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Flash Fridays – The Flash #257 January 1978

posted on August 21, 2020

As promised in the previous ish, the Golden Glider makes a return and it’s a doozy (I don’t throw the word doozy around casually, so trust me on this)! This is really a great bottle story where everything takes place in a contained and controlled setting. There are no cutaways to other subplots or to some action taking place on the other side of the planet, or galaxy, or universe or even multiverse. Nope, it’s just a tight taut tale tensely told (That one was for Stan). The Golden Glider, who seeks revenge on the Flash for his role in the unintentional death of her lover Roscoe Dillon AKA the Top, performs her opening gambit as Barry and Iris are driving in the country on their way to celebrate his parent’s 50th anniversary. She causes a tree to fall on their car as they’re driving. Barry vibrates himself, the car, and Iris thought the tree thus confirming the Glider’s suspicion that Barry is the Flash.

Later, she lures Barry, as the Flash, out of the house and while he’s gone she causes his parents and Iris to contract a fatal disease and then puts a force field around the house that only the Flash can penetrate. EMS doctors can’t get in, and the family can’t get out. The Flash’s fear is palpable as he realizes he is helpless to save them. He leaves to do battle with the Glider, but she holds all of the cards and is unbending in her desire to make him suffer the loss of his loved ones just as she did with Roscoe. When the the Flash realizes that every weapon the Glider used against him was some kind of jewel, he runs back to his parent’s house to rid it of any jewels. There’s a cute panel where the Flash is seen adding to a mound of jewels in the backyard. The Allens were apparently the Gotrocks of the neighborhood. The Flash saves the day when he finally spots some small diamonds that the GG had placed on Iris’s briefcase. The folks and Iris return to health, and The Golden Glider leaves a note behind vowing future revenge.

The story shows that you don’t have to have massive explosions, time travel, dimensional forays or any other outsized comic book trope to devise a story that grips the reader’s emotions and captures their imagination. In walking away from the traditional comic book superhero motif’s, a really super comic book story was told.