Flash Fridays – The Flash #316 December 1982

Jul 14, 2023

This issue sports one of the oddest Flash covers of the entire run. Does it show the Flash in peril at the hands of a costumed criminal? No. Does it draw the reader in with some kind of flashy gimmick? Nope. Does it have any direct connection to the story at all? Well, the Flash does do some running in the story, but…  seriously? If anyone saw something in this cover that would reach out from the spinner rack and make the reader fork over 60 cents to see more, I’m baffled as to what that might be.

Inside the book, however, it’s a different story. Dennis Jensen returns to ink Carmine Infantino’s pencils, and the result is artwork that stands as the some of the best that the book has seen. I’ve said this before, but Jensen’s inking harkens back to some of the best Murphy Anderson work from the early days.

The story continues to juggle seven (I counted them) different subplots which is way too many for a book this size. Once again each subplot is briefly visited, and then quickly discarded as we jump to another one. The story opens with the Flash recovering from a clobbering from Goldface, and the resumption of their battle. The fight takes place all over Central City, ending with Glodface burying the Flash in the sewer system. After this second defeat, the Flash/Barry returns to his apartment to find Mik Rory/Heatwave hiding out there to avoid Glodface. We then cut to Senator Creed Collins entering the office of his physician, Dr. Fox, finding him dead and then running from the scene. Cut to Glodface killing a policeman and then on tv warning that he’ll continue doing that unless the Flash leaves him alone. Next we cut to Capt. Frye entering Barry’s apartment though a window as Captain Invincible and attacking Mic Rory thinking he’s an intruder, which is interesting thinking coming from the guy who just came in through the window himself. Then a scene where Barry shows up to straighten things out between the two intruders, followed by Sen. Creed Collins dumping Fiona, followed by the Flash disguised as Heatwave taking on some of Goldface’s thugs, followed by a distraught Fiona trying to get in touch with Barry, then a scene of the Eradicator killing a guy in an alley. Next the thugs take a beaten Heatwave to to Goldface only to find out that it’s a Trojan Heatwave and that it’s the Flash who’s been dragged into Goldface’s lair. A fight between the Flash and Goldface ensues ending with the Flash being tied to an anchor under water. And then the Eradicator shows up.

Are you starting to get the picture? Again, I think it’s a case of trying to write like Stan Lee, which is something that can only be done by Stan Lee (and Roy Thomas). I also think this misguided approach is why the book is continuing to drop in sales around this period. However, still nice looking art.

*Note: all typos and misspellings in this post are simply my way of letting you know it wasn’t composed  by AI.

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