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Flash Fridays – The Flash #290 October 1980

posted on October 1, 2021

Cary Bates continues to improve as a storyteller here with a very nicely contained and clever tale. The previous issue ended with Barry Allen’s next door neighbor Fiona Webb showing up at police headquarters charging Barry with trying to kill her. As the Flash shows up with Dr. Alchemy, he overhears this and catches up with Fiona outside the station to try to plead Barry’s case. After an attempt is made on her life from which the Flash saves them, the Flash then takes her back to Barry’s apartment where he does the always fun Flash trick of talking with himself by using super speed to run back and forth changing from Barry to the Flash and back again so fast that the other person standing there thinks they are seeing two people. The first time I encountered that as a kid, I marveled at the cleverness of it all. Seeing it now, I can help but wonder how no one seems to notice the tornadic winds that stunt must generate. Ah, for the innocence of youth.

Barry does some sleuthing and discovers that Fiona is really Beverly Lewis and that she’s in a witness protection program after having testified against a gangster. A fact the Flash learns from a government agent named King Faraday who he meets in Fiona/Beverly’s home town. How cool to see Cary Bates dip back into the Golden Age and bring King Danger Trail Faraday back to action. Love it. Farady also tells the Flash that the mob boss has hired the Flash villain from The Flash #234, Sabertooth, to bump off Fiona. In fact, the Flash scoots back to Central City just in time to prevent another attempt on Fiona’s life. As he hauls Sabertooth off to the hoosegow (what exactly is a hoosegow anyway? Hang on, I just looked it up. It comes from early 20th century Latin American Spanish where juzgado meant a tribunal. I think we’ll all sleep better tonight knowing that.), the mobster, who remarkably resembles Barry, has shown up at Fiona’s door with a gun looking like he intends to use it.