Annotations: The Trial of the Flash, #s 328 & 329 – “What is the Sinister Secret of…Simian & Son”

Welcome to the latest installment in our annotations of the collected edition of The Trial of the Flash!  We’ve broken-down related stories leading up to the recent release of Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash.  In addition, we interviewed author Cary Bates about the buildup and the Trial itself, plus showed you what wasn’t included in the collection.  For annotations to 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(s):  Despite being almost entirely a reprint of Flash #165‘s “One Bridegroom Too Many!“, Flash #328 did have a brand-new cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.  The vintage duo also turned in the cover to Flash #329.

FLASH #328: In addition to the reprint, there are two all-new pages in this issue.  They feature Flash waiting for Superman’s decision on Flash’s Justice League membership in the light of Zoom’s death.  It includes this panel, another instance of Flash nearly stating, at least internally, that he meant to kill Zoom.

Onto the all-original Flash #329!

PG 2 & 3:  Welcome to the next Frank McLaughlin era of Flash!  No stranger to the title, he inked over 60 issues of the 1959 series, as well as two stories in 1992.  I expect McLaughlin’s finishes were closer to the original pencils of Infantino than, say, an embellisher such as Dennis Jensen.

Bates writes Grodd with a great sense of humor.  This was evident in his recent return to Flash in DC Retroactive: The Flash – the 70s.


PG 5:  At least Superman gave Flash a decent dressing-down, given the suspense that must have built between issues 327 and 329.  We linked to the Annotated JLA Charter last time around, but the original is referenced again here.

PG 6:  Not sure who Mr. Paley is (5th panel).

PG 7:  It might be nothing, but the “–at least not on this Earth!” line is almost exactly the same thing as uttered by a motorcyclist in a similar situation back in issue #325.

PG 8:  This whole sequence reminds me again of one of my favorite pieces of Flash-related writing on the web, Rikdad’s Flash Facts post from late 2009.  Flash’s “limits” were changed on a nearly issue-to-issue basis, but always in service of the plot, or to raise the stakes on a super-speed stunt.

PG 10:  Flash’s friend Peter Farley is also the “Pete” seen in The Life Story of the Flash, by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn.  He and Barry are alumni of Sun City University.

PG 12:  As seen in previous issues, Angelo was in with the gang currently answering to Grodd.

PG 17:  A more discreet version of Barry Allen’s usual costume ring.

PG 19:  Noticing parallels between Grodd and Redik, at least in how they ride.

PG 22 & 23:  The ending here directly addresses the most general of reader questions, but also echoes Zoom’s sand-writing from issue #324 just prior to his death.  This is one of the weirder moments in the earlier part of this collection.

See you next time!

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