Thursday, July 16, 2015

Flash #200

Flash #200 (On Sale: July 16, 1970) has a wonderful cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson that clearly illustrates one more time what a wonderful team they made. It's the kind of cover that make you yearn for a new Adam Strange series laid lovingly in the artistic hands of these two gentlemen.

I never much cared for Robert Kanigher as a person, but he occasionally wrote some really brilliant comic books. This special 200th issue of the Flash is not one of them. All of the worst, trite aspects of Kanigher's writing show up here. The big news with "Count 200 -- and Die"  is not the silly story but the debut of Irv Novick as the Flash's new artist. Novick would prove nothing if not consistent, as he would draw the Flash for the next nine years. Beginning this issue as well, and remaining for a good year or so, the sometimes rough edges of Novick's characters would be smoothed over by the beautiful inks of Murphy Anderson.

As for the story, Robert Kanigher thought it would be clever to scatter the number 200 throughout the book. So much for something actually special. Foreign spy, the beautiful Dr. Lu, brainwashes the Flash into believing that Dr. Lu is his wife, Iris, and that he needs to pick up a can of hairspray for her. In reality, the Flash is unknowingly attempting to assassinate the president of the Unite States with a laser gun. All is going according to plan when he kisses Dr. Lu and realizes that her lipstick is not the same brand as Iris wears. Wow, that is special. Realizing he has been duped, the Flash runs to Lu's island hideout and rescues his real wife who has been held captive. He then races around the island 200 times, forcing Lu's explosive missiles to alter their course and obliterate the location.

Never reprinted and really, why would you want to?

Edited by Julie Schwartz.

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