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Flash Fridays – The Flash #236 September 1975

posted on October 4, 2019

So where were we? Oh, right… after fighting an issue long battle with Vandal Savage, who had kidnapped both Carol Ferris and Iris Allen, Savage is defeated, Carol is saved, but poor Iris is nowhere to be found. This issue picks up the traces with Barry/The Flash desperately searching everywhere for his missing wife. Meanwhile on Earth Two, Jay Garrick, the Flash of that world has enlisted the help of Dr. Fate to help figure out what’s wrong with Iris who, as we remember from last issue is being held as a prisoner at the Garricks. We learn from Dr. Fate that Iris carries a pestilence that, should it come anywhere near her husband’s super speed aura, would cause a cataclysmic explosion. Where she my have picked up this pestilence  is not explained, but it’s a good reminder to always wash your hands because you never know.

So now we come to the yellow hands (and, yes, I know the hand on the cover was green, but in the story they’re yellow). Again, it’s one of those cover gimmicks of Julie’s that poor Cary Bates has to somehow blend into the story and make it work somehow. Most of the time Bates has a clever way of working the cover into the tale. This time he didn’t have a clever answer so he just plunked one in there anyway. All of a sudden in a total non sequitur of a happenstance, the hands show up and start chasing the Flash all over the place. At the very end of the book, they are explained away as a side effect of a magic spell that Fate sent to Earth One to try to reunite Iris with Barry. Both the explanation and the shoehorned hands themselves seem forced. Mainly because they were.

At the end of the of the the chapter, for this is a story being continued for a third issue, Dr. Fate sends Iris to A.D. 2975 which is where her parents are and where he figures the advanced writers of that era might be able to write an ending to this mess advanced scientists of that era might be able to come up with a cure for her pestilence problem. Meanwhile, back on Earth One, the Flash is about to hop onto the cosmic treadmill to go to, you guessed it, 2975 to look for Iris. RUT RO!! (As a total, but not totally unrelated, aside, if they ever came up with one of those cool superhero statuettes showing the Flash on his cosmic treadmill, I’d buy it in a Central City minute. Just sayin’)