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 wasn’t included in the collection. For previous issues, click here.
Links to artwork and research are included throughout this post. For legal analysis of the story, something I will not attempt, go here. For this issue’s corresponding Tom vs. The Flash podcast, go here!
COVER: Carmine Infantino and Mike DeCarlo are all thumbs. DeCarlo inked a total of four Flash covers in the early 1980s. Thumbs from left to right, top to bottom: Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Elongated Man, Aquaman, Firestorm and Hawkman. The cover is consistent with their actions in the issue.
PG 2 & 3: This is, unfortunately, the last Dennis Jensen-inked issue in this collection. Bates will wear the writer/editor hat for the rest of this volume. For those reading along in the Showcase Presents volume, the gentleman on the stretcher has blonde hair.
PG 4: Even though she’s hallucinating, Fiona is obviously correct on her third identification of Barry Allen. A brutally complex sequence.
PG 9: Flash literally “intercept(s) a woman on the rebound,” as he did with Fiona after Creed Phillips‘ death.
PG 10: This Vulture is wearing a “left-facing” sauwastika. Flash discovers he’s been indicted via reporters’ questions.
PG 13 & 14: Grodd’s last Flash appearance was issue #313, “3-Way Fight for the Super-Simian“. In that story, Grodd was trapped in the vagrant’s body by William Dawson (“Psykon”), the man whose own body was annexed by Grodd back in Flash #115. Here, Grodd’s last appearance is listed as Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew #20, which came out the same month as the issue we’re reading.
PG 18: Infantino was known for his hands, and there are interesting parallels here, especially in the sixth and ninth panels.
PG 20: Wonder Woman would be right, if the version of the JLA Charter she is referring to is reflected in the Annotated JLA Charter. It is the last clause listed. The Annotated Charter is, according to the site:
“…based on the “History and Bylaws” section of the JLA SOURCEBOOK (2000) which is part of the DC Universe Role-playing Game from Westend Games, additional material is based on the “How it Works” section of the JUSTICE LEAGUE SOURCEBOOK (1990) which was part of the earlier DC Heroes Role-playing Game from Mayfair Games. Both articles were based on an essay by the late Mark Gruenwald which appeared in THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #14 (March 1977).”
PG 21: I just finished reading Death of a Prince, and I’m pretty sure Aquaman took at least a few sea-lives. Green Arrow is referring to the classic “The Killing of an Archer” story from Flash #217, which was featured again in this years DC Retroactive: Green Lantern – the ’70s. Wonder Woman may have been inspired by Flash’s actions…
PG 22 & 23: Superman was pretty busy around the time this issue came out.