Welcome to the final 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.
IN THIS CHAPTER: Adventures of Psychic Iris!
This is it: the final chapter! Thank you very much for reading along. 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!
We left off last week at page 22. Catch up here!
PG 24: This article and recording from NPR goes into great detail about police interrogations, including the “Reid” and “PEACE” techniques:
PEACE is an interview technique that more closely resembles what journalists do. It’s to gather information; confessions are not sought. Unlike the Reid technique, the questioner does not try to pal up the suspect, does not try to say, “I understand where you’re coming from.” It’s very straightforward…It’s basically based on a different model. That model is: Lying and anxiety have nothing to do with each other, and lying and body language have nothing to do with each other. However, lying creates a cognitive load, and the more you lie, the more elements you have to juggle, and if you keep going back and asking for more and more details, eventually that system breaks down.
PG 27: Prior to his appearances in the guise of Reverse Flash, Abra Kadabra’s last appearance was in Flash #300, in the story “1981 – A Flash Odyssey!”. In that issue, Kadabra tried to convince Flash he was not his super-self via an elaborate illusion. The trick was broken when Kadabra included Reverse Flash in his taunts, as Flash explains below.
In The Trial, Kadabra appears to be revisiting this plan from Flash #300 by introducing another illusion of Reverse Flash, albeit in an elaborate effort to save The Flash and cement his own legacy in the process. The original art for page 27 can be seen here, via Comic Art Fans.
Kadabra’s on-page history with The Rogues was pretty limited. He appeared alongside Mirror Master in Justice League of America #158 (1978). Kadabra also teamed up with Reverse Flash in Flash #175, one of the famous Superman/Flash races.
PG 29: This issue is the first and last appearance of Snurff. Abra’s plan is to keep Flash in the 64th Century long enough to avoid his death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Everything from ensuring a murder conviction in #348 to destroying Zoom’s lab earlier in this issue was a feint by Abra to lure Flash into the 64th Century as part of a “trick” to change history and elevate his art. The use of “final fate” in panel four is a nod to the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, which went on sale three weeks after Flash #50.
PG 31: Abra thanks Flash for his “convoluted and gut-wrenching lifetime of tragedy and trauma.” This is, of course, decades prior to Flash: Rebirth and Nora Allen’s untimely death. I’ve always wondered what Abra was going to add before the alarm goes off.
PG 33: Although they’re working together here, Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang converged on Gotham City in Batman #388, following this issue.
PG 36: Abra wouldn’t stay down for long. He could be seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5.
PG 38 – 40: The tower-city panel gave it away to longtime readers back in issue #349, but Iris Allen’s soul survived the events of Flash #275. Both she and Flash returned to the 30th Century following the events in the 64th. See Kelson’s comprehensive “The Lost Days of Barry Allen” post over at the reference site for the entire timeline of Barry appearance from Flash #350 to Final Crisis.
For everyone who has read even one of these posts, you have my sincere thanks! My deepest admiration to Mr. Cary Bates, the late, great Carmine Infantino and all the creators involved with this series. Everyone should buy Showcase Presents: The Trial of The Flash (and the missing issues)!
Thank you again!!
The original Mirror Master was a favorite of mine. I miss him.
Congratulations on finishing the series! One of these days I plan on reading the whole thing with your annotations open.
I always liked the resolution of Flash #300 with the “wait a minute, how can there be a *Reverse* Flash…” realization.
As for what Kadabra was planning next…I’m just glad we never had Kevin Smith writing a time traveler who wanted to mess with Barry’s history!
One thing I find interesting about this is that Barry’s new face and Iris’ new body were *completely* ignored by anything that followed up on it, except for one throwaway line in The Life Story of Barry Allen.
Oh, and I can’t take credit for the Lost Days of Barry Allen post. It’s one of the few guest pieces on the site, written by Loki Carbis.
Thank you! Loki’s post was the perfect link to round up what happened next. I still need to get that Legion Annual where XS and Barry meet up.