With issue #208, the cover price jumps from fifteen cents to twenty-five. Was it worth it? Let’s find out. First, the cover fairly shrieks that the lead story is a Robert Kanigher tale, and lo and behold it is. In his war stories, Kanigher trucks with mysticism quite a bit, and he’s already done this in The Flash as well, so this story comes as no big surprise. The opus involves some bad guys who are inexplicably dressed as civil war soldiers and an Indian chief who are coercing a bunch of young people to steal for them. The crooks use a church to stash the stolen loot. A nun in the church who is a real sister of one of the young men prays for him to be saved from what he’s doing. The Flash does indeed save him twice as he breaks up the gang, but he does so at super speed so he isn’t seen and the result appears to be a miracle. The best part of the tale is the Novick/Anderson art which has some really nice moments. It appears as if Novick has been making it a point to look back at the Infantino work that preceded him. Not swipes, but more of an internalizing of that sensibility. Whatever, it looks pretty good.
The Elongated Man story is by Len Wein and Dick Giordano. Julie Schwartz seems to be using these back-up stories to groom up-and-coming writers from the ranks of loyal Flash readers and often graduates of the Flash Grams letters pages. More often than not they do a pretty good job and this is one of them. Giordano makes fine work of illustrating a story about Dodgson, a town named after its founder who was a distant relative of C.L. Dodgson, better known a Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. The town is celebrating the book’s 50th anniversary with a parade and townspeople dressed like characters from the book. Naturally, there is some pettifoggery afoot with some crooks dressed as characters and mixing with the populace. Their comeuppance arrives when EM realizes that the bad guys aren’t dressed like the drawings of Sir John Tenniel, the original illustrator of the book, as the townspeople are. Like I said, a pretty good job.
The rest of the book is padded with a reprint of a Flash/Kid Flash team-up form issue #149. While nice to see again, for dedicated readers like ourselves, I don’t see a whole lot of value added there for the extra price.
The comic field in general continues to move past The Flash and on into the future during this period with the work of Denny O’neil and Neal Adams on Green Lantern/Green Arrow as well as Roy Thomas and Neal Adams opus dealing with the Kree Skrull war. Work that would, down the road, inspire my own.