Welcome to the latest installment in our annotations of the collected edition of The Trial of the Flash! We’ve been breaking down related stories leading up to last month’s release of 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 than the notes for “The Death of Iris Allen”. For legal analysis of the story, something I will not attempt, go here. For this week’s corresponding Tom vs. The Flash commentary, go here!
COVER: Another memorable Carmine Infantino cover, with inks by Gary Martin, this week’s embellisher. Here’s a post from a few years back, in which the author claims his DC fandom began with this depiction of Flash-under-arrest.
PG 1 & 2: Flash was read his Miranda rights at the end of last issue, and almost incriminated himself. The Miranda warning was established in the United States via the case of Miranda vs. Arizona (1966).
PG 3: Gary Martin was active at DC Comics from 1981 until 1997, working on only this issue of Flash (though I suspect he, not Dennis Jensen, inked issue #323). He also inked the “Meet Kid Flash” story from Flash TV Special #1 (1991).
PG 4: I should have mentioned this before, but Captain Frye sustained his arm injury during a misadventure as Captain Invincible. Flash was forced to break his arm during a rescue attempt.
PG 5: Experimental touches, like the full-page Flash mugshot and innovative layouts seen throughout this book, showcase the design mastery for which Infantino was perhaps best-known. This issue went on sale on July 14, 1983, and Flash’s booking is dated July 11.
PG 6: Flash refers to Weather Wizard by his given name. Mardon appeared in the previous issue when the Rogues gathered to obliterate Zoom’s corpse. His two prior appearances were in Flash #300 (though onlu as part of Abra Kadabra’s elaborate illusion) and in a Hawkman story from World’s Finest #276. His last encounter with Flash was in Adventure Comics #466 (1979), so it had indeed been a “long while”.
Weather Wizard’s comment, “Welcome to the ranks of us major felons, old foe,” was echoed in a comment from our interview with writer Cary Bates:
In fact, before the Crisis entered into things, I do remember toying with the idea of Flash being found guilty and going “on the run” (literally). This would’ve kicked off a new story arc which would have had Flash continuing to do his good deeds as a wanted man with an arrest warrant hanging over his head (sort of a variation on the Green Hornet concept of a hero who the authorities view as a criminal). What I liked most about this idea was the delicious irony of a Flash who ends up joining his own Rogues Gallery.
PG 13: This issue marks the first appearance of Angelo Torres.
PG 14: Flash’s mugshot was dated July 11th, but this newspaper header is dated April 5th.
PG 16: Among the personal effects Barry trashes during the destruction of his apartment: a book titled “Daws”, which appears to be Daws: The Story of Dawson Trotman, Founder of the Navigators. There is also a book marked “Tozer”, which appears to be by or about A.W. Tozer, “a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions.” Both Daws and Tozer are major figures in recent Christian history and literature.
PG 17: Mack and Troy Nathan, Barry’s neigbors, discover the damage to his apartment. In addition to the Christian texts, Barry also owned Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.
PG 19: “Maxatrim” is a part of the L.A. Diet, which, of course, did not exist when this issue was published.
PG 21: There are many Leonard Lewis, Attorneys at Law, according to Google.
PG 23: The guy on the stretcher in front of Flash has blonde hair. It’s an important detail, given the nature of the cliffhanger.
See you next week!