Fixing Heroes in Crisis a noahthegrand pitch to fix the worst thing I read this year
I pitch a potential sequel to Heroes in Crisis/ Wally West miniseries where I fix the problems of Heroes in Crisis and use the ideas it had to create a better story.
“I don’t get Tom King. He writes Mister Miracle, my favorite book of 2019. Then he writes Heroes in Crisis. The worst thing I have read this year.”
Now if I was written by Tom King, I would say that, but in a nine panel grid. Then, presumably, I would do something really out of character for no other reason then its artistic.
So, I think you all know what my opinions are on Heroes in Crisis, also known as the Emerald Twilight of the modern age, and if not, this sums it up:
That’s Black Canary giving an accurate depiction of me reading Heroes in Crisis
Imagine I, noahthegrand, got a call to come in to the DC comics offices. Jim Lee, Dan Didio, and Geoff Johns ask me what book I would want to write if I had the opportunity. I don’t know what I would say, but for the purpose of this article,
I would think, which character needs me, which character is not doing well and needs to be revitalized, and which character would I also really enjoy working on? And that scenario is now I would write an all new post Heroes in Crisis miniseries that would be both a Heroes in Crisis 2 and a Wally West redemption series.
We begin with a flashback to Sanctuary. Wally goes to his therapy session, a Golden masked figure, a fellow superhero, wishing him luck.
He goes in, and he talks about how he feels alone, how he feels like no matter what happens, he can never have what he once had back, he’s not afraid, he just knows for certain, the life he had is gone, and nothing he does can change that.
The sanctuary robot he’s speaking too asks him what he wants to do?
He tells it, he doesn’t know, Barry would say to keep moving forward, but… he doesn’t know.
Wally is in prison after the events of Heroes in Crisis, filled with shame but trying to atone for his actions.
Donna Troy meanwhile, is now fighting crime as the leader of the Titans. Dick Grayson got shot and has amnesia, Wally is a killer, and Roy Harper died in the Sanctuary Massacre. There is a team of Titans still operating with Donna, Donna has no real social life and has put all of her time and effort into the Titans and protecting the world. She’s been on the Titans since the beginning, and is now leading the team.
The new team is
Ms. Martian always offers to take over and let her have some time off, but she always refuses. She doesn’t take breaks, she doesn’t rest, she just leads the team. We get a montage of her leading them as they battle Mother Blood, then the Fatal Five, then invading aliens the Psions, then Doctor Light, then a Greek Hydra, then more aliens.
Until…. one day, after 92 consecutive hours of work, Donna, in a deliriously tired state, Ms. Martian convinces Donna to go home for a quick nap. Donna gets a knock on her door and wakes up seconds later from when she lied down. It’s Roy Harper.
She takes him inside, wide awake, gets some coffee and several energy drinks, and he explains to her he can’t remember anything about how he got here. He remembers the evacuation from Sanctuary, Wally being in the field, getting hit by lightning, and then he was transported somewhere, it could have been weeks, it could have been hours, he doesn’t remember, and he doesn’t remember how he got back. He just remembers being outside her house. Donna asks about the others, Lagoon Boy, Gnaark, Red Devil….
Roy asks what happened to them? Donna tells him everything, explaining the plot of Heroes in Crisis. He tries to take in the horror of it. Donna tells him that if he’s alive, maybe the others are too? Roy asks where Wally is.
Meanwhile at Belle Reve,
Amanda Waller tells Wally West she has no sympathy for him. He may have been a hero once, but now he’s a mass murderer. Now… it’s time he pay his country back for all the harm he’s done.
Wally, trapped inside an iron lung like device, is carted towards a machine designed to fire a high tech speed force proof bomb into the back of his neck. The bomb is bio organic, infused with his genetic code designed to vibrate at the same speed as his heart. The machine is about to fire the bomb into Wally.
Suddenly Donna Troy and Roy Harper burst through the ceiling! Roy takes out Belle Reve guards with net arrows and taser arrows. Amanda Waller tells her men to activate Monday protocol! Donna Troy prepares to release Wally from the machine when she’s attacked by Solomon Grundy!
We get a cool battle between Donna and Solomon Grundy. Roy has to figure out how to deactivate the iron lung like machine that siphons Wally’s speed force connection from him. If he does it wrong, it could release the energy and explode into a speed force bomb. Wally is shocked Roy is still alive, but still tells Roy to leave him. He deserves this. He did something horrible, even if he didn’t do it on purpose, he needs to make amends for the things he’s done. Roy tells Wally what happened to him, and Wally realizes that sounds like being trapped in the speed force. Wally vibrates out of the machine then sucks the speed force out of it before it can explode, proving that he could have escaped at any time had he wanted to. Wally was so ashamed of what he had done; he would have let himself be made part of the Suicide Squad. Wally electrocutes Grundy as he unleashes excess speed force energy he had absorbed, and we are told that in the post Flashpoint Continuity, everytime this realities Grundy dies, he returns to life by the following Monday.
Wally speeds Roy and Donna away. Wally asks Roy to explain everything to him. Every detail no matter how small. He tells what he told Donna and that he doesn’t know how he got out. Wally tells him that it’s possible to escape being trapped in the speed force if you have a lightning rod, someone or something you can focus on to will yourself back into your earth. Roy tells him he doesn’t remember what his was.
Wally questions if they called the league. Donna believes they don’t need the league, they’re Titans. Wally agrees. Having to explain would slow them down, they don’t know how much time they left have for this. Roy and Donna both think to themselves the real reason they didn’t call the League is that they don’t think Wally could handle seeing Barry Allen like this.
The three heroes eventually decide there’s only one option to find out what’s going on. They have to return to the scene of the crime and investigate. They have to go to Sanctuary.
Wally isn’t sure he can do it. Roy and Donna promise that they’re there for him. They’re going to bring everyone back together. They let out their battle cry: Titans Together! and they go.
Roy thinks to himself that maybe he can get answers for his problem, and he thinks about a little girl whose name he can’t remember.
They arrive at Sanctuary, where everything is frozen, Wally reveals he’s vibrating Donna and Roy, and as long as all of them are touching each other, they’re moving so fast it looks like everyone else is still. They’re in Flashtime.
Wally tells them… Barry always said to always move forward, but I don’t know if I can. I did this… and I can’t move forward from something like this. Donna tells him she knows he’s worried and he shouldn’t be, they’re going to save everyone.
They examine the scene of the crime, Wally vibrating them into different rates to look at Sanctuary through different frequencies of reality. They eventually discover one that has a rift in the speedforce, right on the front lawn. Meanwhile, the two sanctuary Ma and Pa robots walk out the door and towards them while they’re backs are turned. It should be impossible, but it’s happening. Wally, Roy, and Donna walk towards the Speedforce rift, hands together, when the Ma and Pa boys attack from behind, transforming into metallic spider legged robots with spiked promethium tentacles, laser blasters in their mouths, and speed force reactors in their chests! Roy, Donna, and Wally attempt to fight the killbots with their hands still held together, but as Roy attempts to draw his bow with his teeth he lets go and is frozen in place! Everyone is knocked back into regular time and they battle the robots, eventually destroying them. The destroyed robots vanish in a puff of smoke. The patients of Sanctuary begin to step outside to see what the commotion is. One takes off her mask, revealing Lilith Clay on the other side. Wally freezes, lightning begins to flare around him as people walk towards him. His mind is just saying “not again” over and over. Lilith reads his mind.
Then… the Suicide Squad lands.
Donna and Roy begin to fight them while Wally doesn’t move. Roy runs to Wally and asks him what’s wrong, they need his help. Wally tells Roy he can’t be back here. Roy tells him not to think about, just think about being the Flash and doing what he does best, beating the bad guy and saving the day. Wally gets up and begins to fight the Suicide Squad. We have a bit of a joke about the actual piece of dc continuity that Killer Croc was Roy Harper’s AA sponsor where Croc checks in on how Roy is doing. Roy tells Waylon he’s had a crazy few weeks, Waylon reminds him every day is a little victory. Wally races up to Harley Quinn, who wants to know what he’s doing back here as they fight. We reference how she helped prevent his suicide in Heroes in Crisis.
I have to break from the story for a moment to say that writing that last sentence makes me remember all over again how just wrong everything in Heroes in Crisis felt to me. I get Tom King was trying to tell a story about mental health but it really didn’t work at all.
Wally reveals he thinks he can bring everyone back, and vibrates into her neck to pull out her bomb. She thinks for a moment, then starts attacking her teammates, providing Wally, Roy, and Donna a chance to escape.
Lilith tells to Wally to get inside! Our heroes race into Sanctuary. Lilith leads them all into a secret room.
Meanwhile, The Justice League meet at the hall of Justice. Wally West broke out of Belle Reve a few hours ago, and was seen back at Sanctuary. Batman wants him found immediately. Flash promises to try and find him and tells them Wally is his responsibility and he’s a good kid. When it’s explained that Donna Troy and “someone dressing like Roy Harper were with him” they decide to call Green Arrow. Flash urges them to remember what happened was an accident. Batman wants to know what’s happening now. In private after the meeting Aquaman tells Wonder Woman he still misses Lagoon boy.
Meanwhile, the other heroes at Sanctuary have separated the Suicide Squad. Jessica Cruz Green Lantern has tied them up with hard light green rope. An energy dome begins to grow around Sanctuary, and the entire Suicide Squad, as well as several heroes end up trapped outside, while most of them are trapped within. The dome is still closing on the top, as Barry Allen runs up it, carrying Wonder Woman and Green Arrow.
Within Sanctuary, there is Lilith Clay, along with an assortment of heroes getting therapy such as Beast Boy, Red Tornado, Spoiler, Detective Chimp, and Black Lightning. On the other side of the barrier is Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, Adam Strange, and Tim Drake Robin.
In the past, before the massacre at Sanctuary, Wally returns to his room dressed in his mask and robe, passing another hero in mask and robe returning to her room across the hall. A day later, Wally passes the hero again, and stops her, telling her he knows the rules say they aren’t allowed to talk to each other for security stuff, but is she Lilith?
Lilith pulls off her mask and hugs Wally, telling him she didn’t know he was going to be here. She knows Roy is supposed to be somewhere on the second floor.
Now, Wally, Donna, and Roy follow Lilith into Sanctuary. She begins a virtual reality simulation that will make things appear exactly as they really are, but her and the other three won’t be there. Barry Allen, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow pass by them. Now that that’s taken care of, Lilith asks Wally to tell her why he ever thought coming back here was a good idea. If she thinks he’s going to hurt someone, she will turn off the simulation. The three heroes catch her up to speed on the story so far. Then something happens. The virtual reality is failing! The Flash, who has been zooming from room to room trying to find Wally sees them! Donna tries to tell them it’s the real Roy and to listen to them.
Wonder Woman tells Donna that that isn’t Roy. The League just excavated his grave. Roy Harper is dead! They all fight.
Green Arrow battles Roy as the two fire arrows which hit each other in midair. Green Arrow tells Roy he doesn’t know who he is, but he’s wearing a good man’s face. Roy tried to explain himself but Green Arrow isn’t buying it. Roy reveals he knows Green Arrow's identity. Green Arrow is shocked, then rationalizes it as Roy probably working for Amanda Waller and that explains the Suicide Squad outside. Roy gives up and does an action movie one liner(you think that was shocking…) as he fires a taser arrow at Green Arrow. Green Arrow realizes from the line that it is the real Roy and proclaims this to everyone. Wally, Lilith, and Donna tell everyone they don’t want to fight, they just want to explain what’s going on.
After this, the battle basically ends as Wally and Donna explains what’s going on while Diana and Barry attempt to tie them up. The hope that everyone who died could still be saved ends the fight. In other stories, a hero vs hero fight could go throughout the story, but I want to have that done with quick because it happens a bit too often in comics.( Civil War, Civil War 2, Avengers vs X-men, X-men vs Inhumans, a sizable number of Batman/Superman stories, etc) All the heroes now trapped by the dome are brought out to the front lawn have everything explained to them.
In the past, we see a few days after our last flashback, Wally tells the robotic sanctuary therapy he’s been feeling better, later, in Lilith’s quarters, she explains to Wally and Roy that she gets the secret identity thing, but this place is creepy. Golden masks and secretive AIs really don’t seem to create a good environment for healing. There’s this thing called “the therapeutic alliance” and it’s the connection a patient makes with their therapist. If Batman wants to design a therapy machine, the AI has better be as realistic and lifelike as possible or it doesn’t work. It feels wrong. Roy tells Wally Lilith is just scared of robots and casually mentions a dream he had where he had a robot arm(reference to pre-new 52). Lilith tells Wally it’s completely natural not to trust artificial intelligence, especially in their line of work, remember Brother Eye? Roy looks out the window. “This place really is out in the middle of nowhere isn’t it?”
Later, Wally is finishing up a virtual reality simulation of being with his family, he talks to the Sanctuary AI, telling it that sometimes, when he talks to people, they mention things from his old reality, and he forgets that things are different here, and he wonders how they could have known about it, and he has to remind himself he isn’t back in the simulation. The Sanctuary AI tells him he is in the real world. Nothing else is real.
Now, Barry and Wally speed around the dome looking for a way out. No way out. All of them, Wally West, Flash, Wonder Woman, Lilith Clay, Donna Troy, Roy Harper, Beast Boy, Red Tornado, Spoiler, Detective Chimp, and Black Lightning are trapped in Sanctuary.
Tim Drake meanwhile is trying to communicate with Spoiler from outside the dome. He discovers no sound moves in and out, and apparently no internet or radio signals either. Fortunately, both know sign language as do everyone trained by Batman.
Donna, Lilith, Wally, Roy, Barry, Oliver Queen, and Diana discuss. No one knows what the dome is or why it’s here, but whatever it is, it only activated once Wally discovered the speed force tear, so it must be connected to that somehow. Detective Chimp tells them he thinks he gets it. Everything they explained sounds like clues. They need to solve the mystery of what really happened at Sanctuary.
Meanwhile outside the rest of the Justice League arrives and Jessica Cruz tells them she tried everything she has and can’t get through the dome. Batman scans it and discovers microscopic mystical letters.
Meanwhile, at Wally’s request, they go to look at security footage. Roy notices Wally is visibly unwell as he watches what happened and makes a bad joke about changing the channel. No one laughs. They watch as Wally shoots lightning at everyone. Wally comments that the speed force isn’t supposed to behave like that. It’s like it was aiming at the crowd. Donna notices something. One of the heroes died in a certain spot, a second later, he’s at a different location. The layout of the crime scene has changed.
Meanwhile outside the dome we learn Stephanie was there with Tim for a newly created couples therapy program Lilith had set up where they were trying to resolve their issues regarding Tim Drake’s death being faked by Jor-El, who then kidnapped him for several months, and how that traumatic experience also affected Stephanie, who believed he was dead for months.
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Detective Chimp have placed the lasso of truth around Wally West. He explains from the beginning his experience at Sanctuary, Detective Chimp taking careful notes.
In the past, At night, Wally knocks on Lilith’s door, the door creaks open and he calls out that he has a question about which Brother Eye she was talking about. He discovers her room empty, packed up.
A few days later, Wally tells Sanctuary he feels alone, like none of this is real. The AI tells him this is the real world, nothing else is real. He asks Sanctuary to start up the simulation. Wally is having a picnic with his family. Down the hall, Lagoon Boy is being shot with lasers again and again in a simulation he’s made to try and get over his fear of being shot. Further down the hall, a simulation of Green Lantern and Green Arrow discovering Roy doing heroin.
Green Arrow tells Roy he’s not mad and he’s going to help him get through this. Years later, Roy is no longer Speedy but Red Arrow, a hero by Green Arrow’s side. (This is not what actually happened in current continuity, actually, Oliver Queen left him behind and didn’t even try to help him in New 52 continuity)
It’s revealed this has all been the story Wally has been telling,
Lilith tells Wally that’s not how it happened. They said goodbye, they hugged on the front lawn of Sanctuary in front of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet. Wonder Woman had come by that day for a session. Wonder Woman tells Lilith… “I can fly. I don’t have… an invisible jet”.
We flashback to Lilith Clay leaving her room late at night. She passes a recharging Sanctuary robot, and makes her way down the stairs. She’s looking for something. She pulls off her mask and a look of shock and horror fills her face as a blinding light fills the room.
Then, we see Lilith in a pod with VR goggles over her in the basement as one floor above the Sanctuary Massacre begins. Later, the shadow of someone in a cape and tophat is seen over a bed, a bed which Lilith is dropped onto. The next day, she wakes up and sees on the news Superman giving his speech, as well as what happened in Sanctuary.
Days later, she speaks to the Justice League. She’s angry. She tells them this is their fault. They should have done better! They could have done better! Instead they just left everyone they thought was a problem isolated and alone in the middle of nowhere in Eyes Wide Shut cosplay! Batman tells her that he knows she’s angry but- Wonder Woman interrupts. She’s right. They should have done better. Superman tells Lilith what happened can’t be changed, but they can work harder so it never happens again. Superman asks Lilith, she is a counselor, she has a degree in human psychology correct? Superman asks her to run Sanctuary. Lilith tells them she doesn’t know if she’s the best choice. Wonder Woman tells her they’ve gone through every superhero currently active for anyone with experience. Batman cuts in that it’s her or Harley Quinn.
In the present, Lilith thinks, trying to remember. She tells them someone has been messing with her memories, or Wally’s memories. The easiest way to do that here would be using the VR tech.
Meanwhile now the Justice League Dark members not trapped within the bubble:
test the energy of the dome. Zatanna attempts to vanish it, and Constantine begins a ritual to breech it. Swamp-Thing discovers the dome is in fact a full sphere, and he can’t use plants to get in from below.
Meanwhile, Jason Todd aka The Red Hood is in Gotham running the Iceberg Lounge like he’s been doing in current books when he learns from an informant, a guard at Belle Reve, that Wally West, the person who caused the death of his friend and former teammate Roy Harper, has escaped Belle Reve and is back at Sanctuary. Todd goes to an illegal black market weapons show selling a Promethium Bullet and blows the place up before stealing the bullet. He then travels by plane and by rental motorcycle to a hill overlooking the domed Sanctuary and waits. The heroes should break the dome soon and rush in to fight. They always do in these kind of situations. Jason Todd has planned to visit Sanctuary the day the massacre happened. Roy told him he should go. But he didn’t. He kept putting it off for a later day. When he sees Wally West, he’s going to shoot him.
Inside, Detective Chimp asks Wally, now they know the what, someone is messing with their minds using the Sanctuary AI, and if he had to guess, from how elaborate this is, the why is a personal vendetta. So now, The Who. Who would go through all this trouble, who has the ability to pull this off? Who, reasonably, would do mind games like this instead of a full on attack?
Roy decides to go out into the hall, he needs a break. Donna follows, worried about him. Outside Sanctuary from both sides heroes are trying to break the dome. Donna asks Roy what’s wrong.
Roy tells Donna, he remembers his time in the speed force. He floated through a lightning storm, and he remembered… a little girl.
A face he can’t remember, a name on the tip of his tongue. A feeling of joy he’s never felt before, but at the same time a great loss. He knows something horrible happened.
And it didn’t work. Whatever had been there wasn’t there anymore. It couldn’t bring him back. It wouldn’t be his lightning rod. So after what seemed like years in a daze of sadness, he remembered a different lighting rod, and found his way out. Donna asks what it was.
Wally utters a line that could be used to advertise this event: “Who’s putting thoughts in my head?”
Meanwhile the Justice League Dark have determined the dome isn’t magic, it’s science made to appear like magic. Someone has been playing with all of them.
Tim Drake hears this and runs to the dome. We see Stephanie inside as we watch him try to yell something at her. She can’t hear him. She tries to ask him to use sign language. We see Tim yelling at Jessica Cruz from outside. Wally realizes inside who it must be and looks at Barry Allen. They both realize now. They’ve both fought him before. Roy turns from Donna and looks out the window and is suddenly in shock, as above Sanctuary, Jessica Cruz has formed in giant energy letters as a warning to everyone in the dome “ABRA KADABRA!”
Inside Sanctuary the virtual reality machines activate around our heroes as a sinister laugh is heard inside and outside the dome. Most don’t know who it is, but the Flash, as well as former and current Teen Titans within and outside the dome recognize it. Abra Kadabra is in Sanctuary!
We learn from Wally and Barry telling this to the other heroes Abra Kadabra could be one of the most dangerous men alive, if he didn’t say anything, there’s no telling what he could get away with, his biggest problem, is that he’s a performer, and because of that, he needs an audience.
Now I have this idea. If you’ve read Heroes in Crisis you know it has nine panel grids every once in awhile where we see characters therapy sessions. This has no purpose in the story. It’s just kinda there. So, I had this idea for my Heroes in Crisis fix. For this miniseries, I’m going to do the same thing, except this time, it comes back later and is important. Throughout this story, we’ve been seeing each of the characters now trapped in Sanctuary’s therapy sessions. We’ve been seeing their hopes, their fears, them pouring out their hearts and admitting their greatest psychological weaknesses. And now, it is revealed Abra Kadabra not only has access to all of this, but as well, he has a virtual reality prison to trap all of them in that can use these confessions against them. And after the reveal, that’s exactly what happens.
Wonder Woman is trapped in a post apocalyptic world where War(capital W, because Ares) never ends and she is the greatest warrior of them all, in fact, she’s the new god of war after Ares’s death.
Red Tornado tries and fails to be a real human in his simulation.
Stephanie Brown is in a simulation where Tim Drake has been killed by The Riddler in front of her,
Detective Chimp finds himself isolated and alone in a zoo, where none of the other chimps understand what he’s saying no matter how hard he tries to talk to them. He’s different then them.
We get a kinda comedic bit with Donna that still informs her character. Donna finds herself in Themyscira. She discovers Wonder Woman and asks her what’s going on. Wonder Woman tells her they’ve returned to Paradise Island permanently. Donna tells her that’s impossible, she can’t stay, the world needs her! Wonder Woman tells her, it doesn’t. They did it. World peace. All villains reformed, nations have put down arms. The Justice League has disbanded, they aren’t needed. Donna asks about natural disasters, and Diana reveals a massive weather satellite in the sky that deals with this.
Donna asks Wonder Woman what she should do now. Diana tells her, the world no longer needs saving, now, both of them must be introspective. It’s time to deal with their personal emotional problems. Nothing to distract them now. Donna screams in horror.
Meanwhile Barry Allen’s post-Sanctuary fears that he failed in raising Wally and caused the massacre are dealt with as a simulation of Wally attacks him. Meanwhile Wally West at the same time is put into a simulation of Barry Allen attacking him telling him it’s all his fault. Wally and Barry’s simulations are then connected and set against each other as Barry and Wally are sent by Abra Kadabra into one simulation where they fight the other.
Lilith Clay has a simulation where she has lost control, her mind manipulated by others. With her powers, she’s always had some level of intellectual or emotional control over a situation, but now her mind is being manipulated and turned against her by a giant Abra Kadabra towering over a city.
Donna battles an army of Amazons as she tells the virtual Wonder Woman she knows this isn’t real! Abra Kadabra is trying to trap her! But no one can trap Donna Troy! Eventually, as Donna fights the fake Wonder Woman and fake Amazons she finds Wonder Woman is actually Abra Kadabra who tells her she’ll always be too weak to escape. She realizes he expects her to fight and instead admits to the Sanctuary program all of her friends die or leave her and she fights so hard and so long because that means she doesn’t have to think about them, she can focus on people she can save instead of people she’s already lost.
Meanwhile Roy Harper battles Green Arrow and The Teen Titans as they yell at him that he’s nothing but a junkie. Roy tells them he’s always felt like his life is missing, someone without a name or face that he misses without having met. He’s tried to fill this with drugs, but now he tries to fill it every day with heroism, and every day is a victory.
Barry tells Wally that he’s sorry and doesn’t want to fight him, Wally realizes this isn’t the simulation anymore, and they stop fighting. Barry tells Wally he was afraid this was his fault, Wally tells Barry he was the best father he ever had. Barry tells Wally Abra Kadabra has to have the confessions of everyone who went to Sanctuary.
Wally tells Barry he found the confessions before, but that was because he was a speedster, no one else could have put the destroyed files back together... unless they were at least almost as fast as him.
Meanwhile Abra Kadabra tells a shadowy figure he’s planned this all out. The so called heroes are all too self absorbed to ever escape their own personal hells. The figure looks to his left them zooms away. Abra Kadabra turns, and discovers every hero has broken free and is ready to fight him. Everyone he tried to trap was able to individually work through their problems and break out of their mental prisons so that they could stop Abra Kadabra.
Wally and Barry are the only ones not there, because they’re still trying to figure out what’s happened. When they hear a voice. A voice tells Wally he doesn’t think he’s done enough to deal with his problems. He needs a professional. He needs... a professor!
Professor Zoom gets a full page spread as he reveals himself to Wally.
Wally tells Zoom he knows he’s behind this, and he wants to know why.
Zoom tells him, the same reason for everything he’s done: to make my friend Wally stronger. To make The Flash a better hero!
Zolomon tells Wally he needs tragedy, like Barry Allen had, like Batman had, like Green Lantern had, like all the great heroes had!
Zolomon explains the true purpose of Sanctuary! Not to heal heroes, but to keep them reliving their tragedies, again and again! (We see panels of Lagoon Boy ordering Sanctuary to shoot him again with lasers)
After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Wally speeds towards Zoom as lightning shoots through the room, punching him! In the next panel, we see outside the domed Sanctuary, where Zoom bursts through the roof and is launched into the energy dome! Wally runs through the air behind him, bouncing off debris, then lands atop Zoom, punching him with both fists hundreds of times per second like they’re jackhammers! Zoom breaks from Wally and zooms away, and we see white lightning chase red lighting, zooming around the dome and over Sanctuary again and again in circles! Zoom speeds away, back into Sanctuary, and takes Lilith in his arms, preparing to thrust his vibrating hand into her head! Zoom tells Flash he has a hostage! Wally leaps at Zoom, grabbing him, and vibrating his and Zoom’s molecules in one as they both become intangible and move through Lilith and out the window onto the front lawn.
On the front lawn of Sanctuary Zoom and Wally match their speeds and vibrations as the two battle, blocking each other’s punches as they change frequencies to keep up with the other. They end up in the speed force frequency that reveals the open negative speed force rift, which Wally had planned, as he uses his proximity with it to create the same lightning surge that sent everyone in Sanctuary into the speed force, but this time… directed entirely at Zoom!
In Keystone City, Linda Park is working on an article when a bolt of lightning flashes into her home! She realizes it’s happening again, like when Wally West appeared in front of her, but this time, two kids in Flash like suits yelling “Mom!”
Before disappearing. Linda stares in shock at where they once were, having no idea what just happened or who they were.
Back at Sanctuary, Donna, Roy, and Lilith battle Abra Kadabra within one of Sanctuary’s simulations as the simulation shifts around them from Gnaark’s prehistoric world, to a field of murdered Joker’s from Harley’s use of the VR, to an area where lasers fire rapidly around them, to the home where Wally and Linda West raised their kids! Abra Kadabra uses the VR to create a 200 foot tall version of himself for them to battle in the waters around a destroyed Titan’s tower.
Meanwhile, Zoom dodges all of the lightning blasts and begins to speed in circles around Wally, creating a whirlwind. Wally finds himself trapped within the whirlwind, and Zoom tells him he has only one option, run against him, counterclockwise. Zoom tells Wally, “If I’m faster, I defeat Wally West, if I lose to you, and you’re faster, then I’ve proven tragedy really has made you the greatest speedster of them all!” Wally begins the race, just behind Zoom in speed levels, wondering if Zoom is really right, if he wins, what does that mean? Suddenly, Barry Allen zooms into the race right behind Wally, telling Wally he’ll take Zoom from here, right now, Wally has a far more important job. Wally slows down a bit and realizes all around the lawn of Sanctuary, those trapped in the speed force are fading in and out of reality. Wally leaps out of Zoom’s whirlwind as Barry tells Wally, when they said he was going to bring hope back to the universe, this is what they meant, it’s all been leading up to this! Wally runs towards the rift in the speedforce.
Meanwhile all the heroes battle a giant Abra Kadabra in a virtual world.
Donna Troy tackles Roy out of the war as Abra Kadabra attempts to step on him, and giant white rabbits fall from the sky in the simulation! Roy stares up as Abra Kadabra throws a flaming bouquet of flowers at them, telling Donna he has a confession. His lightning rod! It was her! She brought him back!
Wally runs into the speedforce, where he finds all the heroes trapped in an endless superstorm, suspended in the air! Wally tells them all to think of someone they love and follow him, it’s the only way out! Wally grabs each of them one by one and runs them through the rift! But, each time he does this, he returns more and more tired, more and more drained! Wally discovers at long last, his children, Jai and Irey, and tells them he’s getting them out of here! But he can’t do it, he’s too drained, too tired from the strain, Wally begins to fall into unconsciousness within the vastness of the speedforce! Then… a shadow passes over him. Wally looks up. Barry Allen smiles, and tells him his job isn’t over yet. Barry carries Wally and the kids to the rift, and Barry runs them all through the rift as it closes.
Omen aka Lilith Clay battles Abra Kadabra, but he gets the upper hand and grabs her in his fist! Abra Kadabra tells them they can’t stop him as dragons made of exploding fireworks attack Donna, Roy, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman. “You’re in my world now!”
Omen looks at Donna, and tells her, Abra Kadabra is afraid, afraid of losing, of having to go back to the future without Zoom it save him!
Donna picks up the flaming bouquets from the ground and tosses it at Abra Kadabra as it explodes like a cartoon bomb! She tells him he’s right, they are in his world, Sanctuary’s VR system, a place that can create your greatest hopes, or the worst fears of whoever is in control! And you don’t even need voice command, it works intuitively, all you need to do to win, is not think about losing! Abra Kadabra yells at them to stop messing with his head! Roy and Green Arrow fire arrows at Kadabra, Roy yelling at Kadabra “Don’t even think about it!”
The arrows launch Kadabra backwards, into a tiny prison cell. Roy tells Green Arrow that that one liner was terrible. Green Arrow tells him not to worry, he’s young, he has time. But seriously “Don’t even think about it”?
Meanwhile outside, Professor Zoom begins to disappear, revealing to Barry Allen he’s nothing more than a time remnant duplicate, and the real Zoom is elsewhere.
Suddenly, a massive lightning storm overtakes Sanctuary as the building disappears like a hologram, fading out as lights flash all over! Lightning strikes the ground throughout the grounds as heroes leap out of the way. Jason Todd on the hill looks confused.
Our heroes look around at the empty field where Sanctuary had once been. It was all fake, an illusion. Superman arrives carrying Batman, the rest of the Justice League following behind. Wonder Woman stands beside Lilith Clay. Lilith looks at Donna, telling her it may not have been real, but it will be, and she’s going to build it. Jason Todd aims his rifle from afar, looking for Wally.
Just then, everyone realizes, with each of the lightning bolts, someone new appeared on the lawn. Wally West lands on the lawn, Irey and Jai beside him. Everyone is back, they’re all here. Every supposed death undone, and with them, hope has returned to the DC universe. Jason Todd packs up and leaves. This isn’t what he thought was going to happen.
Wally finds Abra Kadabra wrapper in virtual reality tech, and removes it, waking him up and telling him no one deserves to be trapped in a false reality like that, so instead, he’s going to Iron Heights.
In an epilogue, at the Hall of Justice heroes reunite and celebrate. Donna has fallen asleep on a couch, because at least for now, the work is done. Lagoon Boy talks to Aquaman. Roy Harper heads outside, taking a look at Washington, DC , when it’s revealed Jason Todd has been waiting in the shadows to say that he’s happy Roy is back and he missed him. They hug and then Jason steps back into the shadows and disappears. Barry Allen speaks to some of the main Justice League members about how there’s no sign of Zoom anywhere on earth in this time, but Abra Kadabra has been locked up at Iron Heights and is being monitored twenty four/ seven. Elsewhere, in Keystone city, Wally is taking his children to his apartment, as they ask where mom is. He tells them it’s difficult to explain. Then… he opens the door and Linda is there, telling him she remembers now. She remembers everything.
Meanwhile, Reverse Flash breaks Abra Kadabra out of prison, telling him they aren’t done with Wally West yet. It’s like bowling, you have to set up the pins to knock them down!
Meanwhile, a few weeks later Wally visits Sanctuary, which Lilith told him on the phone is completely legit now. We witness several people, still in masks with voices distorted for security reasons in a therapy circle. Meanwhile, Batman is talking to Lilith and he tells her “I thinks Sanctuary was my fault”. She tells him she’s been hearing that sentence a lot from people. But Sanctuary was Zoom’s fault. She gets a message Wally is here and excuses herself, she meets with Wally and asks him how he’s doing, he tells her, he feels good. It feels real.
Next Article I will in three parts
Fix Roy Harper in the New 52 continuity,
Fix Donna Troy’s convoluted origin story confusion
Make Wally into the main Flash again while still keeping the beloved character of Barry Allen around.
I will also answer some unanswered questions from here like how Linda got her memories back.