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Monday, June 27, 2005

My Collection - THE FLASH [1959 Series]

The Flash [1959 series]
65 issues [1966 - 1985]
163, 172, 187, 196, 232, 258, 267 - 268, 283, 295 - 350

THE FLASH picked up its numbering from the 1940s series, following a few try-out issues of the new Barry Allen version of the character in SHOWCASE. I was a big fan of the Flash as a kid. Unfortunately I seem to have lost a fair bit of my collection of issues from the late 1970s at some point, but I do still have that long run of the last five years of the book at the end. By the time it finished it was almost the only comic I was still buying (and I actually missed a few towards the end and only filled those holes later). Also of particular note on a personal level, #163 was the first original Silver Age comic I ever bought. I love that cover more than I do a good percentage of my relatives.

A lot of the other back issues I picked up later, concentrating on giant size issues with lots of reprints. I adore that old Infantino Flash, I can't wait until they do a volume of it in the new DC Essential line.

As for the later Cary Bates / Carmine Infantino run that makes up the majority of my collection... well, objectively it saddens me to say that a lot of it isn't very good. But I loved it when I was 12, so that has to count for something. I still like some of the use of the old villains and the history of the book, and there are a few good issues, but many of the new villains were kind of lame, and obviously the "Trial of the Flash" storyline went on too long and drove the book into the ground. Infantino's art was still fun at points, but in many ways was just a shadow of his best work.

That's still not enough to get me to get rid of any of those issues. Too many memories tied up in there, it wouldn't be worth whatever small financial gain I'd get. Sometimes I think of getting some back-issues from when I was a kid, especially more of the Irv Novick run, but not too seriously.

A few highlights:

#163 - Just a brilliant cover, the story couldn't hope to live up to it, but it comes pretty close. Vintage Broome/Infantino.
#268 - Barry Allen as a comic book fan, Flash at a comic convention with criminals dressed up as the Earth-2 Wildcat and Green Lantern? What's not to love?
#296 - Infantino's return, with an Elongated Man story, that's some good stuff when you're 11. Plus this issue earned me brownie points at school a few months after it came out, since it taught me the name of the disease the Elephant Man had.
#300 - A great anniversary issue, full of history and villains and supporting characters. I read this thing over and over. All this and Hembeck, too.
#305 - A crossover with the original Flash, I liked that a lot. I honestly don't know why anyone had a problem with the Earth-1/Earth-2 thing
#312 - A very interesting story with Heat Wave

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