Tag Archives: Adventure Comics

This Week: Digital Flash Back Issues – Wally West #7-12 & Adventure Comics #461-466

DC and ComiXology have added six more issues of the 1987 Flash vol.2 starring Wally West, all at the 99-cent price point.

These issues introduce Red Trinity and Blue Trinity, two teams of ex-Soviet speedsters, as well as Chunk, who would go on to become a regular supporting cast member. Issue #12 begins the Vandal Savage/Velocity 9 story that straddles the transition from Mike Baron to William Messner-Loebs.

70 issues out of 249 (including #0 and #1,000,000) are now available digitally, including the complete first year. Mike Baron’s run is almost complete, with just two more issues to go. It’s not clear whether DC has a regular schedule for these digital back-issues, but the last time they added to this series was January’s addition of #1-6. This suggests that they’ll be adding six issues every few months, starting at the beginning and working forward, filling in around the issues released as part of the Flash 101 promotion last year.

» The Flash (1987-2009) on ComiXology

They’ve also added six issues of Adventure Comics from its 1970s run as an anthology book. Issues #459-466 featured eight Flash solo stories starring Barry Allen. During the heavily serialized Bronze Age, these were throwbacks to the more goofy done-in-one Silver Age stories. I didn’t even know about them until I read one of Mark Waid’s interviews in The Flash Companion, then I started tracking them down on eBay. I’ve read the lot of them, and wrote about the stories here a couple of years back. ComiXology has Adventure Comics #461-466 online at $1.99 each.

Only a handful of the Silver/Bronze Age Flash series are available, most posted during the Flash 101 sale mentioned above.

» The Flash (1959-1985) on ComiXology
» Adventure Comics on ComiXology

Flash in Adventure Comics (1978-1979)

During the late 1970s, DC redesigned Adventure Comics as a Golden Age-style anthology series, where each oversized issue would contain four or more different features. It didn’t last very long — after only eight issues, it went back to a standard size and price. The Flash, Deadman, and Justice Society features appeared in every issue, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman appearing in most of them. Edit: I forgot to mention, these features ran through Adventure Comics #459–466.

While the Flash stories in Adventure Comics were written by the regular writer on the book, Cary Bates, they took a drastically different approach. The main series was structured around long, multi-part stories featuring the Flash and Barry Allen’s supporting cast. The Adventure stories were quick one-offs. In fact, only two of the eight stories featured regular Flash villains! Instead they featured strange monsters or bizarre situations. It was sort of a deliberate throwback to the Silver Age during the Bronze Age.

The Adventure Comics run also spanned a period of transition for the Flash: The death of Iris Allen. She appears in three of the early stories (but doesn’t go with Barry to his high school reunion), isn’t mentioned in several, and by the end, Barry is grieving for her.

The Stories

#459: The Crimson Comets of Fallville High – Barry Allen attends his 15th high school reunion and a former classmate picks up his identity through ESP.

#460: A Nightmare To Remember! – After visiting Earth-2, Barry Allen finds himself in a bizarre reversed version of Keystone City, where the Shade has been elected mayor and Joan Garrick has divorced Jay and remarried the Fiddler.

#461: The Multiple Murders of Mapleville – Barry and Iris are traveling, and stop in a small town for gas. Barry gets framed for murder. There’s a major plot hole in this one, where a gun is set up as compelling him to fire it, but the compulsion is never mentioned again.

#462: The She-Demon of the Astral Plane – Iris meets an old flame who is studying astral projection, and has to try it out…but an extra-dimensional creature wants to follow her back and take over her body.

#463: Urtumi the Image-Eater – The Flash encounters an alien monster who formed the basis of local Native American legends. This one was weird enough I had to write it up.

#464: The Day Up Was DownAbra Kadabra turns Central City upside-down — literally — looking for an applause machine.

#465: Who Is Invading Central City? – A sonic boom causes the Flash to pick up telepathic transmissions from creatures who can’t figure out what the invading humans want.

#466: The Cloud With the Lethal Lining! – The Weather Wizard turns over a new leaf and tries to use his powers to help people. It doesn’t last. And I really shouldn’t be bothered by the Flash running up a lightning bolt in a story where sunspots cause the Weather Wizard to turn good, but there are limits, you know?

Update: I’ve added the issue numbers to the list of stories.

Weekend Updates: Cover Variants and Urtumi

One of the things I wanted to do this weekend was finish going through the brief Adventure Comics run of The Flash (more about that tomorrow). In the process I decided I just had to write up the sheer weirdness that is Urtumi the Image Eater.

I also started tracking the variant covers from the new ongoing Flash series.

Well, I’d hoped to get more done this weekend, but other stuff has kept me busy…and now the Lost finale awaits!

Mental Telepathy

I’ve always been annoyed by the phrase “mental telepathy.” It’s just redundant, like “big giant” or “fast speedster.” Is there any such thing as non-mental telepathy?

So it was nice to see someone taken to task in this panel from a Flash story in Adventure Comics #459…all the way back in 1978!

The characters pictured are two of Barry Allen’s high school classmates at their fifteen-year reunion. The woman, Rachel has just picked up that one of their classmates is the Flash.

Hijinks ensue.