My best friend Butch lived across the street from me so we rode the same school bus home each night. When I got my subscription to The Flash, he got one to Mystery in Space which was the home of the elegant Adam Strange strip, which coinkidinkaly featured the same artistic team that held held down the fort at The Flash (I should have subscribed to that book as well, but, somehow at the time that seemed like an outrageously extravagant thing to do). Not only could I not wait for my comic book to arrive each month, but I couldn’t wait for Butch’s either. In fact, he once informed me that I was guilty of a Federal crime because I’d opened his mailed comic before he did. So one night on the bus he informed me that his comic had arrived, and I replied that mine hadn’t. At which point he told me what was on the cover of my magazine. He said that the the Flash was racing to catch bullets that were being fired at a scarecrow from a helicopter. Seems there was a house ad in Mystery in Space billboarding the Flash cover. With this news, my wait became excruciating, but a day or so later I was able to feast my eyes on a gorgeous story called The Doomed Scarecrow.
Infantino/ Anderson art illustrating a story of the Flash in Hollywood as a movie is being made about… The Flash. The scarecrow set-up was merely a scene from the movie where the Flash was doing the super speed stunts. Iris West comes out to cover the movie and there’s a very cool sequence in which the Flash has to race across the country to answer a phone call from Iris to himself as Barry Allen. The west coast setting gives Infantino to really show off his chops with palm tree lined streets and celebrities in the Brown Derby. The plot revolves around the actor playing the Flash in the movie trying to stage “accidents” to bump off the Flash so he can take his place and reap a licensing windfall. It’s a solid piece that’s beautifully executed at every level. I could tell you something else about this story that’s the most superspendifulous thing the whole universe plus some of the folded ones, but, much like I had to wait for this issue, you’re going to have to wait a few Flash Fridays to find out what that is.
The Kid Flash piece in the issue is another small town, small crime haunted house story that does a very good job achieving what’s it’s designed to do. Aided and abetted by some very nice Joe Giella inking that, like I said before, seems suited to this milieu. It revolves around Wally West and another high school fraternity (High school fraternity?) pledge having to spend a night in a haunted house that’s also inhabited by some small town crooks. The Kid captures the crooks and make it into the fraternity badda bing, badda boom. The best part is that it’s the ETA PI fraternity. Gotta love that.