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Flash Fridays – The Flash #153 June 1965

posted on December 16, 2016

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Eobard Thawne, AKA the Reverse Flash, AKA Professor Zoom makes a return appearance from the future and begins to stake his claim as as one of the Flash’s more enduring villains with another book-length adventure (I know we all thought Grodd was going to assume the residency of the all-time-evil villain spot, but there you go). The story opens in the future where PZ has outwitted the prison’s brainwashing system and has been set free. He immediately begins making plan to return to the past to lay one on the Flash and, at the same time, cause Al Desmond to become evil again so he can engage his alter ego the villainous Mister Element to help him. Frankly, I’m of two minds about all of this. On the one hand, it’s nice to retain the muscle memory of the previous tale and pick right up where it left off. But, on the other, you should really try to make it more than Xerox of the previous encounter which this pretty much is.

That being said, it’s still a nicely told tale with six pages of patient and detailed set-up before the fur starts flying. One little twist has PZ influencing the Mayor to institute a ban against using super speed in Central so that the Flash, goody two shoes that he is, can’t use his speed to capture Zoom. But the Flash is able to lure Zoom outside the city limits so he can get back up to speed so to speak and battle him (raise your hand if you saw that coming. Hmmm… that’s not many). It does the Flash little good to have his speed back however because Zoom captures him and takes him to his headquarters. Luckily, Mister Element shows up and uses self hypnosis to save the Flash only to be overcome by evil again. After punching PZ back to the future by causing the internal vibrations that allow him to remain in the past to cease (thereby justifying the title on the cover), the Flash hops on the cosmic treadmill with Al Desmond to have the future folk brainwash him back to being a nice guy again. In the final four panels, the Mayor ends the speed restrictions in Central City, Al Desmond accepts a new promotion, agrees to get married to his fiancee, and gives her a big kiss. And it’s a wrap.

John Darling – Take 39

posted on December 15, 2016

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Match to Flame 34

posted on December 10, 2016

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One day in junior high we were called down to the auditorium where a guy was having students try out different-sized mouthpieces for musical instruments. After each student, he would dip the mouthpiece in alcohol and hand it to the next person to try. I was told that I should play the trombone, and that evening I dutifully went home and told my parents that they needed to buy me a trombone because I was going to be in the band. The Midview Junior High Marching Band to be exact. It was there that I learned that the gentleman who recruited me was Harry F. Phingston, the band director. He, along with my playing in the band, the nights spent marching in the rain or freezing cold, and the nerve wracking band competitions, would become the template for all that was to follow in the Funkyverse. So my musical background was in place and there it lay dormant, quietly waiting until . . .

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Two