Friday, October 4, 2013

New Bodies For Old!

     OK, you're gonna have to help me with the math on this one.  Exactly how many 'other fellows' does it take to make a 'new man?'

     You know, on more than one occasion my body has been described as "skinny, pepless and second rate."   I've always dreamed of having "handsome, bulging" muscles, but perhaps not enough to have myself crammed so full of them that my friends eyes bug out.  But hey, that's just me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Space-Boomerang Trap: The Flash #124 (1961), part 1

     In the interest of full disclosure, I should start this post out by saying: I've never really cared about Barry Allen.  There, I said it.  I feel better.  I was just seriously getting into comics when he heroically gave his life in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and by the time I got around to actually reading a Flash book, Wally West was the Crimson Comet.
     Even in Wally's book, Barry Allen was a huge presence in nearly every issue, mostly because Wally wouldn't shut up about him.  And, comics being what they are, Barry put in several guest appearances himself, apparently unconcerned with the fact that he was dead at the time.
     Still, for being the first true Silver Age character, I had read very little Barry Allen, apart from some Justice League stories or maybe a Brave and the Bold team-up, perhaps. I decided to grab some Barry Allen stories totally at random to see what all the fuss was about.  From 1961's The Flash #124, John Broome and Carmine Infantino bring us....

     From the cover alone, the story immediately gets bonus points for including one of my favorite underrated characters of all time: Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man. I've never quite forgiven DC for Ralph's ultimate fate, but I think I'm even more angry at them for not putting Ralph and Sue into that long-awaited Ghost Detectives title.

     Our story opens with Ralph reading a letter from his old pal, the Flash.  Captain Boomerang, the most...Australian of Flash's foes has just been released from prison for good behavior.

     Even though the Captain has paid his debt to society, the Flash is wary of some "boomerang-type" buffoonery to pop up at any minute.  Hoping to catch him in the act of thievery, Flash speeds over to an exhibition of the Crown Jewels of Normark, only to find...
     And while it is true there is no law against wearing the costume of a known super-villain, especially if you are that super-villain, you can't really get mad at people if they eye you suspiciously.  I mean, come on...

     As Flash keeps Captain Boomerang under surveillance...
     ...a boomerang zooms in, snatches up the jewels, and zooms out the window!  In the historical interest of updating these comics for a more modern age, Barry's Comics Code Approved exclamation of "Good Gosh" would translate today as "Holy Shit!"  Hey, the more you know...

     So the jewels have been stolen by a boomerang, and the main suspect--Captain Boomerang--was in Flash's eyesight the whole time.  This sure is some mystery, and since Flash--who is actually Barry Allen, you know, a police scientist--can't make head nor tails of it, he jots a letter off to his buddy, Ralph Dibny, a detective well known for his...stretching abilities.

     Now that we have the set-up, we'll bring the first installment to a close.  Be sure to tune in next time to find out the riddle behind...The Space-Boomerang Trap!