[Editor’s Note: This article was published after the Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 premiere, but given the events of The Flash’s “Luck Be a Lady,” it’s again a relevant question …]
It was fun to experience a Barry-less world to kick of The Flash Season 4, just because Barry had been such a nincompoop through most of the end of Season 3. And for all intents and purposes, the STAR Labs team seemed to be doing pretty well without him. Wally and Cisco had teamed up to use their speedster and Vibe powers to help bring down baddies that, along with Iris’s help, showed a true group effort that rarely occurs when Barry is around. But The Flash needs its Flash, and not a kid one evidently, so Barry returned and the dynamic went back to usual. Part of that also means that Wally West gets completely sidelined.
Remember in Season 3 when The Flash revealed that Wally was actually naturally faster than Barry? I thought, for a long time, that this would be what saved Iris — that it would be Barry learning to rely on others, and that with Savitar focused on The Flash, Kid Flash could zoom in (no pun intended) and save his sister. It didn’t play out that way, and the show is walking that fact back now that Barry has spent his sabbatical in the Speed Force (something Wally also did, if you remember). Now Barry is back to being faster than Wally, which makes sense, but it also leaves Wally’s position on the team in doubt yet again.
It was clear in Season 3 that the show had no idea what to do with Wally. Despite his talents as a speedster and his desire to help, he was constantly sidelined, ignored, and dismissed in favor of Barry. This was at a time, don’t forget, where Barry had literally fucked up all of time. And yet, Wally couldn’t be relied upon? (We also have not seen Wally time travel or do any of Barry’s tricks like the lightning bolt — something he should presumably have the power to do).
I’ve said in the past that Wally’s storyline feels like it would be more effective on an Earth where he could be The Flash, because it’s clear Earth-Prime has no real use for his powers. It would make sense, too, for him and Jesse to be off on another Earth together as a crime-fighting couple, much like Barry and Iris now seem set up to be.
And then we got a very interesting scene in the Legends of Tomorrow season premiere: as the Legends are sidelined after the return of Rip Hunter, we saw Nate back in Central City helping to fight crime (something that wasn’t addressed in The Flash and could very easily have been). But also helping out was … Wally West! Finally, he was allowed to be an effective speedster, even forgetting to “save some of the bad guys” for Nate. That’s when I had a moment of inspiration: why doesn’t Wally join the Legends? They don’t have a speedster, and let’s be honest: everybody needs a speedster. Plus, since they’re used to catapulting through time, his speedster abilities aren’t as overwhelming god-like as they are on shows like The Flash (and when The Flash crosses over with Arrow).
The main problem is that Legends of Tomorrow’s cast is already overcrowded and overly male dominated, especially now that Amara is gone. But what if Wally and Jesse showed up to help the Legends? Maybe not as regular cast members, but as special ops who they could call upon?
Regardless, I’m sold on the idea of Wally joining the Legends. His character is the happy-go-lucky type who would fit in well (since currently Ray, and sometimes Nate, are the only generally positive members of the team). His abilities wouldn’t crossover with anyone else’s, and he could potentially help mitigate some of the time anomalies the team causes by speeding backwards (or forwards) in time. It would bring a new dynamic to the team, but most of all, it wouldn’t waste his character.
Granted, The Flash has only aired one episode so far in Season 4, so there is still a long way to go. The series could rectify things with Wally the way it has with Iris, Caitlin, and others. But that little tease on Legends felt like such a good idea it couldn’t go unmentioned. What do you all think? Justice for Wally!
The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow both air Tuesdays on The CW.