In early 2014, DC comics began reintroducing the 1980’s-2000’s Flash, Wally West into the current New 52 continuity. News broke that Wally West would sport a new look, departing from his famous fiery red hair. When audiences were fully introduced to Wally in Flash Annual #4, we discovered that the Wally West of the New 52 is a misguided juvenile desperately in need of a role model.
Oh and he’s black.
In an effort to “modernize” characters to represent American society today, the big two American comic publishers, DC comics and Marvel have lost sight of the essence of their characters. Heroes such as Flash and Human Torch have been staples in Americana pop culture for decades due to one reason and one reason only.
People love the essence of a character that makes him or her... well, him or her. Their story, their quirks, their personality, their background, their history. Race means nothing to these fictional characters as long as they are written and explored creatively and entertainingly.
The problem right now is that movie studios and the big two publishers are viewing race changes as modernizing for their characters. What they’re doing in reality, is changing the core of a character but continuing to use an established name. Wally West is no longer Wally West without his signature red hair, his gleaming grin and his lovable blabbering in front of the ladies. What you have in the New 52 is a brand new character who has taken the Wally West name. This is essentially “approved plagiarizing.” This isn't an outcry against a Black Wally West. This is an outcry against publishers using race as an excuse to re-create a character.