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Characters / The Flash: Wally West

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Wallace Rudolph "Wally" West/Kid Flash I/The Flash III
Click here to see Wally as Kid Flash 
Click here to see his post-Flash: Rebirth appearance 
Click here to see his Rebirth appearance 

Alter Ego: Wallace Rudolph "Wally" West

Species: Metahuman

First Appearance: The Flash vol. 1 #110 (December 1959)

As a child, Wally West was the biggest fan of the second Flash. One summer, he went to stay in Central City with his aunt Iris, who was dating Barry Allen at the time. Barry then "introduced" the Flash to him, and the Flash then explained to Wally how he got his powers by setting up a cupboard of chemicals the exact way they were when he got them. In a huge Contrived Coincidence, lightning suddenly struck the chemicals and Wally was bathed in them, giving him the same powers as the Flash. The Flash then taught Wally everything he knew about Super-Speed and gave him the identity of Kid Flash. The Flash later revealed he was Barry to his nephew another summer. Wally would later become a founding member of the Teen Titans alongside the other sidekicks of the Justice League.

After Barry's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally took up the Flash as his new identity. Wally was initially a shameless womanizer and a jerk to most people, albeit one with a loyal heart who more often than not sought to redeem and help his villains rather then simply beat them up. He also operated with a public identity, which made him one of the world's most approachable heroes. He had much to learn, but after growing out of Barry's shadow and beginning a relationship with Linda Park, Wally became a much more mature hero, even surpassing his mentor in ability. At the same time, he formed the Flash Family, consisting of himself, Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Jesse Chambers and his cousin Bart Allen. He also found himself joining the Justice League in Barry's place, where he would strike up a friendship with fellow legacy hero Kyle Rayner, the then-newest Green Lantern.

Wally would face more hardship, but always worked to overcome it. He became a particular thorn in the side of Abra Kadabra, who descended into darker and darker schemes when trying to defeat Wally. Eventually, Wally and Linda married. Wally later had to face up to the fact that his mentor wasn't the golden idol he had thought him to be and fight a new Reverse-Flash who was a former friend of his. However, Wally would usually overcome the odds and, with the love of his wife and the aid of the Flash Family, pull through. Wally and Linda would eventually become parents to twins, Irey and Jai West.

After the universe-altering events of Flashpoint, Wally was still the first Kid Flash. However, Abra Kadabra, who remembered the pre-Flashpoint timeline, wanted revenge and wiped the world's memories of Wally and cast him into the Speed Force. Managing to hold onto his identity, Wally also learned of the alterations to the DC universe's timeline, seeing someone change the universe to its current state after Barry Allen had fixed the Flashpoint. This also led to him gaining some of his pre-Flashpoint memories and powers, and when Wally managed to return to reality with Barry's help, he warned the world's heroes about alterations to the timeline.

However, this would not be the end of Wally's struggles. While he remembered his relationship to his wife Linda Park, she did not, and thus he was stuck loving a woman who didn't feel the same way. What's more, he was then cruelly informed of details he didn't even remember, namely that he had children. His quest to find his children led him into conflict with Barry, but after struggling to cope with the idea that his children may have been lost, Barry took Wally to Sanctuary, a mental hospital for superheroes. This didn't help, and Wally had a breakdown caused by the poorly conceived therapy treatment. Later, the Speed Force had an accidental discharge through Wally, killing several heroes in his presence. Brainwashed by Eobard Thawne and having a psychotic episode, Wally tried to cover up the accident long enough to kill himself, but was talked down before he could.

Believing himself a Fallen Hero unworthy of redemption, Wally let himself rot in prison until he was recruited to save the multiverse, which ended in what Wally believed would be a Heroic Sacrifice as he sat upon the Mobius Chair and Tempus Fuginaut rescued his children and restored Linda's memories. Before he could fix the universe, Wally was robbed of this power by the Batman Who Laughs, and returned to rejoin Earth's heroes in fighting him off.

After all this, Wally was finally given a second chance. With Barry choosing to step down as Earth's Flash to assume a new duty for the multiversal team Justice League Incarnate, he trusted Wally to be the main Flash of the DC universe once again. After learning that he was not responsible for the massacre at Sanctuary, and relearning what it means to be the Flash, Wally West truly returned as the Fastest Man Alive.

Appearances in other media:

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  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • In the New Teen Titans series, he retired from his Kid Flash persona for several reasons. After Barry's death and Wally regaining his health at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, he came back to become The Flash. This part of his career is mostly ignored or modified Post-Crisis by linking it completely to his illness as this characterization of him clashes a lot with his overall personality.
    • After being left for dead by "Barry" during "The Return of Barry Allen", Wally also briefly considered retiring.
    • He later retired again after his wife's miscarriage, but that was mostly because when the Spectre wiped everyone's memory of his identity, he was affected as well. It was also short-lived.
  • Abusive Parents: Modern interpretations of his character portray Rudy and Mary West as emotionally abusive parents. Depending on the Writer, Rudy West can be even physically abusive. A while into his life as an adult, he's taken a more nuanced view of them as having their own reasons for acting the way they did, but still doesn't particularly like them. The Flash: Rebirth's origin reveals Wally is later taken into custody by Barry and Iris once his parents get divorced.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Early in his run, people are still used to calling Wally Kid Flash even though he now goes by the Flash.
  • The Ace:
    • Amongst Flashes, he has the best control of his powers with the only exception being his vibrational skills after Crisis. He just can't vibrate through solid objects without blowing them up. Depending on the Writer, he can manage it only if he focuses enough because it's not that he can't, his molecules are just charged with an immense power exceeding other speedsters, and it takes a lot of energy for him to control them. It's also impossible to cut him off from the Speed Force, as he was "chosen".
    • Oh and yeah, he's considered to be the fastest of all the Flashes. Even in Rebirth, he stated that he has beaten Barry in a race before, and when Barry recalls it, this was when he was Kid Flash! Superman note  later tells him that he's currently even faster than he was before. Later still, he manages to outpace Barry again, and Word of God even stated that Wally is the fastest speedster in the DCU. In Flash Forward, the multiversal guardian Tempus Fuginaut says Wally is the fastest being in all of existence.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Even though he is a Hot-Blooded Deadpan Snarker in comics, his fame as the "Fun Personified Flash" comes mainly from the DCAU version. It also helped that Kyle Rayner (who is more inexperienced than him) wasn't in the cartoons as a JL member and Wally was paired with the more serious John Stewart instead. His personality in the popular series influenced all speedster characters, such as Quicksilver from the X-Men movies and his mentor Barry Allen's modern interpretations.
  • All-Loving Hero: His life motto. He cherishes every moment he lives in and he owes a lot to his uncle for this outlook in his life. Notably, Wally had a strong tendency, even at his most dickish times, to sympathise with seek redemption for his villains rather than simply punishing them and forgetting. He befriended several of his early villains, particularly Chunk and Speed Demon, who both became close allies, along with several of the Rogues, and greatly disapproved of the methods employed by Iron Heights because he thought even supervillains deserved better.
  • All Your Powers Combined
    • To have a better fighting chance against Cobalt Blue and his puppets, Wally and Barrynote  arm themselves with several Rogues' weapons from the Flash Museum.
    • Jay and Bart pass their energy to Wally for his rematch with Zoom, rendering them powerless for a few hours. Even then, Wally still couldn't catch up to Zoom; it took Jesse showing up and giving her own energy (which apparently depowerednote  her) to make it an even match.
    • In Speed Metal, Barry gives his own speed so Wally can outrace the Darkest Knight.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Bart. There's a reason they didn't exactly become the next "Flash and Kid Flash". Wally admits that mentorship is not one of his stronger suits, and he more often than not ignored Bart. That said, the guy would practically freak whenever he heard Bart was in trouble. Wally grows out of this by the time Ace needs a new mentor, going instead to Big Brother Mentor.
  • Always Someone Better: For a long time he considered Barry to be better than himself, to a degree that he mentally limited himself to the speed of sound for a while. It took him a lot of Character Development to consider himself as equal to him (or even surpass him).
    • Addressed again in Speed Metal with a case of Leaning on the Fourth Wall mixed in. note . Wally accomplished huge feats on his own and with others, things that Barry simply never had. Yet, upon Barry's return Wally found himself pushed back into the role of "second" by many. Barry never intended that but Wally was overshadowed regardless. As Barry notes it was made worse since Flashpoint happened not long after Barry came back and Wally primarily remembers a life Barry is still missing many pieces of, they haven't had a lot of opportunities to bond as equals. Speed Metal then ends with Barry stepping aside as a leader because Wally doesn't need to be in anyone's shadow.
    • Ironically, Wally himself was very much this to Bart and Jesse, who separately struggled with being unable to keep up with him. Bart's early tenure as the Flash when Wally disappeared had him often angsting about living up to his example in a similar manner Wally could sometimes be like towards Barry's, and Jesse quietly resented being unable to catch up to him.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Of the Speed Force, in Kingdom Come.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The biggest fan of Flash II, he later became his sidekick, and later, the Flash III.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: As a child, he struggled with this, struggling to keep his head out of the clouds, which was a frequent cause for his dad's more violent outbursts.
  • Attention Whore: Growing up with Parental Neglect, he was more than happy with using his powers to seek popularity. He had all the media's attention on him, and winning the lottery at age 20 was the cherry on top. In the teams he was in, he sometimes clashed with younger heroes out of jealousy. After he fell in love with Linda, he grew out of his childish behaviors eventually.
  • Audience Surrogate: As an Ascended Fanboy he represents all fans who always wanted to be a superhero. Plays it completely straight in DC Rebirth for the fans who were unsatisfied with the New 52, including the writer Geoff Johns himself.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: As the first Titan to graduate into the Justice League, he is portrayed as the youngest member of the team. In the comic books, even the legendary superheroes like Superman admit Wally's Kid Sidekick and Titans career made him a thoroughly experienced superhero worthy of standing next to the likes of Wonder Woman and Batman. When Kyle Rayner joins, he instead takes the role due to being truly inexperienced compared to everyone else.
  • Badass Boast: He loves giving these and uses it at every opportunity he gets.
    "Keystone is under the protection of a man who can throw haymakers like machine-gun fire...who can create cyclones with a wave of his arm...who can outrun gravity. Keystone is my city."
    To Vandal Savage: People told me I could be as fast as Barry! I just had to believe it! Well, I believe it now! Go on, shoot!
  • Befriending the Enemy: He befriends Pied Piper who later on becomes one of his closest allies. Same goes for Chunk as well, who was Blessed with Suck. Most the of the Rogues develop into Friendly Enemy territory after a while, and even though this was reverted for a while, Wally still admits he doesn't hate the Rogues or even his Evil Former Friend Zoom for that matter. He usually seeks out to redeem his enemies and gives them a second chance. He wouldn't call them a friend, but this even extends to Kilg%re, a sentient alien computer virus that wanted to eat America, but ended up coming to view Wally as a Worthy Opponent, and even saved his life.
  • Berserk Button:
    • During his period with Justice League International, being compared to Barry, especially by Ralph. In general Barry is a frequent berserk button of his, especially when he was dead. You want a low blow? Bring up Barry and watch how quick things get ugly.
    • Linda and his kids, naturally, are also now a big one. Pre-Flashpoint, he could turn ugly if they were harmed or threatened, in fact it was protecting Linda that first gave him the fire to fight Eobard Thawne on his own. After Flashpoint, his kids' safety became such a sour point he came to blows with Barry.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Wally is generally distinguished among the Flash legacies for two primary factors: Firstly for being the fun one, and secondly, for being the most powerful. While all the Flashes are a Person of Mass Destruction thanks to the sheer power the Speed Force grants, Wally pushes it to near Physical God levels; he can run through time and space and even reality without outside assistance, can manipulate the speed of anything/anyone around him to either strip bullets of their momentum or grant temporary super speed to others, and is powerful enough to overwhelm devices designed to drain his powers. Its actually because of his lighthearted nature why he's able to do this; any other speedster risks running into the Speed Force if they tap into too much of its power, but Wally has mastered tethering himself to reality through The Power of Love so he can use as much of it as he wants so long as he and his wife still love each other.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • As much as Bart annoys him, you better never cause his cousin harm. When Inertia led the Rogues to murder Bart, Wally decides not to kill him and instead steal all the speed from Inertia's body, turning him into a living statue. His initial plan was to splatter him on a mountain.
    • Him and Jesse Chambers are rather close in age, but he extends a similar protectiveness over her. He recognises that Jesse appears to have very few friends outside of her employees so he invites her onto the Titans and brings her to sporting events with Linda so she has something of a social life.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • He tried at times to be this for Bart and Jesse, but neither worked out well, since it more often than not was him being very hands-off.
    • Thanks to his Character Development over the years, he manages to be a better mentor to his other cousin, Wallace West... by doing the same thing, but with more direction. He forces Wallace to think on his feet and supports him while he comes up with solutions, as opposed to spoon feeding him any. While it's clear Wally could solve problems himself, he gives Ace the chance to try things out himself. It's actually a more positive experience for Wallace than his mentorship under Barry, which in contrast to Wally, didn't involve as much trust.
  • Big Eater: During his early days as the Flash, he had to consume high levels of calories to keep going on. Once he became one with the Speed Force, this need was no longer in effect, but Wally just loved eating food, anyway.
    Linda: I thought you didn't need to eat like that any more?
    Wally: I don't need to. I want to.
  • Book Dumb: Played with mostly because this trait changes Depending on the Writer. Wally isn't a scientist like his mentor or the first Flash however he has enough smarts to get himself out of troubling situations. On the other hand, he is a college drop out and usually received as not being smart enough by the people around him.
  • Brains and Brawn: Brawn to Barry's brains.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's not really interested in science but he's a pretty damn fast thinker and a very fast learner thanks to his speed.
  • Breakout Character: And how. First created to be a temporary placeholder, he managed to keep the Flash mantle for over 20 years. He's arguably the only (ex-)sidekick whose popularity holds up equally against his mentor's. Before The Flash (2014), he was even more popular with the help of his acclaimed cartoon appearances. After his erasure from the DCU, some fans even actively boycotted Flash books and DC to the point where having a Flash discussion without mentioning Wally was impossible. When his initial introduction in the New 52 was received very poorly, DC not only decided to bring him back to continuity in all his glory but also made an entire event centred around his return. Right now he's co-leading Titans (a team he was barely a side character in before, once he became the Flash) with his best friend Dick Grayson to fix the fallout of Flashpoint, the story that wiped him from existence in the first place.
  • Broken Ace: He is portrayed as one since DC Rebirth. His entire life as the Flash is erased and he's forgotten by his loved ones and yet he is also stated to be connected with Speed Force more than ever now.
  • Broken Pedestal
    • He was the most skeptical of Barry's return, until he saw Barry visiting Iris's grave. Then Barry left him behind in a trap; while Wally manages to escape on his own he crossed the Despair Event Horizon. Once he finally learned that Professor Zoom is actually impersonating Barry, it becomes a Rebuilt Pedestal.
    • The events of Identity Crisis (2004) fractured Wally's view of his mentor once more, and more or less of certain members of the Justice League as well, for lobotomizing Doctor Light (and Barry was the deciding vote), as well as what Barry did to The Top.
    • Though he initially didn't blame Barry for Flashpoint, becoming aware of the full scale of the damage to him personally it caused, his and Barry's working relationship became very strained, not helped by Barry having quietly Took a Level in Jerkass.
    • Wally himself was the one on the pedestal for Bart and Jesse during Terminal Velocity, the latter moreso, as his treatment of them (which included an Operation: Jealousy gambit to make Bart take his duties more seriously by falsely giving Jesse the mantle of the Flash) caused a significant fracture in their working relationship, though it healed by the time the Black Flash happened.
  • The Bus Came Back: DC Rebirth shows the original Wally is still around—and the New 52 Wally is a younger cousin, not a Race Lifted version of Wally.
  • Butt-Monkey: Big time. Wally's had it rough even worse than his predecessors; be it during his career as the main Flash or what comes after. It unfortunately doesn't help that he's been subject to huge Executive Meddling; he's still struggling as a character both in universe and out of universe.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: He doesn't use it often, but Wally was trained by Johnny Quick on how to use his Speed Formula, 3X2(9YZ)4A, that himself and his daughter Jesse used. As Wally has super-speed without it, it's effects differ for him, granting him such a monumental speed boost time freezes and he becomes so fast, light can't catch up enough for him to see colour. Wally can run to these speeds without it, but normally he'd be sucked into the Speed Force or end up breaking into the time stream, so it seems it works as something of a means to tether himself while using those speeds, or subconsciously push him to the edge of his abilities (the latter lines up with how the formula is explained to work).
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: This is how his backstory for becoming Flash plays out. Due to health issues, Wally leaves superheroics behind and decides to focus more on things like his college works and his girlfriend instead. Even though he even refuses to suit up for the Crisis, a woman named Harbinger comes to his house along with Jay to give him the news of Barry being kidnapped by the Anti-Monitor, and tells Wally that his powers are crucial to defeating the villain. Wally travels to the Anti-Matter universe with the hopes of finding Barry, but unfortunately for him, it's too late for his mentor...and thus the most iconic Taking Up the Mantle moment happens.
  • The Casanova: With regular women, but he was more a Casanova Wannabe (with Power Girl and Fire) in Justice League International.
  • Cast from Calories: He had to take in high levels of nutrition to recharge himself. He overcame this weakness later but since he was a Big Eater at heart, he didn't stop eating inhuman levels of food.
  • Catchphrase: "My name is Wally West. I'm the Fastest Man Alive."
  • Characterization Marches On: As stated in 10-Minute Retirement above, his overall personality and stable family life in the New Teen Titans series is mostly ignored or retconned Post-Crisis due to clashing with his jovial and friendly portrayal in general.
  • The Charmer: To a degree where his friends nicknamed it "The West Charm".
  • Chick Magnet: Especially right after becoming The Flash, he was considered to be very popular around women. Even after his marriage, women were shown to be attracted to him, like the villainess Cheetah in a Wonder Woman crossover.
    • Before settling down with Linda Park (and even at times after this), Wally's been teased with a lot of love interests, some of whom never making it to genuine couple territory. Early on in New Teen Titans he was in love with Raven, and after Rebirth retconned it to have briefly dated Omen, then dated his neighbour Frankie Kane, which ended when he became The Flash. He briefly dated Dr. Tina McGee, then hooked up with an actress named Connie, though due to their relationship being open, he was teased with Power Girl, Icicle's granddaughter, and Golden Glider. When he was still yet to start dating Linda, he was teased with then-just debuting Jesse Quick, and later had it established she was carrying a torch for him. Both Max and Jay expressed thinking they'd have been a cute couple, and then long after this during Rebirth he was teased with Donna Troy after Linda forgot about him. This is all without getting into his Silver Age adventures, where Wally had a different girl he was romancing in just about every appearance.
  • Childish Older Sibling: Well, cousin, but this is Wally's status when he's with Wallace. He's very flippant and casual about his superhero work, in contrast to Wallace who is more highly strung. However, it's fairly obvious that this is Wally's way of mentoring Wallace — by giving him the reins and forcing him to think on his feet, rather than spoon feed him any solutions. Also, he just likes to tease Wallace a lot.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Ironically, despite his aforementioned status above, he's often been depicted as being oblivious to when women like him. When he first meets Jesse Quick, she even ends it basically asking him to come by Gotham (where she was studying) so they could hook up, but he interpreted her comment about coffee literally and sped off with a joke. When they next met, he indicated he hadn't kept in contact with her and wasn't aware of the fact she was crushing on him.
  • Coming of Age Story: His transition from being Kid Flash into being the Flash played out like this, and his career as the Flash was his transition into full maturity (well, once he met Linda, anyway).
  • Conflicting Loyalty: When the Justice League and the Titans find themselves on opposing sides of an argument on what to do with an apparent Alien Invasion (especially when they learn that the invader in question is Cyborg, back when he merged with an alien Hive Mind), Wally has to choose which side he is on: his current team, or the old one, respectively. When Wally chooses the Titans, Kyle Rayner calls him out on this.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Wally West is very different from Barry Allen, despite attempts to make Barry resemble Wally since. While Barry is a straight-laced Science Hero, Wally was a hot-headed Deadpan Snarker Determinator, and while Barry mostly worked alone outside of Wally, Wally himself would surround himself with companions. In a lot of ways, Barry was very much a 'super-cop', approaching the situation like it was a case and arresting the bad guys, while Wally was more a 'super-social worker', prefers Befriending the Enemy and solving the reasons behind their crimes than just fight themnote . There's also that Barry was vocally very conservative in his political views and butted heads with Green Arrow over it, while Wally, by the time he was the Flash, was a centrist who ended up moving to the left thanks to his friendship with the socialist liberal Pied Piper influencing his views.

  • Dead Guy Junior: Retconned in Rebirth to be named after his great-grandfather.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Part of his trademark personality. He especially uses a lot of snark in his narration boxes.
  • Decoy Backstory: During the New 52, DC Comics race lifted Wally West from a white ginger to a half-black brunette. In Rebirth they retconned that away. It turns out that the biracial Wally is a relative of the original Wally who shares his name.
  • Demoted to Extra: He was hit with this pretty hard. When Final Crisis brought Barry Allen Back from the Dead, he took the book back from Wally, and although they both remained active as the Flash, Wally only made two appearances in the Flash series after that point and was effectively reduced to appearing in crowd shots.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • For his relationship with Barry and Iris: Either he simply lives close by and visits them often, is there for the summer, or was sent there for a time in hopes Iris could "correct" his behavior. Pre-Crisis, they were just his aunt and uncle, post-Crisis, he was all but adopted by them after his parents' divorce.
    • His intelligence is also the most inconsistent among Flashes. Writers like Geoff Johns and Mark Waid prefer to portray him as a college drop-out Book Dumb with only his fast mind allowing him to keep up with more complex matters. Sometimes he's a clever boy, but he's not overly interested in a field of science. Some writers show him as an exceptional engineer with huge interest in physics. The general interpretation tends to be he is naturally gifted and intelligent but never pursued a career in science so his intelligence is untapped.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Wally's canonically a redhead, but it's fluctuated outright red, orange, strawberry blond, or even outright blond like Barry. His eye color is also supposed to be green, but he's been depicted with blue eyes.
    • While he started out in an outfit with Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery in The Flash (Infinite Frontier), it alternated between his early-to-mid '90s costume or a bright version of the one he gained in the 2009 The Flash: Rebirth until, between Fernando Pasarin taking over as artist and guest spots, cemented the latter as the default choice. Unlike previous instances of Wally's look changing, he wasn't forming one out of the Speed Force with this.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Flash War, Heroes in Crisis, and Flash Forward are a three-part one. Having him rediscover his children, subsequent breakdown, be sent to a mental health facility, before an accident results in the death of many other patients and Wally has a complete psychotic break, before he's roped into saving the multiverse, ultimately sacrificing his sense of self. This leads him to wanting to quit being a superhero for the sake of his family and his own health, but once he learns that he wasn't responsible for the events at Sanctuary and is encouraged to keep on going by Roy Harper, Wally overcomes it.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: His backstory. Then out of a lightning bolt, everything changed.
  • Determinator: Very very persistent when it comes to fighting and a very stubborn individual in his private life. As long as his loved ones believe in him, he can even beat Death itself to come back home. Even being erased out of reality won't stop him if his loved ones are in danger. This is his driving force after Flashpoint; he refuses to fade into the Speed Force until he manages to bring his message to the world. And when Linda doesn't recognize him, he goes straight into Heroic BSoD until Barry saves him.
  • Dork Knight: More notable during his early career as The Flash.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: During the Dark Flash storyline, the "Professor Zoom" that teamed up with Abra Kadabra and Replicant is revealed to be actually Wally himself, in a plan (that the rest of the supposedly captured Flash family, even Dark Flash, are in on) to undo Kadabra's Ret-Gone spell on Linda. It was also probably Wally's way of paying Kadabra back for pulling a similar trick during Barry's time.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Not dorky to the extent of his cousin Bart or his mentor Barry, but he still managed to be a cutely awkward child as Kid Flash during the Silver Age. He carries over his kid sidekick silliness to his Flash persona later on.
    Wally: It worked!! Go Team Flash!
    Barry: And you call me a dork.
  • Experienced Protagonist: When his Flash run started, he had been through several years as Kid Flash and saving the world together with the Teen Titans.
  • Face Death with Dignity: At the end of DC Universe: Rebirth, Wally loses all hope of reconnecting with the universe after finding out his wife and lightning rod Linda Park no longer remembers him. He accepts his ultimate fate of fading into the Speed Force forever and uses his last willpower to give a farewell to Barry. Barry remembers his surrogate son and manages to pull him out of the Speed Force after hearing these words:
    Wally West: Every second was a gift. That's why I won't die in anguish, I'll go with love in my heart.
  • Farm Boy: He grew up in a small town named Blue Valley in Nebraska.
  • Female Gaze: Oh, but of course.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ginger, passionate, stubborn and the most impatient man alive. His biggest weakness is his terrible temper, as he also admits to himself.
    Wally: Superman has Kryptonite, Martian Manhunter has I have a temper.
  • First Person Smart Ass: If you are reading a Flash comic starring him, expect his narrations to bring out his Smug Super side.
    Wally: [after throwing Mongul into a sewer pipe] I call the cops or the sanitation department?
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: He hates the Wests, with the exception of his Aunt Iris, who he considers the first person to ever love him. He builds a family of his own once he becomes a superhero and cuts all his connections with his parents after that. Before his wedding, he does everything in his power to prevent invitations from being sent to Mary and Rudy, but that doesn't work well for him unfortunately.
  • Fun Personified:
    • Also known as "The Funny Flash". He's always on the thrill-seeking side of superheroics unlike Barry and Jay, and he is not afraid of showing how much he enjoys having super speed powers. His portrayal across all media and his youthful touch helped define the Flash in the modern day. If Jay Garrick defined Flash's powers and Barry Allen laid down the basic origin story and the setting, then to many Wally West defined the Flash's personality.
    • As stated by Mark Waid himself:
    Wally is one of the few guys in comics who gets up every morning and says, “My God, I have the greatest job on Earth. I can’t wait to be Flash today.” That is core to Wally’s personality.
  • Generation Xerox: He and Kyle Rayner are this to Barry and Hal Jordan.
  • A God I Am Not: Wally disgustedly rebuffs Cicada's claims that the Flash is a symbol of a cult's worship.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: A famous issue with him features Wally crashing into a Rogues party. Not that they invited him on purpose, but they had fun together neverthless.
  • Good Is Not Soft: A Fiery Redhead with terrible temper is the kind you wouldn't like to mess with. If you harm, or try to harm, any member of his family or True Companions, he will hunt you to the end of creation and thrash you. Very soundly. Examples:
  • Guile Hero: Using his wits in a pinch is something Wally has even before becoming Kid Flash: when he first came to Central City, Wally sees a gang of robbers getting the drop on the Flash. He took a wrench from a mechanic and busts a nearby fire hydrant open, distracting the robbers long enough to help the Flash get his second wind. In general, there are a lot of cases where Wally wins by merely outsmarting his enemies.
  • Handsome Lech: Before settling down with Linda.
  • Happily Married: With Linda Park before Flashpoint.
  • Have We Met Yet?: In DC Rebirth, he approaches Linda to ground himself back into reality again. Unfortunately for him, Linda doesn't recognize him because she's never met him in this timeline before.
  • Headbutting Heroes: With Kyle Rayner when they were both on the JLA. Wally saw Kyle as a newcomer taking on a very prestigious name, whereas Kyle thought similar of Wally taking the Flash identity. That and they were kinda just jerks to each other. Didn't stop them working with each other pretty well, though.
  • The Heart: First for the Flash family. Later he takes the torch from Barry and grows into this role for the Justice League. Eventually, he becomes the heart for the entire DCU thanks to his brighter personality. During DC Rebirth, it's shown that the DCU became a Darker and Edgier place in the absence of Wally and his return is heavily promoted as the return of the "love, hope and legacy" to DC. In the follow-up Titans series, it's established that he was also this for the Titans, keeping the team together and helping each member with their personal problems.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • He went through this during The Return of Barry Allen when "Barry" abandons him and leaves him for dead, with Wally spending weeks a drunk, depressed mess. He recovers, thankfully, after discovering "Barry" is actually Eobard Thawne.
    • The entirety of DC Universe: Rebirth. Especially after Linda tells Wally that she doesn't remember him, he's devastated enough to just go find Barry and speak to him one last time before he's pulled back into the Speed Force.
    • Flash War and everyone onward ends up being a lengthy one. When Wally appears in Dark Nights: Death Metal, he's just tired.
  • He's Back!:
    • Most famously, he considered giving up the superhero life after he was betrayed by "Barry", but Wally immediately bounced back once he learns he was just an impostor. It also happens every time he's lost in the Speed Force. The first time, Max Mercury was adamant that nobody could return from the Speed Force, and Wally is the first to do so because of his love for Linda. The second time, he's able to connect to Linda despite her being removed from reality by Abra Kadabra. The third time, he and Linda disappeared and turned up on an alien planet, returning thanks to the Legion of Super-Heroes. DC Rebirth had him lost to the Speed Force thanks to Abra Kadabra once again, but in a meta-sense, he became the pre-Flashpoint Wally complete with his memories, and returned thanks to Barry.
    • Speed Metal does this in a different way; after the Trauma Conga Line that he'd suffered the last decade, Wally retakes his position as the lead Flash, complete with returning him to his 90s suit, and has him reunited with the full Flash Family (who all happily rally behind him and follow his lead).
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: When he first became the Flash he was rife with this. Never being able to see himself living up to Barry's legacy, he was haunted by nightmares of Barry being ashamed of him and as a result, he mentally limited himself to the speed of sound for a long time. After the famous The Return of Barry Allen story, he was finally able to make peace with himself.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With Dick Grayson a.k.a. Nightwing, Pied Pipernote , and, once they've ironed out their differences, Kyle Rayner.
    • His post-Rebirth relationship with Barry is also this. The two are now closer in age somewhat, so there's a general lack of seniority. As things develop, Barry becomes increasingly written as Older Than He Looks so this is returns closer to their surrogate father-son depiction.
  • Hot-Blooded: Out of the 3 main Flashes (Jay, Barry and Wally), he is the one with the greatest passion. Especially when it comes to speed, his eyes see nothing else. He's even admitted his Fatal Flaw is his temper, as he's prone to not thinking when he's mad.
  • Humble Hero: Once he got over his cockiness, he morphed into this. In fact, he's admitted to feeling uncomfortable with the Flash Museum as a concept, because he doesn't think he should be worshipped for just doing the right thing with his powers. Which is ironic since he himself worshipped and idolised Barry and Jay.
  • Humble Pie: His entire character arc from lottery winner billionnaire turning into blue collar All-Loving Hero is one big journey.

  • Iconic Sequel Character: See Breakout Character above.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Nothing much is made of it, but Wally has amazing aim; he's shown several times hitting small, moving targets from a great distance away using objects that are really not designed to be thrown, and with his super-speed, he throws them with the speed of machine gun fire.
  • Inner Monologue: He is the first Flash to use inner monologues. Mark Waid took them to a new level and made them an essential part of the Flash mythos, though Messner-Loeb did use them quite a bit beforehand. A huge part of DC Rebirth's critical success owes a lot to his narration as Audience Surrogate.
  • It's Personal: With Hunter Zolomon, the second Reverse-Flash.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His Fiery Redhead personality usually makes him clash with people easily. After Iris and Barry's deaths, he grew more bitter and started acting out. However, Wally is still a Nice Guy at heart, especially after receiving character development.
  • Jumped at the Call: He loved getting the chance to run with the Flash and later be his sidekick. Even looking back on his life, he's always said it's the greatest life he could've asked for.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: One of the most iconic examples in comics today.
  • Kid Sidekick: Started as Kid Flash.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He's an Ascended Fanboy who got to be on par with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Can you blame him?
  • Legacy Character: Arguably the most successful and the longest lasting one. He's referred as the embodiment of legacy in the DCU to a point that his return was used to mark an entirely new era for the universe that will re-establish legacies. Wally himself acknowledges his legacy status frequently, seeing it as his duty and honor to fil his uncle's shoes. Barry meanwhile very much considers Wally to have become an equal to the point of railing against it when Batman and Aquaman (not long after Wally's return and without having pre-Flashpoint memories) insist on treating Wally as a sidekick.
  • Legacy Immortality: Zig-zagged. He makes Barry's death public right after taking on the mantle, but his biggest reason to put on the costume is to prevent Barry's legacy from being forgotten.
  • Lemony Narrator: A big part of why Wally's Inner Monologue was so iconic, his trademark snark didn't subside as he narrated the story. He'd mock and ridicule bad guys, lampshade the situation, and quite often insult himself during his narration.
  • Likes Older Women: Something Wally himself has noted. Linda is a couple years older than him (it's not specified, but she appears to have been in her late 20s, possibly early 30s, when he was in his early-mid 20s). Before her, he dated Tina McGee, who was an older married woman whom he was much too young for, which caused them to break up. It's also been confirmed a few times that he had a crush on Wonder Woman when he was Kid Flash.
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Linda Park and Barry Allen are his two crutches throughout his life. Only these two are capable of giving him a Heroic Second Wind or a full out Heroic BSoD.
    • Wally himself is one for Barry, to the point of grounding him even from outside of reality when Barry was racing the Black Racer during "The Darkseid War". Later on, Wally's departure for the Titans causes Barry to feel extremely lonely, enough for Barry to seek a Replacement Goldfish in the form of August Heart. Wally is probably the first person Barry shares his loneliness with so he will always be someone special to him.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A male version. He was this to Linda Park, as she had more fun with her life after meeting him. Though he does move out of this, since she taught him responsibility and how to be an adult.
  • The McCoy: In Justice League and Titans when a Bat-characternote  is concerned. Wally is one of very few superheroes who can say What the Hell, Hero? against Batman's face without fear.
  • Morality Chain: He develops into one for Hunter Zolomon, who almost lost everything in his life until meeting Wally. But the chain gets broken irreparably when Hunter is paralyzed by Grodd and Wally refuses to undo it via time travel; thus Hunter takes the fall and becomes his Evil Counterpart.
  • Morality Pet:
    • He has three: the first person to ever love him and his life idol Iris West, his parental figure and mentor Barry Allen and the love of his life Linda Park. The last two also double as Living Emotional Crutches as well.
    • Wally is this for Dick before Flashpoint. Dick's biggest fear was becoming more like Batman and Wally made it his own mission as a friend to keep him in line since their childhood. He helps Dick to recruit the Titans again, even though he's too busy with his JLA duties, just so Dick can be in a more friendly environment.
    • He is also this for the former Rogue, Pied Piper.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He really loves showing off his body a lot. Notably, it was Wally who had the Flash's lightning belt swapped from a single one-way bolt into two symetrical bolts connecting in the centre, which helpfully points to his crotch and emphasises his butt. His costume is also noticeably more skin-tight than Barry's.
  • My Greatest Failure: He has two, both involving a Face–Heel Turn:
    • Ex-girlfriend Frances Kane, who he pushed to go into super-heroics but who would go on to become Magenta.
    • Police profiler Hunter Zolomon, because he refused to use Time Travel to help fix his lost ability to walk, and Zolomon would go on to become the second Zoom because of it.
    • Heroes in Crisis provided a newer, much worse one, when he suffers a nervous breakdown after experiencing the combined trauma of every superhero/villain who's ever been in Sanctuary, the Speed Force inside him erupts that kills the heroes/villains by electrocution who had been in his presence when it happened. His subsequent psychotic break, where he arranged an overly-complicated suicide attempt, demonstrates just how much this messed him up (though it's later revealed that Eobard Thawne manipulated him into doing this).
  • Nephewism: After his parents' divorce, he was taken into custody by his Aunt Iris and Uncle Barry.
  • Nerf:
  • Nice Guy: Par the course for Flashes, though at the beginning of his career as the Flash, Wally was more than a little bit of a dick. He comes around eventually, and was said to be one of the most approachable heroes in the DCU. Geoff Johns' characterisation of Wally during his run specifically focused on his approachable working class guy nature, depicting him as being on first-name basis with much of the city.
  • Not Himself: As revealed later, Wally's actions in Flash War and Heroes in Crisis were the result of Eobard Thawne manipulating him with the Negative Speed Force, driving him to act in a way he wouldn't normally.

  • Opening Narration: "My name is Wally West. I'm The Fastest Man Alive. I'm The Flash."
  • Papa Wolf: To his kids Jai and Iris. When Gorilla Grodd seemingly killed his daughter, he nearly broke his no-killing rule. He also has shades of this to Bart.
  • Parental Neglect: In the Lighter and Softer versions of his Post-Crisis origins, his parents are not downright abusive but instead too selfish to commit their parental duties.
  • Personality Powers: He is very hotheaded and impulsive. This is actually weaponised by the Rogues and other villains, who take advantage of the fact Wally runs first, thinks later, to catch him by surprise.
  • Platonic Life-Partners:
    • Downplayed compared to her relationship with Dick, but Wally is probably Donna Troy's second-closest male friend. Their friendship actually saved her as his memories of her were what allowed her to avoid being retconned out of existence.
    • Him and Jesse Chambers are extremely close, especially as they're Birds of a Feather regarding being speedsters who look up to their fallen mentor/father figures, are the two speedsters closest in age, and Wally is constantly looking out for Jesse. This was decidedly not platonic on her side, which caused her a great deal of pain due to Wally only having eyes for Linda, though she got over it and comforted Wally when he thought Linda was dead.
  • The Power of Friendship: A firm believer in this, making a stark difference between him and Barry's Socially Awkward Hero. During his Flash run, he works as a unit with other speedsters and always surrounds himself with his other superhero friends. After DC Universe: Rebirth, the first thing he does is to recruit his old Titans team to fight against the time thief who altered reality. It only makes sense that this guy's BFF is Dick Grayson.
  • The Power of Love: A reccurring theme with Wally, Linda, and the Speed Force. Until it doesn't work in DC Rebirth. It's Barry's fatherly love for him that saves him this time.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Downplayed, but he admitted that as Kid Flash, he would use his super-speed to discreetly check out attractive girls. He stopped when Wonder Woman noticed thanks to her own lower-level super-speed, and the look she gave him made him feel extremely guilty for it.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage:
    • During his stint with the New Teen Titans, Wally was plagued with doubts and questions about whether he wanted to even be a superhero anymore, which caused his powers to malfunction. (Raven tampering with his head in order to get him to join the team probably didn't help).
    • His Heroic Self-Deprecation caused him to mentally limit himself to the speed of sound for a while.
  • Really Gets Around: Before his marriage. Within the span of only the first 10 issues of his Flash run, he slept with over 10 ladies!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: When he is paired with Nightwing, he takes on the Red role. He is more sensitive, Hot-Blooded and prone to making emotional outbursts compared to Dick Grayson of all people, which should tell you a lot about his character.
  • Ret-Gone: When it comes to the New 52, he's the one that was most often cited. That becomes a plot point in DC Rebirth, as he tries to come back into reality again.
  • The Reveal: DC Rebirth reveals that this Wally is still around and the New 52 Wally is in fact a younger cousin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Following Bart's death, the first thing a heartbroken Wally does is to find the one responsible for his death, Inertia. Inertia realizes something is wrong when he turns around and sees a red tornado is chasing him. He goes from shock, thinking Bart's alive to horror when he figures out that he's being chased by an ANGRY Flash. Wally grabs him and just runs across the planet, almost splattering Inertia against a mountain and draining him of every ounce of speed in his body, leaving him a permanent statue. Then he places the said statue in the Flash Museum opposite Bart's memorial.
  • Screw Destiny: It's mentioned that "The Life Story of the Flash" biography Eobard Thawne left behind has a section dedicated Wally West. It doesn't matter to Wally if he can read it (most of it was already destroyed), Wally chooses not to so he doesn't have to learn what happens to him in the future.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Funnily enough, when he first met the Flash, he wanted Iris to dump that loser Barry Allen and get with the Flash.
    • In Nightwing #91, Wally confirms that he ships Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, and encourages Dick to give his relationship with Barbara a chance.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: What you get when it works. When Barry came back, he still kept his identity as the Flash. He was erased out of reality to pull in this effect and it still didn't work - Wally still managed to come back and reclaim his title as the Flash five years later. It says something that he's surpassed Barry so much that when adaptations focus on Barry, they constantly take inspiration from Wally and write Barry as a Composite Character.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: He's one of the more popular and stronger heroes of the DCU and the fastest of Flashes.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Wally used to be a bit of a skirt-chaser, but after he began seriously dating Linda Park, he lost interest in anyone else. When she seemingly died, he remained depressed until she came back. When she was erased from reality, Wally believed he had simply lost interest in relationships and despite egging from Jay that he should ask out Jesse, they remained Just Friends. After coming back from Flashpoint and Rebirth, Wally's not moved on from Linda, and though he shares a kiss with Donna during a moment where they're both in need of comfort, nothing more happens. Hell, when he meets an alternate universe version of Linda who is into him, he chooses not to pursue anything with her because she's not his Linda.
  • Smug Super: Wally absolutely loves having superspeed and can't imagine a life without it, which leads to him being very cocky about his powers in contrast to his mentor.
    His name is Wally West. He's the Flash, the fastest man alive. Unfortunately he knows it too.
  • So Proud of You: After improving himself as a hero and a man, he gets to hear this from all older members of the superhero community at least once, and hearing those words from Barry himself at the end of Blitz is what makes him the happiest.
    Barry: I just want you to know, son...just how proud I really am.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: He loses everything he shared with Linda after Flashpoint and Linda no longer recognizes him, but Wally is determined to win her back, even though it will take a lot of effort from his side.
  • Superior Successor: After letting go of his insecurities, Wally surpasses all the benchmarks Barry had built and evolves the Flash mantle with his discovery of Speed Force. Beyond that, he also attains powers that Barry never had, such as stealing and lending speed.
  • Surpassed the Teacher:
    • After his Character Development, he officially surpassed Barry in speed and abilities; not only did he surpass Barry in speed (even Barry acknowledges this after his return in The Flash: Rebirth), but he gained the ability to steal and lend speed, powers Barry has never acquired (the closest being that Barry can steal Speed Force energy specifically), and was the first person to ever return from the Speed Force. His connection to the Speed Force is so unrivaled that he can't be cut off from it.
    • His Kingdom Come incarnation is seemingly the fastest Flash, and will probably stay that way given how ridiculously fast he is in it; just how ridiculous you ask? He became fast enough to the point of being omnipresent!
  • Speed Sex: Though the Flash in general is prone to receiving these jokes, Wally himself once joked about how he's not even sure how he managed to get Linda pregnant given this. Given that Linda is the one who's usually shown instigating sex in their relationship, however, he's clearly not bad at it despite his speed.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: He frequently showcases sympathy for his enemies, unless the enemy is like Eobard Thawne or Joker. However he openly admits understanding for the Rogues and for his friend Hunter Zolomon, who fell from grace by his pain of loss to follow Thawne's footsteps.

  • Taking Up the Mantle: After Barry's death, he takes on the Flash mantle.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Strongly believes in this. In his Kid Flash days, he even testified against Barry for his murder of Eobard Thawne. As an adult, he regrets it and also supports the death penalty, but he still absolutely refuses to kill any of his villains, even Hunter, who not only gave him a clear reason, was a threat only Wally could beat but was literally asking for it.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: He started out very slow as the Flash, so he had to work with S.T.A.R. Labs members Tina and Jerry McGee to improve himself. Then later during "The Return of Barry Allen", he met with Max Mercury who helped him understand and use his Speed. In the same story, it's established that he could've always been faster than Barry if he wanted to, but he never wanted to one-up his mentor.
  • Time-Travel Romance: After returning from being erased from existence, Wally learns the life he's supposed to share with Linda no longer exists. Right now Wally's had an entire life with her, but to Linda, he's a complete stranger.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He lost a lot of his speed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but he eventually surpassed his mentor in speed along with some Character Development.
    • A negative example of this is that Wally is so badass that upon one particular return to the main DC universe, the Speed Force which Bart had been encapsulating during his tenure as the Flash leaves him. Wally comes back as powerful as ever, Bart is reduced to being powerless at the worst moment possible.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He greatly matures in many things compared to his time as Kid Flash, and even when he first became the Flash he was a bit of a jackass. He still keeps a little bit of Fiery Redhead in himself, but that's only when someone really pisses him off.
  • Two-Timer Date: Wally once took one date to a dance, and a second one to a basketball game. He actually wasn't having any problems at all, but on the other side of the world the Justice League Europe can't start their meeting because he wasn't in attendance, having forgotten all about it.
  • Uncertified Expert: Wally's only formal education is a high school diploma, but he proves very useful in a high-tech temporal research lab because of all the time he has spent dealing with supertechnology and time travel, not to mention having to maintain the Cosmic Treadmill over the years.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kyle Rayner while they were on the JLA. Wally had issues with Kyle calling himself Green Lantern, and Kyle had a problem with Wally's attitude. They tease each other, but they get along.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He had it very bad for Barry. Over the course of his Flash tenure, Wally managed to be recognized as an exceptional hero by the entire superhero community and finally earned his So Proud of You by Barry several times. Not only that, Barry also stated that they were equals.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He was close friends with Hunter Zolomon before he became Zoom. Wally still considers Hunter's fall from grace his greatest failure.
  • What Would X Do?: "What would Barry do?" is a frequent question he asks during his hard times.
  • White Sheep: He and Iris were this for the Wests. By all accounts, the Wests were not a nice family, and the two looked out for each other.
  • World's Strongest Man: The Flashes' frankly broken powers (near-infinite super speed potential broadly speaking translates to "every other physical super-power" with the added bonuses of reality warping and the ability to disrupt other powers including magic) makes them widely regarded as the most powerful humans on Earth. Wally, the fastest man in the multiverse, stands at the peak, able to contend with Superman-level opponents (including an alternate universe vampire Ultraman), destroy the most powerful lantern constructs and being one of the only speedsters who can freely travel through time. Batman has stated that Wally's abilities to freely time travel are a huge threat and Mr Terrific believes his seemingly infinite speed potential makes him potentially more powerful than Superman.
  • Working with the Ex:
    • He dated Magenta when he was Kid Flash, but things ended badly and Wally accepts it's pretty much entirely his fault. When she comes back, they work together for a bit before she reveals her true colors.
    • In Titans: Rebirth, it's revealed that he had a past with Lilith Clay (Omen). Now they are working on the same team together to find who stole time from the DCU.
  • Younger Than They Look: Due to a speed-related illness, teen Wally underwent Rapid Aging. Physically and mentally he's in his mid-twenties. Fortunately the extended lifespan of a speedster means he's not going to have to worry about dying young.
    • This is cancelled out later when Wally comes back after being temporarily erased from the universe by the New 52. While his mind is still as it was before the Cosmic Retcon, his body is as young as he would have been if he had properly entered the new timeline (about five years younger than it previously was).
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Wally's limits during his early tenure as the Flash are largely down to this. Firstly, he knew enough about science to know he should require a large fuel source, and thus was a Big Eater who was always hungry, and his powers wouldn't work when he hadn't eaten (evidently, he didn't know enough to not recognise he wasn't consuming nearly enough fuel to support his speed). Then he had a deep-seated fear of tarnishing Barry's memory by replacing him, and so kept himself at a lower speed to avoid being seen as a Superior Successor (until he was able to get over this fear and surpassed it). Now that he understands the Speed Force, he lacks many of these limits, though his powers are prone to waning depending on his mental state.

Alternative Title(s): Wally West