WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Flash Forward #2, by Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Luis Guerrero and ALW's Troy Peteri, on sale now.
There is nothing worse for a parent than losing their children and, for Wally West, the Scarlet Speedster has lost his twins, Jai and Iris West, twice over the course of his superhero career. Before they were even born, Zoom attempted to erase their existences by attacking Linda Park, while the reality-altering events of Flashpoint seemingly removed the children from the timeline for good, leaving Wally deeply traumatized at the sudden loss of his children after regaining his memories of them.
Wally's grief over Jai and Iris strained his lifelong friendship with Barry Allen during last year's "Flash War" storyline, leading to very dark places in the recently concluded crossover event Heroes in Crisis, which saw Wally accidentally killing fellow patients at the superhero rehabilitation facility Sanctuary and attempting to cover up the true nature of the deaths. Presumed lost to Flashpoint's rewriting of the DC Universe, the latest issue of Flash Forward closed with the shocking revelation that not only are Jai and Iris West both seemingly alive and well but appear to be trapped within the Dark Multiverse.
Introduced by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo during Dark Nights: Metal, the Dark Multiverse is a part of reality featuring twisted incarnations of familiar DC heroes and villains. The start of Flash Forward revealed that the Dark Multiverse was beginning to spread into the main DC Multiverse, corrupting worlds that it came into contact with, including President Superman's world of Earth-23. The ancient, omnipotent being Tempus Fuginaut recruits Wally -- still imprisoned for his actions in Heroes in Crisis -- as his agent to save the Multiverse and stem the Dark Multiverse invasion as he races faster than ever before to save all of reality to redeem himself.
The final moments of Flash Forward #2 reveal the focal point of the Dark Multiverse's incursion, a barren, rocky world where monuments to the DC superheroes lie in ruins. The only two figures seen in this desolate world are shrouded figures revealed to be Jai and Iris West, just trying to survive while hoping their speedster father will rescue them one day from the horrors of the Dark Multiverse. It is unknown how much relative time has passed for the two children but both appear visibly older than they were last seen in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, physically not yet teenagers after their aging had temporarily been accelerated by their connection to the Speed Force.
Previously, Jai and Iris exhibited their own superpowers, before all of their powers were transferred to Iris during the events of The Flash: Rebirth to stabilize their aging. While Iris became the new Impulse, Jai resented his twin sister for losing his own powers, potentially setting the stage for darker developments to come. It is currently unknown if Iris still has super-speed through a connection to the Speed Force and if Jai still resents his sister as they navigate the Dark Multiverse together.
Wally nearly threatened the entire space-time continuum for the chance to be reunited with his lost children after learning they had not been not been incorporated in the DC Rebirth reality. Haunted by their loss, Wally went into the deepest, darkest areas of his entire life from the trauma of their loss, resulting in several accidental deaths at his hands and raising the question if redemption was even possible for the Scarlet Speedster. Now with his new mission to save all of reality, Wally is running faster than ever before and, with the return of Iris and Jai West, the one-time Flash could be rewarded with the family reunion that he's been craving all along.
Flash Forward #3 releases Oct. 28.