Kid Flash is coming to the TV version of The Flash. (Spoiler warning if you haven’t watched season two of the show, although if you’re reading this, you probably already watched it, right?)
DC Comics released the first image of actor Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays Wally West on The Flash, in the familiar superhero outfit worn by his comic book counterpart.
The costume is pretty much taken right off the page, appearing to have few changes to how it has been drawn in the comics. The yellow suit featuring red stripes and gloves, along with the mask, fitted with the iconic pointed red lightning bolt ears, looks sharp. Superhero uniforms have been generally hit-and-miss on the DC Comics TV shows, (what did they do to poor Diggle on Arrow?), but The CW nailed the look of Kid Flash.
In the comic books, Wally West has dawned many personas. He started off as the nephew of Iris West who eventually becomes Kid Flash, essentially a sidekick to The Flash who possessed similar powers. He’s also been a member of the Teen Titans and the Young Justice squad.
West assumed the Flash mantle in the 1980s series Crisis on Infinite Earths, during which Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the universe, and kept it throughout future series until DC Comics decided to bring back the Allen character as The Flash in 2009.
On the TV show, Wally was introduced in season two as Joe West’s long-lost son. The character didn’t have powers at any point and largely played an emotional role, having a tough time fitting in with Joe’s family while dealing with his own troubled past. Wally grows to admire The Flash after the titular hero rescues him from the villainous Zoom in exchange for his speed force. In order to get his powers back, the Flash team attempts to recreate the particle accelerator explosion which initially gained Barry his speed.
During the recreation, Wally and Jesse Wells are both hit by the power of the explosion. That would be an ideal time to introduce both Kid Flash and Jesse Quick into speedsters of their own, right? Well, it didn’t happen. As season two came to a close, Kid Flash didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon.
So how did Kid Flash come to fruition? We won’t know for certain until season three of The Flash begins, but I’ve got a good guess. In the season two finale, after Zoom kills Barry’s dad, Barry goes back in time to save his dead mother from Reverse Flash.
It’s the TV show’s condensed version of Flashpoint, the popular DC Comics storyline from 2011 in which The Flash’s fudging of the timeline has serious real-world repercussions. (For instance, Thomas Wayne, not Bruce Wayne, is Batman.) The severity of the ripple effect is unknown, but it allows the creative team to shift things around.
I’d bet by going back in time, Barry changed the past so he was raised by his mother (and possibly father) instead of Joe. By doing so, perhaps Joe’s marriage stayed together and Wally was raised with him, eventually taking the path Barry Allen did. So instead of Allen being struck by lightning during the particle accelerator explosion, it was Wally West who was hit (although West would be too young to a forensic scientist).
The situation could be different, but the result might be the same with West substituting for Allen. If that sounds complicated, that’s because it is — it’s superhero time travel.
Perhaps Allen’s decision to save his mom has a minor impact and the particle accelerator recreation gives Wally his powers after not manifesting right away. I’m not inclined to believe that’s the case. Wally will be Kid Flash in the first episode of season three titled “Flashpoint,” so a timeline change would make much more sense. That is, unless there’s a jump in time from when Barry returns. Hopefully, Wally stays Kid Flash and his powers aren’t taken away when Barry corrects the timeline.
It’s exciting that we’ll see a new protagonist speedster on the show. Kid Flash is a massive part of the Flash universe and to see a small screen version of him is wicked. Season three, which premieres on Oct. 4, can’t come fast enough.