SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Flash #45, by Joshua Williamson, Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero and Steve Wands, on sale now.
Despite having the word “Flash” in its name, Flashpoint has been anything but kind to Wally West, the man who held the mantle of the Scarlet Speedster for over two decades. In fact, throughout the entire New 52, Wally was all but forgotten within the DC Universe, but with the advent of Rebirth, the former Kid Flash finally made his triumphant return when he was pulled from the Speed Force by none other than Barry Allen.
Nevertheless, Wally’s return to the fray wasn’t without its obstacles. Not only had he been trapped in the Speed Force, his entire existence had been erased from the minds of those closest to him by Abra Kadabra, an old foe of his and Barry's. This merely proved to be a temporary setback, though, as Wally quickly discovered he was able to “shock” the forgotten memories back into the minds of his friends after making contact with them, as evidenced by his reunion and subsequent re-teaming with the Titans.
Still, even after all this time, the one person Wally never attempted to reconnect with was Iris West, his aunt and the very person responsible for him meeting Barry and subsequently gaining his powers in the first place. However, that finally changes in The Flash #45.
In the previous issue, we saw Wally – disguised in his Flash costume, mind you – rescue Iris from the Negative Speed Force Storm that threatened to tear Central City apart, but that was about as close as he’d gotten to her since his return, despite resolving to tell her of his existence back in The Flash Annual #1. As The Flash #45 kicks off, though, Wally is a man on a mission, and that mission is to remind his aunt exactly who he is.
After picking up a bouquet of flowers, Wally makes his way to Iris’ apartment, where he finds both her and Barry. “You’re that other Flash,” Iris says while pointing at Wally’s classic red locks. “The hair is a dead giveaway.”
However, despite Iris’ friendly demeanor, Wally once again finds himself unable to open up the proverbial can of worms that is his existence. As he heads toward the door, though, Iris grabs his arm and tells him to stop.
“Don’t run… Wally,” Iris says while staring into her nephew’s eyes with a sense of both fondness and remembrance. “...You remember me?” he asks. Then, after a brief flashback to when Wally was just a child, running through the park with his aunt, the two share a long-awaited and heartfelt embrace, as tears run down both their faces.
Now that Iris and Wally have reconnected, though, we’re still left with a number of questions. For one, how is it that Iris was able to remember Wally in the first place? Was it because of the physical contact when he carried her to safety in Issue #44? Plus, it's important to note that the memories came flooding back to Wally in the final panel, as that’s sure to have major implications in its own right. Presumably, all this and a whole lot more will be answered by Joshua Williamson and company as we prepare for the impending “Flash War.”