When DC Comics launched its New 52 initiative in 2011, rebooting and updating the entire DC Universe, it meant making a number of big changes, from dissolving Superman's marriage to Lois Lane to Barbara Gordon's return as Batgirl. And one of the more widely discussed changes among a large portion of DC readers was the decision to eliminate Wally West from continuity, leaving Barry Allen as the only Flash.

But like so many heroes in comics who have disappeared for some time, his return was all but inevitable, and DC Comics has announced today that Wally will return to the pages of the Flash this spring.

The announcement was made this afternoon via USA Today. Wally will be reintroduced in the pages of The Flash Annual #3, courtesy of the series' new creative team of writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen and artist Brett Booth.

 

'The Flash Annual' #3 cover by Brett Booth

This is the second announcement from DC in recent months about the reintroduction of a popular character in the New 52; at October's New York Comic Con, Batman scribe Scott Snyder revealed plans to bring back Stephanie Brown in 2014. But Wally's revival will likely resonate with far more readers. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in the pages of The Flash #110 in 1959, Wally was initially Kid Flash, the sidekick to Silver Age Flash Barry Allen, until taking over for Barry Allen following his mentor's death in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. He then served in the role for 25 years.

This announcement comes on the heels of the news that The CW is working on a Flash television series -- albeit one starring Barry Allen. That show will spin out of the network's Arrow series, with Barry having already been introduced in that universe. The added attention to the character possibly portends an appearance in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, which currently will include Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

There's no word yet as to what his reintroduction means for both him and Barry, and what role he'll play, but I imagine many who were outraged about the character's disappearance will be watching very carefully.

 The Flash Annual #3 arrives in stores in April.