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Flash Fridays – The Flash #237 November 1975

posted on October 11, 2019

The last part of this continued three issue story manages to quite nicely redeem the entire affair. Even though Doctor Fate tried to derail the Flash’s attempt to travel a thousand years into the future to rescue Iris, the Flash manages to outmaneuver him and show up there anyway. So Doctor Fate sends a mystic bolt to the Flash in the future warning him to stay away from Iris and explaining that any contact with her will cause a cataclysmic destruction of their world. No sooner does the Flash come to this realization than up shows the Reverse Flash and suddenly everything becomes clear to Barry, to Iris, and most importantly to the reader. We learn that the Reverse Flash planted the seeds of a lethal energy flux in Iris’s body that he controls with special vibrations. So we further learn that it wasn’t really a pestilence that Iris picked up lord knows where as Doctor Fate had claimed. We also learn that Doctor Fate apparently isn’t a real Doctor. The Flash is able to save Iris by simply countering the vibrations that RF placed in her.

The entire deadly charade was merely another attempt by the Reverse Flash to make Iris his wife. This clever turn of events suddenly makes the the entire three issue arc pull together in a completely logical way, and shows that writer Cary Bates knew what he was doing all along. I stand in line.

It also shows that the Reverse Flash is continuing to cement his claim to being the Flash’s arch nemesis. He’s beginning to lengthen the distance between himself and the other knaves and pettifoggers in the Flash’s rogues gallery. Whenever the rogues gallery appears en mass, the Reverse Flash is never there, implying a uniqueness to his role in the Flash saga. And, with each appearance, the level of his menace seems to increase. The story ends with Iris and Barry sitting down to dinner with her father and Stacy, and with everything, as earlier Flash writer John Broome once observed, settling neatly back into place. But for how long?