Flash Failure: The CW Series and the Character That Got Left Behind! – Bigflix


Over its nine-season run, The Flash evolved, concluding in 2023 as part of the Arrowverse. Amidst changing dynamics and cast, Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally West stood out as a misused and underutilized character, disappointing fans who had anticipated a more faithful representation of the comic book’s Fastest Man Alive.

‘The Flash’ Fails to Capture Comic Magic

In the original DC Comics, Wally West, initially Kid Flash, took on the mantle of the Flash after Barry Allen’s sacrifice during Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, ‘The Flash’ TV series diverged significantly from Wally’s rich comic book history.

Barry discovers the Speed Force independently, iconic adversaries become his foes, and even Wally’s love interest, Linda Park, is reshaped into Barry’s brief romantic interest.

When Wally finally debuts in the show, the portrayal falls short, lacking the dynamic humor and compassion from the comics. The TV version, needlessly antagonistic and unlike his source material, disappointed fans. The series’ departure from Wally’s true essence was a challenging adjustment for longtime Flash enthusiasts.

‘The Flash’ Struggles with the Speedster’s Storyline

Wally West faced a turbulent journey in “The Flash,” struggling to find his place in the narrative. From initial underutilization to becoming a mere plot device, the series failed to do justice to the iconic character. A significant missed opportunity arose in Season 4 when Wally could have shone as Central City’s solo speedster, filling Barry’s absence.

The show, however, skipped over this potential storyline, diminishing Wally’s impact. The decision to transfer him to “Legends of Tomorrow” added complexity but proved short-lived, leaving fans pondering the character’s unfulfilled potential and eventual exit from the Arrowverse.

Lost in the Arrowverse Narrative

The frustration with The Flash’s portrayal of Wally West stems from the CW-style teenage angst dominating his arc. Previous adaptations, notably in animation like Young Justice and Justice League, showcased a more nuanced and engaging Wally.

In the animated realm, Wally, voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, became pivotal in the DC Animated Universe, seamlessly blending his easygoing nature with the gravity of Justice League plots. In contrast, The Flash’s Wally faced internal conflicts, lacking the direction and support seen in the comics. Shifting focus to Wally as the Flash might have injected new life into the show’s later seasons.

Overshadowed by Barry Allen in the DC Comics Universe

The portrayal of Wally West in The Flash TV series and the 2023 feature film highlights a recurring issue within DC Comics—Wally consistently taking a backseat to Barry Allen. Geoff Johns’ 2009 series, “The Flash: Rebirth,” marked Barry’s return as the main Flash, setting the tone for subsequent rebrands like The New 52 and DC Rebirth.

Wally’s recent resurgence in Infinite Frontier, responding to fan demand, underscores his significance. However, The Flash series perpetuated this trend, showcasing Wally but limiting his potential.

While deviations from the comics exist for other characters, Wally’s mishandling stands out. Until Wally reclaims the spotlight in live-action, his identity as the true Fastest Man Alive remains a reminder of DC’s oversight. The Flash TV series is available for streaming exclusively on Netflix in the U.S.

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