Will We Get A Black Wally West From DC Comics?

The Flash TV show is looking like giving us a more racially diverse central cast than we may have been expecting. Firstly we have

DETECTIVE WEST – Late 40s to Early 50s – African American -Detective West is an honest, blue-collar cop who's seen it all. A soulful, funny caring father to Iris, and a surrogate father to Barry, West came up through the foster system himself. He took in Barry after his mother's murder and his father's imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports Barry's efforts to prove his father's innocence.

IRIS – 22-28 – African-American – As smart as she is beautiful, Iris is in grad school studying psychology. She's also Barry's mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend. Her father, Detective West, took in Barry when his mother was murdered, and his father was wrongly accused and imprisoned for her murder. In a tough childhood for Barry, she was the one "not tough" thing. She's unaware of Barry's strong feelings for her.

Iris West and her father, both adoptive and real (from the 30th century) in the comics, were white.

Which means, while it is likely that Barry Allen will be white, with those surnames, when Wally West, Iris' nephew, Kid Flash and eventual inheritor of the Flash name turns up, he may well be a young black boy.

suxWhat does that mean for the comics? Well, we've already suggested that the upcoming Flash Annual may not actually have Wally West on the cover. And we've suggested that it may be the young kid in a hoodie seen spray painting the wall. His hands are white but… are they too white? Like he's wearing gloves?

Could Wally West, originally Kid Flash and nephew of Barry Allen and Iris West, be recreated as a young black kid, so as to match the upcoming TV series?

These kind of comics were made decades ago at a time when the leads and co-leads all had to be white. And there is a demand for those characters to appear in the multi-media adaptation decades later. But as a result, there has to be a little racebending to stop the Justice League looking like the Klu Klux Klan. Hence Pete Ross, Nick Fury, Perry White, Terry Fitzgerald and the like.

In a Newsarama interview, Brett Booth said "Be open to change and wait for things to play out a bit. I know everyone's first reaction is to flip out, myself included, but be patient" and "We're going to try to give him his own look. I can't give too much away about that."

I think we just have. Looks like we'll be finding out in April.

You know, we've speculated this kind of thing before.


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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