Flash Fridays – the Flash #326 October 1983

Mar 8, 2024

This cover jumped off the stands back n 1983. Artist Carmine Infantino took the shot of the Flash in handcuffs from the last panel of the previous issue and zoomed in on the cuffs alone to create one of the more memorable covers of the entire Flash run. As I mentioned previously, Carmine really began bringing it as this story slowly, and I do mean slowly, unfolded. When everything was done and dusted, the trial of the Flash story arc would run for twenty-eight issues. As someone who once did a two-year long story arc in Funky, I know what it takes to pull something like this off and the kind of pushback you get from readers. Writer Cary Bates is fortunate that he only had the Flash Grams letters page to deal with. On the other hand, this large a canvas gives you the space and freedom to really tell a story, and it seems that both Bates and Infantino are being inspired to take full advantage.

The story opens with the Flash being booked at the Central City police headquarters. It turns out that the Weather Wizard is being booked at the same time (which raises the curious question of who caught him with the Flash out of commission), and the Wiz creates a brief kerfuffle which the Flash puts down. The Flash is briefly jailed and then released on his own recognizance. He then returns to his apartment and, in a fit of anger and self pity, he trashes the place (there goes the security deposit), and that’s the interesting thing about surrounding the Flash with a story like this… I never would have described him as feeling anger and self pity before this. The story is opening up a whole new range of human emotions for the writer to play with. This is no more evident than at the end of the chapter when the Flash, after having cut his hands badly stopping the shards of glass from a car going through a store window from harming anyone, ends up in the same hospital where Fiona is recovering from her breakdown. Fiona senses that Barry/Flash is nearby and does a good impersonation of the mad scene from Lucia di Lammermore as she runs through the halls of the hospital manically searching for him. A refreshing change of pace from the standard Superman/Lois Lane relationship that still dominated in the DC Comics superhero stories at that time. Following this, those relationships would set sail.

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