This issue’s cover is basically an advertisement for the fact that Dr. Fate is going to be appearing as a back-up story in The Flash going forward. As something of a cover purist, I just find stuff like this to be annoying. What it really advertises is that the book was in trouble sales wise at that point in time and that DC was trying things to boost the mag’s readership. Hence the new back-up status for Dr. Fate. They were apparently hoping that the good doctor would be able to provide the sales “magic” (Sorry couldn’t help myself) that previous back-ups Firestorm and Green Lantern couldn’t. Things were looking kind of grim at this point for the character that had launched the Silver Age.
That being said, the story inside is kinda cool. There are a couple of guest writers this ish and I have no idea how that came about, but, whoever Dan Mishkin and Gary Conn are, it’s as if they set out to write a story that reads like it was a lost story from the Silver Age Flash’s early days. And they nailed it! The plot of “Through a Glass Permanently” has the Mirror Master trying to lure the Flash into another mirror dimension. It seems that MM has fallen in love with a woman there and the only way to get her to our dimension is to have her with trade places with someone. The master of mirrors decides that person should be the Flash, so he sets up a trap to effect that. When you combine that with the art of Carmine Infantino, you find yourself with a callback to an increasingly bygonning era. It’s such a typical throwback that you’d swear you read it before.