I’ve got a saved search set up at eBay that lets me know when Golden-Age Flash comics show up in my price range. It’s been a while since I actually bought one, though. Most of them are either too expensive or contain stories I’ve already read, either through reprints or through my own small Golden-Age collection.
Anyway, several books showed up in this morning’s email, and I checked them against my want-list and already-read list. Then I looked up the one that I didn’t recognize, Flash Comics #45. Comics.org has a synopsis of the Flash story, “Blessed Event:”
Jay wins a baby in a raffle and it immediately becomes a headache for himself [trying to explain it to Joan], and to the Flash, when the baby turns out to be a midget crook!
Leaving aside the silliness of an adult dwarf being able to pass as an infant (a premise that doesn’t seem to have gone away, being the basis of the 2006 Wayans Brothers film, Little Man), consider the fact that Jay Garrick wins a baby in a raffle.
Seriously. Even in 1943, who thought that raffling off children to the hero was a good idea for a setup?
It’s probably an oversimplication.
But then, this is the same series where the Flash’s dimwitted sidekicks buy a restaurant and accidentally turn people invisible when they use an alien plant in their salads. (To top things off, it ties into the otherwise-serious origin of the Thinker.) The Silver Age had its share of goofy stories, but it’s got nothing on the Golden Age for sheer silliness.
Believe it or not, “Midget Joe” (as his name is given) actually comes back in Flash Comics #61, one of the issues I’ve read. The criminal escapes from prison, then hides out in a children’s hospital ward. Unfortunately for him, the Flash is performing magic tricks to cheer up the patients, but the hero doesn’t recognize him at first…