Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Than a FLASH in the Pan ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post (Updated)

Today I'm going to give you a sensory overload of comic book covers, with a minimum of my usual rambling. (You're welcome.) Almost no background, just an overview, coupled with purty pictures!

The star of the day is The Flash. DC Comics' second Flash, actually, whose secret identity was Barry Allen.

The original Flash was Jay Garrick, who debuted in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. Failing sales killed the series in 1949.

In 1956, however, DC Comics introduced a new Flash in the pages of Showcase #4. The story was written by Robert Kanigher, and illustrated by Carmine Infantino. Barry (The Flash) Allen was a hit!

How'd he get his powers? I'll let Barry tell you himself!

In those days, comic book collectors -- those few readers who were proper "collectors," that is -- didn't care about #1 issues as they do today. So the new Flash series, once given its own title, resumed with #105, since the old series had ended at #104.

Of course, it wasn't long before Jay Garrick came out of retirement, in this landmark issue which established a parallel universe where DC's Golden Age characters lived!

The Flash's villains were often showcased in little team-ups of two or more. They became known collectively as the Rogues Gallery.

Barry Allen's best friend ended up being Green Lantern!

How does one feel when one is being turned into a puppet?

This issue featured the third team-up of the two Flashes, and gave us a cameo appearance of the Justice Society of America...

...which paved the way for these two issues, and many more JLA/JSA team-ups to come!

MY first issue of The Flash!

And right around the same time came this treasure trove of early Flash stories! One of the best annuals ever!

This baddie became Barry's worst enemy!

One of my favorite Flash villains, for whatever reason.

Okay, this premise is more than a bit odd...!!!

And I finally got to read "Flash of Two Worlds!"

Here's the story that everyone hated! A "Heavenly Help-Mate" named Mopee reveals that he gave the Flash his super-speed powers. This story has been universally ignored ever since, and rightfully so!

This was a biggie. It established a parallel universe called "Earth-Prime." That's where you and I live, fellow babies! A world where superheroes exist only in comic books!

Shortly before artist Carmine Infantino stopped drawing the Flash, I kinda lost interest ol' Barry anyway... for a few years, that is. So the remainder of this post will only feature a handful of major events.

Poor Barry! First his wife gets killed by the Reverse-Flash...

...and then The Flash accidentally kills his greatest enemy, before the Reverse-Flash could kill the bride at Barry's second wedding!

He's convicted of murder...

...and then his title ends!

And then, Barry himself DIES!

But don't worry, folks. These are comic books. Barry eventually returned from the dead, albeit several years later!

And now, as a final treat, here's a little something by The Flash's primary artist, the late Carmine Infantino! (Click on the image to see it in a larger size!)

And thanks for your time.

Friday, July 26, 2013

When Duty Calls... ~~ A "Sepia Saturday" Post

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt has to do with family bibles, records, documents and related items. My mom was great for saving my dad's old war records, like discharge papers, induction papers...

I'm going to give you all a break today from my usual wordiness and throw a bunch of documents atcha, interspersed with photos of my dad from his army days, 1943-1945.


I would love to know the story behind this uniform!

My dad spent quite a bit of time in the VA hospital after having served, due to shrapnel in his leg which won him the Purple Heart... and gave him osteomyelitis.

I'm guessing that the following shot was taken after Dad's stint in the VA hospital. Note the cane, and how the somewhat baggy pants' left leg was filled by what I suspect was a cast underneath. Just a hunch; I may be wrong.

Be sure to check out the other Sepia Saturday entries for this week. I myself won't be able to look at most of them until after this weekend, I fear!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Unfortunate" Comics, Part Two ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Hello again, fellow babies! Time for Part Two of "Unfortunate Comics!"

I'm gonna start off with three items to which I've given no category:

"Fun buns?!?" Excuse me?

Oh, great, let's start up those old rumors again...!

And this one's just... dorky.

Now, here's a category I call "Poker Face." Someone needs to explain to me why Golden Age comics so often utilized villains threatening women with hot irons!

Here's a weird one, which I call "Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More":

The hero of the "Golden Knight" series, Sir Richard, happens upon a young woman named Alice. Alice, who was separated from her parents as a child, lives in a village called Namara. Namara has been cursed by a villain named Bawara -- hey, folks, I don't name these things -- nicknamed "The Black Death."

Sir Richard and Alice invade the stronghold of The Black Death and are taken prisoner!

"The girl pleases me." I think we all know what that means. The sleazy one has equally sleazy plans for Alice.

But... Seeing Sir Richard tortured in the dungeon royally ticks off Alice, and she's the one who saves the day!

Now here's where it gets a bit... odd.

Let's ignore the whole Alice-just-happens-to-be-The-Black-Death's-daughter idiocy, and... well... Am I the only one who remembers Bawara's "The girl pleases me" bit? And she turns out to be his daughter? In a word: Ew.

Now, friends, for those of you who think I'm long-winded, here are two examples of comic writers who must have been paid by the word:

The second one's even worse! Notice all the dialog in panels 2, 3, and 4 that's  supposedly taking place as the thief slips and falls! And after all that, the scene isn't even important!

So, you see? I'm not so bad!

Thanks for your time.
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