Posts Tagged ‘Flash’

Posted Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 by Barry

Justice League of America (1960) 43

National Solitaire Day celebrates its inaugural anniversary today, courtesy of Microsoft and all those participating in the card game that’s already passed its bicentennial birthday.

Solitaire, or Klondike, features an addictive play utilizing all 52-playing cards. Participants are challenged to arrange those 52 cards from lowest to highest in the four different suites for victory.

It can also mean any tabletop game played by one person, sometimes even including dominos. For our purposes, we’re using the solitaire everyone knows.

Justice League of America (1960) 43

Microsoft first included a digital version of the game with its Windows 3.0 version. In addition to creating a craze, it aided people in the use of learning how to manipulate the mouse and became the most played video game in the history of computers.

Representing the four-color community is the Royal Flush Gang.

These card suited villains were first introduced in Justice League of America (1960) issue 43. Using a playing-card based theme, each of the members used a codename based on the cards needed to form a royal flush in poker: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10.

The original gang only appeared twice. A second Royal Flush Gang debuted in Justice League of America (1960) 203 as part of Hector Hammond’s devising. Their motif was the house of Spades.

A third gang surfaced in the post-crisis DC Universe. Rather than decking themselves in all the same suit, this group chose to utilize hearts, clubs and diamonds as well as using codenames from the lower cards.

With the advent of the New 52, the Royal Flush Gang returned in the Forever Evil storyline. They would resurface in DC’s Rebirth period as well.

Solitaire is believed to have been created sometime in the late 1700s in northern Europe.

While Klondike Solitaire is the most commonly recognized version, other popular interpretations include Spider, Yukon and FreeCell.

Of course, the most common way to celebrate the day is to grab a deck of cards or mouse. When you’re frustrated enough with that, grab a vintage Justice League or variation and give the criminal cards a read.

Posted Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 by Barry

Flash (1959) 139

Welcome to National Opposite Day.

This non-holiday has murky origins dating back to January 25, 1928. On this day incumbent President of the United States Calvin Coolidge told reporters he would not participate in the coming election. While this date and reason are often cited as the father of the day, no one really knows.

Others speculate it started in the previous century, but as a nonsensical children’s game.

Whichever the reason – if either – Four Color Holidays will commemorate it with Eobard Thawne, aka Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash.

Thawne was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, debuting in Flash (1959) 139.

His origin began with the discovery of a time capsule containing one of Flash’s uniforms. The 25th-century villain learned the costume contained a Tachyon device that amplified the suit’s speed energy. Thawne reversed the suits colors and christened himself Professor Zoom the Reverse Flash before embarking on a crime spree.

The Flash traveled to the future and defeated Reverse Flash, starting a feud that led to the death of Flash alter-ego Barry Allen’s wife, Iris West. When Allen found a second love, Thawne threatened to murder her on their wedding day causing Flash to kill his would-be doppelganger.

Flash (1959) 139

Flash (1959) 139

Thawne would return post Crisis on Infinite Earths. Not only would he adopt the Reverse Flash persona again, but the Flash’s powers by replicating the accident that gave Allen his super speed.

Geoff Johns gave Thawne new life during The Flash: Rebirth. A corps of speedsters joined forces to halt the Reverse Flash’s murder spree finally depositing him in Iron Heights.

Thawne would continue to rewrite his history in the post Infinite Crisis DCU, Flashpoint, The New 52 and DC Rebirth.

In 2017, during The Button and aftermath, Thawne’s pre-New 52 memories are returned. Blaming the Flashpoint Batman for his death, Thawne comes close to killing the Dark Knight only to meet defeat and death himself at the hands of Dr. Manhattan.

His body is taken to S.T.A.R. Labs where he is resurrected only to meet death by Iris Allen.

Never a company to let a good villain stay dead, Thawne was returned to the DCU continuity to assemble the Legion of Zoom to plague the Flash again.

To celebrate the day, you can try to sort out the sordid lives of Thawne or just enjoy any of the above-mentioned eras and revel in the battles waged between the speedsters.

Or, maybe, just do the opposite and ignore the comic book villain all together. Your imagination and interpretation offer the only limitations to this non-holiday.

Posted Friday, December 3rd, 2021 by Barry

JSA Classified (2005) 33

Alan Scott is a ghost of Christmas past, but not The Ghost of Christmas Past.

JSA Classified (2005) 33

JSA Classified (2005) 33

Scott first appeared in All -American Comics issue 16 as the Golden Age Green Lantern. While no criminal could escape nor cosmic event stop his war on injustice, indifference did bring his career to an end.

Following the second World War, people tired quickly of heroes. Publishing companies scrambled to fill their books with new fads and forgot.

By the late 1950s, a new generation was ready for colorful characters to return. Flash was the first. Green Lantern followed. Not Scott, but a Green Lantern for a new age.

Eventually Scott’s memory, and form, were resurrected as heroes from one Earth would cross over with heroes of another Earth. An Earth from the past. Green Lantern met Green Lantern in, well, the book of the same name (1960) 40.

Other attempts were made to keep the Golden Age heroes from appearing in our universe, but failed. Writers – and fans – wanted them back. A company-wide crossover allowed them to return.

All of which brings Scott/Green Lantern to this point in time, 2008, and the return of a formidable foe, Vandal Savage. In the previous issue, Savage had plotted his revenge in bringing back the image of Scott’s dead daughter, Jeanie Lynn Hayden, aka, Jade.

Scott is able to overcome the grief of what he believes is the return of Jade and finally defeat Savage. His reward is a warm evening with friends and loved ones as they celebrate Christmas.

Posted Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 by Barry

JSA Classified (2005) 32

Giving Thanks is the inappropriately named Thanksgiving story from the 2008 JSA Classified book.

JSA Classified (2005) 32

JSA Classified (2005) 32

Alan Scott makes a pilgrimage to his daughter’s grave for some introspection. In the meantime, fellow Justice Society Members Flash and Wildcat hold down the JSA’s Thanksgiving Day parade float.

Not long after Green Lantern joins them, the Superman balloon floating above explodes showering all in a pink dust. Before it can settle, Solomon Grundy attacks.

Lantern deals with the threat, leaving fellow Society members to handle crowd control. Both problems dealt with, the trio dissolve leaving GL to face the real menace, Vandal Savage.

The story is continued in a Christmas issue that will be dealt with next month. For now, take time to enjoy those around you while you can. While this is a time known for thanksgiving, every day is, too.

The JSA first appeared in All Star Comics issue three. Their gathering marked the first team in comic books. The theme would be copied over time, most notably when the Justice League of America was formed in 1960.

Posted Monday, November 8th, 2021 by Barry

Comic Cavalcade (1942) 18

Though on sale Nov. 19, 1946, the cover of Comics Cavalcade issue 18 is the only reference to Thanksgiving.

Wonder Woman and Octavia of Venturia are kidnapped by the power-mad Manilus in the opening story, The Menace of the Rebel Manlings.

Manilus, a former lab assistant, has been dosed with Vitamin Z gas. The resulting effect was an enlargement of his brain. Apparently, an enlarged brain causes delusions of grandeur and the wish for world domination.

Comics Cavalcade 18

Comics Cavalcade 18

The full story has been reprinted in Wonder Woman:  The Golden Age Omnibus volume three.

The Galloping Greenbacks is a Flash vehicle, co-starring Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan.

Uncle Josh was afraid of money. When short, the old guy would go into a trance and wake up flush with cash. Of course, that led to paranoia and a fear of being sent to jail should his gain be illegal. Signal the Flash and the end to a mystery.

Green Lantern is the final headliner in The Meaning of “D.”

A wealthy man is convinced he owns everything, but must steal something beginning with the letter “D,” to save his wife. It’s up to Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles to foil the phony fortune teller.

The book is rounded out by six Mutt & Jeff one-page gags, features and Hop Harrigan in Seek and Hide! Or The Airmail Trail. Harrigan is the creation of Jon Blummer. He was one of the busiest characters of the Golden Age appearing in All-American Publications, radio serials and film serials.

Comic Cavalcade was published from 1942 to 1954.

The anthology series featured Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Flash as the heavy hitters with filler stories sprinkled between. Comic Cavalcade moved from the form fitting figures of the mystery men to funny animal stories in 1948 when super heroes fell out of favor.

To entertain your guests, or host, here are a few Turkey Day facts: approximately 45 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving annually. That’s over 18-percent of the total turkey population raised each year.

California consumes the most fowls with 675-million pounds on the day.

The total calorie intake for a common Thanksgiving meal is 2,500. The average recommended calorie intake for one day is between 1,600 and 2,400.

A chunk of that may be from desserts eaten. Apple is the favorite, unless from the south where pecan takes top billing. On average, 18.9-million pies are purchased for Thanksgiving.

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.