WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Flash Forward #1, by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Luis Guerrero and ALW's Troy Peteri, on sale now.
The state of the Speed Force in the DC Universe has been in flux for the past year, following the events of the cataclysmic Flash storyline Flash War. After Barry Allen desperately raced against Wally West to prevent from changing the timeline and returning his family, lost after the events of Flashpoint, the barriers between the DCU's various forces shattered, with Hunter Zolomon absorbing the Speed Force's energies to become the new Fastest Man Alive before retreating to the far future.
However, the debut issue of Flash Forward, which focuses on Wally picking up the pieces of his life after Heroes in Crisis, the fastest speedster in the DC Multiverse is actually ... Wally West.
An ancient, omnipotent being named Tempus Fuginaut, who oversees the space between the realities of the DC Multiverse, detects that the Dark Multiverse, introduced in Dark Nights: Metal, has begun to spread, corrupting any world caught in its path. To stem the insidious, consuming tide, Tempus recruits the last superhero anyone would expect to save the day: Wally West, still imprisoned in Blackgate for accidentally killing the other patients of the secret superhero rehabilitation facility, Sanctuary, and attempting to cover up the crime by implicating Booster Gold and Harley Quinn.
Whisking Wally away to the nexus between realities, Tempus introduces himself and his mission to the former Flash, remarking that he needs the fastest speedster in the Multiverse ito save all of existence from the proliferation of the Dark Multiverse. Shocked, Wally denies he is the fastest man alive before Tempus points out that the Scarlet Speedster has not even approached his full potential since becoming "unmoored," likely a reference to Wally's return to the DC Universe three years ago, at the start of DC Rebirth.
Sometime before the reality-altering events of 2011's Flashpoint, Doctor Manhattan arrived in the DC Universe to reshape it, leading to a confrontation with Wally. The omnipotent Watchmen character removed Wally from the DCU before changing history, resulting in the speedster being trapped within the Speed Force until contact with Barry Allen freed him and began restoring reality to its state before Manhattan's tampering, as seen in Doomsday Clock.
Now on a mission against his will, Wally is propelled through the Multiverse at blinding speeds even he was previously unaccustomed to. Wally finds himself in the Oval Office of Earth-23 where he encounters the wounded President Superman of that alternate world, battling an unseen assailant as the first stop in his cosmic tour of the DC Multiverse to stop the spread of the Dark Multiverse.
Ever since the villainous Zoom gained direct access to the Speed Force, it had been assumed that neither Barry Allen nor Wally West was the fastest man alive anymore. Following Wally's tragic turn in Heroes in Crisis, the character's future as a hero was put in serious doubt. Fortunately, fate and heroism do not appear done with Wally West as he has been drafted to save the entire DC Multiverse while finding his own sense of redemption.
Running faster than ever before, the reinstated Scarlet Speedster now travels between realities as the last, best hope to stop the Dark Multiverse. Run, Wally, run!