The cover of The Flash #110 shows the Flash windmilling his arms to hold back a tsunami of rushing water, and the it billboards the coming of the Weather Wizard. Somehow you get the idea that the two are connected. Inside we are presented with the introduction of a new Flash foe along with a new Flash inker Murphy Anderson. Let me just state right out front that I think Murphy Anderson is, was and forever will be the best inker in the solar system. It was love at first sight. His lush mannered style really hit my sweet spot. Again, this issue came out before I officially came on board so it was great to discover when it was reprinted in The Flash Archives.
It’s interesting to note that a panel from this story was used for a DC house ad at that time which piqued my nascent comic book interest considerably. Had I come across this book I would have snapped it up immediately and thus my love affair with the Flash would have begun five issues sooner than it did. The only thing I can attribute that lapse to is the spotty distribution in those days coupled with my infrequent appearances at the Brown Street Rexall Drugstore near my grandparents house. The issue is a killer in a couple of ways. First it introduces another cool villain in the Weather Wizard complete with the Broome backstory and character development that we’ve come to expect. The Infantino/Anderson art is gorgeous serves the piece well as the Flash battles the various effects of the wily weather wastrel (I think I just came up with an alliteration that John Broome actually missed). Although much of the story is given over to the backstory, there’s plenty of space for the Flash to battle and defeat the Weather Wizard and to show off some new super speed skills.
Broome was on quite a creative roll at that point because he not only introduced another new villain in this ish, but he also introduces Kid Flash. Unfortunately, editors at that time felt at that time that superheroes needed a young partner so that we young readers would have someone to identify with. If they would have only asked us, we would have said: “No we don’t!”, but they didn’t and so we have this rather contrived origin story of a young Flash partner. I say contrived because we’re asked to believe that a lightning bolt (on a perfectly sunny day this time) would come through a window and cause the exact same chemicals to land on Iris West’s nephew Wally West endowing him with super speed. I’m sorry, this story has so many holes in it that the swiss cheese award would be too kind. Kid Flash was something I felt these books didn’t need. John Broome would later make me change my mind… a little.
This story showcased an especially nice inking job by Joe Giella. He shared the inking duties on The Flash with Murphy Anderson and, if memory serves, was the only one to ink the Kid Flash stories. He definitely made them his own.