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.
IN THIS ISSUE: Sympathetic Vibrations!
We’ve reached the final issue! 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!
COVER by Carmine Infantino and Klaus Janson. This issue came out one week after Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. While Flash does not appear in that issue, he does appear on the cover. This is more symbolic than literal, as Flash was in captivity when Supergirl died. Flash also appeared on the cover of Who’s Who #8, out one week after Flash #350.
PG 1: The newspaper in the background is The New York Times from May 9, 1985. Here is the article that belongs to the “Officer Is Suspended; Bar Picture Wounded” text.
PG 2 & 3: Horton is spelled “Horten” here.
The original art for page five can be seen here, via Comic Art Fans.
PG 9: The Bates name-games continue with Newburgh vs. Newbury between panels one and two. Flash gets it right again on page 11.
PG 12: The original art for this page can be seen here.
PG 16: Paul Gambi first appeared in Flash #141. A tailor who also designed a number of The Rogues’ uniforms, he continued to appear in Flash, including flashbacks and references to his work, through 2008’s Rogues Revenge. His nephew Tony became the Wally West-era villain Replicant. He also created The Suit. His name was a reference to a fan, now-famed BBC radio and television presenter Paul Gambaccini, who appeared frequently in the letter column of Flash and other DC titles in his youth.
PG 18 & 19: The Cosmic Treadmill first appeared in Flash #125, but had not been seen in this series since the cover of #283 (1979). The Treadmill was shown destroyed in that issue. In all other appearances (especially Flash vol. 2 #196) the treadmill could only be powered by super-speed. EDIT: The Treadmill appeared in Action Comics #539 (1983), part of an incredible Marv Wolfman/Gil Kane story.
PG 20: Reverse Flash’s last name, of course, is traditionally Thawne. The original art for this page can be seen here, via All Star Auctions.
PG 21: The original art for this page can be seen here.
PG 22: Inner ear issues can cause balance disorders, as outlined in this article. “Vibratory ratio” is a concept related to the work of inventor and self-described “humbug” John Ernst Worrell Keely. Keely claimed to be able to produce a vapor or “ether” many times more powerful than steam by manipulating the atoms of water and air via vibrations. From this article:
Keely explained that he was tapping a “latent force” of nature—the vibratory energy of the ether [generated by his devices]. Keely often used a harmonica, violin, flute, zither or pitch pipe to activate his machines…A central idea of Keely’s theory of nature was the notion that musical tones could resonate with atoms, or with the ether itself.
With ties to metaphysics, it is not unreasonable to assume Cary Bates was well aware of Keely. Bates confirmed his interest in these subjects during our interview with him:
Ross [Andru, former Flash artist and editor] and I shared an interest in all things parapsychology and the paranormal, so it was no surprise this was reflected in some of the storylines.
TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT WEEKEND!