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Flash Fridays – The Flash #281 January 1980

posted on July 9, 2021

Once again, this issue is graced with the art of Don Heck which is a perfect compliment to the kind of tale now being told. It opens with Frank Curtis still on the phone to Barry, when Barry hears gun fire on the other end. Cut to two cars of thugs ambushing Frank. He goes down in a hail of bullets just before Barry can arrive as the Flash. The Flash takes care of the thugs, and finds Frank still alive thanks to a bullet-proof vest whereupon he whisks him to a hospital.

The next day there’s a brief interaction between Barry and Chief Paulson who we realize is the man behind the attacks, although he’s still reporting a mysterious Mr. ZYX. That night in Barry’s home Frank shows him security footage from the masquerade ball. The footage clearly shows that Yorkin wasn’t responsible for Iris’s death, but that rather her death was at the hands of some unseen entity. Barry spends the next few hours rewatching the video over and over. The next morning before work he visit’s Iris’s grave vowing to find her killer. Has he leaves the cemetery, the police scanner in his car alerts him to a gun battle with police. When the Flash arrives at the scene he finds that Professor Zoom is somehow involved. Zoom take off with the Flash in pursuit. At one point Zoom does that splitting in half thing we see on the cover and then, once the cover has been covered so to speak, the gimmick is forgotten. The Flash basically chases Zoom (if he’d only know how ubiquitous his name would one day become) and can’t catch him because Zoom has reversed the polarities of his aura to repel the Flash. The chase ends in the Sahara with the Flash passing out from exhaustion. When he comes to, he finds that Zoom has placed some boots made of super dense molecules on him. The density of the boots prevents him from vibrating free and is causing him to slowly sink into the sand. As the Flash begins to disappear beneath the sand, Zoom announces that he knows who killed Iris. His laughter fills the air as the Flash sinks from site.