Known Relatives: Wally West (husband), Lisa and John Park (parents), Iris (daughter), Jai (son), Rick Shavers (ex-husband, deceased)
Base of Operations: Keystone City, Kansas
Occupation: TV reporter
Former Occupations: Investigative reporter, TV anchor, medical student
First Appearance: Flash v.2 #28 (July, 1989)
Linda Park was a popular TV reporter for Keystone City’s Channel Four. She is never intimidated and has been known to rush into danger on occasion...but she can usually handle herself. This is especially fortunate since her marriage to Wally West has made her a high-profile target for supervillains—although this has changed since the world has forgotten the Flash’s name.
TV Reporter Linda Park first met Wally West at the end of the Porcupine Man incident (Flash #28), which left thousands of dollars of property damage across several states, about which she hounded the Flash mercilessly.
Despite this initial mistrust, Linda and Wally became friends on her first job for Keystone City’s KFMB Channel 4. Wally had been taken in by the Celestial Enlightenment Ranch, a spiritual-retreat scam which Linda was investigating. They teamed up to find the truth, and Linda found herself apparently channeling the spirit of an 800-year-old Irish bard named Seamus O’Relkig. Wally helped her deal with this possession, and she helped him on several cases, so that by the time Seamus was revealed to be a ruse by the Kilg%re to fake its own death, they had become close friends.
Somewhere along the line, she and Wally both realized they meant more to each other than simply friends, and after some initial awkwardness began dating. After Wally’s house was destroyed, they bought a house together in a classy suburb of Keystone City. Their relationship was strong enough that when Wally seemed to be dead at Kobra’s hand, Linda was ready to take on Kobra herself (Flash #100, see picture). Wally has said that his relationship with Linda is the best thing that ever happened to him—in fact, their love for each other has brought him back twice from the Speed Force—but she often feels excluded from his super-hero “club.”
There were a few obstacles in the way of the couple actually getting married. First they were both reluctant to take the plunge, happy to just live together. Then when Wally was ready to propose, Max Mercury discovered he was fated to die that very evening. When Max saved Wally’s life,the Black Flash took Linda instead. It was a month before Wally got over his grief enough to realize he could dive into the Speed Force and pull Linda back out.
Then Linda was kidnapped from the wedding by Kadabra (Flash #142), who erased her from history starting with the moment she met Wally. With no memory of Linda, Wally was absorbed by the Speed Force. Then Linda escaped from her prison outside of time, landing in an alternate reality where a blue-eyed Wally West had been driven over the edge by her death at the hands of Kobra. Fortunately, her presence was enough to pull her own Wally back, and they began searching for their own world, where they were able to trick Kadabra into reversing the spell and restoring Linda’s place in reality (Flash #153–158, 1999). Once they had defeated Kadabra, they immediately picked up where they had left off and finished the wedding.
Career and Family
When faced with an infant who was thought to be Wally’s son, Linda started thinking about children for the first time. Her journalism career had often put her at odds with Wally, pitting the public’s right to know against the superheroes’ chance to resolve a situation before people started to panic, and Linda decided to leave journalism and go into pediatrics. Fortunately she had enough pre-med background from her college years to enroll in Central City Medical School.
Several months into her first pregnancy, a savage attack by Zoom killed the twins she was carrying and left her unable to bear children. After the Spectre wiped everyone’s memories of the Flash’s identity, she and Wally remembered only being caught in the crossfire, and Linda blamed the Flash for the loss of their family. The shock of re-discovering her true memories, and trying to reconcile her love for Wally and her anger at the Flash, led her to rethink her life. After spending some time alone, she decided to return to reporting and to Wally.
Miraculously, a time-travelling rematch with Zoom created a “fissure in time” that restored Linda’s pregnancy, just in time for her to give birth to twins Iris and Jai. The Wests threw themselves whole-heartedly into raising their new family.
When Wally and other speedsters attempted to trap the murderous Superboy-Prime in the speed force, he found himself being pulled out of this reality once more, though it did not seem to be the speed force pulling him. He appeared to Linda to say goodbye, but she insisted on going along with him. She, Wally, and the twins (who carry super-speed in their genes) all vanished together (Infinite Crisis #4, 2006).
The West family spent roughly a year on an alien world (Flash v.2 #231, 2007), where, due to the twins’s hyperaccelerated metabolism, Linda took a crash course in technobiology, becoming her children’s doctor as well as their mother. Little else is known of their life there.
Wally, Linda and the twins returned when seven members of the future team, the Legion of Super-Heroes, traveled back in time to resurrect someone using 31st-Century technology called lightning rods. The Legion appears to have been recovering someone else, but Wally was “riding the lightning,” and brought his entire family back (Justice League of America #10, 2007).Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Linda - Flash Secret Files (November 1997) - Phil Jimenez
- On TV - Darkstars #19 (April 1994) - Mike Collins and Tom Palmer
- With Plasma Rifle - Flash (second series) #100 (April 1995) - Mike Wieringo and José Marzan, Jr.
- Who’s Who (loose-leaf edition) #10 under Flash Supporting Cast (June 1991)
- The Flash Secret Files #1 (November 1997)
- The DC Comics Encyclopedia as Park, Linda (2004)
- Flash #28 (July 1989): “Bless the Beasts,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash #31 (October 1989): “The Comfort of a Stranger,” William Messner-Loebs
- Flash #33 (December 1989): “Joker’s Holiday,” William Messner-Loebs
- Regular from Flash #36 to #142 (1990–1998) and Annuals 5–11 (1993–1998)
- Flash #144 (January 1999): “Nature vs. Nurture,” Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
- Regular from #152 to #206 (1999–2004)
- Regular from #216 to #247 (2005–2008)
- Darkstars #18–20 (March–May 1994): “Eve of Destruction,” Michael Jan Friedman
- Showcase ’95 #1 (January 1995): “Do the Clothes Make the Man?” Part 1, Mark Wheatley and Allan Gross
- Argus #3–4,6 (1995 miniseries): “Light In Dark,” Mark Wheatley and Allan Gross
- Flash/Green Lantern: Faster Friends (1997), Ron Marz, Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn
- Flash 80-Page Giant #2 (April 1999): “The Answer,” Mark J. Kiewlak
- Flash: Our Worlds At War #1 (Summer 2001): “Time on Target,” Geoff Johns
- Flash: Iron Heights (2001), Geoff Johns
- Infinite Crisis #4 (March 2006): “Homecoming,” Geoff Johns
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #2 (September 2006): “Lightning in a Bottle Part 2: Origins,” Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo (flashback)
- Justice League of America #10 (August 2007): “The Lightning Saga: Final Chapter: The Villain is the Hero in His Own Story,” Brad Melzter
- All-Flash #1 (September 2007): “Justice, Like Lightning,” Mark Waid
- DC Infinite Halloween Special (December 2007): “The Speed of Life,” Mark Waid
- The Brave and the Bold (third series) #8 (January 2008): “Wally’s Choice,” Mark Waid & George Pérez
- Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge (3-issue miniseries, September-November 2008), Geoff Johns
*The Flash Secret Files #1 (1997) gives Linda’s middle name as Jasmine. Flash v.2 #142 (1998) and #154 (1999) give it as Kiyo (on their marriage certificate and an alternate-universe memorial). I’m going with the name given in the actual series. (Thanks to Eilt Druin for pointing out the mention in #142.)
**Linda was introduced as ethnically Korean, and this has never changed. There was a period in the late 1990s during which she was colored with green eyes—not a common eye color for Asians of any ethnicity. (Perhaps she briefly wore colored contact lenses?) Flash #142 stated explicitly that she is at least a third-generation Korean-American, and her grandparents are farmers in Iowa.