BHOC: THE FLASH #257

I was still maintaining my subscriptions to FLASH and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA throughout this time, although now that I could regularly get to outlets that sold comics, this was beginning to become an aggravation. because the latest issues inevitably showed up on the spinner racks before they reached my mailbox, meaning I’d have to see a new and much-desired issue and leave it behind, thereafter suffering the agonizing wait for the next few days until it finally arrived. This happened time after time, and was the reason I ultimately didn’t renew either subscription when they came up–but that was still a little while in the future at this point.

This issue featured a rematch between the Flash and the Golden Glider, a relatively new creation of writer Cary Bates. She’d appeared previously in a two-part adventure, and she had the honor of not only being Captain Cold’s sister (the Captain being my favorite of the Flash Rogues) but also the girlfriend of the late Flash villain, the Top. Because she blamed the Flash for the death of her beau, the Golden Glider was determined to kill off Flash’s wife, Iris Allen–and she had discovered Flash’s true identity, a rarity at this time.

To test her discovery, the Golden Glider causes a bunch of trees to fall atop the Allens’ car as they travel to Fallville to visit Barry’s parents. Thinking the mishap a natural occurrence (and not really having the time to think things through) Barry vibrates the car into intangibility, allowing the trees to pass harmlessly through the vehicle, himself and Iris. But thereafter, as he realizes that the trees were deliberately sliced through, he fears that doing so may have given somebody an insight into his Flash identity–which it has!

That evening, as the couple turns in for the night, a huge diamond appears suddenly, floating in the air above their guest bed. Barry becomes the Flash and chases it out into the night (leaving Iris to explain his disappearance to his parents, who turn up in response to the ruckus.) The gem is the calling card of the Golden Glider, and she confronts Flash with the knowledge of his real name. Undaunted, Flash makes an attempt to capture her, but she uses another gemstone to increase his weight, causing him to sink into the Earth.

Recovering, Flash finds his foe having vanished. Returning to the Allen household, he discovers that the building is blocked off from the arriving ambulances by an impenetrable force-field. Flash himself is able to vibrate through the field, and so entering the house, he discovers that both his parents and iris are all suffering from a mysterious malady that’s caused their temperatures to skyrocket. They’ll die in less than an hour, and no medical aid can reach them through the barrier. In Iris’s room, a life-size image of the Golden Glider appears, to taunt Flash about the impending demise of his loved ones.

With no other course of action open to him, the Flash goes after the Golden Glider, taunting her and trying to provoke her into a confrontation where he might be able to get the upper hand and force her to reveal how to save his family. And she can’t help but to confront him, so a super-speed battle between the two breaks out. At a critical moment, Flash grabs up the Glider and tells her that he’s going to run directly into the barrier that she set up around the Allen household, killing her, if she doesn’t bring it down, But the Glider calls Flash’s bluff, and at the last second Flash tosses her aside before they reach the deadly barrier.

Running out of time, Flash realizes that al of the weapons that the Glider has been using against him have been gem-based, and so he scours the household for gems of any kind, depositing them all a safe distance away. This doesn’t seem to have any effect until he realizes that Iris’ own suitcase is monogrammed with her initials, and that the Glider has planted the fatal gems within those initials, poetically. (DC villains of this era were never anything other than poetic about their crimes.) As Flash destroys the suitcase, the Allens’ fever breaks and they return to normal. But Barry is haunted by the fact that the Golden Glider is still at large, she knows who he is, and she’ll stop at nothing to complete her vendetta–so she’s going to be back to cause problems for him and Iris again.

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