BHOC: FLASH #224

Got this one at that same post-Church candy store. Look at that

lovely Nick Cardy cover, very clearly done from a Carmine Infantino

sketch. This was the first new issue of FLASH that I ever had.

Artwork

on this one was by Irv Novick, whose style I would come to associate

with the character, as he drew the series practically unceasingly for

all the time it was at the forefront of my comic-reading habit. Here,

he’s well-inked by Dick Giordano, who provides a lush, full-bodied finish to his work.

The

story was written by Cary Bates, who would become probably my favorite

writer in these early days, and the first one that I would know by name,

as we shall soon see. Cary too had just begun what would be a long run

on the series, all the way up to its demise with #350. But, to me, it

was as though he had been there forever.

The

story is a bit of a trifle, as these things go, and is actually

somewhat more like the sorts of yarns that Robert Kanigher was spinning

in these days. Barry Allen’s friend Charlie Conwell (who, while he seems

like a new addition for just this story, had actually appeared

previously) is assassinated while running for District Attorney, despite

the Flash’s best attempt to save him. From this point, the story is

narrated by the spirit of Conwell, as he follows the Flash’s efforts to

bring his killers to justice, and intercedes himself at a key moment,

despite being only a spirit.

I

got the same charge out of this story that I did out of the previous

100-Page issue that I’d picked up, and from this point forward, the

Flash became my favorite super hero. I would follow him into whatever

titles he went into.

Also

in this issue I had my first encounter with my second-favorite DC hero,

Green Lantern. After several years of being embroiled in stories

emphasizing relevancy, editor Julie Schwartz brought the Emerald

Crusader to the back-pages of FLASH, and returned him to his roots as a

cosmic police officer.

Despite

only being 8 pages long, this simple little story introduced all of the

salient elements of the Green Lantern mythos, including the 24 hour

charge-limit and the ritual of recharging the Power Ring with the

Oath–indeed, the plot turned directly on one of them, the fact that

Green Lantern’s power ring is powerless against anything colored yellow.

So when a payroll is seemingly destroyed by Green lantern’s ring while

he’s capturing the thief, it takes Hal Jordan only a few pages to

realize that something is fishy, because his ring could not have

affected the contents of the yellow-lined bag the money was carried it.

Some very lovely Dick Giordano artwork on this one, channeling his then-partner Neal Adams to a certain degree.

Also, while the other comics I’d

bought had letters pages, this was the first time that I had paid any

attention to them. Most of what was discussed was beyond my

understanding, but I did learn that the next issue of FLASH would

feature a team-up between the Scarlet Speedster and Green Lantern. Oh,

how I wanted that issue.

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