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Flash Fridays – The Flash #282 February 1980

posted on July 16, 2021

The longest Flash story arc ever continues with no resolution on the horizon. The title of this chapter is “Mishmash” and, as self critiquing titles go… this one is probably in the running for a prize of some kind. The continuing desire to deliver a Marvel type story serves up mixed results. The story beats appear as if they were mixed with a salad shooter (anybody remember those?). First, the Flash saves himself when the boots that the Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom, pick the one you like, placed on the Flash begin to melt as they reach the molten core of the Earth allowing the Flash to wiggle out of them. His superspeed and special aura do the rest. As he emerges from an active volcano, he runs into Green Lantern whose JLA emergency signal has alerted him to the Flash’s plight. GL gives him a lift back to Central City where the Flash hops on his cosmic treadmill and heads to the future hoping to learn who killed Iris. Once there, finds no answer and realizes that he’s been duped by the Reverse Flash’s claim to  know Iris’s killer.

The story jump cuts to Chief Paulson and his family arriving in South America. The Flash, but a Flash with a nasty attitude appears out of nowhere and whisks Paulson back to jail in Central City, all the while spouting off in a very unFlash like manner. As the Flash leaves the police station, he runs into Green Lantern. The Flash starts a fight with GL and in the course of it we find that it’s the Reverse Flash who’s been impersonating the real deal. As the Reverse Flash runs off, there’s another jump-cut to the real Flash arriving home on the cosmic treadmill and suddenly having it explode under him.

As this story goes, it is a bit tighter in the telling, but each jump cut is still jarring almost as if the story is being written as it’s being typed. And, once again, having to forcibly shoe in an out-of-synch cover idea just adds to the disjointed feeling. The pluses are the gorgeous art of Don Heck and the fact that we do actually feel on the trail of solving a genuine mystery surrounding the death of a major character, which, I guess, is doing the job a story is supposed to do, and that is making you look forward to what’s coming on the next Flash Friday.