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Flash Fridays – The Flash #191 September 1969

posted on March 9, 2018

This is a classically bad example of the Julie Schwartz gimmick cover. First, it’s a terrible waste of the talents of the incomparable Joe Kubert. Second, it totally buries the lead. The story inside happens to be a wonderful John Broome SF crossover featuring Green Lantern that isn’t even hinted at on the cover. This cover all by itself would not have made me buy this issue. What would have made me buy this issue is a kick ass Kubert cover showing Flash and Green Lantern battling some really awesome aliens like they do in the story inside. But alas…

John Broome’s writing had an incalculable influence on me as I grew up reading his work. It was an impeccable blend of plot and character driven writing that was both inspiring and yet accessible, and I studied his work like I was going to school, which in a way I was. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to meet some of my heroes from back then and even work with one, but the fates decreed otherwise as far as Broome was concerned. In 1998, I was invited to Comic-Con in San Diego where I would later learn I was to be honored with an Inkpot Award. It just so happened that John Broome was an invited guest that year in what was to be his only convention appearance (For the full story of how fans worked behind the scenes to get Silver Age creators to San Diego, I’d highly recommend issue #142 of Roy Thomas’s invaluable and evocative Alter Ego magazine). It also just so happened that I ended up in the hospital with an emergency appendectomy a week before the convention. So I missed the convention and my chance to meet John Broome. My last chance as it turned out because John passed away quite suddenly the following year thus closing that door forever.

However, the fates were kind and they made up for it, because the terrific folks at Comic-Con invited me back the following year to finally receive my Inkpot… where, at a photo shoot following the awards ceremony, I found myself standing  next to fellow award winner and former Flash artist Murphy Anderson. The twelve-year-0ld Flash fan inside me was spinning like a top.