Future State: The Flash #1 Review - Why Does DC Comics Hate Wally West?
Prior to diving into a mostly negative review, I'd like to mention at the outset that this issue isn't terrible. The story is competent, the art is decent and in line with most books using DC's house style. If this was my first experience with The Flash I can't say I'd dislike the issue. Every comic is someone's first and I try to keep that in mind when I'm reading a comic or posting a review. I can see a portion of the audience really enjoying this comic for what it is and maybe even seeing it as a great start to a two-part story. I also would like to mention that this was also my stance on the Wally West depiction in Tom King's Heroes In Crisis. I saw that series as a legit character assassination but If you didn't have much experience with the character It probably wasn't a big deal. Heroes in Crisis was still a crappy series but you probably didn't lose sleep over Wally's fall from grace.
Wally is probably the only Flash that many comic readers know. He's been a staple in comics for decades and Is the version of the character I have the most experience with. When I started reading comics Barry Allen had been long dead. I didn't really read DC comics in the '90s but I did have a few issues of Mark Waid's run on the character and Wally West always stood out as one of DC's finest. He's my favorite DC character next to Batman and Wonder Woman and I know a lot of other people feel the same way about him. Wally's been featured in hundreds of comics so It's bewildering to me that in the past few years DC has gone out of the way to destroy this character and his legacy with fans.
In "Heroes in Crisis" the big twist was that Wally West was the Sanctuary killer and that his endgame was an attempted suicide (Yikes). The twist didn't really make sense to fans of the character and turned many readers against Tom King. Tom was already on a downward slide as a result of questionable decisions made during his run on Batman. I'm told that Scott Lobdell did a lot to rehab the character in his "Flash Forward" Mini-Series. Unfortunately with Future State, the assassination of Wally West's legacy continues.
The comic opens with tragedy as it is revealed that Wally has stolen part of the Speed Force from members of the Flash Family and was also responsible for the death of Kid Flash. To accommodate for the loss and even the odds against Wally. Barry Allen assembles a team of speedsters to obtain the weapons of the Flash Rogues gallery. The team launches a raid on "The Calculator" in order to obtain his Thinking Cap. The heroes obtain the cap but one of the speedsters is killed in the process.
After the loss, we're told that the plan is to modify the Thinking cap to allow the team to locate Wally within the Speedforce. The team does manage to find Wally but the plan goes horribly wrong and yet another speedster is killed in the process.
If you're totally disconnected from Wally's history, this is simply a pretty dark and morbid Flash comic. If you're a fan of Wally West this is another giant Fuck you to his fanbase. It's always a bitter pill to see a beloved hero turned into a twisted psychopath and this seems to happen to Wally on a semi-regular basis.
Rating this issue below a "7" wouldn't be fair to the creative team. The story is pretty dark and disturbing in spots and as a fan of horror, I can appreciate what Brandon Vietti is going for. I just wish that Wally West wasn't constantly being used for these sorts of stories. I'll try to dial back the criticism when I get to Future State: The Flash #2 but I had to get the feelings off of my chest. What DC has done with him has been a total disservice and I hope they figure it out before they damage the legacy of this character even further.