happen, as audience dwindles for DC and Marvel thanks to their disrespect for their own properties.

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"I hope this news will encourage Flash fans to follow the example set by many Spider-Man fans and avoid this already abortive "direction" DC is taking with the Fastest Man Alive in the slowest motion possible. And for now, that does look likely to happen, as audience dwindles for DC and Marvel thanks to their disrespect for their own properties."


Yet some Spidey-fans will continue to be OMD/BND Quesada apologists. Same with those who follow Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns and drown out those who hate whats been going on for so many years.


Fucking shame, really. I could care less about Barry. Wally (and even Jay) is/are my Flash. DC and Marvel have gone to far with their nostalgic ego-trips.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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