With the cover to #234, Julie Schwartz and Cary Bates not only manage to evoke the feel of the early sixties stories, but the covers as well. In this particular case it’s pretty much a
direct swipe of loving homage to one of my favorite covers from the run, #130. If you want to read about how much I loved that particular cover, just go back and check out that blog post… I’ll wait for you. Tick tick tick… okay, moving on. This cover works beautifully as well with the added fillip of having Dexter Myles, the docent at The Flash Museum in the background. Bate’s use of Dexter Myles is a masterful use of a character who was probably written as a one-off in the beginning when he was created by John Broome, but who Broome swiftly turned into an important ongoing member of the supporting cast.
The Flash is on the hunt for a villain called Saber-Tooth, and the whole tableau of being attacked by the wax figures of the Flash villains is just a ruse by the Flash to draw-out Saber-Tooth. However, it turns out that Saber-Tooth isn’t above doing a little rusing himself because the Dexter Myles we see is actually Saber-Guy in disguise. The real dexter is tied to a tree in what looks like a park where he could scream his head off, but apparently hasn’t. Thinking that he’s killed the Flash, Saber-Tooth heads to the park to off Dexter as well. In one of those rushed one page endings that seems to be Bate’s metier, the Flash shows up, splinters a tree with super speed to make a cage for Saber-Tooth, unties Miles, explains that he only faked being dead, and says that he knew the fake Dexter wasn’t the real one because the fake Dexters didn’t remember flirting with and quoting Shakespeare to the Allen’s houseguest Stacy. That’s a lot to pack into one page and it leads to some details being overlooked and not properly addressed. Like the fact, as Iris comments earlier in the story, that all of the villains pictured on the cover as wax statues are actually still at large. So it would seem that the smiling Flash joking with Myles in the last panel still has some work to do.