[personal profile] imitorar posting in [community profile] scans_daily
So, in this last week's Fanart Thursday thread, the issue of "iconic" and what it means in the New 52 came up, and some people were complaining that Barry's new costume was just an altered version of Wally's. And I couldn't help but find this funny.

See, the issue of Barry and Wally having similar-looking costumes (to the point where it can be difficult to distinguish them from each other when their cowls are up) has been raised before...



A bit of context: These are from Flash #147 and #148, the middle of the Chain Lightning arc (which has never been collected in trade, because DC sucks at collecting comics from the '90s). This is the climax of Mark Waid's character defining run on Wally West, in which Wally has to confront the full legacy of the Flash, as well as finish reckoning with his own angst over replacing his mentor and predecessor, Barry Allen.

At least, that's what's going on thematically. In terms of the actual plot, what happens is that right when Wally and his fiance Linda Park are about to get married, Barry's heretofore unmentioned evil twin Malcolm Thawne (yes, he's a relation to THAT Thawne) shows up and crashes the wedding. It turns out that Barry had a twin brother (that he never knew about) who was given up for adoption and resented Barry for having the perfect life which was denied to him. And as a result, Malcolm (using the power of an evil magical gemstone and calling himself "Cobalt Blue") swore revenge on the entire Allen line, leading to the Thawne-Allen feud playing itself out through history, and ultimately to the Reverse-Flash (and Bart Allen, although that's a separate post). It should be noted here that Waid has admitted that he's not great at making up villains.

Thawne travels through time (yes, this was the '90s, when Speed Force characters could time travel with minimal effort) tricking future Flashes into touching the Cobalt Blue gemstone and falling under his control. Wally and co. (being Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Impulse, and Jesse Quick) have been traveling through time trying to warn the Flashes of Thawne's plans, but despite their best efforts, Thawne ultimately captures the entire Flash Family throughout history. This is revealed just as Wally has gone personally to warn the last Flash on the list: Barry Allen himself. He didn't want anyone to ruin Barry's peace of mind during his last happy month with Iris in the 30th century, you see.

So anyway, Wally has just come to the 30th century, only to be ambushed by a few dozen Flashes.




And who should come to bail him out but...



Touching, isn't it?

Anyway, after fighting their way clear of the Cobalt Blue possessed Flashes, they go to take refuge in the Flash Museum to lick their wounds and plan their next option. Barry's mostly just pleased to be seeing Wally again, but for Wally, seeing Barry in his prime cuts open some old wounds. And then we come to the following exchange:





Aww, aren't the Flashes sweet? I love these guys. I could go on about their relationship for HOURS. And sometimes I have. Either way, Chain Lightning might very well be my favorite arc of Waid's Flash because of its scope, and I'm very glad that it will be available digitally in a few weeks.

Date: 2013-02-17 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
I do love how they colored Barry's costume there. A little flatter, a little simpler.

Date: 2013-02-17 04:22 am (UTC)
onceaskrull: (YJ: Wally animated)
From: [personal profile] onceaskrull
Flat and simple. That about sums Barry up.

Date: 2013-02-17 05:16 am (UTC)
onceaskrull: (YJ: Wally e_e)
From: [personal profile] onceaskrull
I don't like Barry and you can't make me.

Date: 2013-02-17 07:31 am (UTC)
coldfury: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coldfury
Maybe... but once they brought him back they sure didn't know what to do with him. And in very short order they completely dropped Wally because they couldn't figure out how to differentiate Barry from Wally, except that *Wally* had kids, and Barry didn't.

They really shot themselves in the foot with that one.

I think my problem with Barry is that they built him up as this *great* supporting character. He was a great foil for Hal, an inspiration for Wally. The best parts about Barry was how others related and reacted to his legacy.

When they brought him back, most of the Flash 'legacy' was built up around Wally. So they couldn't find places to make him stick. Even now, we see writers having Barry talk or act like Wally (specifically, when the JL guest starred in Green Lantern).
Edited Date: 2013-02-17 07:34 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-02-17 04:52 am (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
During that era, there were several minor, but consistent, differences between Wally & Barry's costumes:

1. Wally's suit was shinier.
2. Wally's belt line formed a V in front, Barry's was straight.
3. Wally had more stylized earpieces.
4. Barry's boots had the little wing bits (visible in the first scan).

Also, sometimes, Wally had covered eyes, Barry didn't, and there were occasional variations in the chest emblem. That was less common, though.

Date: 2013-02-18 03:27 am (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
Also, sometimes, Wally had covered eyes, Barry didn't, and there were occasional variations in the chest emblem. That was less common, though.

IIRC, Wally had the opaque lenses in his mask up until he went public with his identity as the Flash.

Date: 2013-02-18 08:15 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
He gained them for a while when he used a costume composed of solid Speed Force but changed them back after a while as he didn't like looking "all Batman".

Date: 2013-02-17 05:05 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Do want more of the Waid run collected.

Date: 2013-02-17 05:53 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
Now I see why everyone loves Flash... they noble, honest, relaxed, and bearers of legacy. No wonder Barry was a Blue Lantern of Hope, with a FLash around, comics won't completely turn emo on us....

Date: 2013-02-17 03:11 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I always liked the moment when Wally-as-kid in "Sins of Youth" noted that he always thought his Kid Flash costume was the best costume EVER, and the ONLY reason he didn't wear it when he became the Flash was out of respect for Barry.

And I love Bart's Impulse costume a lot more than the over-fussy Kid Flash costume he ended up with, the goggles alone make it cooler! :)
Edited Date: 2013-02-17 03:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-02-20 09:46 am (UTC)
jcbaggee: Jesus (Default)
From: [personal profile] jcbaggee
There was a brief period there where the ever visible eyes of the Flashes (a nod to a Barry quote) was how you could tell them apart: Barry had bright blue eyes, Wally green, and Bart had brownish-gold. Sadly, it's kind of hit or miss as time goes on, and Wally was sometimes given blue eyes.

As for the suits, Wally's costumes tended to be a shinier material after Vandal Savage and Lady Flash destroyed Barry's costume making kit and he had STAR Labs make him a new suit. Bart's brief stint as The Flash had him wearing one of Barry's old costumes allegedly, but it had Wally's v-shaped belt if I remember correct. Wally also spent a long run without the wing tips on the boots.

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