Kav & Tony have returned after a long absence. We are going to take a few absolutely insane pages from vintage comics and review them panel by panel. Kav sent me two pages from The Flash #190 titled "Super-Speed Agent of The Flash". This comic was released in 1969 by DC Comics, the writer was John Broome, the pencils were done by Ross Andru, and the inks were done by Mike Esposito.
OK, let's take a look at pages 6 and 10 from this issue. Go ahead and read the page first by clicking on it and then check out our panel by panel breakdowns.
|CLICK PAGE TO ENLARGE|
KAV: Barry Allen/The Flash has broken his leg falling from a tornado. How it is possible for a guy who can travel at the speed of light to be thrust onto the ground without being able to react in time is a mystery. He uses "TV and radio parts" to build his elaborate apparatus. See, no matter what you need to build, all the parts will be available in a TV or radio set.
TONY: This reminds me of a Grant Morrison and Mark Millar run for The Flash where he has TWO broken legs, but that's all I remember from the run because it was one of those stories where I had to flip ahead because it was boring as hell. Barry looks very busy with his eye loupe while making a bunch of junky gadgets for Lord knows what. I've seen more quality stuff from an Erector Set.
KAV: Barry explains his cockamamie plan to his wife, Iris, who is trying to keep up...with THE FLASH.
TONY: Barry's a real bossy pants and is also under suspicion for treating Iris like a sweatshop employee. Why is Iris doing all of this work? Barry could have stitched up the suit and built his junky electronic equipment in no time. Oh wait, I forgot that sewing is a woman's job. Way to be sexist, DC. "What's wrong with being sexy?" Get out of here, Spinal Tap quote!
KAV: Barry says, “We'll find out if your husband is an inventor or not” reminds me of Jimmy Olsen when he said, “I'm no military genius...or am I?" His suit is apparently now made of some airtight plastic, which is sweat city, and apparently even though Iris used a needle to sew up the mouth area, air cannot escape out the needle holes. WTF is “energized air”????
TONY: This is a typical Golden and Silver Age panel where someone defies the laws of physics and develops something totally idiotic. I love Barry's confidence in this panel because he believes that Iris' costume will fall from his hands and fill up with some bizarro energy. Also, would it have been a hassle to call Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Hawkman, or Wonder Woman to help out a fellow Justice League member who is injured? Sheesh!
KAV: So now The Flash's suit is an “automaton” just because he stuck some TRANSISTORS in it. No motors, no nothing, just TRANSISTORS with advanced voice recognition software not even available today. Hmmm...
TONY: Did Barry build the microphone from his TV and radio parts or did he just have a microphone in the house that wasn't being used? How convenient. It's funny that Golden and Silver Age superheroes can create these ridiculous items for themselves, but can't find a way to build something that feeds starving people or provides fresh water to some third world country. It's all about you, Barry. Why don't we just call you Dr. Dickenstein?
KAV: Do I need to say anything about this panel???
TONY: Barry the Genius should have used his TV and radio parts to place a small camera into the suit so he could sit at home and watch the energized air Flash walk around town. He will need to follow that thing around because he has to tell it to walk straight, or turn right, or go left. Way to make things more complicated than they should be, Barry. I still see parts on that table, mister. You could have used those parts and made something else for your crazy little project.
|CLICK TO ENLARGE|
KAV: OK, a balloon that kicks someone would not hurt at ALL!
TONY: Two dudes with guns are losing to faulty science suit Flash?! Don't let the NRA see this panel. Also, this Flash understands the command for, "Whirl! Right! Kick!". Give me a break. Kav's right about this substitute Flash being a balloon, which reminds me of those toys you could buy back in the day that was an inflatable punching bag. Barry should rub his Flash creation on his sweater and create some sort of crazy static cling electrical storm to take out those two bad guys for good.
KAV: The absurdity of Barry Allen hiding in an alley in a wheelchair vibrating into invisibility, but still able to talk normally while he orders his balloon costume around to fight just hit me.
TONY: There's always an alley to hide in or to fight in when you are in the comic book universe. If I were the chief of police, I'd have cops strategically placed in alleys to combat crime. I'd put Superman, Batman, The Flash, Daredevil, and a whole bunch of other crime fighters out of business.
KAV: Yeah thugs use metaphors like “dancing phantom” while shooting at people all the time. Are these thugs or Harvard lit professors???
TONY: The dude with the gun is not even trying. He is losing to a balloon. I wonder if he understands he is fighting a balloon. Do these guys realize that the fake Flash does not have a MOUTH or EYES? #stupid
KAV: Oh no! The 'energized air' is escaping. I'll spare you the next page where the deflating costume is still able to stagger away somehow, plus there is a scene where a flat deflated COSTUME lies on the ground and the thugs say, "We got him now". Apparently they are unable to distinguish between a prone human being and a COMPLETELY FLAT EMPTY COSTUME.
TONY: Old school comics can't give criminals any credit. It had to be a stray bullet that took down faulty science Flash. Boo on you, DC. If the balloon version of the Flash could kick people in the face, then how could a bullet pop the costume? Wouldn't the costume have popped when it tried kicking the bad guy in the head?
Folks, that's all Kav & Tony could take with The Flash #190. We'll be back soon with another comic book to review!
Anand 'Kav' Kaviraj is a comic book artist, a comic book writer, and a comic book guru. His works include Doctor Death vs The Vampire and Rapid City.
Tony Wright is a comic book writer and the owner of Champion City Comics. His works include The Red Devil, Day 165, and Dr Death vs The Zombie.