Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Wally West (who was Kid Flash and Flash) Stories Ever Told!
I’m mixing things up a BIT this list by giving you the #11 choice, as well – I’ll let you know why later on…
11. Flash #91 “Out of Time”
This one-off issue by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo spotlighted a major issue at the time for Wally – a storyline right before this issue involved a young woman blaming Wally for her severe injuries suffered while the Flash battled with a super-villain at the mall. Wally was hoping that her case was a super-villain plot, and in the end, it DID turn out to be a super-villain plot, but a plot that had, at its basis, an actual real beef on the part of the lady (Wally consciously chose to skip checking her area of the mall because a security guard told him it was clear, and he needed the extra time to save a falling elevator filled of people, so he saved their lives and in the meantime she was badly burned and lost her legs). So Wally was so distraught over having to make life and death decisions like that that he sought out Johnny Quick’s “speed formula,” figuring that if he added Johnny’s formula to his own natural speed, he’d be able to save EVERYone – instead, time froze for Wally and he was unable to stop him. Only a visit by a pushed-to-the-limit Max Mercury would help Wally get past the mental blocks that were holding him back.
This issue also introduced Bart Allen, in a shadowy cameo at the end.
10. Flash #0 “Flashing Back”
While traveling through time (due to events in Zero Hour, DC’s crossover of the time), Wally sees various major points in his lifetime, including a mysterious visit he remembered changing his life as a child. Waid and Wieringo did the issue.
9. Flash #152-159
In Mark Waid’s swan song on the Flash (not counting one final one-off issue), he and his co-writer Brian Augustyn had Linda Park “erased” from existence, while a brand new Dark Flash showed up following Wally’s disappearance at the end of #150 – this was a Flash that had come from the world of Hypertime!! Paul Pelletier drew the story.
8. Flash #48-50 “Fastest Man…Alive!”
Wally faces off against Vandal Savage in a contest that will either end up in Wally’s death or his re-emergence as a greater superhero that he had ever been before! Plus, a new costume for Wally! William Messner-Loebs wrote the story and Greg LaRocque drew the story.
7. Flash #54 “Nobody Dies”
William Messner-Loebs’ acclaimed one-off issue where Wally has to save a flight attendant who had been sucked out of a hole in a plane. Greg LaRocque was the artist.
6. Flash #108-111, Impulse #10-11
A crossover with Flash spin-off, Impulse, featuring a villain named Savitar who was trying to take control of the Speed Force for himself – almost all of Wally’s speedster allies had their speed stolen, leaving it to Wally to take down Savitar – but Savitar is more prepared than Wally ever could imagine, leading to a speedster to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the rest. Mark Waid wrote the story and Oscar Jimenez and Humberto Ramos drew it (Jimenez the Flash issues, Ramos the Impulse ones).
5. Flash #197-200 “Blitz”
Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins introduced a NEW Reverse Flash called Zoom, who was an old friend of Wally’s who had been twisted to the point where he felt he was HELPING Wally by giving him tragedy in his life – he then tried to do so through his new powers, which allowed him to appear to go fast by moving time AROUND him so that he appeared to be super-fast. This allowed him to be pretty much as fast as someone using the Speed Force like Wally. Zoom put his sights on Wally’s pregnant wife, Linda, and, well, things end pretty badly for Wally and his wife – leading Wally to make a rather rash deal with a supernatural being.
4. Flash #220-225 “Rogue War”
In Geoff Johns’ swan song from his Flash run, three disparate group of Flash “villains,” the Rogues, are pitted against each other over the revelation that Barry Allen had used Zatanna’s powers to rehabilitate one of the Rogues, who had then used mind control to ALSO rehabilitate some of the Rogues. Who was brainwashed into being a good guy? Who was legitimately reformed? Meanwhile, Wally’s old foe Zoom returns, only now he’s working with a time-traveling Professor Zoom so you know this is not good news for Wally – but somehow, Johns exits the book with a happy ending for Wally and his wife, Linda. Howard Porter drew this storyline.
3. Flash #62-65 “Born to Run”
Mark Waid’s debut on Flash came with this storyline, which was basically Wally West: Year One. Greg LaRocque drew it.
2. Flash #0, 95-100 “Terminal Velocity”
This story is why I went with 11 stories listed rather than 10. You see, Flash #0, while not TECHNICALLY labeled as part of Terminal Velocity, is pretty much part of Terminal Velocity. It leads right into the storyline and is collected in the Terminal Velocity collection. So I probably should merge the votes people made for Flash #0 into the votes for Terminal Velocity. However, so many people voted for Flash #0 on its own that I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it its own spot, especially since adding the votes for Flash #0 to the votes for Terminal Velocity still wouldn’t raise Terminal Velocity in the rankings, so the only story that would be affected would be the one that was bumped out of the Top Ten, so I figured I’d list that story, as well. Ta da!
Anyhow, Terminal Velocity revolves around Wally West getting a glimpse of the future and then doing all sorts of Machiavellian things in a gambit to avoid that future. We are led to believe that he saw himself be killed, but in reality, he saw his girlfriend, Linda Park be killed. So he vowed to do anything he could to save her, even if it meant manipulating his fellow speedsters Impulse and Jesse Quick to do so. In the end, Wally is sucked into the Speed Force – but can his love for Linda bring him back? Ask Taylor Dayne – she will let you know if that is possible. Mark Waid wrote it and a variety of artists worked on this storyline, from Mike Wieringo in #0, Salvador Larroca for the next four issues, then a split issue between Salvador Larroca and Carlos Pacheco and finally the last issue, the double-sized #100, with art by Salvador Larroca, Carlos Pacheco AND Oscar Jimenez.
1. Flash #73-79 “The Return of Barry Allen”
Wally’s greatest dream turned into a nightmare as his uncle, Barry Allen, the Flash before Wally, returns to life. Only thing are not what they seem, and soon Wally is forced to collect a group of speedsters to confront Barry, who has returned…different. While Wally gets help from the other speedsters, he soon learns that it ultimately comes down to him and his own fears of replacing his uncle to win the day. Mark Waid wrote the story and Greg LaRocque drew this arc, in his swan song on the title, after a long run as penciler.
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!