Posted - September 3, 2015

Previous: Crisis on Infinite Earths Batman

Crisis on Infinite Earths: Flash

With issue 350 DC ends the run of the Silver Age Flash. Everytime this happens I fantasize about owning the entire run. There are people out there who own the entire run. I envy you, wait till I become a millionaire - I am going to have a comicbook room that will be so unbelievable that . . . anyway . . .

The cover of this last issue is fitting for a last issue, and, for those who've been reading Barry Allen's adventures, sufficiently poignant. Let's take a look at how DC wrapped things up prior to staging the death of the Flash in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Hmmm. The story reminds me of the non-existent human activity of bear wrestling. Some stories flow from the characters making up the tale, others flow from a well-conceived plot. Others don't flow at all - like this story. This story was a bear wrestled into submission and the whole struggle left some scars - those scars are worth some attention.

The Trial of Barry Allen

The Flash has been accused of the death of the Reverse Flash, has been put on trial, and pronounced guilty by a hung jury. "Hung" meaning brainwashed. Interestingly, Flash is on trial but Barry Allen is not, because of this:

Barry Allen's face change

Barry Allen has been beaten up by someone called Big Sur, he underwent facial reconstruction, and now looks unrecognizable.

I have a feeling that the story arc which includes this trial was meant to go on for several more issues, it needed some space to be told effectively. The disfiguring facial damage detail feels like it was shoehorned to wrap things up really fast because there was simply no time since "Crisis" was coming up. Another thing that felt shoehorned was the Flash's escape at the start of this story. An escape that has the Flash participating in a time travel escapade to the 64th and 30th centuries the end result of which would be the reversal of the conviction of the Flash, and the reintatement of his reputation as a hero. All of this in just a few pages.

What did I tell you - wrestling the bear.

There's more . . .

Iris Allen

Iris Allen is dead at the time of this story. But for this last issue of the Flash DC couldn't leave well enough alone. They had to give Barry and Iris a happy ending. Once again, wrestling the bear.

Get ready for this one: When Iris Allen died her spirit was saved by her parents and transported to the 30th century where it (the spirit) inhabited the body of a young woman who died by natural causes at a young age. Iris - once again in spirit form- travelled all the way back to 1985 and possessed the body of one of the Flash's jurors, putting her in a position to be Barry's guide in his time travelling jaunts. In the end Barry and the spirit of Iris make it back to the 30th century for a happy - although temporary - ending.

Wrestling the bear, ladies and gentlemen.

Flash's Rogues Gallery

The best thing in this tale are these guys.

the flash rogues gallery

Let's see: The Weather Wizard, Rainbow Raider, The Trickster, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, and Mirror Master. Amidst the convoluted twists and turns of the story this lot will provide us with some good old-fashioned comic book goodness.

In front of them is the Flash villain known as Abracadabra disguised as the Reverse Flash. Abracabra and the Reverse Flash are like mismatched bookends. The first is such a minor character he doesn't deserve a place in the Rogues Gallery. The Reverse Flash on the other hand, is a cut above the Rogues, a truly dangerous foe that combines the scheming ways of Kang the Conqueror with the demented malevolence of Jack the Ripper.

Going back to the boys. I find it heartining that at the end of this tale we find them like this:

the flash rogues gallery relaxing

Relaxing and toasting their old foe. Now that is a great way to end 350 issues of the Silver Age Flash.

Next: Crisis on Infinite Earths Legion of Super-Heroes