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Flash Fridays – The Flash #287 July 1980

posted on August 20, 2021

Cary Bates dips way back into the archives to resurrect one of the Flash’s earliest villains from the Showcase days, Dr. Alchemy. The story centers as much on Dr. Alchemy’s alter ego Al Desmond as it does on the bad Doctor himself. Bates take us back to his origins as we see how Desmond was unique among Flash villains given that he emerged from his time in prison completely reformed, and has generally remained so except for a couple of extremely bad hair days if you get my drift. Barry and Desmond’s wife Rita are baffled as to why he would return to crime. As the Flash, Barry hunts down Dr. Alchemy only to discover that, when the Flash catches and unmasks his opponent, it turn out to only be someone hired by Desmond to play the role. On the final page, in Dr. Alchemy’s hideout, we see that the real Al Desmond is the prisoner of and being framed by a new Dr. A who happens to also be named… Al Desmond. Total lack of imagination or something more cooly Freudian like a split personality come to life? We’ll see next issue.