Welcome to the second installment in our annotations of the collected edition of The Trial of the Flash! We’ve been breaking down related stories leading up to this month’s release of the massive tome that is Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash. In addition, we’ve interviewed author Cary Bates about the buildup and the Trial itself, plus shown you what won’t be included in the collection. For last week, and previous issues, click here.
Links to artwork and research are included throughout this post. This time around, since the reprint is widely available, the format will be a little different. For legal analysis of the story, something I will not attempt, go here.
COVER: Carmine Infantino and Rodin Rodriguez, one of the stable of inkers seen throughout this collection, turn in a Flash classic.
PG 1: The mention of a soap opera plotline comes across as a meta-reference to the direction that Bates was taking Flash. I couldn’t determine if this was an actual plot from Days of Our Lives.
PG 2: Looks like a mirror that size runs about $1,400.00. By August, 1983, Kid Flash was well into his career as a New Teen Titan. The issue of New Teen Titans that came out that month is collected in the Terra Incognito trade paperback.
PG 3: All credits say Dennis Jensen is the inker on this issue, but I am certain this is not correct. Look at the next issue in the collection, and you’ll see the style is completely different. My guess would be is Gary Martin, the inker on issue #326. Every place I look says it is Jensen, but it looks nothing like his other 14 issues inking Flash.
PG 4: Secret identity alert! Even though the wedding is “several hundred miles” away, the police officer in panels two and three could narrow down considerably the list of possible Kid Flash uncles with the information Wally provides. More New Teen Titans references, which are needed since Kid Flash’s last appearance in Flash was at Iris’s funeral in issue #277. The character had been fleshed out considerably by Titans’ creative team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and Bates brings Flash readers generally up to speed.
PG 6: Zoom was abandoned by Flash in a runaway time bubble back in issue #283. He escaped and began making his way to Central City in issue #321.
PG 9: The Guardians of the Universe contacted Barry directly when their herald, Green Lantern Tomar-Re, was ambushed and dispatched by Zoom.
PG 10: Although Iris was murdered in issue #275, Zoom was not revealed as the killer until issue #283.
PG 11: Without accounting for super-speed, military research seems to indicate a low risk of snow avalanche from sonic booms. However, Zoom does state that it is “avalanche season”, while the tests linked here were conducted during “low” avalanche hazard.
PG 14: Its part of a great two-page spread, but the look from Fiona on the final panel is perfectly placed and executed. The artwork throughout this massive book is a true pleasure.
PG 16: The black-and-white format may not be ideal, but it also uncovers treats like the detailed after-images in panel two. Judge Crater was an actual New York judge who mysteriously disappeared, and became part of the public consciousness.
PG 17: Here’s a site with a detailed history of Cape Canaveral.
PG 20: Flash is reading Zoom’s horrific “sand-script” while running alongside it. I originally thought he was reading it during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
PG 22: Zoom is set to re-create Iris’s death, down to the lethal super-speed jab to the brain.
PG 23: It has been four years, both in real-time and comic book-time, since Zoom last appeared in Flash’s era.
We’ll be back next week with more notes on The Trial of the Flash!
That’s one of my favorite comics from Barry’s prior run as The Flash. But back in the day Zoom always seemed so one dimensional to me. Evil for the sake of being evil. He came across kind of like a Snidely Whiplash character all that was missing was moustache twirling and a maniacal rubbing together of hands.
While I haven’t been a fan of how Johns has written Barry since his resurrection I think he’s done a brilliant job giving Prof. Zoom a lot more depth than he had during Barry’s previous run as The Flash.