Save the life of a hero, who's given his all to save the world and seems ready to let go?
I know this has been done a few times, but the two that stand out most to me are in Justice League Unlimited, Episode 25 'Divided We Fall' and of course, Agent Coulson in Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Both times you have a hero who has just done something that either allows the heroes to save the world, like Agent Coulson did, or actually gone beyond himself to do it, as the Flash does.
This all came to my mind as I watched my favorite episode of Justice League Unlimited. Why? Because all too often The Flash is seen as a joke. And yet, he is both the potential catalyst for the Justice League to abandon their principles to become the Justice Lords AND the one who says 'NO!' and defeats a Lex Luthor/Braniac combo.
In doing so, he discovered the Speed Force. This is something only HE of the Flashes can actually reach. [Different story lines along the way, but I know that's how it works.] And when Hawkgirl talks to him... He sounds, happy. Wally has found his... Well, his center I'd say.
And yet, they don't let him leave them... THEY want him to stay, so they pull him out. He was freaking HAPPY! But no, they couldn't lose him and thus... He wasn't allowed to find peace in the speed force.
I'm sure Wally's happy being in the world again, but I also wonder just how happy he really was? He makes a comment that he can't ever go that fast again. You know why? Because he won't come back.
There's another episode not to long after where The Flash is receiving an award and invites all of his Justice League buddies to join him... You know what happens? A newer member thinks The Flash is a joke. He risked his life to save the freaking world, hell the GALAXY!! And they still see him as only a joke? Sure, Batman knows better... And is just being himself, which is why he acts as he does, but still. It drove me crazy to see how badly they thought of him, a founding member of the Justice League. Nevermind that only Batman and Orion manage to go.
Just as an aside, spending that day with him is great... You see that while most of the others barely know the people of their city, The Flash knows most of them by name and takes his city to heart. Found it sweet. He also knew his enemies. Never looked down on them as evil, never bitched... Nothing. Honestly, between those two episodes, I started see a whole new side of him and realized just how awesome he really was.
By this time, almost everyone knows that Coulson isn't dead. Or, is no longer dead. You may not know how it happened, and I'm not going to share it all. But I will tell you this. Coulson ACCEPTED his death. He was content and proud [I think] to know that his death would be just what the others needed save the day.
And could they give him that? No. Fury decided to play god and, through an excruciatingly painful experience, saw fit to bring him back. Nevermind that he didn't have consent. He knew better and decided that was all that mattered.
In both instances, someone else selfishly decided that because THEY didn't want this person to die.
My question is this... Was it right? Was it fair to the one who wasn't given a choice, but had accepted the end result?