Flash Fridays – The Flash # 312 August 1982

Mar 31, 2023

Let’s talk art here for a moment. First, you can never go wrong with a Gil Kane cover, especially one inked by Dick Giordano. However, the bigger and very pleasant surprise comes inside the book where we find that Dennis Jensen, who came on board as inker a couple of issues back, has really rounded his chops up to the next level when it comes to inking Carmine Infantino. Having seen Infantino’s work when he would ink his own pencils, it seems to me that Jensen captures that look better than any of the other previous inkers. At times, he almost calls back to the work of Murphy Anderson from the early issues. Indeed, there are moments where, if you just squint your eyes a little, you can almost see what Anderson’s inks would have looked like on the page. There’s a really pleasant and familiar feel to the art which helps to sell the return of yet another classic Flash villain.

The villain is Heat Wave who as Mick Rory is out on parole.We see an early scene between Rory and his parole officer. As they talk, a glowing green gem sits on the desk between them, and you know what they say about a glowing green gem in the first act. When a flying blowtorch starts knocking armored cars filled with money and jewels, the Flash suspects Rory who is working in a glassworks factory. He confronts Rory and tells him that he’s going to be keeping and eye on him. Sliding to the B plot for a brief sec, we see Barry keeping an eye on the movie actress Daphne Dean, who’s on the cover of a movie magazine at a newsstand, and wondering if his feelings for her go deeper that fondness. We then see the conflicted Barry hurrying to surprise Fiona where she works with a fancy dinner reservation, only to find Fiona heading out for the evening with her boss leaving Barry standing alone feeling sorry for himself.

The scene shifts back to the A plot when we see someone getting ready to go out at night as Heat Wave, and then shifts again to the next morning where we find Mick Rory waiting for a fellow parolee,Wiley, in Wiley’s apartment. It’s Rory’s cellmate from his prison days, and he’s got the Heat Wave costume and the stolen diamonds from the previous night in his closet. In an ironic twist, Mick Rory takes the imposter Heat Wave to the police and turns him in. When there’s yet another robbery by someone dressed as Heat Wave the next night Barry is off after him in a (all together now) flash. The Heat Wave almost finishes off the Flash when the battle is interrupted by yet another Heat Wave. When the ashes settle, it turns out that the bogus Heat Wave its the parole officer, and the Heat Wave who showed up to save the Flash and stop the bogus HW was Mick Rory. It’s revealed that the glowing green gem on the parole officer’s desk was being used to hypnotize the parolee, Rory’s former cellmate, into committing crimes as Heat Wave, and then to hypnotize Mick Rory to do the same as well. Rory only figured it out because, being suspicious of the parole officer, he secretly taped their conversation and learned that he had been hypnotized. So the right wrong Heat Waves went to jail, and the Flash is convinced that the original Heat Wave is now walking the straight and narrow. Again, another tidy little done-in-one that provides a gratifying enjoyable conclusion.

 

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