The Flash: Born to Run

Date: 1992, 1995, 1997-98 (original material), 1999 (collection)
Writer(s): Mark Waid, Tom Peyer
Artists(s): Greg LaRocque, Jim Aparo, Pop Mhan, Humberto Ramos, Jose Marzan, Jr., Ken Branch, Wayne Faucher, Bil Sienkiewicz
Collects: Flash 62-65, Annual 8; Speed Force 1; Flash 80 Page Giant 1
Storyline: Flash 62
Flash heard a news report: two terrorists had been apprehended, but a bomb was set to go off at the airport at noon. He heard the report with five minutes to spare. He searched until he found it, ran it outside, and hurled it into the air. After the explosion, life at the airport went on as normal.
Wally bumped into his grandfather Ira and had lunch with him. While going through some of the stuff he'd been given when Iris died, he found some scrapbooks she'd made of her husband the Flash (Barry Allen). He then found one she'd done of Kid Flash. He remembered the summer he spent with them when he was ten.
No sooner had he arrived, they spotted his hero, the Flash, in action. He watched intently as Iris (a news reporter) went to work. The bad guys got the upper hand, but Wally was able to activate a fire hydrant and soak them, putting the Flash back on top. He thanked Wally for saving his life and sped off. Later that afternoon, Iris introduced Wally to her fiance, Barry. Barry offered to let Wally go to work with him the next day at his lab in the police station. He told Wally the Flash was his friend and introduced them. Flash thanked Wally again and told him that Barry let him use his lab when he was working on a case. While telling the boy how he got his powers, lightning struck him through the window, bathing him in chemicals - just like what had happened to him.

Flash 63
The Flash quickly came to young Wally's aid. They both realized he wasn't hurt, just soaked and a little shaken up. Flash pushed a microscope off a table and asked Wally to catch it. He couldn't. He ok'ed it with Barry and took Wally out to play catch. He vibrated the boy through a wall and they ran outside the city. After a while of playing catch, Flash made one last throw, well over Wally's head. He caught it anyway - after burning up the ground between them. Wally had been given the same powers the Flash had received years before. He explained to the boy that the chemicals had coated his skin so that friction wouldn't light him up like the ground between them when he took off to catch the ball.
Wally was beside himself. He and the Flash ran through the city and actually stopped some criminals along the way. Flash got him back to Barry's lab before things got too heavy. After he promised to only use his powers to help people and to never reveal his secret to anyone, Flash gave him a ring with a costume in it - just like the one he used. They altered it a bit so it would fit and became partners.
Iris returned and the Flash left. Barry came back after being out of the lab for a while.
Wally and the Flash spent a lot of time together that summer - Flash taught him everything and trained him to be his partner. The press called him "Kid Flash."

Flash 64
During the summer, they worked on a case they dubbed the "copycat crimes." It seemed that the first set of criminals they caught (before Wally got his powers) were duplicated. The duplicates committed a crime then disappeared. It was happening all over Central City.
Iris was working on a story about a world renown physicist. Wally had written a report about him for school and realized a picture she had was wrong: in it, he was blind in the wrong eye. The copycat crimes sprung to mind - they were mirror images, not duplicates. He called Barry and asked him to have Flash meet him, but while waiting, he saw the fake stealing some rare books. He followed and found out he was right: the man drove into a bank of mirrors. The Mirror Master was at work. Inside MM's hideout, Kid Flash was trapped in a mirror. He was forced to watch as the Flash fell into Mirror Master's trap and was defeated. Kid Flash got himself free and unloaded on the costumed criminal. The Flash stopped him from beating the man to death - he didn't really fall for the trap, he'd used a mirror duplicate, too. He arrived just after Kid Flash, so he knew the trap.
On their way back to town, Kid Flash collapsed in pain. Since vibrating through the Mirror Master's trap (it was his first successful vibration through something), he'd felt a bit uneasy. Flash took him to Ira West (his own grandfather) to be treated. Kid Flash kept his mask on while in with the doctor. Dr. West gave his diagnosis: when Barry got his powers, he was an adult. Wally's body was still growing and appeared to be rejecting the new powers. Each time he used them, he chanced killing himself.

Flash 65
The next day was Wally's last day in Central City. The summer was over and Iris had to take her nephew home. Wally begged to stay - he didn't seem to get along with his parents very well.
As soon as he was home, he accidentally broke a plate. His father got on to him and he stormed off to his room. In a bit of a fit, he tore down his poster of the Flash.
The weather outside was getting rather tense, a tornado watch was in effect. Wally ran outside and climbed a tree. His father found him and climbed up to get him. They argued, and Wally told him he didn't love him. The storm caused the tree to fall, and it landed on Wally's father. He looked up and the tornado was upon them. Wally put on his suit and tried to stop it by running around it in the opposite direction. He'd hit the wall and had nothing left, but he thought about his father and kept on. He ended up stopping the storm and saving his dad.
Wally looked up from his daydream and talked with his grandfather about the Flash legacy. Ira still believed that Barry might have unconsciously caused Wally's transformation. They began talking about Iris and had dinner.

Kid Flash: Day Two
Wally faced off against Mr. Element alone on his second day with a costume. He "chickened out" from chasing him after scaring him away from a heist. When Flash found out, he said he'd take care of the costumed villain, but Kid Flash took care of him - he found him, but had no way of contacting the Flash.

Burning Secrets
Flash and Kid Flash went up against Cobalt Blue for the first time. He was ripping through a zoo with his energy sword. When he hit them with it, they lost their speed.
After he escaped, they headed back to Barry's lab. Cobalt Blue was their waiting for them. He seemed to know everything. He manifested his magic into one of their suits and sent it after them. Cobalt Blue gained the upper hand and began using his magic to drain them. The Flashes took control of their molecules and he exploded from the force. He was never seen again.

The Speed of Life
While at his birthday party, Wally wondered what his life would be like had he not been struck by lightning.


notes

  • The initial story takes place during the present (at time of pressing), but the bulk of it is a flashback.
  • "Iris died about three years ago." (Wally internal, #62)
  • Wally was 10 when he gained his speed powers: "The summer I turned ten was the summer I stayed with her (Iris)." (Wally internal, #62)
  • "Burning Secrets" takes place while Wally is in his yellow costume.
  • Return to continuity section 2.