Monday, May 29, 2017

The randomest random Flash issue yet!

I only read a couple issues of Flash as a kid, yet have been getting random non-consecutive issues all this last year, and most of them are the first of two or more parts. Today may be the most random one yet: Flash #254, "To Believe or Not To Believe!" Written by Cory Bates, pencils by Irv Novick, pencils by Frank McLaughlin.

After saving a little girl from a fire, Mirror Master lures Flash out to an abandoned windmill, for the second annual Flashcon! (Using the suffix long before most!) Captain Cold hits Flash with a dry ice-based weapon, but just to hold him long enough to give him his honorary Roscoe Award! (Named after the late Roscoe Dillon, the Top.) The Rogues tell Flash their rivalry has only made them stronger, and while Flash thinks they're nuts, they have a point. The Rogues escape, while someone else watches...

Meanwhile, back at the Allens' residence, their boarding college student, Stacy Conwell, has returned from a trip to Europe. So of course Barry finds her "practicing rites of black magic in her room!"

In her defense, that's pretty good for only being at it for a couple of months. Naturally, Barry doesn't want Iris to stumble into that; but is then distracted by news footage of the little girl he saved from the fire, instead being rescued by firemen. He's then further distracted by "an unseen force" forcing his molecules to vibrate him, invisibly, through the floor and to an underground cavern; where he's confronted by the earlier observer, long-time Flash foe Mazdan. Who? He was a criminal from the future; a common Flash theme, but this was the first, appearing in Showcase #4! Mazdan was initially supposed to be sentenced to exile in the far-future, but was accidentally sent to the 20th century, where he fought the Flash, got beat, and shipped back to the 38th century for a "centuries-long sentence." He had busted out for revenge, and although Flash seemingly beats Mazdan soundly, it's not that simple: it was all in his head.

Back in his kitchen again, with Iris and Stacy wondering why Barry's spacing out, Barry asks about the Roscoe Award on the counter, which seemingly followed him home. The women can't see it, and Barry isn't sure if that, or the earlier rescue, really happened, when his JLA signal goes off. On his way to answer that, Flash runs across the Trickster out to dig up some loot, and grabs him as well. A couple hundred miles later, Flash meets Hawkman and Aquaman, who summoned him for...a game of ring-around-the-rosie? Flash realizes it's another of Mazdan's illusions, and is more than a little dejected that the villain has that much control over his mind. Still, it wasn't all in his head: the Trickster actually was real, and escaped, albeit probably a couple hundred miles away from where he was. The Roscoe Award was also real, covered by Mirror Master's "vibratory shield" so only Flash could see it. The Rogues don't know about Mazdan yet, but figure Flash losing his mind is only going to help their plan along. And do the Rogues or Mazdan have anything to do with Stacy's demons?

I have a feeling I'm going to be soaked paying for Flash back issues next con I get to. Will we find the conclusions of any of them? My money's on "eventually."

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Roscoe Award huh? And that share's absolutely no relation to the Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane awards is it? ;)