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Flash Fridays – The Flash #294 February 1981

posted on December 10, 2021

Writer Cary Bates’ march through the Flash’s rogues gallery as well as his recent string of top shelf stories continues with the reappearance of Grodd the super gorilla. We get another focused and terrifically told tale which trusts the source material to carry it without any intrusive gimmicks thrown into the mix. The story opens at the Gorilla City embassy (nicely designed by artist Don Heck) in New York City where we see some of the gorilla delegates enjoying some leisure time. As we jump to Gorilla City itself, we find their leader Solivar lamenting the influence that humans are having on their fellow gorillas in New York. He explains that the super gorillas have no concept of leisure time since they’re are using all of their brain at all times as opposed to humans who use only about 20%. He attributes the lack of leisure time to the gorillas’ successful rise, and, with the acquiescence of the Flash, plans to install a worldwash device at the pole to remove all knowledge of the super gorillas’ existence from the minds of humans.

While this is going on, the jailers of the villainous Grodd open his prison cell to find a human in there named William Dawson. They set Dawson free not realizing that Dawson is really Grodd himself. A helpful footnote informs us that Grodd first turned into Dawson in issue #106, but it turns out that the helpful footnote is not really all that helpful. Allow me a brief digression here:

The helpful footnote is wrong because Grodd turned into Dawson in issue #115. I happen to know this not because I have a stellar memory (far from it), but because issue #115 was the very first issue of The Flash that your faithful blogger ever bought. And you never forget your first one. Moral: If you’re going to have a helpful footnote, try to make sure it’s actually helpful.

Okay, moving on, Grodd slowly turns back into the Grodd we all know and love and he makes a beeline for the worldwash device also known as the mytronic beacon (I always like to use the actual scientific names when I can) where he tinkers with it to erase knowledge of himself from the minds of all of the gorillas as well as the humans. He then makes a special tweak which he gloats will doom both Solivar and the Flash. However, editorial informs us that, to find out what he did, we’ll have to wait until next issue for the story entitled In Grodd We Trust! Cute.