Get ready fans of The Flash, we’ve got a brand-new character to introduce. Except he might not be the same character comic book fans were originally expecting.
World, meet Wally West. Wally West, meet the world.
In the history of The Flash, West is the nephew of Iris West (Candice Patton) and grew up in the small town of Blue Valley, dreaming of moving to Central City and someday meeting his speedster hero. A bolt of lightning struck chemicals which then spilled onto Wally and granted him powers similar to Barry’s (Grant Gustin).
Eventually Barry revealed his secret identity to Wally and a new partnership was formed as West became the Flash’s sidekick, Kid Flash. Eventually Wally, who was portrayed in the comics with pasty skin and fiery red hair became the main Flash and even joined the Justice League.
This, however, is a slightly different Wally West.
Wally is making his debut tonight as the long-lost son of Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and will be played by up-and-coming actor Keiynan Lonsdale. The star, who was most recently seen in Insurgent, spoke with USA Today about playing an unexpected version of Wally West:
It’s always cool when people add a twist to a character who’s more traditionally known as (white). But, there’s more to a character than the color of their hair and the color of their skin. People obviously can relate to someone based on how they look, but at the same time, they really fall in love with who they are. And essentially, Wally West is Wally West and I’m just excited to play him and be that character.
This version of Wally will also be powerless during his debut, separating himself even more from his comic book persona. The character, who reportedly has a passion for drag racing on the TV show, is fighting his own internal struggles and Lonsdale said he “has his defenses up, that’s got quite a bit of attitude.”
So, while Wally may not be officially suiting up with Barry on tonight’s winter finale of The Flash, there’s still hope for another superhero addition in the future.
“Just like when we met [star] Grant [Gustin] for the first time, we instantly knew Keiynan embodied all the heart and courage of a hero,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said in a statement. “We are so excited to be bringing this much-beloved character onto the show.”
The Flash airs at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday on The CW.