Annotations: The Trial of The Flash, #342 – “Smash-Up”

Welcome to the latest installment in our annotations of the collected edition of The Trial of the Flash!  A while back, 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.

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IN THIS ISSUE:  Flash vs. Fauna of Equatorial Africa!

Links to original artwork, scans and research are included throughout this post.  For definitive legal analysis of the story by Bob Ingersoll, go here.  Tom vs. Flash Podcast links here, including these issues.  As always, huge thanks to the DC Indexes. See you after the jump!

COVER by Carmine Infantino and Klaus Janson. This is another experimental cover layout by Infantino, but it looks like the white “poster” in the middle may have been added late in the process. There are also two Flash mastheads, one partially obscured by the other. DC included two Flash title logos on covers from issue #236 to 244, but only two times after that with this issue and the iconic cover to Flash #323.

The original art for page one can be seen here, via Comic Art Fans.

PG 4: The font used in the “Smash-Up” title always reminded me of the one used on the famous “Disco Sucks!” signs and t-shirts from the 1970s. It is called “Shatter”. The original art for this page can be seen here.

PG 5: There are some lettercol complaints coming up in a couple issues about Flash’s blood falling from his face to his shoe here, while he is running at super-speed. The phrase “death before dishonor” comes from a Latin military call/sendoff.

PG 6 & 7: This map will give you a general idea of how far Flash ran to get from Central City to Gorilla City.

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Here are some possibilities for identifying the snake in panel two and the cat in panels three, four and six. The original art for page six is available at Anthony’s Comic Book Art.

PG 8 – 10: Gorilla City and Solovar first appeared in Flash #106, the second issue of Barry’s 1959 series following the initial Showcase run. Solovar has a flashback appearance that takes place earlier than the events of Flash #106 in a Grodd “Secret Origin” story in DC Super Stars #14 (1977). Solovar actually did not appear in Flash from 1967 (issue #172) to 1981 (issue #294), but popped up in a few other DC titles.

PG 11: The Professor Kingsfield name appears to be lifted from the 1970 novel The Paper Chase, which was adapted into a film and a TV series during the following decade. The similarities end there, as Kingsfield was not portrayed as a physicist or student of Einstein.

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This page are relevant to the eventuality that, in the years following this story, Reverse-Flash continued to appear in Flash comics. Following the Trial annotations, we’ll do a Reverse-Flash timeline that will analyze his movement throughout the timestream, from his origin to his death in issue #324. Note how Bates (mis?)spells Thawne as “Thayne” here, but will include editor’s notes for the Rogues full IDs in the coming pages.

PG 12 & 13: I cannot recommend enough that you pick up the issues of Action Comics that Rip Hunter appears in just before his testimony here. It is one of the great Superman stories of the 1980s, by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane. I reviewed the recent collection of Kane’s Superman stories at Collected Editions.

PG 15: I can’t find anything pointing to the existence of an actual “Boerner Scotch”.

PG 17: As we mentioned in the notes for issue #338, this is the first Rogues team-up of four or more (not including Flash #300’s visions or their “funeral” for Zoom in Flash #325) since Flash #256.

PG 18: Here’s a post over at Thrillist with a history and current state of prison food.

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PG 19 & 20: Captain Cold is “The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero,” but minus 1000 degrees would be much colder than the current definition of Absolute Zero at -459.67 Fahrenheit. Last year, a family made headlines when their car was struck by lightning via their antenna. Here is an article, with video, at Jalopnik. The original art for page 20 can be seen here.

PG 22: I think the Gorilla City procedure Big Sir’s condition might have gone a little something like this, which features some of his “little friends”.

The original art for page 23 can be seen here.

See you next weekend!

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