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Flash Fridays – The Flash # 302 October 1981

posted on April 29, 2022

I know what you’re thinking… this is one shocking Flash cover. No, I’m not talking about seeing the Flash making out with the Golden Glider aka Lisa Snart. I’m talking about the sticker shock of seeing that DC was now charging 60 cents for their comic books. I realize that in the age where a current issue of The Flash sets you back $3.99, 60 cents seems like quite a bargain, but when you started out at 10 cents… trust me, it was a shock. Just think, if comic books were still 10 cents, $3.99 would probably buy me the entire DC line for this month (Don’t try that in your comic shop BTW).

Okay, as Stan would say: “Before you think you happened onto an economics lecture, let’s get back to seeing what the Flash is up to in this issue!” (Stan always used a lot of exclamation points). So the story opens with Barry finally revealing to his dad dad? that he’s the Flash, and his father seems appropriately surprised. Except that we know that his dad isn’t really his dad. He’s Roscoe Dillon aka the Top! Okay, I let that slip didn’t I? In my defense, I’m not sure you really need to provide a spoiler warning on a forty-one year old comic book. Let’s just say that much was revealed this issue. You could also say that the Top inhabiting Dr. Allen’s body is impossible. Plus, you could double down by pointing out that the Top is dead. Both pretty good reasons. However, we’re three hundred and two issues into this project, so nothing should really surprise us anymore.

On the other hand, things are finally falling into place. Apparently, Lisa and Roscoe are the mysterious pair who have been plotting to do away with the Flash by having Roscoe take over Dr. Allen’s body with the plan to have Roscoe eventually take over the Flash’s mortal coil. This makes sense because they both really hate the Flash for having killed (although accidentally) the Top, but it also leaves us with some questions yet to be answered. How does the Top pull off the trick of taking over bodies? And what happens to the person who was the previous inhabitant of that body? And why does the Top look so old and say that the Flash killed him (accidentally) in the prime of his youth? Finally, why does the captured Golden Glider tell the Flash to enjoy the triumph of catching her while he can? Surely, as the Flash muses at the end, that’s more than just sour grapes. The editor Mike Barr says in the letter col that everything wraps in the next issue, so it appears that we’ll all find out together in the next Flash Friday.

Oh, I should also point out that the Flash is only kissing the Golden Glider on the cover and in the story because a hypno-gem in her mask made him do that. But you probably suspected that.