As I mentioned here, I've thought for some time that the Lightning Saga (the Legion's current visit with the JLA and the JSA) is about bringing the Flash back to life (by that I mean Barry Allen).
What is nearly confirmed in this interview with Mark Waid?
Those who pick up the last issue of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive next week will get a big part of it there, and those who pick up the end of the Justice League/Justice Society team-up the same day, when it ships, will get another gigantic part of the puzzle right there too
I see! So the Flash, and the end of the title Flash: the Fastest Man Alive, and the restart of Flash at 231, all ties in to the Lightning Saga, eh? Well, whaddaya know.
When I heard about the new numbering and the return of Mark Waid to the Flash, I was worried that I was off the beam, that it was Wally that DC is bringing back.
Until I talked to Devon Who Erreth Not.
Devon reminded me that after Waid left the Flash, he said he "had said everything he felt he wanted to or could say about Wally West". Doesn't sound like he'd leap at the chance to write Wally West again, does it?
Ah, but writing Barry Allen... that would a different story. Many different stories, in fact. And it would explain why Waid had continued what other writers started, the thing that ruined Wally West as a character: tried to make him as much like Barry as possible. For me, it seemed no more believable than a boy wearing his father's clothes looks like an adult. The Wally West on the JLU was his own man and an interesting and loveable character; the one in the comics wasn't and he had left behind any hope of being that version of Wally West many years ago.
I'm no Barry Allen fanatic, nor a Wally-hater. This isn't one of those Hal-is-Great/Kill-Kyle-the-Pretender sort of things. But Wally got ruined by Linda Park and the Speed Force. Barry's been away for so long, he's got two huge and seemingly irreconcilable advantages: he's got great iconic and history power and he's a blank slate.
Barry Allen was a character before his time. Forsenic science wasn't sexy in the 1950 and '60s; nowadays it's half the shows on television. DC tried to turn Wally into Barry: the reporter wife, the freakish power level, the police job. They tried to turn Bart into Barry: the Allen name, the bookishness, the police scientist thing.
For pete's sake, just bring back Barry already. Then he can be the Flash and maybe, just maybe, DC can let Wally and Bart be themselves again: unique individuals whom we enjoy because they are different from Barry not because they are like him.
Then we might be able to enjoy the Flash Dynasty, in the same way we can enjoy the Superman Dynasty, the Batman Dynasty, the Green Lantern Corps, and the Aquaman---
Oh, that's right. Well, one thing at a time...