Friday, September 21, 2018

Retro Review: All-Flash Comics #31 (1947) - "The Secret City"

We Built This City

Written by: Robert Kanigher
Art by: Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia
Cover Price: 10¢
Release Date: 

For my money, the golden age Flash stories are some of the craziest and so, some of the most fun.  the big appeal of Jay Garrick is his singular power, but it seems like sometimes the writers struggled to find something for a fast guy to do.  Here is a great example as Jay ends up in the Amazon in search of a secret city with self-projecting natives intent on taking over the world.  So, let's get into it…

The issue opens with Jay heading to a noon meeting with a newspaperman, Dale Thomas.  It seems Mr. Thomas has double booked with Dr. Flura for some science article of sorts, but he actually stands them both up for a lunch meeting…20 years in the making.

The actual story of this lunch date is classic.  Thomas was exploring the Amazon with his pal, Jim Ronson, and after Ronson claimed to have discovered a secret city, the two got separated.  However, Ronson promised to meet up with Thomas twenty years from that day at noon.  Why twenty years?  Why noon?  We don't ever find out, but what the heck.

Well, Ronson is a man of his word and while Thomas, Jay and Dr. Flura are looking at a printing press, Ronson's body just appears and then disintegrates.  What What???  There is obviously only one thing to to the Amazon, that's what.

After a funny bit of secret identity saving, Flash powers a rowboat they borrowed from some guy in the street and head to the Amazon.  Once there, the group is continuously attacked by natives who disintegrate like Ronson when defeated until they see...Ronson himself!

They follow the explorer and that just ends up with them captured with Ronson in the Secret City.  Ronson explains that the natives of the city practice astral projection and after learning it, he kept projecting himself to lead them there.  He wasn't so great at it and that's why the projections kept disintegrating.

The issue ends with Flash fighting the natives, convincing them to use their powers to do such exciting things like teach a class and get into construction.  It really felt like Jay was just setting up a clone army workforce, but hey, that might just be me.

After returning to Keystone City on a floating tree trunk, all is well and we just have to wait for Ronson to finally write his story on the Secret City so Mr. Thomas can publish it and make millions.

Yea, this is that sort of great fun that I was talking about in the introduction.  It really makes no sense, the story progression is all over the place...and I love it!!!  These are the type of stories that keep reminding me why I love comics!

Bits and Pieces:

Tell me if you've heard this before...a disintegrating astral projection shows up for a twenty-year lunch date and leads the Flash to the Amazon to fight natives of a secret city and tell them to get civil service jobs.  Throw in a rowboat and you got yourself some great fun!


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