Unpopular opinions: we all have them. Sometimes you stand alone in loving a super niche-y run of a popular comic book series. Sometimes you’re the only person on the entire planet to ’ship a certain ’ship. Sometimes you simply Do Not Get a movie the rest of your geeky brethren is falling all over themselves about. And because a lot of fandom is about sharing loves and hates and communing with your fellow geeks, this can feel awfully lonely. But perhaps if we confess our most unpopular opinions for all the internet to see…well, we’ll feel just a little bit better.
This is an interesting topic for me to write about, mostly because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures and I don’t believe in apologizing for things you like or don’t like. A lot of life seems to revolve around concealing the former and a lot of fandom seems to involve the latter.
I love the Wests.
There, I said it. When I started reading comics, Wally West was The Flash. Sure, I knew who Barry Allen was from the awesome ’90s TV series, but Wally has been (and will always be) my Flash. And what I love most about Wally is that, probably more than any other hero in the DC Universe, he embodies the down-to-earth, blue-collar American dream. Even though Wally’s been a superhero for his entire life, he’s the quintessential everyman. And, what’s more everyman than settling down with a wife and kids? And, Wally’s had to fight for his family, too, whether it’s asking Uncle Hal Jordan/Spectre to magically erase knowledge of his secret identity or whisking his wife and newborn twins off to the safety of an alternate reality.
Normally, I’m anti-relationship. I think relationships between fictional characters prevent them from doing their jobs and that’s why I read books, go to movies, watch TV shows: to see people do things. But, as one of DC’s legacy heroes, the Flash is all about family and heritage, so it makes sense that Wally would eventually get married and have kids. And, if you have to get married, why not get married to a doctor/journalist:
Of course, kids aren’t always such a hot idea for superheroes, either. The biggest problem I had with Superman Returns was Bryan Singer trying to push that little hybrid tight-stain on me. I’m pretty sure the worst possible phrase to say in front of a Spider-Man fan is “Spider-baby.” And, don’t even get me started on that test-tube freak Damian Wayne. But, I’m not gonna lie, I love Iris and Jai West.
Sure, they aren’t perfect. For starters, Jai’s hyper-speed-force muscles were pretty damn creepy–but, I’ve always assumed the decision to give him that power was an attempt by DC Comics to avoid any comparisons between Jai West and Dash from The Incredibles. Also, the hyper-aging sub-plot never really worked for me, other than as a way to get the twins from newborn to pre-teen without signing Wally and Linda up for their AARP cards. However, credit must be given for coming up with the concept of the West twins sharing a link to the Speed Force, explaining all the problems that they’ve experienced since returning to the main DCU. And, while I’m a little fuzzy on what actually happened in Flash: Rebirth*, how goddamn sweet was it when Iris became the new Impulse?
Now, I’m not entirely sure if this counts as a “True Geek Confession.” I have seen quite a bit of negative reaction to the West twins on the Internet (although, the Internet has been known to say bad things about oxygen…so, take that with a grain of salt), but I don’t know if that’s the dominant opinion or just the louder one. Either way, I don’t care. I love the West family.
*: Here thar be possible SPOIL-ARRS!
In Flash: Rebirth, we learn that the West twins share a connection to the Speed Force. And, since they’re basically both feeding off the same tether, each sibling only has a 50% connection, which explains why they’ve had issues with their powers and all that crazy hyper-aging. Anyway, to save both twins, one of them had to accept the full connection. As I read it, Iris gave up her half of the connection to take away her brother’s pain, but the Speed Force decided to give her the whole enchilada, instead. Now, others have read it as Iris making the conscious choice to take her brother’s half of the connection for herself. Guess we’ll find out what really happened when the mini-series (eventually) concludes.