SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Flash #52 by Joshua Williamson, Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero and Steve Wands, on sale now.
The DC Universe isn’t quite right. Since the return of Wally West in DC Universe Rebirth #1, the history and continuity of the DC Universe has felt.. Off. Small changes to the The New 52 continuity helped bring back aspects of the pre-Flashpoint timeline. The original Teen Titans had a place in history again, Tim Drake regained his time as Robin instead of always being Red Robin, events once out of continuity like Final Crisis and Cosmic Odyssey were once again referenced.
It seems the pre-Flashpoint timeline is overwriting The New 52 one slowly, but most people aren’t aware that it’s happening. Those that do — such as Wally West, who remembers his wife and children — are tormented by the memories of a life they lost, while most exist in a state of blissful ignorance, unaware of who they once were or the lives that were taken from them. This week, a pivotal supporting character seemed to remember one of their most important days of their life, and it may have major consequences down the line.
Love and Marriage
Things seem to be going rather well for Barry Allen and Iris West. Sure, they’ve been through a lot since Wally’s return, but for the first time since the Flashpoint, they’re a happy couple living together in cohabitating bliss. However, their clash with Hunter Zolomon triggered the Flash Family to face some memories from their previous lives and it can be hard to keep track of which memories belong to which timeline. One memory that Iris knows isn’t from this timeline, is her memory of her wedding, and her marriage to Barry Allen.
Barry and Iris were originally wedded in 1966’s The Flash #165 by Carmine Infantino and John Brome, in a story titled “One Bridegroom Too Many.” The issue lived up to its title as on the day of the wedding, Eobard Thawne disguised himself as his greatest enemy and took Barry Allen’s place in the wedding, nearly marrying Iris until his plot was foiled by The Flash. The pair lived happily until Iris was killed mysteriously in 1979’s The Flash #275, in which the couple attended a costume party together, someone drugged Barry and he woke up to find his bride dead.
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It was eventually revealed that Iris was killed by Eobard Thawne — who was in love with her — by vibrating his hand at super-speed through her head. Iris’ death was avenged and Barry moved on with his life. Barry fell in love once again with Fiona Webb, but Professor Zoom refused to allow The Flash to have any happiness and threatened to kill Webb the same way he killed Iris, forcing Barry to chase him towards the chapel and stop him. Barry killed Thawne when he grabbed the villain around the neck while he was running, essentially holding his head in place while his body continued to move forward at super-speed.