Retro Review: The Flash #268

Today’s guest post is by KC Flash.

For my first EVER comic review, I wanted to start with the comic that began my love for Flash comics so many years ago. What was it in my first comic that made me want to follow the Flash for over thirty years? Would it still “hold up,” so to speak?

The first Flash comic I remember purchasing was Flash #268. If you just look at the cover, you will discover three characters fighting over a Golden Age comic, Flash Comics #26. The cover blurbs state that this is “the comic book that holds the world’s greatest secret!” In the bottom left corner, the cover asks the question, “What amazing secret does a golden age comic hold that causes three heroes to fight for its possession?”

At first, you may be thinking that since this was a December release, that the heroes were still fighting over a “Black Friday” sale at their local comic book store. ☺ However, as you read the story you discover that “The Riddle of the Runaway Comic” is actually a crime mystery story. The story involves Barney Sands, who is a twelve-year-old comic book collector, the Flash and a gang of criminals.

A gang of criminals has “obtained” a secret spray, Formula XCV. This formula, after being sprayed on an object, allows the object to reappear at a different location. The criminals obviously want the formula for devious reasons. As the story states, “Just imagine how this formula could revolutionize crime! Squirt the invisible spray over a priceless painting or jewelry exhibit while no one’s looking and then retreat to your hideout—concentrate—and the priceless item materializes in your hands!” Yes, friends, XCV takes all the risks out of stealing!” The only problem is that the original scientist, the “late” Professor Phillip Denton was able to only effectively use the spray on one object, his son’s copy of Flash #26. Whenever someone concentrates on the book, the book magically appears. Enter our criminals dressed as Wildcat and the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott.

Without going into further details, I must say it was quite a treat to go back and reexamine this book. My interest in the history of the Golden Age began in this book. By reading this book, you will also get to see Barry Allen’s comic book collection. As Barry Allen states after finding Barney Sands’ comic book in his own collection, “Its one of the few Flashes that have eluded me –even when I managed to get rarer ones.” Just think about how much fun it would be to go over to Mr. Allen’s to share collecting tips.

Now that I think about it, Golden Age Flash Archives ends at Flash #24. So, yes, I am still searching for a reader copy of Flash #26 after 30 years. Hmm…Maybe, just maybe, if I think about it hard enough?


Covers c/o the Grand Comics Database.


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