Why Did the Flash's Supporting Cast Not Carry Over to Mark Waid's Run?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and fourteenth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

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Mark Waid got rid of William Messner-Loebs' supporting cast when he took over Flash.



William Messner-Loebs was the second writer on Wally West's ongoing Flash series that launched after Crisis on Infinite Earths saw Barry Allen sacrifice himself to save the universe and Wally (the former Kid Flash) step in to take over from his mentor.

Loebs had a great run on the book and perhaps the thing that his run was best known for was the fine work that he did on the supporting cast on the book, much of whom he inherited from the previous writer, Mike Baron, but Loebs did his own spin on them (while also introducing some new members of his own to the cast, like the investigative reporter, Linda Park, and the mysterious Mason Tollbridge (who turned out to be a former kid sidekick to a Shadow-like superhero). The cast was so impressive that they got their own Who's Who entry...

Probably the two most impressive character changes that Loebs did was to take a minor villain from Baron's run, the Chunk, and turn him into Wally West's pretty much best friend and also to take Connie Noleski, a model was who introduced when Baron was doing a bit of a "different girl for Wally every night" approach, and give her enough of a personality for her to stick around for Loebs' entire run!

However, in Loebs' final issue, Mason and Mary West (Wally's mother) get married and Chunk and Connie get together behind Wally's back (Wally had been ignoring her for a long time, so it wasn't that big of a deal)...

At the end of the issue, Wally watches all the other couples out there, but is surprised to see Linda Park, who had been written out of the series a while back (after sharing her body with an Irish spirit for a time...yes, for real)...

Mark Waid took over the book and Linda, of course, became Wally's girlfriend and ultimately his wife. Otherwise, though, Waid started with a fresh start, supporting cast-wise. I had always assumed it was just your standard "bring in my own supporting cast" deal that we see so often in comics. However, I was talking to Mark about it and he revealed something that I had never known.

Mark explained, "Bill asked specifically to take much of his non-Linda supporting cast with him to Wonder Woman, which is why they didn't show up in my run. That he never got the chance to do much if anything with them in WW once he was there is what put them into limbo, not any disinterest on my part."

Fascinating. It's always fun when you learn new things this many years into doing this stuff!

Thanks to Mark Waid for the great piece of information!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Did Michael J. Fox have to learn how to ride a skateboard for Back to the Future?

OK, that's it for this week!

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