Posts Tagged ‘Flash’

Posted Saturday, July 17th, 2021 by Barry

The Flash (1987) 1

Hitting the lottery is the dream of millions – or, is that a dream for millions.

Today is a reminder of how much money we have lost, or “invested,” in our local lotteries; this is National Lottery Day.

The lotto has been around since at least the 15th century. Like today, cash prizes were awarded to winning ticket holders. Monies collected would be used to fund the village, feed the poor and strengthen defenses.

The Flash (1987) 1

Later, the European lotteries would award a tax farm on wine transporters. At times, winning ticket holders would also be allowed quality control of the wine.

The United States continued the lottery fever when it formed. Ticket sales paid for cannons during the war for independence as well as paved roads.

In today’s spotlight is Wally West, DC Comics original lottery winner.

Following Uncle Barry Allen’s seeming demise during Crisis for Infinite Earths, West assumed the mantle. Carrying on the tradition of the Flash also meant a new book.

As readers began the new adventures, they learned West had won six and a half million dollars in the lottery. For a time, he had it all; the fame, money and women.

Fate, and writer Mike Baron, would soon rob West of his fortune and return him to the working world. Unlike his predecessor, the new Flash was not afraid to flaunt his Christian name and hawk his superpowered talents to the highest bidder to gain employment.

The series began as a fun read in the wake of DC’s original Crisis. The title, with other books receiving a reboot, brought a breath of fresh air into the comic book world. A much needed one before the bust of the next decade that nearly destroyed the industry.

National Lottery Day was founded by the Massachusetts State Lottery in 2018.

To celebrate, see if a local or state lottery offers a promotion recognizing the day.

Don’t play unless you have the means. If suffering from a gambling problem, please seek help, either through Gambler’s Anonymous or other organizations designed to help with this addiction.

Posted Thursday, March 18th, 2021 by Barry

Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) 8

Most comic book readers can tell you this issue marks the death of Flash. Many comic book historians will cite it as the end of the Bronze Age.

Today it represents National Supreme Sacrifice Day, “honoring those who have made tremendous sacrifices for the sake and good of others as well as those who sacrifice their lives every day for us.”

Not to make light of what the day represents, the death of Flash was a benchmark in comic books not felt since the death of Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin (Amazing Spider-Man issues 121 and 122) over a decade earlier.

Not only was the Flash a beloved character, but who ushered in the Silver Age of comic books with his first appearance in DC’s Showcase number four. He was also the architect of the multi-verse Marv Wolfman and George Perez were attempting to mend.

Barry Allen, aka the Flash, found he could traverse time and space utilizing his super speed. In Flash (1958) 123 he did just that teaming with the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick.

They repeated their meetings and soon others from the Golden Age were crossing over. The Justice League of America had an annual date with the Justice Society of America. They would visit once a year for a two- to three-issue story arc.

With 50 years of cross pollination, DC decided to clear the table. DC foreshadowed the event with mentions of the Monitor’s coming as early as 1983.

The maxi-series debuted April 1985, running 12 issues and ending March 1986.

By issue eight, the heroes, and villains, are on the ropes. Barry Allen, who had been held captive by the anti-monitor, escaped his prison and dashed the schemes of the Anti-Monitor by sacrificing himself to create a speed vortex disarming the anti-matter cannon then destroying Earth.

Allen would return to the DCU through some clever retconning, but his self-immolation can never be erased.

While looking to a fictional hero to be today’s mascot, the real-life heroes can’t be ignored. They are the faceless ones who are with us every day at home and abroad. Remember them not just for today, but each day.

Posted Friday, March 12th, 2021 by Barry

Flash (1959) 245

March 12 again and it’s time to start thinking about spring. It’s also National Plant a Flower Day.

Last year Poison Ivy was our green mascot. This year it’s a lesser known villain, the Floronic Man.

His first appearance as the self-titled Floronic Man was in Flash 245, but his alter ego, Jason Woodrue, debuted in the first issue of The Atom (1962).

Woodrue hails from an interdimensional world known as Flora. His fellow dryads exiled him to Earth where he has made numerous attempts to conquer his adopted world by exploiting and manipulating plants.

Flash (1959) 245

Flash (1959) 245

It wasn’t until Flash 245 that Woodrue became the plant/human hybrid courtesy of a new formula. The cocktail turned him more plantlike than man with hair of leaves and skin of bark.

He was later retconned as a professor of botany in Neil Gaiman’s 1988 Black Orchid mini. After, he knocked around the DCU pining after Poison Ivy. From her DNA he “conceived” a child.

Woodrue continued to blossom from time-to-time during DC’s various crises until he became Seeder during the New 52 revolution.

Though a lesser known of DC’s rogue’s gallery, Woodrue has made several appearances beyond the comic book page. A villain known as The Plant Master appeared on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. He was mentioned many times during the 1990s television version of Swamp Thing. Most recently he was featured on the DC Universe Swamp Thing television series.

On the big screen he shared time and shame in Batman & Robin.

Now, as for today, start thinking about what the garden is gonna look like this year. Start with a potted plant that can be transplanted later. Look at what grew best last year and what you want to plant when the weather does break and stays broke.

Posted Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 by Barry

Flash (1959) 110

All you red-headed step children can enjoy the next 24 hours ‘cuz today is Kiss a Ginger Day.

Our official ambassador is Wally West, nephew of Iris West/Allen.

Young Master West first appeared in Flash 110. Aunt Iris had promised a meeting with the youth’s idol, the Flash. Courted by Barry Allen, the request was not hard to fulfill.

By chance or mathematics, Wally was bathed in a similar chemical concoction as the Flash, gaining his own fleet-footed powers. Flash bestowed his protégé with a smaller version of his red togs and made the boy his sometime sidekick.

Flash (1959) 110

Flash (1959) 110

Kid Flash would receive a different costume in Flash 135 and later join the junior justice league, better known as the Teen Titans. The Titans originally included Kid Flash, Robin, Wonder Girl and Aqualad.  Green Arrow clone Speedy would guest star.

When Barry Allen appeared to die during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally West became a reluctant heir apparent as DC regrouped. His series lasted 247 issues.

When DC rebooted once again with The New 52, Walley West was erased from memory and Barry Allen given back the red suit.

He was reintroduced during DC Rebirth. Readers learned Wally had been trapped in the Speed Force for 10 years.

Some more stuff happened, but with the state of comic books, it’s hard to follow. Maybe it’ best to remember the ginger-haired boy of the Silver age who became the jokester of the Bronze Age. His legacy as part of the speedsters is cemented among the DC faithful.

To observe Kiss A Ginger Day, find your favorite red head and plant a big wet one on ‘em. If you don’t know any and don’t want to risk a restraining order – or worse – just find a back issue with Wally as Kid Flash or the Flash.

Derek Forgie founded Kiss a Ginger Day in 2009.

Posted Thursday, November 26th, 2020 by Barry

JSA (1999) 54

JSA (1999) 54

JSA (1999) 54

The JSA hosts the JLA in the Jan. 2004-cover dated issue.

Geoff Johns joins the two teams for their annual dinner in 20 pages that don’t seem rushed or over crowded. While drawing on some history between characters, the story doesn’t require any real background knowledge to enjoy. Johns focuses on characterization rather than action, though two minor-league villains pop in for a cameo. Their intrusion harkens back to DeMatties and Giffen’s tenure on the Justice League books from a decade earlier.

Johns’ encyclopedic knowledge of the DC Universe is evident as he has fun with the iconic heroes. Batman’s paranoia is rampant as he looks in every dark corner for trouble. Green Arrow and Hawkman spar with words and threats. Impulse and Jay Garrack stare across the great divide of the generational gap.

All-in-all, JSA 54 is a fun read. Johns proves equal to the task of combining the Golden and Modern Age families for a sit-down meal.

Posted Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

As with issues past and future, Comic Cavalcade cover artist Everett E. Hibbard would hit on the holiday, though the inside would be bare of any mention.

Wonder Woman is the lead off hitter in The Menace of the Rebel Manlings. The Amazon goes berserk, ‘nuff said.

Flash is next in The Galloping Greenbacks. Guesting are Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan. Also appearing is Joan Williams, the future Mrs. Jay Garrick.

A filler story titled Just a Story takes readers to New York. It would be reprinted in Justice League of America (1960) issue 114.

Seek and Hide, or The Airmail Trail, stars Hop Harrigan.

Green Lantern is the final of the tales, starring in The Meaning of D.

Also appearing in the issue are Mutt and Jeff.

Not a lot of sustenance with today’s issue, but stay with us as we count down to Thanksgiving.

Comic Cavalcade (1943) 18

Posted Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 by Barry

Showcase (1956) 4

Today is a day to commemorate something most of us do not care to participate in: National Running Day.

To recognize this unofficial-holiday we choose Flash. Not just any Flash, but the Flash who heralded in the Silver Age. The Flash who helped usher out the Bronze Age. The Flash who sped across two-and-a-half decades with a roster of villains who coined the phrase “Rogues Gallery.”

This is the Barry Allen Flash.

Barry Allen was introduced in Showcase issue 4, the brainchild of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino. After Hiroshima and the world became measured in half life, the masked men of the Golden Age became after thoughts. Only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman survived cancellation.

Showcase (1956) 4

Mr. Allen became a test subject to see if the reading public were ready for mystery men again.

They were and Silver Age counterparts to their Golden Age predecessors debuted in Showcase before jumping to their own books.

Next, Flash would open the DCU to a multitude of universes via his cosmic treadmill. In Flash 123, Barry Allen brought not only the Golden Age of DC back, but mapped a path to other Earths.

His legs would carry him through personal and universal(s) crisis only to return courtesy of Geoff Johns and a loophole.

Barry Allen continues to speed through the DC imprint and has earned his own television series as well as co-starring on the Silver Screen.

It may seem counterproductive to sit down and reacquaint yourself with the Scarlet Speedster on a day of running, but, in my opinion, it’s a better option than tying on some running shoes and hitting the pavement

Posted Monday, February 17th, 2020 by Barry

Flash (1959) 210

Flash goes 1,000 years into the future to avenge the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln for this President’s Day.

Washington and Lincoln’s days were combined for create President’s Day. Not that we at Four Color Holidays have no love for the founder of our country, we’re just celebrating the 16th president of these United States. To honor the Great Emancipator, we recount Flash 210 An Earth Divided.

Flash (1959) 210

Flash (1959) 210

Flash speeds wife, Iris, to the future to visit her real parents. Upon arriving, they discover the Lincoln of the 21st century has been disintegrated by none other than John Wilkes Booth.

An incredulous Flash sets off to find the assassin while Iris provides news coverage.

Cary Bates and Irv Novick reveal their master plan that the new Lincoln is a robot programmed with the skills and intellect of the 19th-century counterpart.

And, DC wondered why Marvel was outselling them at the time.

Lincoln’s birthday has never officially been granted Federal Holiday status. However, nearly half the state governments have renamed Washington’s Birthday as President’s Day or Washington and Lincoln Day. The day is observed the third Monday of February.

Posted Friday, February 7th, 2020 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 25

Our heroes make merry while Santa lies sick for the cover of Comic Cavalcade number 25. Again, the cover date is Feb.-March 1947, but the comic book appeared in December 1946.

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 25

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 25

The interior is business as usual with the only hint of Christmas on the front.

Wonder Woman headlines the book in ‘Hatred of Badra.’

Next up is a short entitled ‘The Talking Dog.’

Green Lantern is on ‘The Roof of the World‘ with Sky Pirate. GL experiences acrophobia after the villain disguises himself as a psychologist and hypnotizes the hero.

Hop Harrigan appears in ‘The Mystery of Airport Inn‘ and Cotton-Top Katie takes a turn before Black Canary. The siren of song stars in ‘Tune of Terror.’

Flash battles an animated idol unleashed by Kiua, the Mayan goddess.

Posted Saturday, January 18th, 2020 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 19

This Feb.-March 1947 cover-dated comic book was actually released the preceding December. Hence, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman’s wave of their hands to silhouetted-Santa and hoist sacks full of goodies.

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 19

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 19

As with previous issues, Comic Cavalcade issue 19 is Christmasy in cover only. Of the seven interior stories, none deal with the holiday.

Wonder Woman’s ‘The Battle for Eternal Youth’ has the Amazon protecting her sister’s secret of immortality.

Flash races against time in a story of about the same name.

Foney Fairy Tales spells the heroes with some slap stick.

Mr. Nobody is featured in ‘The End.’

Hop Harrigan stars in ‘The Fog-Shrouded Demon’ and Cotton-Top Katie in ‘The Ball Game of the Year.’

Finally, Doiby Dickles makes a bet with Green Lantern-alter ego Alan Scott the cab driver can keep his calm while taxing folk around the city for a day.