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Flash Fridays – The Flash #225 January-February 1974

posted on May 3, 2019

Is it me, or does the Reverse Flash aka Professor Zoom look like he’s turning into the Elongated Man on this cover? I realize that the artist Nick Cardy had a problem to solve here when he decided to show Green Lantern being carted off to the hoosegow between the two running Flashes, but let’s just call the solution he arrived at a tad inelegant. I suppose we do have to remember that those were the days before Photoshop could have easily helped with something like that.

As Flash/Green Lantern crossovers go, this one is a bit on the ho-hum side. In short, Zoom lures the the Flash and GL to the future as they seek help in stopping an orange-polka dot-runaway unicorn that’s tearing things up in Central City. No, I did not make that up… writer Cary Bates did. Zoom’s plan is to have GL steal something for him in the future in return for his returning with the Flash to 1973 to help him catch the orange-polka dot-runaway unicorn. I can’t begin to tell you how silly it feels to even type that let alone comment on it. It does seem to be an awfully juvenile story even by the Silver Age standards that Bates is trying to evoke. It feels more suited to a My Little Pony book, and I might be doing My Little Pony a disservice there.

It’s not surprising that the story isn’t all that interesting. What is surprising is that the most interesting thing in the book is an ad. An ad for the DC COMICMOBLIE. If I may, I will let the ad copy speak for itself:

“Here comes the comics-man! Have you ever had trouble finding a store that carries DC Comics magazines? Have you ever had a hard time locating a particular issue that just didn’t seem to go on sale anywhere? Then it’s time you heard about DC’s latest and greatest project the COMICMOBILE!

Over the past two years, DC’s Vive-President and Production Manager, Sol Harrison, has received hundreds of letters from readers who have difficulty in locating the DC line of comics. One answer to the problem appeared to be subscriptions, and all DC mags began carrying the proper form offering fifteen issues for $3.00. Realizing that few readers could afford to subscribe to all the titles they collect at once, Mr. Harrison developed the totally unique concept of the COMICMOBILE with the blessing of Carmine Infantino, the publisher of DC, and it was all systems go!

Picture, if you well, a brightly decorated van, covered with all the heroes and heroines comprising the DC line of super stars. With a blaring ‘Here Comes the Comics-Man!’ wrapped around the Supervan, and the covers of the latest issues filling the windows, the project that in jest had been known as Solly’s Folly around the office, began taking our comic magazines right to the neighborhood streets and appears to be a stunning success.

Test sites were carefully chosen in the Long Island and New Jersey areas where comics are not distributed. Could comics be brought to the people the way ice cream is? The answer is yes! Readers from three to ninety-three kept coming back to the COMICMOBILE for their favorite DC magazines, every one from Action to Young Romance, every character from Atom to Zatanna.

Inside, the van is decorated with posters of Batman, Robin, Superman and Plop!, the number one selling comic so far in the COMICMOBILE’S journeys. Original artwork and pictures of Superman line the interior along with giant buttons proclaiming ‘Shazam is Coming’!

While stopping at day camps, parks, beaches and the New York Giants summer trying camp, the COMICMOBILE has run Superman cartoons to entertain its customers in between purchases of comics, T-shirts pennants, and souvenirs from the Amazing World of Superman in Metropolis, Illinois.

Messrs. Harrison and Infantino may well revolutionize comic magazine distribution with their possible plans of beginning a fleet of COMICMOBILES around the country. Not only can we at DC tell which of our mags the readers are buying, but we can also see just who is reading them and get direct feedback from these fans. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that every adult and child who wants comic magazines can find them. Yet, while we send our COMICMOBILES to a few cities we want to help our readers everywhere who have trouble finding our comics. If your area is not getting comic books or if you can’t locate the titles you want, send a letter describing the trouble spot to: The DC COMICMOBILE c/o Sol Harrison, National Periodical Publications , 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York 1oo19.

Meanwhile, keep your ears open for a ringing bell and the words ‘Faster than a speeding bullet’… echoing down your street. The DC COMICMOBILE may be coming to your neighborhood next!”

Told you the ad was interesting, didn’t I? With the benefit of hindsight, I think I can unequivocally state that this just may have been the dumbest idea in the history of comics.

Wait! Is that a ringing bell echoing down my street!?