Flash Fridays – The Flash # 270 February 1979

Mar 5, 2021

The cover to #270 shows the Flash caught in a montage of incidents, all reflecting various elements from the interior story. Still the most interesting thing to me is the burst in the upper right hand corner alerting viewers to the fact that DC has backed off from the 50 cent price the book had been sporting only a couple issues back. It’s hard to imagine that back in the days that I was only paying a dime for a comic book that I would one day celebrate the fact that comics were ONLY forty cents. And don’t get me started on the fact that I’m plunking down $4.00 for a comic today. Makes me wonder what I’ll be accepting as normal down the road someday. Did I hear someone say omnibus editions?

Okay, enough of talking cash with the Flash, and onto the Flashy issue in front of us. Cary Bates opens with a wonderful splash page showing the Flash circumnavigating the globe… just out for his morning jog. I salute that very nifty touch. Before he can make it home, however, the Flash runs across (pun not intended, it just happened) a clown escaping a bank robbery on a pogo stick. The Flash gives chase as the clown escapes in a funky Ford flivver. The model T later turns into a racing car and, just as the Flash is about to catch it, the clown hits him in the face with a drugged pie. We aren’t told exactly who this clown character is, so I’ll just call him the Clown for simplicity’s sake. The appearances of the Clown bookend the story, and, in between, we are treated to a series of set-ups for next issue and perhaps beyond. The cover box did say that “Flash’s life begins to change and it will never be the same again!!”

In order they are: Barry being late for dinner and having Iris throw a tantrum… a mysterious villain’s lair where we see the mysterious villain with long strawberry blond hair plotting to unmask the Flash… an aversion to crime therapy program being started at the penitentiary based on a college thesis of Barry’s… and two bad guys disguised as cops breaking into the police station and moving a stash of impounded heroin to a hiding place in Barry’s lab. As the current vernacular likes to say, that’s quite a bit to unpack there.

All of the above is followed by the second appearance of the Clown who sets off an explosion that forces the Flash to vibrate through a brick wall to escape. But there’s a problem. As the Flash vibrates out of the wall his legs get stuck. He needs some time to recover his energy before he can vibrate all of the way out. Meanwhile the Clown fires a triple brace of rockets at him from his rolling calliope clown car leading to a closing comic book panel for the ages. Zowie!

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