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Flash Fridays – The Flash #244 September 1976

posted on February 7, 2020

In spite of the fact that this issue sports one of the least inspiring Flash covers in the issue’s entire Silver Age run, it at least manages to get across the idea that the Flash will be battling his Rogues Gallery and thereby lets us know that we’re picking up right where last issue’s Rogues Gallery tale left off. To recap: Roscoe Dillon, aka the Top, before he died, had committed six faux robberies where his real intention was to place a series of six bombs that the Rogues needed to find to save Central City. The premise that the Rogues would want to save the city because, knowing where everything was, they preferred to commit their crimes there is a little weak (ok, a lot weak), but, if you can swallow that, then you’ve got an entertaining story where the Rogues are trying to steal back the bombs and the Flash is trying to figure out what they’re up to and stop them with the reader not quite knowing who to root for. There are a number of clever turns the where Rogues get the bombs, the Flash gets one of the bombs, the Rogues have to break into police headquarters to steal a bomb back, the Flash finally cops to what the Rogues are doing, the Rogues having gathered all of the bombs (Hey, kids… collect ’em all) find out that they have to be stacked in the correct order with 720 possible combinations, and the Flash arriving at the last second to speed through all of the combinations and save the day. Taking the bloom off the rose a bit was the fact that the Flash, after barely fending off the Rogues during the course of the issue, simply captures them all at once off-panel which he then explains to Iris in the final frame. I’ve found that cop-out being overused on a regular basis in these issues.

Hey, speaking of cop-outs as we were, at the end of the issue, the Top is still dead. No deus ex machina saved at the bell or any other kind of copping out device is used to bring him back to life. He’s still dead. Dead dead. He doesn’t “get better”. Which leaves us with two questions. Is he “Bucky dead”? And does “Bucky dead” even count anymore?