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Flash Fridays – The Flash #226 March/April 1974

posted on May 10, 2019

The return of the Flash villains continues with both Captain Cold and Heatwave stepping back onto the stage. Cary Bates produces a well told tale involving two of the Flash’s oldest foes. Bates has fully absorbed the rhythm of the John Broome tales of a decade earlier and is confidently producing stories that would have not been out of place alongside those prior pieces.

In this story, Len Snart (Captain Cold) is jealous because Mick Rory (Heat Wave) is being released from prison for good behavior, so he whips up some cold germs in the prison infirmary that can put someone in a trance. Since I’ve had a cold germ/virus that put me in a trance, I was totally able to buy into this. CC sends the germs in a letter to Barry Allen and this is where I had just a bit of a problem with the narrative. Exactly how would CC know who Barry Allen is? I suppose Barry could have presented evidence at a trial, but so could a lot of other people. Also, the trance was supposed to make Barry deliver CC’s old uniform to him but somehow at some point it also causes Barry to don CC’s duds and believe that he’s the good bad Captain. It doesn’t work for me, but it does work for the plot and the cover, so that will have to stand for our explanation. When Heat Wave  tries to fry Barry dressed as CC, the heat breaks the trance that Barry is in and Barry is able to use his super speed to turn the tables on HW. Heat Wave is sent back to jail for robbery and attempted murder which makes him crazy when he sees Len Snart still alive in prison, and Len Snart happy because he made Mick Rory crazy.

The Green Lantern story is a small tale about Gl ingesting some bad mushrooms while camping and is a cautionary tale about eating bad mushrooms and trying to operate heavy equipment or a power ring. A nice if predictable little turn with drop dead gorgeous art by Dick Giordano.