I will readily admit to not having read the main "Final Crisis" comics, I'm waiting until the whole series comes out, so I can enjoy the whole story uninterrupted. However, DC is promoting in all of it's comics that Barry Allen has returned from the dead.
Now, where as I have been collecting Marvel Comics for about 17 years now(WOW that's a long time...)I've only been reading DC titles for about 2 years or so. In those 2 years, I've managed to acquire about 2,000 DC comics, so I have a pretty good(although not great) understanding of the DC Universe and many of its characters. Out of all the characters in the DC universe, I've tended to gravitate towards the Flashes.
This has a lot to do with the fact that the first DC comic I read was an issue of Young Justice, where I immediately became a huge fan of Bart Allen(Impulse). I wound up collecting all of the Impulse related comics I could get my hands on, including his full series, his early New Titans appearances, as well as his later Teen Titans and Flash books. From reading about Bart, I became curious about the current Flash, Wally West. I also liked Wally, and was able to get a lot of his adventures in with JLA, as well as his regular comic, "The Flash".
Well, from there I began to collect the JSA comics, to read about the "old" Flash Jay Garrick. Once again I found another character I enjoyed reading about. So, thus far, I've established I really like the character of the Flash in all his various forms. Now for the problem. I don't know much of anything about Barry Allen... I know he sacrificed his life during the big DC crossover in the 80's, I know he was a cop, I know he was married, I know Bart is his grandson and I know Wally reveres him. Other than that I know squat about him...
Barry Allen has been dead for over 20 years, which is longer than a lot of people have been collecting comic books, I know there are exceptions, but I'd say most collectors haven't been collecting for over 20 years. This brings me to the question I really wish someone could explain to me, why bring Barry Allen back at all? I would imagine all of his die hard fans who may have been disappointed by his death all those years ago have moved on to other characters and probably barely give Barry any thought anymore.
Without Barry, there are two Flashes, Wally and Jay. I'd think that two Flashes is more than enough. That leads to the next question, is the DC Universe big enough for three characters sharing the same moniker? I kind of don't think it is... That would mean that one of the three Flashes would have to go.
Jay isn't going anywhere, he is still a vital part of the JSA title. If Barry is indeed back, it would make no sense for him to be the one to go, right after returning. Which leaves Wally... Wally West has been the main Flash for roughly 20 years now, meaning that an entire generation of DC fans have grown up with him as "their" Flash. However, Wally seems to be the most likely Flash to go. As I stated above, the other two Flashes have strong reasons for not going anywhere, while Wally's life seems to be changing rapidly, as if DC is setting him up for something, and by something, I don't mean something good...
I really like Wally West. I like his family dynamic. Not many heroes have a personal life as rich as Wally's. In other words, if Wally were to die at the end of "Final Crisis", DC would be throwing away a character that is established, has a rich history and still has tons of storyline potential. I'm not sure how many fans would get behind Barry Allen as the Flash again, I know I would be very tentative to read a Barry Allen "Flash" comic in a world with Wally either gone or de-powered.
The strange thing about the rebirth of Barry Allen is the fact that DC really didn't need another Flash, they needed a KID Flash. As I said earlier, Bart was my favorite Flash as well as one of my favorite characters period, but I mainly knew him through his Impulse/Kid Flash days. Why not bring back BART Allen as opposed to BARRY Allen?
Wouldn't the DC universe be better off with two Flashes and a Kid Flash, as opposed to a world with three Flashes? The news of Barry Allen's return is obviously bothering me, but I would be very interested to hear what some other fans of any of the Flashes think.
Is it a good thing to bring back Barry at the expense of Wally? Are there a group of Barry Allen fans that have been clamoring for his return that I was unaware of? Do people really want to see Wally killed off/de-powered? Or like me, are there some folks out there who would prefer to see Bart Allen return in the guise of Kid Flash/Impulse? I would really love to get the opinions of some other fans of the Flash or even just DC comics in general. Well, this turned out to be a longer post than I intended... Anyway, if anyone could throw some comments out there I'd really appreciate it. Thanks for reading!