Flash’s costume is one of the handiest in comics, shrinking down to fit in a ring, but the skintight suit also has some drawbacks for Wally West.
Warning: contains spoilers for The Flash #772!
Wally West has just revealed an ironic problem with his Flash costume which makes it way harder to use his abilities in his civilian life. The Flash ring has long been an iconic gadget for the speedster hero, in the same way that Batman has the Batmobile, shrinking and storing his costume ready for when evil strikes. While Superman traditionally needs to find a phone booth to change in, and Spider-Man has to wear his costume under his shirt, Flash is the hero whose costume is best suited to the dual life of having a secret identity… or so it seems.
As Wally West takes up the mantle of the Flash once again, he’s running into problems that his predecessor Barry has likely encountered for years. Theoretically, he might even have already run into this issue in the past, but now it’s becoming problematic as he searches for employment. It’s discussed within the first few pages of The Flash #772 that the bills are piling up in Wally’s home life, leading him to get assertive about finding work. Although he’s currently nailing life as a hero, the new Flash is struggling with the mundane side of existence in this issue, written by Jeremy Adams with art by Will Conrad.
In a montage of job interviews, Wally keeps being asked how his resume got so crumbled on his way there, explaining that he had to fold it up so it wouldn’t fly away. Despite having the one costume solution any hero would envy, it’s clear the skintight suit creates issues of its own, making it difficult for Wally to use his powers to benefit his civilian life. While Batman has the technology to deliver his civilian attire wherever he needs it, and even Spider-Man has been known to fashion a web backpack to transport his belongings, Wally clearly has no solution for transporting items necessary to his civilian life. It’s a funny problem to have, as the Flash’s speed should make him a prime candidate for professionalism, always able to arrive at work on time. Unfortunately, it also sabotages the first impression he gives at each interview. It might seem like a trivial issue, but as a working-class hero, Wally’s ability to find employment is a necessary part of being effective as the Flash.
It’s a running theme of heroes like Spider-Man that secretly working as a superhero makes professional stability near-impossible, but Peter Parker is a young guy with few commitments who tends to live with roommates, while Wally and his wife Linda have two children to support. One of the key decisions that first set Marvel apart from DC was focusing on more mundane woes for its heroes to make them relatable, so it’s fascinating that in 2021, the issue of not having real storage in his costume and struggling at job interviews is dogging Wally’s first adventures as the new Flash.
Despite having an impossible ring that keeps his costume contained and available at a moment’s notice, the costume itself offers no such magical storage, and Wally is ultimately lucky to find work with Mister Terrific, who gives him permission to just disappear whenever he’s needed as a hero. Still, the next time Flash has to carry paperwork on a run, he’ll have to find a better option than folding it up small enough to fit under his tights.
Spider-Man’s Classic Catchphrase Gets Twisted By His Darkest Foe
About The Author