As Manapul and Buccellato move to Detective Comics, a new creative team is kicking off their run for the The Flash, starting with issue 30. Co-writers Van Jensen and Robert Venditti share some spoilers on what they plan to do with their first big storyline.
Flash #30 came out this past week and begins a new story for the series, which takes place in the fallout of the Forever Evil events. The biggest reveal from this most recent issue was the introduction of a familiar ‘Flash’ character for the first time in the New 52 universe: Wally West.
What’s even more interesting is that Wally’s future death was also hinted at in the future and may perhaps be a central piece for this storyline. Can it get more interesting than that? Yep. New 52 Wally West is no longer a red-headed white kid. He is now a “biracial” character, whose racial origins are reported to be explained in upcoming issues: Flash Annual #3, Flash #31  . Wonder if Wally will still be the nephew of Iris West.
Van Jensen: …It’s really just a central part of DC’s commitment to representing our modern culture and a diverse society through the New 52 and the entire line of comic books… Rob and I really just looked at it as a new opportunity to expand what we were doing with the book.
And really, rather than in any way limiting what we were planning to do, it actually became this great, central piece of the story, and we both feel like the story has only a lot richer for having Wally there.
Venditti: …but I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of the Silver Age writers — but you can almost how the introduction of Wally into the series back them would have given them an entirely new window through which to view Barry and the city and the Flash universe.
When you have a character like Wally — and I would say this is true of Robin or anyone like that — they become almost, not necessarily a second lead character, but very, very close to that. They’re much more than just a supporting cast member. They become part of the series.
Venditti also had this to say about the reintroduction of the Flash’s sidekick:
Venditti: …to try to take things, and storylines that in some ways we’re all familiar with and try to invert them or look at them from a new angle, and in doing so, challenge ourselves as writers.
On top of the Wally West reveal, Flash #30 also shows a “Future Flash” (Barry Allen 20 years into the comic’s future). Another key element that looks to play a big part of this upcoming storyline. Questions were raised on if this Future Flash will tie in at all with DC’s September event, ‘Five Years Later.’
The writers mentioned that the upcoming Annual issue will show Wally West and Barry Allen meeting in present time. They also note that they had planned to tie their first main storyline with DC’s ‘Five Years Later’ event, making it more apart of a “chapter in their story,” rather than spending a month on a separate storyline torn from their current one.
The main solicitation surrounding the ‘Future Flash’ storyline is that the two are likely to fight each other, perhaps in order to save the fate of Wally West.
Jensen: Now we see him 20 years in the future, and he’s almost a broken man. He’s changed in a extreme way. And we’re going to see a lot more about that, starting in the Annual and the following issues, leading up to September.
And that leads to this question, which is, what could happen that would make Barry, who is so pure and innocent, to break him and turn him toward the dark side, as it were.
Another interesting question came up regarding the likely use of time travel in their storyline. It’s a popularly used ability in The Flash and other media, but with its recent use in Flashpoint, it may be looked at as a risk to do another time traveling story. But with the incorporation of their story with ‘Five Years Later,’ maybe a time traveling story felt necessary and fitting.
Venditti: We never felt like we “had” to because of Five Years Later, at all. But I think that examining time travel as part of Barry’s power set was always something we wanted to do, for the very reasons that you mentioned — the idea that it is risky, and it’s something that’s been done before.
We just want to look at it in a different way.
It’s part of the mythology that’s sort of been baked into the character, and I think we’ve come up with a way of going beyond that and putting a new spin on it.
Jensen: It’s also, as a writer, it’s kind of a cool challenge to take on a time travel story that’s been done both in The Flash and just in popular media. There are tons of time travel stories, so to create a little bit of a new wrinkle in that was a pretty fun challenge.
To cap off the interview, Jensen left off with some last few hints on the upcoming story.
Jensen: Sure. Obviously, the mystery of the Future Flash and his mission is going to continue to play a bigger and bigger role.
But in the present, we’re going to see Barry both meeting and discovering who Wally is, and them feeling each other out.
And then, we’re going to see some familiar rogues, but also some sort of forgotten rogues re-entering the picture, and creating some very big challenges for Barry in the present.
So there’s really a lot of big stuff coming.
Exciting things to come in ‘The Flash’ series as it undergoes a change in its creative team. Click here for the full interview with Newsarama.