Friday, September 7, 2018

Retro Review: The Flash #118 (1961) - "The Doomed Scarecrow!"

Superhero Movie

Written by: John Broome
Pencils by: Carmine Infantino
Inks by: Murphy Anderson & Joe Giella
Cover by: Murphy Anderson & Carmine Infantino
Publication date: February 1, 1961
Published by: DC Comics

Remember the glory days of Hollywood? The studio system, big stars, classic fashion and exciting action. Yes, a time before wall to wall Superhero films? Well, your memory must be failing you! You must have forgotten about The Flash’s starring role in a big Hollywood production in the 1960s! Yes, it’s time to find out all about the Flash’s big foray into Hollywood waaaaay back in issue 118

This is a great issue (spoilers!!). If you love a light-hearted, fun issue of a comic, then it is really worth a look. There is a charm about this issue. The premise is that The Flash has been given a starring role in a Hollywood movie and goes out west to enact the action scenes himself. Meanwhile, the acting will be done by his thespian friend Steve Palmer. The only trouble is that Palmer is being targeted with threats to his life. Luckily everyone’s speedy superhero is on set to save the day. Meanwhile Iris West is also in La La Land to report on the movie, and all she wants is a nice evening with both Barry Allen and the Flash. Uh-oh.  

The art in this issue is just gorgeous. It is so elegant, the depiction of both Iris and Barry is so good. The action sequences are also very stylized conveying the momentum of The Flash in a representative rather than realistic fashion. These were the days when attention to fine detail was expected and the refined style of the Hollywood setting is brilliantly executed. It’s funny; some criticism was leveled at the casting choice of Ezra Miller as Barry Allen due to his smaller stature, but actually when you go back and look at these earlier issues the art renders Allen’s Flash as a very finely built speedster. 

 Bits and Pieces:

This was a great issue. Sometimes this era of The Flash can be a bit hit and miss, but this issue really struck the perfect pitch for the era. A decent plot idea, some great exchanges between Barry/Flash and Iris, some exciting action, beautiful art, and a self-contained story. Well worth checking out.



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