The New Wally West

Changes to Our Heroes: The Wally West Effect

By: Dave Clark

A few years ago DC decided to reboot all of their titles (via The Flashpoint series.) It was a bold move and it did increase sales. It also increased my interest in a lot of books. Along the way they made some big changes, and continue to make changes to this day. They're taking the past and making it new again. Some of us seem to take offense to this. It's a lot like when a movie studio remakes a classic film. The internet is all a flutter with rage and hate when a reboot or remake hits the theaters and besmirches your favorite film's good name. But does it really hurt the classic film?

There's been an outcry recently due to DC's choice to bring Wally West into the fold in the New 52 era of comics. Fans of the Scarlet Speedster aren't upset that he's back...no no, they're upset because he's black. That's right! <sarcasmfont>How dare they?! How could they take a beloved character like Wally and make him anything but the Caucasian Justice Leaguer we all know and love?</sarcasmfont> The better question is...why not?

The new Wally West

It's not like this is the first time. Nick Fury was a white character for years until Marvel rebooted his origin story and made him African America in 2002. He was designed to look like the man portraying him now, Samuel L. Jackson. We're about to see a black actor portray Johnny Storm in the new rebooted Fantastic Four, played by the brilliant Michael B. Jordan. But people are still up in arms about that casting.

Barry Allen and Wally West

Look, its pretty simple, change is good, kids. Why not mix things up with our favorite heroes? Would I be upset if Bruce Wayne had been rebooted and made into a Chinese man? No. Why? Because he's STILL BRUCE FREAKIN' WAYNE! He's still Batman, and he's still punching bad guys in their dumb faces. There's no harm in changing the origins, back stories, and even races  or gender of our favorite characters. Why would you wanna read the same old boring stories? Wait...you can do that. Pick up your favorite Wally West books that portrayed him in the way you remember and love, and enjoy those stories. Just because there's a new version of your favorite character, movie, book, TV show, whatever, does NOT take away from the version that you love.

My point is this, the character's skin color or gender was not the reason you enjoyed the character. It was how that character acted, the things he or she did that got you hooked and made them heroes to begin with. Listen, you are all entitled to your own opinions, but you have to ask yourself...why are you really upset that the new Wally West isn't exactly the same Wally West you grew to love?

 

PS: Thanks Bee for the great pics!

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