Review: Showcase Presents the Flash Vol.2

In terms of history, the Flash is one of the most important out there.  The first appearance of the Barry Allen Flash (contained in vol. 1) marks the start of the silver age by introducing the first superhero since the introduction of the comics code all but destroyed the medium.  Now in the second collection there’s the Flash of Two Worlds, which introduces the concept of DC’s multiverse, sets up the reintroduction of the golden age heroes, and inspires more stories than anything else DC ever produced.

Now unlike a lot of the other DC comics from this era, the Flash is actually pretty good on its own merits.  Carmine Infantino made his name as an artist on this book, and the skill and imagination at play are a wonder.  The villains form what is maybe the third best rogue’s gallery out there next to Spider-Man and Batman’s (this collection features the first appearances of Professor Zoom, the Top, Abra Kadabra, and Head Wave).  And for what it’s worth Barry Allen and Wally “Kid Flash” West, don’t come across as quite so unbareably two-dimensional as the rest of DC’s characters from that era.

But the book does still wear it’s age on it’s sleeve.  The writing uses far too many captions.  The Flash is rediculously overpowered (he has control over all his molecules, turns invisible regularly, and at one point reaches warp-7).  There’s also the cosmic-treadmill, which for some reason managed to stick around as part of the lore.

But overall, this is the best of DC’s silver age superhero books and is a required part of any serious comic collection.

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