Diversity in Comics: Wally West

So as most of y’all know, DC Comics rebooted their whole line of main books back in 2011. Many characters had their origins changed, and even though many readers loved the change, there was still a number who totally disagreed with it. To be honest, I liked most of the reboot, but there are some parts of it that put my heart at strong discontent. As you can tell from the title, I really dislike how DC has decided to handle diversity.

Seriously, why did the reboot have to make white characters turn black and straight characters turn gay? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with black or LGBT characters, but the fact that they decided to change characters we loved for years just the way they were is what’s killing me. They claimed that the character was still the same essentially, but they’re not the Wally West or Alan Scott that we used to know.

teen-titans-y-o-4_cover-art

Art by Karl Kerschl.

Wally West before the New 52 was part of huge legacy. He was Kid Flash first, having a similar origin like Barry Allen, his mentor and the current Flash at the time. He then took his mentor’s role after Barry’s unfortunate death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. When Barry was resurrected in 2009, Wally still did heroics as Flash, now married to Linda Park with twins.

But what did the New 52 make Wally? A stereotypical black 12 year-old. Well, he is half-white. But we are introduced to this Wally by him spraying anti-Flash graffiti around the city. Now the old Wally idolized the Flash, but this one has an absolute hatred. Can you really tell me that this is the Wally West we knew and loved for years? Our Wally West, who was once part of the heart of the Teen Titans and the Justice League, is now considered a “bad boy” who hangs out in the wrong crowd.

FLS_5YL_3A_600_B_580_537e9528a925c0.97905178

Art by Brett Booth.

The people at DC say that the relationship between Flash and Wally West will be very similar, like the closest of friends. However, there has only been a rushed interaction that bonded Barry and Wally that took place during a baseball game. Wally likes Barry, but still hates the Flash as of most recent events.

BUT THE ONE THING I KNOW IS THAT THIS WILL NEVER BE MY WALLY WEST.

Why? Because no matter what the New 52 does, we’ll never get our the Wally we knew and loved for years. They could try so hard to make the connection between Barry and Wally so similar to the last one, but it’ll still never be the same. Here’s an interview with Robert Vendetti and Van Jensen. They believe that they could make Wally a lovable character, and I believe that too, but it’s still not the same. Part of me is hoping for a crisis that will get the good elements of the Pre-52 and merge it with the new one, but it looks like that isn’t happening anytime soon.

My solution: How about we just make a new black character that is involved with the Speed Force? I mean, Marvel did that with Miles Morales. They didn’t make Peter Parker black, so why should they make Wally West?

miles-morales-spider-man

Art by Sara Pichelli.

 

~Dennis

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