The moment fans of The Flash have dreamed of has finally arrived, with the children of Wally West–previously thought dead, missing, or written out of existence–shown to be alive and well. But as much of a thrill as their return will be for Wally's fans, the story surrounding their resurrection looks more poised to end in tragedy, and not a heartfelt reunion.
Putting aside the immediate rage of Wally West being put through even more heartbreak, the surprising return of Iris and Jai West in flash Forward #2 , there is clearly much fans do not yet know (nor are they intended to at this point). For starters, Flash Forward was pitched as an opportunity to give Wally his own mission, and a chance to redeem himself for his involuntary murders committed during Heroes in Crisis. And in the first two issues, it seemed to be doing just that, sending Wally up against the corruption spreading through good, healthy worlds, driven from its home among the Dark Multiverse. But Jai and Irey West appearing on a deserted world within that Dark Multiverse raises more questions than answers.
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The appearance of Jai and Irey is truthfully the most obvious, and easily interpreted part of the twist (in an issue that sees Flash battle the X-Men and Avengers, that's really saying something. Because it isn't just their existence that seems important, but the fact that they refer to the last promise their father made them–suggests these may be the real, actual kids Wally lost. And the fact that they seem to be stranded on the very planet from which the Dark Multiverse corruption is spreading… decorated with massive stone heads of the heroes Wally killed. Conspiracy hats on, people.
The mysterious circumstances, location, and surrounding sculptures are all too outlandish to interpret just yet. With this reveal being dropped in just the second issue of Flash Forward, it becomes even more indecipherable. Are these the Jai and Iris West that Wally lost to the Flashpoint reboot of DC's New 52? Is their presence on a Dark Multiverse world a grim sign of their future? And even assuming Wally becomes aware of their survival, and these really are his children… does taking them off this planet mean spreading the Multiverse-destroying infection along with them?
In the face of these mysteries, it may seem difficult to remain optimistic. But that being said, fearing his children were lost is what broke Wally West completely. Their return is the first step towards Wally becoming whole again. Whatever comes next, we would say that's certainly progress. But considering the past year or two of Flash storylines… maybe readers should still prepare themselves for the worst, just to be safe.
Flash Forward #2 is available now from your local comic book shop. Flash Forward #3 will hopefully offer some new answers when it arrives on November 20th, 2019.
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