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Flash Fridays – The Flash #193 December 1969

posted on April 6, 2018

A member of the Flash’s rogues gallery finally makes it onto a cover and what a beautiful cover it is. It’s Murphy Anderson at the peak of his form with some sweet Gaspar Saladino lettering to add the cherry on top. Captain Cold has never looked better.

Inside, writer John Broome treats the freezing felon with equal aplomb as he reaches back to the very origins of the character by once again emphasizing his ongoing battle with lovesickness. But first, in order to cover the cover as it were, Broome has to have CC escape prison and then end up blasting the Flash into literal pieces which then stick to the wall and are framed by the Captain. Later, he’s showing The Flash pieces to fellow rogue Heat Wave who becomes so jealous that he wasn’t the one to do the Flash in that he in turn blasts the Flash pieces with heat thus restoring him to life at which point the Flash captures both villains and returns them to jail. Having to shoehorn one of these gimmick covers into the story invariably creates some unfortunate awkwardness where we not only have to suspend our disbelief,  but our common sense as well. However, it’s with the B story that Broome really brings it.

Captain Cold has developed the ability to restore people to their youth, and his goal on this breakout is to restore the youthful beauty to an aging screen actress, Laura Lamont, with whom he has fallen in love. He tracks down the actress, returns her once again to a young ingenue, and pledges his fealty along with promises of a (new) lifetime of stolen treasure. After the cold captain is back in jail and confesses to what he has done, Iris tracks down Laura Lamont (am I the only one who thinks she would have worked perfectly well in a Superman story alongside Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris… have I missed anyone?) to find that Laura has fled from the treasures and is making herself up to appear old again. As she explains: “Growing old was too painful a process for me! I could never go through that again!” She then returns to her job in the theater as a cashier in a movie house where they happen to be showing her old films. With his Norma Desmond meets the Twilight Zone twist, Broome has has not only submitted something for our approval, but for our reflection as well.