One of the most important characters in the pantheon of DC Comics’ Flash universe is Wally West, if for no other reason than for some twenty-three years, and for entire generation, Wally was The Flash and is who comes to mind when many fans think of the Scarlet Speedster.
Before taking the mantle of The Flash from Barry Allen, Wally West was Barry’s sidekick, Kid Flash, for decades. He also had the special distinction of being the first sidekick of a major superhero who ended up taking on the mantle of his adult mentor, long before the likes of Nightwing and Winter Soldier replaced Batman or Captain America, respectively. With the advent of the New 52 at DC, Wally was de-aged back to kid status again and, in an even bigger change, is biracial African American teenager instead of a ginger white kid from Nebraska.
Now Warner Bros. TV has officially announced that actor Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays the character of Uriah in the Divergent film series, will play Wally West on The Flash, joining the show as a series regular this fall. Sticking to his New 52 interpretation, Wally will now be an African-American teenager, which of course fits in with the series continuity, in which Iris West and her family are also African American. (In the comics they’re still Caucasian, and Wally is biracial.)
In a statement, Flash producer Andrew Kriesberg says, “Just like when we met [series lead] Grant [Gustin] for the first time, we instantly knew Keiynan embodied all the heart and courage of a hero; We are so excited to be bringing this much-beloved character onto the show.”
Well, the terms “heart and courage of a hero” certainly suggest Wally will be Kid Flash before too long, although hopefully he’ll get a better costume than his current comic book counterpart has. (Stick to the classic red and yellow look, guys.) Season two of The Flash will have multiple speedsters, as actor Teddy Sears has been cast as Jay Garrick, the original Flash. Now how long before they announce Impulse and Max Mercury? Bring it on, CW! The more speedsters, the merrier!
The Flash season two is scheduled to debut October 6 on The CW.
IMAGE: Brett Booth, The Flash: Future’s End #1,