Flash Fridays – #204 March 1971

Sep 7, 2018

As this issue’s lead story opens, both Barry and Iris are performing their morning ablutions (I read that in Tarzan and the Ant Men as a kid and have been waiting some sixty years to find a place to use it – feel free to google it or go look it up in a dictionary like I had to way back when… I’ll wait) and nowhere do we hear that Iris’s being born in 2945 is a dream. In fact, writer Bob Kanigher doubles down by taking the first two pages to reprise last issue’s story. This is worth noting because to paraphrase the old saying: anything that doubles down in the first act always shows up in the third. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As the actual story unfolds, we find that Iris is suddenly able to read minds as she foils a couple of crimes in the act, or more correctly put, just prior to the act. Later, in a courtroom where the Justice League is testifying, she starts to blurt out their secret identities before the Flash whisks her away just in the nick of time. And it turns that time itself is the solution/cause of Iris’s problem. The Flash feels that the only safe place for Iris is in the future where she was born, and in the process of jumping on the cosmic treadmill to make the trip they find that the locket that Iris’s parent in the future gave her (see the post for issue #203) starts to glow. They surmise that time travel unlocks an unknown element in the locket that turns Iris’s mind into an unconscious transmitter of people’s thoughts. So they take it off and what do you know, problem solved.

Ironically, the Steve Skeates Kid Flash story also involves a spirit that temporarily inhabits peoples’ minds. Both stories are well told and well drawn. I do find myself warming to Irv Novick’s and Dick Dillin’s art primarily because of the Murphy Anderson inking. I’m sure that when these came out and, had I been paying more attention at the time, I would have felt the same way back then. But the The Flash had done its work in inspiring me and teaching what I need to know. I had taken, and now it was my turn to give back because I had just been offered a contract by Publishers Hall syndicate and was a year away from the day when Funky Winkerbean would show up to take its place on the comic pages.

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