BHOC: FLASH #251

The arrival of a subscription copy was a welcome event all through my childhood, and so the appearance of FLASH #251 was no exception. This is one of the better covers of this era–doing a color knock-out on Iris helps to cement focus more clearly on the Flash and the Golden Glider, rather than Iris’s ass.

The Golden Glider might be the very last legitimate member of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery. There’d be other villains from here on out, but none of them quite made the grade and became a member of the gang in the same way that Lisa Snart did. Admittedly, some of that was down to nepotism, the Golden Glider having been the Top’s lover and the sister of Captain Cold. But you take your breaks where you can find them.

Where we left off last time, Flash was trapped in an energy field, helpless to stop the Golden Glider from vengefully blasting Iris Allen with her freeze-drying weapon as revenge for the death of the Top. Making a supreme effort, Flash uses his complete control of his molecular structure to match the frequency of the energy top so that e can pass through its confines, and he takes the shot meant for Iris. The Glider makes an unfulfilled withdrawal from the fight–she wanted to make the Flash suffer, not kill him. But what’s done is done.

But we spoke too soon, as Flash vibrates himself back to vitality. Back at her hideout, the Glider disassembles her weapon, not quite sure why Iris escaped unscathed even though she was caught in the blast as well. Turns out, the gun can only be programmed for one specific target at a time (which makes it a bit of a bust as a weapon) and Captain Cold obviously programmed it for the Flash. Speaking of Cold, stewing his heels in prison thanks to Lisa’s betrayal, he suddenly keels over dead, his body temperature having dropped precipitously.

The next day, while reading about Captain Cold’s demise, Iris is snatched up by a flying Top weapon. Barry becomes the Flash, races to the top of a nearby building and then snatches her out of mid-air. But now he gets the connection between the Golden Glider and the Top. And speaking through Iris’s vocal chords, the Glider reiterates her intention to snuff out Iris’ life. Returning to work, Barry gets a message from the departing Daphne Dean, who had screwed with Iris and himself in the previous three issues. A plan begins to form, and he races to the airport to catch up with Daphne before she leaves.

Meanwhile, in the morgue, an ice-covered figure breaks out of the drawer containing Captain Cold’s body and hustles for freedom. It is Cold himself, of course, having put himself into a frozen deathlike trance. Back at the homestead, Barry and Iris receive an invitation to the Futura Ice Show. But Barry already has figured out that Lisa Snart is one of the performers, so this is clearly where she intends to take her shot at Iris. Nonetheless, they both attend–and in the midst of her performance, Lisa cuts down Iris, her freeze-drying weapon now programmed to wok on her. You can see where this is going, right?

Yep, that’s right–Iris is unharmed by the blast. And here comes the Flash to put an end to the Golden Glider’s reign of terror. Not even the appearance of her vengeful brother Captain Cold slows him down this time, and he’s soon subdued both rogues. And Iris, of course, is revealed to be actress Daphne Dean in disguise, a way to draw the Glider out without endangering Iris, since the Flash knows that the freeze-dryer can only be set for one specific person. It’s a perfectly fine issue, if a bit predictable.

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