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Cover Me 34

posted on September 19, 2018

Who ever thought that an ice cream cone and a bunch of kids could look creepy… and yet…

Flash Fridays – The Flash #206 May 1971

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The Flash #206 sports a great looking Neal Adams cover (does he do any other kind?) and at the top a Murphy Anderson illo of The Elongated man. Robert Kanigher continues his run on The Flash with a story that barely involves the Flash. It’s another un- Flash like story involving ghostly aliens and improbable coincidences. Two disparate couples are involved in accidents in which the wife of one and the son of another die. Two ghost-like aliens show up with an offer to the couple to trade their lives with the loved ones they lost. They are given 24 hours of immortality before the aliens return to claim their lives. The Flash improbably runs in to both of these couples on separate occasions and learns of their story. When the aliens return, he offers to trade his life for theirs, and when the aliens prove incapable of pulling that off because of the Flash’s super speed tricks, they decide that humans must be good and leave. Ta-dump! The only thing more boring than that story was having to recap it here. The Irv Novick/Murphy Anderson art registered another pretty good on the trusty artometer. The story also sported a new interior logo design that will take some getting used to.

The second story was an Elongated Man piece that had a much more familiar feel to it. It looked to the past for inspiration and was also a peek into the future because the story was penned by Cary Bates who was still a bit away from settling into his long run on the book. The feel of earlier work comes from the appearance of the Mirror Master who battles the Elongated Man as a way of tuning-up to take-on the Flash. He loses of course, but it’s a cute premise and a tale well told, aided and abetted by the artwork of Dick Giordano. Given all of that, it was by far the most enjoyable of the two stories. The appearance of one of the books core villains bestows a familiar feel to the issue and makes this Flashinado long for more.


Match to Flame 81

posted on September 18, 2018

I immediately began hearing from readers who recognized that surly old curmudgeon. Apparently I’d come up with another comics character who was unique to the comics page yet familiar to my readers. Not since the introduction of my band director Harry L. Dinkle had I gotten such an enthusiastic response to a new character. And, not being a complete idiot, it made me want to use him all the more. My school secretary, Betty, would soldier on until I finally sent her off to the cartoon character’s retirement home, but Crankshaft was turning out to be a lot of fun. Who knew? I was beginning to see more dimensions to him than I had originally anticipated. Much like John Darling before him, Crankshaft was becoming a strip within a strip. Hmmmm.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Five