Wally West — the younger version — will get an unexpected motivation for becoming Kid Flash in DC's newly launched The Flash title, as the series heads into three issues focused on new villain Godspeed.
The series, written by Joshua Williamson, kicked off in June with a "Rebirth" issue that welcomed the other, older Wally West back into the DCU. But that character ran off to the new Titans series, while the younger Wally West remained in the The Flash, where he's being prepared to become Kid Flash — a heroic identity readers will soon see him carry in Teen Titans.
So far in the series, readers have been introduced to several new speedsters in Central City, including Meena Dhawan, who emerged as somewhat of a leader. But in The Flash #5 [spoilers!], readers saw the apparent death of Meena, just after she had started to mentor young Wally.
What comes next for the book, now that a promising new character appears to have died? And what comes next for Wally West? Newsarama talked with Williamson to find out more.
Newsarama: Josh, one of the themes of your run so far has been the idea of The Flash trying to do more than he can really handle. He had some help recently to get things done, but in The Flash #5 it became clear that there's just too much. I feel sorry for Barry. Are you trying to say the poor guy doesn't get a break?
Joshua Williamson: Yeah, that's exactly it. I mean, I feel like I relate a lot to Barry Allen. It's one of the things I've found in common with him. I know I try to do a lot. I'm always on the edge of spreading myself too thin. And I think that's very much Barry Allen.
Barry Allen wants to do everything. He really does. He wants to have it all. And not in a selfish way. And that's part of it. It's never about being selfish. He wants to help everyone.
And sometimes, as he's helping everyone, he kind of loses sight of everything. Stuff gets away from him.
In the first issue, Iris told him that. She said, you're becoming one of those people who tries to do everything and ends up getting nothing done. And that was something that Barry needed to learn. We're seeing that Iris was right from the beginning.
Nrama: There was an apparent death in issue #5. Can you confirm that she's dead, or not dead? Will we have to wait and find out if her story is really finished?
Williamson: That story is far from over. There's a lot that will happen in the future. I mean, we have plans for the book. It's all sort of a puzzle/tapestry that we're trying to build and with the story I want to tell.
So that beat will continue on for a while, and — without getting too much into spoilers — there's more we want to do with that particular character.
Nrama: That's good to hear, because the death might have been particularly hard for Wally, who seemed to finally find someone that might be able to help him with his transformation into Kid Flash. Can you talk about what's happening with him now?
Williamson: Yeah, it really is a transformation. When the series started, he wanted to help people, but he didn't feel like he was ready to be a hero. That was a big part of what was going on at the end of the previous run, as he was making this decision that he wasn't ready yet. He kind of wanted to live his life.
And so throughout the next few issues — and we talked about this back in the spring — it's not a secret that he's going to become Kid Flash.
What motivates him to become Kid Flash, the steps he takes, I think will surprise people. It's not going to be what you expect it to be.
Nrama: OK, because I was wondering if this death would be the motivation.
Williamson: It's not going to be as clear cut as tragedy. I didn't want it to be that. I wanted it to be more than that. I wanted to embrace something different, different ideas from what some other superheroes have done.
We'll see that in issue #6, #7 and #8. What actually does motivate him to become Kid Flash – again, I think it will surprise people.
Nrama: There have been several issues throughout the DCU where technology is showing up that DC characters don't recognize. That includes The Flash, in issue #5. Has there been some coordination on that?
Williamson: There's a very big story being told in the DC Universe. That's all I can tell you.
Nrama: You mentioned what's coming up for Wally. Anything else you can tell readers about what's coming up in The Flash?
Williamson: Godspeed! The next three issues are really emotional. Barry goes through some difficult times, and Godspeed is definitely a factor in that. Godspeed really — it'll be interesting what people think about Godspeed by the time they get to the end of issue #8, and Godspeed's relationship with Barry, what their thoughts on him is.
I was looking at issue #8 last week, and I was really excited about what we've built with Godspeed, so I'm excited to see what people think of it. These next three issues are very much about Godspeed.