The beginning of "Rebirth" might have seen the return of Wally West, but in the main The Flash title, Barry Allen has plenty of other speedsters keeping him busy, including the "New 52" version of Wally West.
As DC's "Rebirth" relaunch has reached its sixth month in December, several of the publisher's key titles are also reaching their twelfth issue. For The Flash, that led to some much anticipated reunions (particularly in this month's issue #12), as well as some new friends and foes.
In our ongoing series Rebirth Recon marking the 12-issue point of many "Rebirth" titles, Newsarama takes a look at what has happened in The Flash and what may be coming next for the Scarlet Speedster.
Speed Force Storm
In the first issue, readers are introduced to a new character - Detective August Heart, who's been friends with Barry since he asked for help solving the murder of his brother three years ago. There appears to be a break in the case when August comes across a villain named Doctor Carver who works with a terrorist organization called Black Hole - the organization utilizes a symbol that was painted near the murder site of August's brother.
But just when August is confronting Doctor Carver, something crazy happens... he's struck by lightning! Only this isn't your normal bolt of lightning. This is part of a storm that rained Speed Force-infused lightning on Central City and turned a few of its citizens into brand new speedsters.
Barry started working with these new speedsters - including August - so they can master their powers. (And incidentally, having a bunch of speedsters in town makes the Rogues decide to leave.) He ends up working with the new speedsters in the "S.T.A.R. Labs Speed Force Training Center," and one of the new speedsters, named Meena, runs it for Barry.
It turns out that Doctor Carver and Black Hole are responsible for the Speed Force Storm. Carver was a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who was fired because he was caught experimenting on the Speed Force - trying to weaponize it.
Three speedsters in custody at Iron Heights were killed by a new villain - someone calling himself Godspeed. They had their speed stolen by the new villain, and it killed them because the Speed Force Storm also caused some interesting science in the speedsters. Whenever the speedsters used their speed near one another, the Speed Force would start to lock together and recombine in only one of the speedsters - the one who was the fastest. Godspeed had evidently figured that out and started stealing the speed from others.
Carver gets taken down (after he tries using a Speed Force suit - not a good idea), but it takes a team of speedsters to do it, including August and Meena. And speaking of Meena, Barry tells her his secret identity and the two start a relationship.
Meanwhile, the new Wally West is also experimenting with his new-found speed powers, which eventually leads him to the Speedster Training Center and Meena. They start working together, but soon after, the Training Center is attacked by Godspeed.
So… many (but not all) of the new speedsters at S.T.A.R. Labs get their speed stolen by Godspeed, which means death. And Meena disappears - the only thing Barry finds after the attack is her costume. The speedsters want out of this deal - they understandably don't want to die.
Barry turns toward Iris and finds out that Wally has powers. (Yeah, yeah, we already knew that because of the "Rebirth" covers for Teen Titans, but Barry just found out.) Finally, by The Flash #7, Barry teams up with the younger Wally West - priming him for his Teen Titans role. But the other speedsters have had enough, and Barry starts taking away their powers (the nice way, beating them without killing them).
With the help of Iris, Barry eventually figures out that Godspeed is actually…August. He killed someone that he thought was responsible for his brother's death, and it basically turned him to the dark side. He stated that, with his powers, he's now "judge, jury and executioner," and he proves to be amazingly fast. When Black Hole take hostages, Godspeed murders them.
August takes his justice one step further and heads toward Iron Heights, intending to kill all the enemies of the Flash that are incarcerated there - including Zoom.
Wally shows up - they take down Godspeed together, and Wally gets his Kid Flash costume from the Speed Force. And in The Flash #9, both Wallys meet. (See our spoiler-filled summary of the issue for details on the two Wallys meeting.)
On the final page of The Flash #9, the helmet associated with former Flash character Jay Garrick showed up. Barry said that he saw the helmet when he was in the Speed Force. "I had one last vision… and I saw something in the Speed Force I don't think I was supposed to see," Barry says. "I don't know what it was but… it filled me with hope."
But Barry finds out that Dr. Carver wasn't the real leader of Black Hole, and that Meena is still alive. Readers were also shown at the end of The Flash #10 that there's a new, female, Robin Hood-type speedster in town. Is it Meena? Or might this be Jesse Quick?
In the last few issues of The Flash, the Shade has shown up, and Iris, Barry, and Wally all ended up being trapped in the Shadowland. Iris was possessed by the Shadows with the Shade's angry girlfriend Hope O'Dare, who was trying to rip open a gateway to Earth so the shadows could take over.
The Flash is refusing to tell Wally his secret identity, and it appears that Wally can disrupt the molecular bonding around him. But by working together, they defeat the Shadows and free Iris and Hope - the latter running off happy with Shade.
The happy ending for the Shade inspires Wally. At the end of The Flash #12, Barry finally - finally - asks Iris West out on a date.
Coming up next in the "Rebirth" version of The Flash, the Rogues are set to return in a storyline titled "Rogues Reloaded."
Look back at our other summations of "Rebirth" events on top DC characters: Batman & Detective Comics, Superman & Action Comics, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.