Annotations: Flash #272 – “The Girl With the Master Mind…”

Welcome to the third entry in our breakdowns of Flash stories by Cary Bates!  We’re counting down to the July 20th release of Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash.

UP TO SPEED:  Last week, we saw the Flash and three Central City “V.I.P.’s” at the mercy of the Clown!  Meanwhile, Barry Allen was dealing with the onset of Dr. Nephron’s controversial criminal-rehabilitation procedures, and the growing frustrations of his wife!

COVER:  The always-amazing Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez draws up the Clown’s most recent attack.  Enjoy the Clown’s thought bubbles: he never speaks during the course of the story, and thought bubbles were not used, except on this cover.

PG 1:  Trapped with the Flash aboard the acrobatic gyroscope-on-power-lines are Mayor Bradley, the Governor and the president of the power company.  The Clown’s calliope is actually an “oscillator” that is both paralyzing Flash’s powers and controlling the gyro, and he is attempting to re-create his family’s death-scene with these four men.  He blames each in some way for the death of his family, caused by a blackout during their high-wire act.

PG 2:  Rich Buckler and John Calnan share penciling duties, with Vince Coletta on Vince-Coletta’ing. 

PG. 4:  I just love this page.

PG. 6:  Flash uses sonic-booms to disable Corley’s sonic oscillator calliope.  On the previous page, Mach 1/the speed of sound is listed as 720 MPH, but it is actually 768 MPH.  According to NASA, the speed and size of the sonic-boom generator can affect the power of the shockwave(s), and “acceleration and ‘S’ turns — can amplify the intensity of the shock wave.”  This would be the Clown’s last appearance until Flash #197 (2003).

PG. 7:  The girl watching through binoculars has been attempting to gain control over Flash for some reason since issue #270.  Inmate Clive Yorkin was knocked out cold by the effects of the Nephron Process last issue, and is attempting to escape out of fear.  The Process is similar to the “Ludovico technique” from A Clockwork Orange, as previously mentioned, which itself was a parody of radical behaviorism conditioning techniques and proposals.   

PG. 10:  The “Pam” Iris mentions on the phone is actually Patty Spivot, Barry’s lab assistant.  It would be funny to think that Iris just forgot her name or something, but Barry calls her “Pam” on page 11.  Barry doesn’t remember messing up the ballistics test because he asked “Pam” to do it. 

PG. 11:  “Pam” keeps screwing up at her job.  I believe the “standard conversion test” she is running is a test of their equipment to determine accuracy.  Isn’t being able to identify drugs by taste part of basic training at the police academy

PG. 12:  Back in issue 270, a large amount of heroin from a drug bust was moved from the evidence room to Barry’s lab for hiding by some crooks dressed as cops. 

PG. 13:  Detective Curtis has been skulking around the lab since #270.  Veal scallopini, long-established as Barry’s favorite, is an Italian dish of thinly sliced meat, dredged in flour and sautéed. 

PG. 14:  We never actually saw Barry place the pocket alarm or set up the electronic eye circuit, a device using a photoresistor that reacts to light intensity.  I understand she’s upset when Barry runs out, but Iris is being a bit dramaticScallopini takes about a half hour to make, unless she butchered the veal…

PG. 15:  Just like how Bart Allen read the entire contents of the San Francisco Public Library, Barry Allen has taste-tested all powders.

PG. 16:  Barry often found himself compelled to use his super-speed against his will, but this girl is showing Grodd-sized power levels

PG. 17:  It’s pretty twisted to have Flash taken down by a brick wall twice in three issues.

LETTERS:  Confirmation that Barry did indeed learn how to sew from Prof. Ira West!

NEXT ISSUE:  Clive Yorkin, unleashed!


3 thoughts on “Annotations: Flash #272 – “The Girl With the Master Mind…”

  1. Lia

    Cary Bates was really bad at remembering characters’ names at times, so it’s not surprising that he mucked up Patty Spivot’s name on occasion.

    My favourite example is when he gave a new surname to the Top and a new first name to Mirror Master, which were later retconned into their middle names.

    Also, how does Barry know what heroin tastes like? Hmm…

    1. Ken O

      It’s part of being a good cop. They are trained to stick a pocket knife into every bag of drugs they find and then taste it. At least that’s what TV and movies have taught me.


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