Flash Fridays – The Flash # 321 May 1983

Sep 22, 2023

The cover to this issue is the weakest in a recent string of pretty uninspiring covers, and it frankly points to an overall lack of editorial oversight. The book’s sales are obviously sinking at this point, and the powers that be at DC Comics seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that the Flash’s demise is inevitable. As a result, the feel of things is pretty much one of benign indifference. Even the tone of the letter col is of condescension to the readers and their input.

No one seems to be paying any attention to the writing, and, as a result, the book has been allowed to drift back to being nothing more than a series of incidents rather than a cohesively told story. It’s mess that will only contribute to the decline in readership. In short: Barry tries to reconnect with Fiona, Sabertooth escapes from prison, a hit is put out on Barry Allen with Sabertooth as the hit man, Barry escapes the hit, Tomar Re the Green Lantern is shown with the farm family that found him in their field, the Reverse Flash is shown in some sort of night mare landscape, some grave robbers are foiled at the cemetery because Barry/Flash was visiting the grave of his late wife Iris, and a final panel back with the Reverse Flash vowing revenge on the Flash. Any one of these elements could have supported a good solid story. Rather than sparking interest, however, this indifferent, throw-everything-on-the-wall approach merely sows confusion which, in turn will lead to indifference on the part of the readers. It’s a sad time for a storied character. It will be fascinating to see if there’s a turn-around before the end.

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