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The Flash Still Hasn’t Solved Its Wally West Problem

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
The Flash Still Hasn’t Solved Its Wally West Problem

In some ways, it’s understandable that the series didn’t just jump into giving Wally superpowers — part of the show’s deal (and the Arrowverse in general, to an extent) is that the characters gradually grow into themselves. Then, when they take on their superhero identities, they aren’t wrestling with old baggage. That worked with Oliver Queen when he went from “the Hood” to “the Arrow” to “Green Arrow,” Sara Lance’s Black Canary shift to White Canary, and so on. The problem with Wally is that he doesn’t get those moments where he really wrestles with his baggage, at least not on screen. When you look at how much time Team Flash has spent working on evolving its characters, from Cisco and Caitlin’s slow burns into Vibe and Killer Frost, the ratio is really off in comparison. Even the show itself doesn’t seem to care much about him, with his lack of appearance in the midseason finale explained by a simple line: “He’s in Cambodia.”

RELATED: The Flash’s Wally West Isn’t ‘Reckless for No Reason,’ Says Lonsdale

On the bright side, there is a way to solve the Wally problem: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The Flash/Arrow spinoff has become, whether the writers would admit it or not, a home for characters that the other shows don’t really have a good idea of what to do with. It’s a home for the Arrowverse’s outcasts and misfits, something that Wally has to feel like at this point. The Legends can help him matter in a way that being the “other speedster” really doesn’t. Luckily, the seeds for this have been set; Legends‘ season opener gave us a very brief scene where he was fighting crime with Steel (Nick Zano), and it’s implied that the two of them had been doing it for months, since the Legends were forced to disband. If nothing else, Steel would vouch for him and welcome him with open arms.

Kid Flash DC CW TV

Not hurting matters is the fact that the Legends are down two people as of the latest episode. With Martin Stein dead and Jefferson Jackson left to discover who he is without being Firestorm, the team could use another weirdo or two to fill the vacancies. Sure, Constantine and Citizen Cold will be hanging around the Waverider, but both of them are very clearly not permanent residents on the team. The Legends will eventually need someone to work on the ship to keep it running, so Wally’s background in mechanics would be helpful on that front. They could do worse than adding a young speedster to their ranks, that’s for sure, and he would provide some youthful energy that the Legends cast definitely lack. Seeing him with Rory or Zari would definitely lead to some good banter.

Wally is a big part of Flash history, which is what makes it so frustrating that the show has treated him as an afterthought. Painful as it is to say, he’s dead weight on The Flash, so the Arrowverse may as well throw him in the world of another cast of characters to see how things shake up. Even if Legends doesn’t fix him and he ends up being even worse off there, trying to improve him would be better than doing nothing at all. Lonsdale is very clearly game to do more with this character, so the show needs to find a solution, and fast.

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the flash
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