Jun 5, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 101: The Flash v.1 #311, July 1982


A caveat: I only read the Flash story in this issue to post here today. There's a Dr. Fate story in the comic as well, but I'm going to be doing a piece for Sequart about Steve Gerber's Dr. Fate-related comics, so I'll hold off commenting on that here.

A number of the first volume Flash comics I have are from this period in the very early eighties, slightly before Barry Allen made himself the martyr par excellence of the DCU in Crisis On Infinite Earths. The villain of this issue is one that I've encountered in this era of Flash before, Colonel Computron. While I applaud Bates and Infantino for trying to stay current with their new rogues, Computron's dialogue and aesthetic make this a sadly very dated read. He tries to electrocute someone by attaching him to a Missile Command-style video game. Yep. That's the big plan.

What this does illustrate nicely is the ridiculousness that is inherent in these Flash comics, the element of play that is even evident in the actually heinous crimes his rogues attempt. This is an aesthetic that the show-runners of the new Flash TV series have picked up on nicely, this almost friendly relationship The Flash has with his nemeses. (Have I mentioned that The Flash TV show is hands down the best superhero TV series I've watched yet? Do yourself a favour and watch it.) Because I love the Wally West incarnation of The Flash so much, I am already kindly-disposed to Barry Allen's run (see what I did there?) in the yellow boots. I don't always find the stories as gripping as Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn's masterful take on the character, but he's The Flash, and I love him. I guess I'm just a big softie for men in tight red costumes.

I know, I know, that was all very silly. I'll see you tomorrow.

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