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Flash Fridays – The Flash #230 November/December 1974

posted on June 28, 2019

One of the better Nick Cardy cover graces this issue of The Flash featuring one of the Flash’s oldest villains Dr. Alchemy. Dr. Alchemy is one of the villainous alter egos of Al Desmond whose other bad guy alter ego, Mr. Element, first battled the Flash in the Showcase tryout issues. Back in issue #216, the Flash permanently exorcised Mr. Element from Al Desmond’s personality, but apparently he kinda forgot about Dr. A. So when a falling gargoyle nearly crushes Al and Rita Desmond on the street, the gargoyle’s likeness, which is of Vadtara an ancient fire-demon, causes Dr. Alchemy to reemerge in Al Desmond. Once again, the Flash steps in to help his friend and basically rids Desmond of his remaining alter ego by appealing to his better nature as Barry Allen. Once again writer Cary Bates hews closely to the canon and nicely takes advantage of the loophole that had left Dr. Alchemy still inside of Desmond.

In the Green Lantern story that fills out the issue, GL visits a “Spirit of ’76” exhibit only to discover it run by robots. The exhibit gets drawn into outer space and into a giant spaceship where GL meets Aaron Burr, the real Aaron Burr,  at which point the story is continued until the next issue where I assume we’ll find out what’s going on. Denny O’Neil seems cramped trying to tell shorter pieces resulting in a number of the Green Lantern tales being continued stories. He certainly seems to miss his erstwhile partner Neal Adams and even though every artist team that followed has done their best to mimic Adams, they’ve all fallen somewhat short. The current team of Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdell falls the shortest.