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Young Justice: How Wally West/Kid Flash Could Return

Young Justice is a complex and mature exploration at coming of age themes that still embraces all the raw, adventurous fun and craziness of a comic-book world. That means that when crazy sci-fi shenanigans take place they have the heart and soul of real drama to them. Nowhere was that clearer than with Wally West's death in the second season finale. Yet, as fans gear up for Young Justice: Phantoms they may want to prepare for the possibility Wally will return.

What was perhaps most memorable about Wally's sacrifice is that it did not come in battle against a huge villain, but rather in the course of stopping the Reach's schemes on Earth. Combining his kinetic energy with that of Barry and Bart Allen, aka his mentor Flash and successor Impulse, Kid Flash helped siphon off the energy from the Reach's doomsday device. The problem was Kid Flash was slower than his speedster counterparts and caught the bolts of energy left in their trail. Yet, he pressed on, sacrificing himself and ultimately joining with the Speed Force.

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Wally's death was heart wrenching to the characters and fans alike. Though he and his girlfriend Artemis temporarily retired, over the course of Season 2, they were drawn back into the superheroic lifestyle. Artemis went under the guise of Tigress, which she kept following Kid Flash's death in an effort to become a whole new person. Yet, her grief continued into Season 3 where an emotional episode followed Tigress' journey to find closure and accept Wally's loss.

But when it comes to the Speed Force nothing is an exact science, and the possibility remains entirely open that Wally could return. In fact, his death is quite similar to his fate in the comics. There, a selfless sacrifice was also responsible for Wally vanishing into the Speed Force, but this time it was to save his girlfriend Linda Park. Linda proved to be the means of his return as well, as their love provided a tether that allowed Wally to do the impossible and return from the otherworldly dimension of pure speed.

In the context of the show, Kid Flash's relationship with Tigress could serve the same purpose in bringing the speedster back. Wally was a fan-favorite character, and with a precedent for his return already set in the comics, bringing him back seems like a likely possibility.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to Wally's return is the way his friends and loved ones progressed past his death. With the help of Zatanna and Miss Martian, Tigress finally managed to say goodbye to Wally and move on. Plus, Impulse took on the Kid Flash mantle, altering it with a new look that nevertheless honors Wally.

Seeing Wally return after those developments could traumatize the characters and be read as backpedaling by fans who appreciated the place of Wally's death in the story. Whether or not to bring the character back will remain a contentious issue, but with such an open-ended death it will be a possibility that continues to come up.

Young Justice: Phantoms will stream on HBO Max. The fourth season of Young Justice does not currently have a premiere date.