Flash Fridays – The Flash # 317 January 1983

Aug 4, 2023

As I sit here in my attic studio, the window is open and glancing outside as the smell of cut grass wafts in I can see that a summer afternoon is in full bloom, which to me always includes a whiff of melancholy. Back when summer vacations meant all summer long, it’s the kind of day where I’d find myself suffering a touch whole ton of ennui – the kind limned so beautifully in Martin Zeller’s elegiac song Sonic Boom. The relief I hoped for on days like that would come from being able to ride shotgun with someone into town to see if the spinner racks held any new treasures. Sometimes the only new comic would be the latest Jimmy Olsen and my spirits would continue to slide. But then there would be that new Strange Adventures with a new Atomic Knights tale and everything would turn around.

The same held true when my Flash subscription would show up in the mail to save the day. I couldn’t wait to pull  the comic out from its brown wrapper and see which Flash foe was billboarded on the cover. The covers always set the table for what was to come inside. Which is why, for the second issue in a row, the Flash cover contains a scene that has not a single thing to do with the story inside. It flies in the face of why there are illustrated covers on comic books in the first place. This seems to point to a scheduling situation of some kind rather than an artistic choice by the editor or writer. Maybe there was a need to crank out a couple of generic covers well ahead of the stories to get certain aspects of the book back on schedule. Ah well, as every show on the History Channel always ends: “We may never know the answer to this question”.

The good looking art from Infantino and Jensen continues to shine inside the book, and the current story arc gets tightened up some with no additional new plots tossed into the mix. First, the Flash defeats Goldface and turns him over to the police. Then Flash/Barry parts company with Mick Rory/Heatwave, and they do so as friends which is a nice twist to see. Then Senator Creed Phillips, while on a date with Fiona, reveals himself to be the Eradicator when they’re attacked and he turns them into dust (luckily I’m not the kind to say I told you so). Fiona is knocked unconscious and thus remains unaware of Creed’s alter ego. Finally, Barry walks back Captain Frye back from trying to rush is first public appearance as Captain Invincible. So, with the story pared down and easier to follow, each of the remaining plot points are touched upon in preparation for the hopefully wrapping them up next issue.

While we wait for that, I think I’ll blow off the remainder of this summer Friday, and head over to the comic shop to see if there’s anything there that grabs my attention.

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