SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Flash #47, by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands, on sale now.
The DC Universe has no shortage of speedsters in its midst. There are the mainstays, such as the Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West incarnations of The Flash, as well as newcomers like Godspeed, Avery Ho and current Kid Flash Wallace West. However, ever since the Earth-shattering events of Flashpoint, a number of popular speedsters that once traversed the DCU in lightning-fast fashion have been conspicuous by their absence.
As it turns out, though, there’s a perfectly valid in-universe explanation for why so many former members of the Flash Family seem to be nothing more than distant memories.
In The Flash #47 – the start of “Flash War,” – the Renegades arrive from the 25th century to bring Iris West to the Temporal Courts and stand trial for the murder of The Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne, back in Issue #27. Barry, Wally and Wallace refuse to let her go alone, though, and because Iris agrees to give herself up of her own volition, the Renegades agree to help Wally with the recent influx of memories that have been causing damage to his nervous system.
Unfortunately, upon arriving at the Temporal Courts, the group quickly realizes they’re short one speedster.
“There was a corrupted file within my time portal,” Commander Cold tells Barry. “It targeted Wally West’s Speed Force signature.”
Meanwhile, in the ruins of the Flash Museum, Wally observes his surroundings and calls out for Iris and Barry. As he begins to question where he is, a voice reaches out to him and sheds some light on the mystery.
“This is everything that was taken from you,” the voice tells Wally. “Everyone you know. Everyone you loved. Forgotten… but not lost.”
It’s then that Wally looks down one of the museum corridors and sees the busts of three familiar faces: Bart Allen/Impulse, Jesse Quick and Max Mercury.
“They’re all trapped in the Speed Force. Just like you were, Wally.”
It isn’t just Wally’s former teammates that are trapped in the Speed Force, though. Looking up at one of the monitors in the museum, Wally sees himself and Linda Park, shortly after the birth of their two children, Jai West and Iris West II.
“You can still be the hero they need,” the voice explains. “But the only way to save your family is to destroy the Speed Force.”
To little surprise, it’s Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom, who reveals himself to be the one behind Wally’s detour to the Flash Museum, and in the display cases behind him are the costumes Wally’s children wore went they were heroes in their own right. Can the discovery that his friends and family are trapped in the Speed Force really drive Wally to go to war with Barry, though?
Perhaps not that alone, but surely the actions Wally’s willing to take to get them back – which is alluded to at the start of the issue – could drive a wedge between the two Scarlet Speedsters.