Friday, October 16, 2009

Flash #193

Flash #193 (On Sale: October 16, 1969) has a nice cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

Unfortunately the nice cover hides an absolutely horrendous story by John Broome, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, entitled "Captain Cold Blows His Cool." It begins with a breakout at Central State Penitentiary, where Captain Cold helps five "old timers" escape by, get this, making them young. No explanation is given for Cold's miraculous power, which alone would make someone rich beyond any other crime they may commit, but I digress.

Cold explains that he is in love with old-time movie star Laura Lamont, who's heart he intends to win over by making her young and presenting her with magnificent gifts that he needs the ex-"old timers" to steal for him. Cold also tells us that he does not know where to find Lamont, but that Iris Allen has written an article and interview with Lamont and so he plans on getting here whereabouts from Iris.

In disguise as an estate attorney he visits Iris, explaining the Lamont has come into some big money. Iris will not tell Cold Lamont's location but agrees to pass along the information. Barry thinks the attorney looks familiar and notices him following Iris as she drives off to see Lamont. I already hate this story, but the next piece seals it for me. Barry hesitates "several seconds" before deciding to follow as the Flash and is unable to locate Iris or Cold. Horrible writing on Broome's part.

While searching though he does find some of the ex-"old timers" stealing a painting for Cold and he captures them. The next day he finds out that they have the same fingerprints as two of the old guys who recently escaped. He also finds out that there were a rash of robberies last night. Searching for clues he finds an old stump outside of town that is frozen and figures Captain Cold is behind it all. He traces the residual radiation from Captain Cold's "Cold-Gun" but it soon dissipates. He eventually picks up the radiation trail again and tracks it back to Captain Cold. Another digression here: if Flash has the ability to do this, why has he not done it in the past to quickly find and capture Captain Cold? Like I said, really bad writing by Broome.

Where was I? I yeah, Flash has found Cold but Cold hits him with an Absolute Zero Ray that blows Flash into pieces and embeds him into the wall of Cold's hideout. Cold places a picture frame around the broken Flash (this looks pretty stupid folks, which is why the Carmine Infantino cover was such a great idea). Having followed Iris the night before Cold goes to Laura Lamont's house, makes her young, takes her to his hide-out where he gives her the gifts and proposes to her. He then goes off to call a Justice of the Peace to marry them tonight, but dials Heat-Wave instead and invites him over to show him the frozen Flash.

Heat-Wave once to take on last crack at the Flash and blasts him with his Heat-Blaster, reversing the effect of Cold's gun and restoring the Flash, who quickly mops up the room with the two, now bickering, villains. Laura Lamont doesn't want to be young and uses her ability with make-up to make herself look old again and swears she will do that for the rest of her life.

Iris takes Barry by a theater where Laura sells tickets to her old movies. Later on Barry explains that while he was frozen by Captain Cold, his brain still functioned and that he concentrated on Heat-Wave and through some here-to-fore unknown and never-heard-of-again telepathic ability on Barry's part, got Cold to call Heat-Wave instead of the Justice of the Peace. The less said about this mess the better and thankfully, this tripe has never been reprinted.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

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