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John Darlin – Take 239

posted on October 31, 2020

 

Flash Fridays – The Flash #262 June 1978

posted on October 30, 2020

While I guess you have to give points to this cover for a certain ambitiousness art wise, the part that appeals to me most, however, is a cheekiness on the part of the writer. In the story itself, the Golden Glider actually throws a Flash dummy off of the roof… so when on the cover she says “Why don’t you stop them… dummy?”… well, it’s like I said, cheeky. The story itself isn’t really much more than a slow extended build on the last issue. We know that the Golden Glider is seeking to ruin the Flash’s life by the doing the following: creating a new Central City superhero called the Ringmaster, using him to cause the Flash to think that his own superhero career is being eclipsed, and also making the Flash think that Ringo stealing his wife Iris from him, and finally getting the Flash to join forces with the Ringmaster for some as yet unknown reason. We knew all of this last issue, but each part of the Golden Glider’s plan is given a little more time to develop here. The result is that the story has only moved about five yards down the field, and the end zone still looking pretty far away. I know that I praised Cary Bates in my last post for have the courage to devote an entire issue to setting-up a story, but using two entire issues to set up a story is probably stretching things more than a bit. Over at Marvel, Stan was nothing but a long extended story teller, but he always made it see like something was happening, and that it was going to be bigger than the last thing that happened. Cary still had things to learn.

I’m always a little caught by how I missed much of this at the time, but I had a pretty good excuse. I was still working like crazy on Funky, and using my spare time to create a new strip called Rusty about a bear in a national park. One of the elements I liked about it was that it had a strong environmental theme running through it, but told from the point of view of the animals. Back then the damage we were doing to the environment mostly impacted the wildlife. That was before we decided to paint a bullseye on the human race and join the endangered species list ourselves.

The Naked Sun

posted on October 29, 2020

The Naked Sun is Asimov’s second robot novel and it takes things to the next floor by building very nicely on the the first, The Caves of Steel. Elijah Bailey and his Robot partner R. Daneel Olivaw, having survived their first murder investigation, now find themselves off-Earth on the planet Solaria dealing with an equally puzzling second murder. With the introduction of Solaria, Asimov gets to do some interesting world building by creating a planet with a very small human population supported by hundreds of robots per person. The book, also introduces Gladia Delmarre, a character who will become pivotal in the remaining robot books.

As I have with the first books, I’m finding this journey through Asimov’s and my past just as enjoyable the second time around. This little project (with the accompanying book reports) is proving to be a nice balm for the craziness in the world. Although, it does leave me longing nostalgically for precedented times.

 

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