This ONE Flash for all has really been an insane problem in the Flash fandom ever since Barry was brought back. And I was really looking forward to Barry’s return since…well, really since the Return of Barry Allen storyline way back in Wally’s run (Flash 74-79 (1987-2009))
The end of that story may have helped Wally get past being “in the shadow” of Barry Allen but at the same time it also started opening the door a crack for Barry’s return. Then in Terminal Velocity, when the concept of the Speed Force was really first introduced, and the idea that Barry had not just died but had in fact joined with it, gave the door a bit more of a push…(Wally having actually found a way to return from the Speed Force made Barry’s Resurrection that much more likely with all of the new conditions that were available.
However, First we got Hal Jordan Back as Green lantern. And while, in the book it was made clear that Hal and Kyle became instant friends and had a solid handshake “glad you’re back” moment, Pro-Hal and Pro-kyle fans started going at it as if it was the end of everything. all of a sudden there was all this fighting between Hal Fans and Kyle Fans over who deserved to wear the ring more. And anyone who liked both on any level were said "you’re not a true Green lantern fan!
Then Barry Allen returns Flash fans rejoice…! uhh, not so fast! Now it’s Barry is the true Flash, Wally’s the poser! and vice versa.
Again two sides of a Comic Fandom were constantly at war, while those of us who liked both characters were caught in the middle. What made matters worse, was that the powers that be were solidly pro-Barry and had no use, or interest in, having Wally around and they erased him from existence faster than Marty McFly!
Eventually they tried to bring a new Wally West in, passing him off as a recreated version of the original character. And while NuWally has grown on fans to some degree, he was still seen as a poor substitute for the Wally West so many of us had been reading for the past twenty-five years!
Finally Classic Wally was restored to the DCU in Rebirth. And for the next year, things were really great! I kept waiting for Wally to get his life back on track and Get his own Title. rumors of returns by Jay Garrick and the other lost Speedsters of the Pre-Flashpoint Universe bolstered these hopes.
Meanwhile The Flash was doing great as Well, Barry was the star and it was a great book. NuWally became the New Kid Flash.
However clouds started to form with the Titans/Deathstroke/Teen Titans crossover "The Lazarus Contract. Deathstroke attempted to use both Wally’s to gain super-speed and save his son Grant. However, Damian Wayne the latest Robin, was used to try and put Classic Wally on the shelf by causing Teenage classic Wally to have a heart condition that would adversely affect the recently returned Adult version. Now Wally was faced with a death sentence if he used his powers.
This of course led to that exact thing occurring when Wally had a heart attack saving Nightwing. Fortunately, NuWally realized that his older cousin was still connected to the speed force and gave Classic Wally a jump-start to his healing ability which had somehow been impaired. Once again things seemed to be headed back towards a bright future.
By this point however, there was already talk of a FLASH WAR that would pit Barry and Wally against each other. Of course, this had re-ignited the flames of discord among the Flash fandom. Those of us who saw behind the curtain and found Wally’s former Friend Hunter Zolomon, aka ZOOM the second Reverse Flash as the (in-story) orchestrator of the events, had assumed that Both Flashes would realize the truth and reunite to defeat the villain. (which is what happened.
Finally We come to Heroes in Crisis. the latest chapter in this torturous back and forth saga that the powers that be seem to be gleefully inflicting on Wally fans. It was quickly hinted as soon as the series was announced, that Wally West was planned to be one of the casualties of this latest event. (The rational being that Flashes don’t do well in events with the word Crisis in them…excuse me? Didn’t we get a Flash BACK, back in the event called FINAL Crisis?!?)
Of course then the stage was set to put Wally and Roy Harper on the chopping block. Both were admitted to a Super-hero mental health facility called “Sanctuary” This was a joke as Sanctuary was little more than a kill-box! I recently read on DC Universe, that the Deaths would stick throughout the duration of Heroes in Crisis. Of course Green arrow had a prompt funeral for Roy Harper and if the January cover to Flash is any indication we’ll see Wally’s as well in Flash.
I’m a full-tilt Flash Fan. I like 'em all! Jay, Barry, Wally, Bart, John Fox etc… I’ve been reading Flash for the Last Twenty eight Years since I first watched the 1990s series with John Wesley Shipp. Yes, much of that time, I’ve spent, I’ve spent reading Wally’s Adventures. He was the Flash when I came in, He was the Flash I read every month…He was THE FLASH!
At the same time I also liked The two guys who came before him. Barry was the exception to the rule, “Never Meet your Heroes.” Barry was not just a mentor, he was a friend and a father figure to Wally (even back when Wally’s parents were nice easy going people who were both proud and supportive of their son) Jay Garrick was the Flash of World War II a part of history I had a great deal of interest in. I was a fan of Old radio shows and Movie serials I liked all of the Golden age characters.
Now, to be honest… While I started reading Flash around the time the 90s series started, It was Jay’s appearance on the Cover of Flash #73 along with the words “The Return of the original Scarlet Speedster!” that really made me pay attention…I had no idea the back page was going to yield the “return” of Barry as well! (I have to confess that when all of that following storyline was concluded and Barry wasn’t back…My first thought was…,. well, at least Jay is still back!")
Over the last few years I’ve been going backwards collecting as much of Barry’s Original Run as I can from the last issue #350 to ultimately #151 (The First issue of the run not collected in the Six Volumes of Silver age Flash Archives) So I’m as much a Barry Fan as anyone else. at the same time Wally is MY Flash. On the other Hand I’m also a huge Jay Garrick Fan I suppose if I were to do a most favorite to least it would be Wally-Jay-Barry-John Fox-Walter West-Bart-etc…
The thing I really hate is this insistence by the zealots (on all sides) that there MUST be only one Flash! and all others cease to exist! I especially hate that the current powers that be at DC endorse this ridiculous notion.