Week 2 of my journey into the world of Wally West by Mark Waid. This week I didn’t get as many issues read due to a busy schedule, but What I did read was top notch.
The Flash Vol. 2 #71-79
Written By Mark Waid
Art By Greg Larocque
The main story to this arc is that Wally must protect Moe Migliani, a fast talking jailhouse lawyer who got a lot of fellow cellmates out on technicalities. Moe needs protection from another fellow prisoner who Moe couldn’t get out. The criminal in question now has possession of Dr. Alchemy’s Philosophers stone. A weapon that allows the wielder to change the elements in objects. This new villain calls himself The Alchemist. The real problem is that Moe is hiding things from Wally, like the real reason the Alchemist is after him.
The real story in this arc to me was the side story about the relationship between Wally and Linda. Linda is tired of not knowing one way or the other where she stands with Wally so she is about to leave for a job in another city. But she gives Wally until 2 o’clock to give her a good reason not to leave. Of course even the fastest man alive can’t be everywhere at once. So Wally is trying to solve the mystery of why the Alchemist wants Moe so that he can be at the train station to stop Linda.
These were two pretty fun issues that really did a good job of highlighting Wally as both the hero and the man. And most of all the battle within him to be both.
These issues make up one hell of a story. While reading these seven issues I went through a large range of emotions right along with Wally. What starts as a simple one and done Christmas issue that featured Wally and Linda celebrating the holidays with Jay Garrick and his family. Turned a great character defining story for Wally West.
After spending sometime running around to let off some energy, Wally and Jay return home to sit down and eat christmas dinner with their loved ones. But they get a real shock when Barry Allen shows up at the door alive and well. Barry claims that he was brought back by the battle between Wally and the Alchemist. And everyone is is so excited nobody questions his story except Wally. Because if Barry is alive then where does that leave Wally? Do the twin cities really need three Flashes? But after a visit from Hal Jordan that confirms that Barry is telling the truth and a visit to Iris’s grave, Wally’s fears are put to rest.
But the more time Wally spends alongside Barry the more he starts to notice some irregularities in him. And it isn’t long before Barry starts acting really strange. Like feeling like the key to his return is linked to a dark alley in the middle of the city.
After a run in with a new group of criminals calling themselves The Combine where Wally gets pretty injured and Barry loses it, but not because he believes that Wally is dead. But because the criminal referred to Wally as the Flash. This one event leads to Everyone in Barry’s life questioning what is happening to their friend. But the final straw for Wally is when Barry leaves him to die in one of the Combine’s traps.
With Wally “dead” and Barry destroying the city for forgetting him, Jay recruits Max Mercury and Johny Quick to help takedown Barry. But Wally starts to investigate the alley that Barry seemed drawn to. While looking around Wally finds a book that answers all of the questions. The book is revealed to be biography of Barry Allen that was owned by Eobard Thrawne. Also known as Professor Zoom or Reverse-Flash.
This revelation brings everything into focus. Somehow Thrawne ended up in the past thinking he was Barry Allen. So Wally reveals to the rest of the world that he isn’t dead and he lures Thrawne to the Flash museum so that he can give him the ring that contains the costume for Reverse-Flash. Once again facing the fact that his hero is dead, Wally finally decides to step out of Barry’s shadow And reaches his full potential as the Flash.
I really enjoyed what this arc did for the Wally West character. It really showed that once he was willing to accept it, Wally could be as good if not better than Barry.
Thanks for reading my review. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them in the comments section. And as always…. Keep reading comics fans.