Flash #5, October 1987
The issue starts out in Syracuse, New York and Tina McGee is telling Jerry, her husband, that they are getting a divorce. Jerry doesn’t like this and takes it out on Tina. Jerry abuses Tina and runs off to Volton Labs, division 8, where he works. He injects himself with a steroid which we learn is making him angry and abusive. It’s his 29th injection of steroid B-Q19 and he says that he is “now ready to proceed with stage three of Project Ubermensch. The story now cuts to Long Island where Flash is putting together a TV set with full surround sound stereo. He gets a call from Tina and she tells him what has happened between her and Jerry. Note that both her and Flash don’t know about Project Ubermensch. Flash runs to Tina and on his way explains how he met her and all that jazz from issues #3 and #4. He gets to her at a fine dining spot called the Blue Swan where Flash has 2 meals. Tina explains to Flash that Jerry has been taking steroids (she doesn’t know what they do) and that they make Jerry paranoid, dangerous, and crazy. She says that Jerry can find her in the city and she wants to leave, but is afraid he’ll follow them out. Wally runs her to his place and shows her around. While this is happening, Jerry puts on a suit and we learn that the steroid gave him super speed and he is pretty damn strong. He acts completely paranoid and starts his hunt for Tina and Wally. Note that Wally’s secret identity isn’t so secret. Cut back to Long Island where Wally’s father is at the door. He explains to Wally that he and Wally’s mother were experiencing some difficulties and they used up the $500,000 that Wally gave them when he won the lotto. Tina shows Wally an editorial in the newspaper that cancels his town’s liability service since he moved in. Tina and Wally go to a very nice place to eat (he has two filet mignons and a lobster), Wally’s Pops stay in Wally’s house sleeping. In the restaurant Wally spots the president of the city council who wrote the editorial in the newspaper. They have quite the heated discussion about the editorial and all. Once home, Wally and Tina go to sleep in their respective rooms. Tina comes into Wally’s room saying that she only feels safe in his arms and some more lovey dovey jibber-jabber. They hear a few CRASH-BOOM-THUMPS and the house’s alarm system rings. A fist comes through the wall of the room Wally and Tina are in and it turns out to be crazy Jerry McGee—all steroided up; fast and strong. Flash lays a few punches on him when Jerry runs off with Tina. Angry, crazy, and blind Jerry with Tina in his arms makes a ‘SPLANG-WHUMP’ into none other than a Texaco Fuel Depot. And BOOM!
It amazes me how much story they fit in comics back then. At quite a few points in the story, I could see the issue ending right then and there, and it didn’t! I’m guessing this is because I’m used to today’s shorter storied comics. This issue really stresses Jerry’s psycho – craziness. It has him beating up complete strangers for looking at him in his ridiculous yellow and purple suit. I mean if you saw a random person in an outlandish yellow/ purple suit, who wouldn’t look? Jerry’s paranoia is almost to the point of no return. Things I noticed throughout the issue:
•No offense to Jackson Guice, but the anatomy in this issue is really well, an issue (I know, I had to).
•Flash’s symbol is a lot higher up on his chest throughout the issue, even noticeably on the cover.
•No offense to any colourists from 1987, but to me it looks like colourists had a heck of a easier job than they do today.
•Lots of BAM-POW-THUD-CRASH-WHACK-POP’s in this issue.
•This is more of a general Flash Vol. 2 so far thing I noticed—there’s a lot of jumping out of/being thrown out windows.
Overall, I really like how this story is going and it’s definitely believable.
Writing: Five out of five stars. Believable, and fun.
Art: Four out of five stars. Anatomy really annoyed me at some parts.
“But, dad! I thought that money would help you and mom!” “Well I suppose it did for a while…. But now that it’s gone…” “But DAD! That was $500,000!” –Wally West, Rudolph West, page 15.
As usual, more after the break!
Flash #6, November 1987
Wally finds Tina in bad shape and saves her. She is ok except for a few bruises and some burns. Tina and Wally talk about Jerry and call the Titans about some temporary living accommodations until they catch Jerry. At the Titans Tower, Tina tells Wally that Jerry would probably go to his boss, Conrad Bortz, who locked him out of the labs when Bortz realized Jerry was far too mentally ill to work there. Wally gets to Bortz’s mansion where he is caught by Bortz’s highly technologically advanced security system. He is mistaken for Jerry, but Flash clears things up. He talks to Bortz about Jerry and how they are both concerned and scared for him. The power goes out, Bortz’s backup generator kicks in and it fails. They are blacked out right until Jerry jumps through the bulletproof Mylar glass window. Jerry and Flash fight it out until Jerry almost breaks Flash’s back when he passes out. Flash is cared for by a doctor, where he meets up with Tina. Jerry is in horrible shape and needs a ton of new organs and other procedures. Wally and Dr. Bortz drive back to his house when Bortz tells Wally about a scientist at the Puleski institute in Siberia. “His name is Orloff. The Puleski Institute is a top secret government installation devoted to super nature…. Experiments similar to what Jerry did to himself.” explains Dr. Bortz. Cuts to the institute where we see three people in white suits with red gloves and boots and a red star on their chests. This is Red Trinity.
Very cool issue. Flash attempting to break into Bortz’s house and the major fight scene are really written well and paced well. The art is still a little off; the anatomy is really killing me. I can definitely see that Jerry is over exaggerated and all (because of the steroids he’s on), but the over exaggerations are disproportional to the other ones. The story is really going in a cool direction and I really enjoyed this issue. The cliffhanger at the end was perfectly played out, and really flowed instead of being seen as a whole new arc, even though it is.
Writing: Five out of five stars. Once again: believable, and fun.
Art: Four out of five stars. And again: Anatomy really annoyed me at some parts.
“Time to play dead. Time to play alive!” –Wally, Page 9. (Part of the really awesome security scene.)
Panel of the review:
From Flash v. 2 #5,