Annotations: The Trial of the Flash, #334 – “Flash Freak-Out!”

Welcome to the latest installment in our annotations of the collected edition of The Trial of the Flash!  We analyzed related stories leading up to the 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.

IN THIS ISSUE: What are the secret properties of the mysterious “Vitamin F”?  Then, meet the cat who found out Flash’s secret identity!

Links to artwork, scans and research are included throughout this post.  I scoured the web but could not find any scans of original artwork for this issue.  For definitive legal analysis of the story by Bob Ingersoll, go here.  Tom vs. Flash took on this issue here.  See you after the jump!

COVER by Carmine Infantino and Mike DeCarlo.  DeCarlo inked four Flash covers, all during Infantino’s second run.

PGs 1 & 2:  National Enquirer-type tabloid front-page.  References to Psycho and Bates’ shared namesake, Herbert Hoover and “Nutrition Breakthrough: Vitamins F, G, H!”  In reality, Vitamin F is another term for fatty acids, Vitamin G is apparently another name for Riboflavin/Vitamin B2 and Vitamin H is also known as biotin.  The National Penetrator had previously sent a “reporter” to the psychiatric ward where Fiona Webb was convalescing, where he ran into Flash (issue #330).  Redik wanted the Flash’s defense job for his own, both prior to and following the accident that injured Flash’s first lawyer, Peter Farley.

PGs 3 & 4 include a recap of the Flash’s defense team so far.

PG 6:  In light of recent revelations in the current Flash series, this page reads a little differently.  Darryl Frye’s pre-Crisis relationship with Barry Allen gets the once-over here, from Frye’s initial distaste for Allen to his spearheading the missing-person mission.  Patty Spivot gave Frye the costume ring, which Barry had apparently left behind in the lab.

PGs 8 & 9:  The micro-sonic device made its debut last issue, with the Flash Museum vandals.  Flash’s former lawyer is lucky to be alive, thanks to the Flash – but even he won’t throw the speedster a break.  Bates left literally no stone unturned when looking for ways to dismantle Flash’s life.  Character manipulation (even new ones) is other advantage of his time on the title.

PG 10:  The Mayor’s dismissive attitude towards Dexter Myles Museum restoration pitch, presumptuous as it was, is incredibly uncomfortable.  Here, Bates is a long-term Flash writer doing a story for long-term Flash readers, twisting even the most obscure assumptions.

PG 11:  There is a cool Two-Face reference in the last panel, with the District Attorney.  Infantino is, of course, a definitive Batman artist:

PG 13 & 14:  There are many plot lines throughout the Trial that spin out of Flash’s abandonment of the Barry Allen identity.  One of the major themes of the Trial story is the flaws and consequences of that decision.  The cat is the element of chaos running into Barry’s attempt to control.  The last five pages have built up to the Mayor’s veto of restoration funds for the Flash Museum.  Dexter’s reaction is priceless:

PGs 15 & 16: Mayor Pinchot was among those captured by The Clown and saved by Flash in issue #272 (see our annotations for more!).

PG 19:  Our “mystery” villain, not the rescued window-washers, files a complaint with the Mayor.

PG 20 – 23:  This issue has used various media, including TV, newspapers and now the camera lens for different types of paneling.  It is very much the “public eye” issue of the Trial, culminating in a whirlwind sequence where  Flash destroys Rick Trent’s news-desk during a critical commentary, live on TV.

The shadowy Rogue behind the false tip is revealed as the puppet-master himself – The Pied Piper!

See you next issue!

2 thoughts on “Annotations: The Trial of the Flash, #334 – “Flash Freak-Out!”

  1. Lia

    Ah yes, the time Piper pretended to be a hairdresser. Whenever I post those scans I feel obliged to remind people this was long before he came out, so people don’t think DC was indulging in crass stereotypes.

    Reply

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