Flash Fridays – The Flash #119

Nov 13, 2015

The Flash no119

The Flash #119 arrived in my mailbox on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the winter. You couldn’t ask for better timing. It was one of those “shoot me now because I don’t think it’s going to get any better than this” moments. And the issue lived up to it in every way. In fact, it’s my favorite issue of the entire run. I’ve sure I’ve reread it at least a hundred times. Why? Well, for starters, it was my first exposure to the Mirror Master and I loved everything about him from his costume (Whose colors I would later “borrow” {Don’t worry, I’m planning to give them back some day} for my own Amazing Mr. Sponge) to his arch and clever demeanor. In the story, he captures the Flash and uses him for his own personal genie which allows him to send the our hero around the world to cater to his person whims. The art is some of the best that’s ever appeared in a comic book and I would stand in Neal Adams studio with muddy shoes to make that declaration. Infantino just kept getting better with each new issue and his inkers Giella and Anderson were with him for every leap forward.

That alone would have been enough to make the book an instant classic, but the second story makes sure of that as it features the return of the Elongated Man in a SF romp that has the Flash and EM facing off against an undersea civilization whose inhabitants (bald again) have been capturing humans for slaves. The story once again plays off of the friendship of the two heroes as they escape from and defeat the aliens. Alien civilizations always allowed Infantino an opportunity to design some cool futuristic buildings and machines and he does that in spades here.

This book was like a 45 with two A sides. I even loved the house ads for Green Lantern, The Justice League, Hawkman and Rip Hunter Time Master. But none of the above was the very best part of this book. That came at the very end of the letters page when Julie Schwartz awarded original artwork from the book to one of the letter writers!!! What!!? Are you kidding me!!? Actual artwork from the book!!? Once the ringing in my ears from my screaming stopped, I realized that there was only one thing for me to do. I had to spend the rest of that Saturday afternoon writing my ass off crafting a letter calculated with exquisite precision to not only get printed in the book, but to win some of that amazing art as well. Stay tuned, Pilgrim.

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