Flash Fridays – The Flash #154 August 1965

Dec 23, 2016

The type of story where the superhero’s powers somehow change and turn against him was a popular trope in all of DC’s comics in the sixties. At least the Flash didn’t have to worry about red, blue, silver, gold and tope kryptonite, but there were still plenty of ways of messing with his super speed. In this particular story, the Flash learns that his constant use of super speed builds up a charge in his body that needs to be bled off occasionally so that his super speed doesn’t go haywire. After having all kinds of problems trying to catch some thieves because of his out-of-control speed, the Flash heads to the same Research Institute that he went to  for help back in issue #146 when, after a trip to the future, he found his hands turning everything he touched to dust. After another battle with some thieves where he has to cleverly work around his inability to control his speed, he’s finally able to drain the speed build-up in his body with a reminder that he’ll have to keep doing this periodically to keep his “weakness” in check. So he has one more item on his to-do list along side rotating his tires and changing the batteries in his smoke detectors.

It’s once again the back-up story that seems to hold the most interest. In it we learn that, unbeknown to us, Central City has built a Flash Museum to honor its most famous native son, and that Barry Allen has been a constant visitor since it’s opening. During a visit, Barry comes across an out-of-work actor sleeping on one of the benches in the museum. It turns out that the actor is Dexter Miles who Kid Flash had befriended in the story Mystery of the Matinee Idol back in issue #138. After helping the Flash stop some crooks posing as actors, the itinerant thespian gets himself a job. When Barry takes Iris to visit the Flash Museum, we find that Dexter is working as a guide/docent at the institution. Once again, the writer, John Broome, has taken a bit part, and spun it into something more. From this point forward, Dexter Miles joins the cast as a regular member of the repertory.

One last word on the Flash Museum. As a part of the Flash mythology it was tucked away in my memory banks where it quietly remained for, well let’s just say a long time, until I decided to have a couple of characters in Funky Winkerbean pay it a visit in a story that will run in early summer next year. File that one under “you just never know”.

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