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Flash Fridays – The Flash #232 March/April 1975

posted on August 2, 2019

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Writer Cary Bates continues on his quest to tighten-up the continuity in The Flash while simultaneously expanding and opening it up to new elements. The latter is accomplished by the addition of Stacy Conwell to the cast and to the home of Iris and Barry Allen. Stacy turns out to be the daughter of Charles Conwell the aspiring D.A. candidate who was fatally shot on the eve of his election back in issue #224. She’s in town to apply for admission to a junior college in Central City. It’s a move straight out of left field, and I suspect it’s being done (initially at least) to provide a romantic element for Wally, Kid Flash, West who also attends the junior college. Also, since she gets accepted at the end of the story and will be living with the Allens it reintroduces the secret identity element back into the stories. Ever since Iris found out the secret identities of Barry and Wally, the risk element keeping the alter ego hidden was gone from the work. With Stacy around now, that element of tension returns. I also suspect that writer Bates has other plans for Stacy up his sleeve, but we’ll have to wait and see.

In regard to the continuity, Bates reintroduces the Myrmitons who were last seen  in The Flash over a hundred issues ago. The Flash defeated them in issue #131 and they’ve returned to exact their revenge. What’s interesting is that issue was the second part of a crossover with Green Lantern #13, and, given that this book is one of those giant 100 pagers, the powers that be chose to reprint the GL story in this issue. It’s another head scratcher as to why they didn’t print the follow-up story from #131 as well since that’s where we first encountered the Myrmitons. Plus it would have been a chance for flashinados to read the entire crossover should they have missed one of the issues (as I did) way back when.

In my post for issue #131, I mention how the opening page for that issue with Hal (Green Lantern) and Barry sitting on a park bench really struck a chord with me and how it may have subconsciously inspired something in my own work. A few years back I came across that very page at Comic-Con and the same feelings flooded within me again. The page was dirty with some of of the trade dress missing (which helped me get a great price), but I bought it and it now hangs on the wall opposite my drawing board where it never fails to evoke those same memories and feelings. Funny how things like that work.