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Donna writes...


I don't think I made myself clear in my previous post. I honestly didn't have a distaste for the show's version of Wally West from strictly a character standpoint (personality/behavior/etc) aside from him continuing to sit things out after the end of "Darkest" (which I thought took the heroic aspect away from his character). The character itself was likable and well rounded for the most part. More so than on other shows he has been a part of. I had absolutely no problems loving Wally on Young Justice. If I did, I wouldn't have bothered commenting in the first place, and most likely wouldn't have continued watching the show as I did. But just because a character is a "clear fan favorite" doesn't necessarily mean that the show's treatment of the character and/or their story always "worked" for those fans.

And I actually really liked the ideas that the show was presenting to me in regards to Wally. I mentioned that I was always a fan of Wally & Dick's friendship in the comics. I loved Artemis, and liked the idea of her and Wally together. And I thought Wally's inferiority to Barry (and later Bart) could have been interesting and meaningful. But I ended up thinking that the show's execution of those things was lacking.

I won't get into too much detail this time since I know we disagree, but I just never felt that Dick was ever shown to be a true and loyal friend to Wally on the show when it mattered. Nor do I think that Artemis was ever shown to like any of the things about him you mentioned in your breakdown of their relationship on the show itself. I just didn't feel there was any real substance when it came to their side of things. And if I don't buy that Wally's relationship with Artemis and his friendship with Dick was a mutual thing, then their treatment of him goes a completely different direction.

So things like the show saying that Wally needed and deserved to be with someone who was only shown to ridicule him, hit him, and generally tell him how awful he was unless he was propping her up ("Bereft" and "Insecurity") like it did in "Denial" was a big negative to me. As was Artemis singling him out as the reason she wouldn't tell the team about her family during her therapy session. It also makes Dick routinely going out of his way to make fun of Wally, sometimes even hitting on the points that Wally was supposed to be insecure about, seem incredibly cruel. And I don't mean to say that Wally was perfect at all when it came to these things on the show. But there were moments where I felt he acted like a true and loyal friend to Dick (like during their conversation in "Performance") when it mattered. And Wally practically gushed about how great Artemis was and stood up for her for the majority of "Insecurity" when she needed it. His side of things was balanced out in my opinion.

Also, I will admit that I'm clearly biased when it comes to how the show handled Wally's inferiority since the story of him becoming the Flash in the comics was always a big deal for me. So the show having him admit to being humiliated (when he needed Barry/Bart to carry him away from Neutron's blast because he wasn't fast enough on his own) and having Bart openly mock him ("Cause you don't have the Allen eye!") for not being on Barry/Bart's level in "Bloodlines" was hard to watch from that standpoint. And while I knew Wally was a goner the moment Bart showed up (Wally eventually disappearing for nearly half the season only reinforced that idea), I was hoping for at least a satisfying death. Instead, Wally was killed simply because he was the one speedster that didn't belong on the show. A fact that the show dedicated an entire episode to pounding home earlier in the season (in mostly a comedic fashion no less). It's just really hard to say that Wally was worthy of being part of the Flash legacy when the show does that. And I don't mean to say that there's anything wrong with not making Wally the Flash, but I felt the way the show handled it (humiliating/mocking/killing him simply for being an inferior speedster) ultimately disrespected a story that was very important to me and a character that I loved.

Greg responds...

Okay, well, like you said: we disagree. I get that you didn't like how we handled things. (I got it some time ago.) But this just seems like more of the same to me. An interpretation without nuance.

I don't feel like we humiliated Wally at all. We mocked him, sure (in a good-natured way, I believe), but he mocked himself (in a self-deprecating comedic way), and he mocked others and others got mocked and good-natured mocking went on all around, and I see ZERO evidence that Wally got it any worse than anyone else.

I also don't see his lack of speed (relative to Bart and Barry) as being even vaguely relevant. Wally was MORE of a hero for fighting the good fight with less speed. From DAY ONE, Brandon and I saw his relatively contained powers as a BONUS for his character. From an action standpoint, writing and boarding for Barry and Bart was WAY more difficult, I can tell you that for sure. Wally was way more fun to choreograph and utilize in action.

I think you missed the entire point of "Bloodlines". Pretty much completely. Wally & Jay wind up saving Bart & Barry just as many times as Wally himself was saved. But your interpretation ignores that, because it doesn't fit your preconceived notion that he was being humiliated by Bart. Which is FLAT-OUT not the case. You also ignore the conversation that Bart and Wally have in "Summit," which indicates clearly how much Bart respects and admires Wally.

And frankly, as I've said before, Wally is my FAVORITE SPEEDSTER. With Jay in second, Barry third and Bart fourth. So the notion that we disrespected Mr. West is just flat out untrue, whether or not you like how we handled him.

We believe Dick loved Wally as a friend. We believe Artemis loved Wally dearly and with all her heart. We believe that M'gann, Zatanna, Conner, Kaldur and all the rest, cared for and valued Wally. We think we showed that Bart and Barry and Artemis and Dick and Wally's parents and the others were devastated by his HEROIC SACRIFICE. And we do see that death as being an Heroic Sacrifice, not at taking place "because he was the one speedster that didn't belong on the show." I don't even know what that means. Wally, who was safely up on the Watchtower, joined the other two of his own free will. And carried on right through to the end, despite the fact that he KNEW it meant his end. Choosing to view his death in any other light is frankly mind-boggling to me.

But, AGAIN, I'm not trying to change your mind, because it's way beyond clear that I can't. And you're clearly not going to change mine. So can we just let it drop now, please? We're just going in circles.

Response recorded on September 25, 2014