As relationships within the DC Universe goes, the one between Wally West and Linda Park-West is pretty special. While maybe not quite as iconic as Lois and Clark or Barry and Iris, Linda and Wally. have a genuinely beautiful love story, one that is perhaps among the healthiest and most stable even in the face of some genuinely wild turns — including Linda recently developing her own super powers. In the upcoming The Flash 2022 Annual, fans of The Flash will get to take an even deeper look at this beautiful relationship as well as go on a very unique and fun adventure. Brilliantly told as a story within a story as Wally — and readers — get a look at Linda’s novel (including a truly epic bit of art by Sergio Acuña), there are some fun revelations about not just Linda, but Wally, their life together, and perhaps even a major new challenge coming their way. speaking with comicbook.com about the upcoming issue, writer Jeremy Adams broke down for us how the issue is packed full of fun, Easter Eggs, some personal elements, and said that what he really hopes fans fall in love with Linda and Wally the way he has.
Jeremy Adams: Have you read it?
NicoleDrum, comicbook.com: Did I read The Flash Annual? And it is.
I’m really glad you read it because I think I’m more scared about this than most things.
Why is that?
Because I’ve hinted at Linda wanting to make this leap as a writer, and so there is this element of this thing and it’s jam-packed full of Flash Easter Eggs from the story of The Flash from back in the day. It’s her way of incorporating that into this sci-fi love story. Now, the meta narrative of this is that I, too, am incorporating so much of my life into the Flash thing, and this book in particular is really kind of a love letter to my wife in a way. So, it is this weird juxtaposition of, “Oh, this is Linda doing that, and this is a love letter between these characters,” but at the same time, I’m also dropping in a bunch of stuff, just part of my own life that I’m like, “I don’t know if anybody’s going to get it because it is The Flash, but it’s Easter Egging The Flash for so many…”
There’s a lot of Easter Eggs, even from, it’s like, “Oh, I made a space cobra but it’s really just an illusion to Kobra…” All this insanity.
Thank you for confirming that for me because I’m like, it’s got to be Kobra.
Yeah, of course it is. I mean, everything, whether it’s the Golden Retrieval Service and Abra Kadabra and there’s so much of it that is, whether it’s the Porcupine Man or it’s Rick, the original marriage Linda had, or all those things are just part of her story. But, like any author, you just take so many parts of your life and incorporate it. Now, it was funny because when I first started writing it, I really thought in my head “No, I’m going to do a straight romance.” I started writing it and I’m like, “A: I don’t think I can do that. B: I was like, But wouldn’t it be cooler if this moment if it is this moment where Wally realizes, ‘Oh , she’s an uber nerd.’ She totally changes the page,” and you’re like, “Wait a second. This was a thing, and now it’s like monsters and aliens.” I thought that was really kind of fun.
The thing about annuals is that they’re either really, really awesome in that they give you this really cool story that connects the dots, but also is its own thing or it’s just completely standalone. This one does this beautiful through-line while also getting bonkers in the best possible way, right there in the center. How do you balance that and make it so fulfilling?
I’m glad you said that. There’s so much of my own life in it where you’re just like, “Oh, this is normal life.” But then, it’s just crazy. I’m really trying to ground that in humanity, because for me it’s all… Wally’s talking to Linda, but I’m talking to Amy, my wife, because she is that superhero character that is highly intelligent, and has degrees, and works, and helps with… does all these things in a way that is just so above anything I could do. So, putting that down and trying to, in a way, just also like to acknowledge it, but also wrap my head around it, and Wally wrapping his head around it because, one thing I’ve fallen in love with The Flash family in general .
I think something the fans have also illuminated for me is that it’s not just about Wally. It is so much about his kids from him. It is so much about Linda. It’s so much about the other characters in this book, and I think, for the greatest moments in The Flash book, it hasn’t been just focused on a character. It’s been this holistic show, or book about family. I knew early on that I wanted to specifically focus on Linda.
It’s nice to see the character becoming something that’s a little different, a little more of a human being with different interests. It’s just nice to see these characters flesh out, but this book in particular really does a good job of showing the support that even a hero needs to give the people in their life. I think that’s just such a beautiful thing. We get to see Wally take this breath and just be the support for his support from him.
That’s a huge part of it. As I was writing it, I was just reflecting on my wife and just how much she does.
Having a life in the arts is not for the fainthearted So, it’s analogous I guess to being a superhero in terms of it takes you to weird places at weird times and she has always been incredibly supportive. I heard somebody say it’s important to remember to treat the people closest to you like you would a house guest. Sometimes we just get so easy, just being with somebody that we forget to stop and acknowledge them and how grateful we are to be in the same space because the alternative is terrifying.
I’ve got to ask; in a sense this is a very different type of Flash story and there are obviously going to be people who are going to be like “what?” Did your editor have a moment?
yeah. I mean, I think it’s a weird risk for me in a way and it’s a weird risk for the book. I don’t know if people are going to be like “I like it” or they’re just going to be like “whatever” I mean, I tried to make it accessible enough that if you don’t know the Easter Eggs, it’s still going to be kind of an interesting fun romp.
If you know the Easter Eggs, it’s going to be like, “Oh!” That’s going to add a depth to it. But then I also wanted to add enough for the ongoing Flash readers so that they know that there’s stuff in this book that relates to the overarching story. But it’s a weird book.
What is it that you hope people come away from this book with or what it is that you’re most excited about people seeing in this book?
I’m excited for people to realize that The Flash is not just about Wally West. It is about his relationship with The Flash family and just like I am, it is not just about me. It’s like, I am no longer me. I am a “we” with my wife. It’s that, just focusing on… we focus on the DC Universe on a bunch of different couples. This is my way of falling in love with these two in a way that wants to elevate them to the forefront of, “Hey, these two are the most well-adjusted, loving characters in the DC Pantheon, and that should be celebrated.” I think it would be easy for dramatic purposes for me to break them up and do something horrible or whatever.
I don’t want to do that. I want there to be at least a couple in the DC Universe that’s doing it well, even though it’s hard, and I love the fact that Wally is quickly becoming like, literally in the string of all characters. You’re like, “Oh, but he’s moving on, He’s got kids, he’s got a life he’s got now this other wrinkle that’s going to add another level to their family.” So, I just want people to fall in love with Linda and Wally in a way that I did.
The Flash 2022 Annual #1 goes on sale August 30th.
• THE FLASH 2022 ANNUAL #1
• Written by JEREMY ADAMS
• Art by SERGIO ACUNA
• Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
• $5.99US | 48 pages
• ON SALE 8/30/22
It’s been a wild time for Wally West and Linda Park-West: their children are regaining their powers, Wally is bouncing between realms, and Linda is dealing with a mysterious power surge! Now, as Linda begins doing research for her upcoming book, Wally comes along for some quality time, and the couple end up on an adventure neither expected!
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.