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Flash Fridays – The Flash #227 May/June 1974

posted on May 17, 2019

A sweet Nick Cardy cover kicks off yet another issue dripping with nostalgia for the early sixties. The villain Captain Boomerang  shows up with a scrapbook of memories straight out of those early issues. We see the iconic shot of the Flash tied to a giant boomerang and being catapulted into space. Even when I first encountered that scene in my junior high days, I wondered how a catapult could cause something to achieve escape velocity, but such was my love (and a first love at that) for the character that I not only suspended my disbelief, but I flew it out over the Pacific, dropped it into the ocean where it sank to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench… and imploded, whereupon, just to be safe I unloaded six slugs from a Colt Widow Maker designed for underwater use (hey, I’m suspending my disbelief here, work with me!) into it just to be sure it was out of commission. Which allowed me to buy into this current story in much the same manner, and, taken in that context, it’s a pretty good little story. Writer Cary Bates even comes up with some cool new boomerang gimmicks that, with my disbelief suspended and all, made perfect sense.

First, Captain B’Rang throws a boomerang into a jail cell where it cloaks itself and hides there in anticipation of him being thrown into jail, which happens. After he uses the boomerang to escape and the Flash catches up to him and tries to windmill him back to jail, he forms his body into a boomerang shape so that he returns, circles back, and catches the surprised Flash off guard. When he ties the Flash to another boomerang catapult to shoot the Flash into another dimension, the Flash uses the same trick to return from said dimension and capture B’Rang.

The only glitch in the story for nerdy ol’ me was when Bates introduces B’Rang’s father as the one who’s keeping a scrapbook of his battles with the Flash (and thereby justifies the cover), he’s introduced as Aussie “Green”, but the inestimable Captain’s real name is Digger “Harkness”. Now I realize that father’s and sons can have different last names for a veritable multitude of reasons, but I still found this to be a little jarring nonetheless. Other than that, the story was a very satisfying romp. Ditto for the Green Lantern story which continues his problems with getting his ring to function properly. It seems we’re going to have to wait for the next issue to find out what the problem is. Author Denny O’Neil isn’t given a very large sandbox to play in here making the continued stories almost a necessity.




Spring Cleaning

posted on May 14, 2019

Most of this is research for a big story I’m working on, so I just might be able to see this drawing board in a week or two.

Cover Me Extra

posted on May 12, 2019

Allen Bellman is a comic book artist who worked with Stan Lee at Timely Comics back in the Golden Age of comics. I had met him at an Akron Comicon and he and his lovely wife Roz came to a party we had at our house for the artists that year. He always comments on how clean my studio was and I always assure him that it has never been that clean before or since. At one point I asked Allen to create a cover for Atomic Komix, the little comic book company in Funky, and he graciously agreed. The cover appears in today’s Funky Sunday strip and I couldn’t have been happier with the result.

If the word gentleman didn’t exist, it would have to be invented to describe Allen. I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of his autobiography Timely Confidential – When the Golden Age of Comics was Young if you want to learn more about Allen and the golden era in which he worked.