Tag Archives: Panels & Pages

Golden Age: Completing the Set & Tracing the Origins of the Shade

It’s going to be a long time (if ever) before I track down the entire Golden Age run of the Flash, but I’ve finally tracked down the last item on a list I’ve been trying to complete for four years.

Getting Started

For the longest time I just assumed Golden Age comics would cost too much to collect. Then in late 2005 I picked a maximum, bid on several auctions on eBay (not expecting to win), and actually won two of them. They weren’t in good condition, but one of them was complete, and all I wanted to do was be able to read the stories.

So I took the appearance lists for those Golden Age villains who had survived into the Silver Age and beyond — villains who had returned like the Fiddler and the Thinker, or who had been re-imagined like Star Sapphire, the Turtle or the Thorn — removed anything that I had as a reprint, and made a list of books to track down.


The first year I had pretty good success, and bought a bunch of other Golden Age books. I read them, indexed character appearances, and discovered forgotten recurring characters like the Worry Wart, Deuces Wilde, the Eel and the Keystone City Liars Club. After a while, though, the supply of (relatively) cheap, reader’s-grade copies on eBay dried up. Cons didn’t help because, as near as I can tell, most Golden Age collectors do it for the history. They’re looking for the books that are in the best condition possible, so that’s what dealers bring with them.

Pursuing the Shade

The one book I most wanted from the beginning proved to be the hardest to find: Flash Comics #33, the first appearance of the Shade. After four years, I finally found it. Last month a falling-apart copy showed up on eBay starting at $50, in a lot with two other books in much better condition. I figured it would quickly move beyond my price range, and didn’t even bother bidding — but I did put a watch on it. The day it closed, eBay sent me a reminder. Amazingly, it was only up to $55, so I put in a bid. Even more amazingly, it only went up to $56. To my astonishment, when I checked my email the next morning, there hadn’t been any more bids. I’d won!

It’s a strange feeling — a mix of astonishment and exhilaration — to finally track down something I’d sought for so long. I wrote up most of this post that day, but held off publishing it, just in case something went wrong.

It took a while, but the book arrived today. Continue reading

Team Turmoil and Dynamo 5

I was recently looking through old scans and ran into an image of Team Turmoil. Readers from the 1990s will recognize them as a group of generic villains who would show up anytime Mark Waid needed the Flash to have a short battle as part of a larger story about something else.

The funny thing is that their costumes reminded me of another team — a much more developed team with actual characters: Dynamo 5. Continue reading

Who Named Impulse?

ImpulseSuperman, Batman, and Max Mercury have all been cited as giving comic-book speedster Bart Allen the name Impulse. Batman most famously in Impulse #50, and Superman in the previews for All-Flash #1. (The final lettering simply said “He was code-named Impulse,” sidestepping the issue). But who named him originally?

Cover: Flash #93
Cover: Zero Hour #3The name first appears on the cover of Flash #93 (August 1994), with an out-of-control Bart Allen fighting the Flash. The cover is captioned, “Brash Impulse!” Over the next few issues, Wally West’s inner monologue refers to Bart as being impulsive, or (at one point) as “Mr. Impulse.”

It first appears on-panel as a name in Zero Hour #3 (September 1994), when Bart meets Superman for the first time, but Bart introduces himself as Impulse. Dan Jurgens writes.
Continue reading

Flash Foreshadowing

To this day it’s not really clear how far ahead the 2007 death of Bart Allen and return of Wally West (not to mention the subsequent return of Barry Allen in 2008) were planned.

Interviews with Mark Waid and Marc Guggenheim at the time made it clear that it was in the works “nearly a year ago,” and definitely before Guggenheim took over as writer. Dan Didio has suggested it was their plan all along, though many fans find this idea suspect, and find it more likely that it was put in place after the first few issues of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive failed to catch on with readers.

While looking for something in Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1, I noticed something interesting in the Barry Allen dream/origin sequence:

Will you ever outrun the shadow, Bart?

It shows Barry’s death, along with the Black Flash, who figured prominently in the last few issues. And that last remark: “Will you ever outrun the shadow, Bart?”

It could simply be setting the dark mood that pervaded the beginning of Bart’s run. On the other hand, maybe they did have this planned all along.

Originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings.

An Earlier Identity Crisis

A brief exchange from The Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (1998).

The setup: The DCU version of comic book writer Mark Millar is interviewing the Flash to get ideas for his next script. Apparently DC Comics exists in the DCU, but they publish stories about “real world” heroes. As you can see, they don’t know all the details—like their secret identities—and have to fill in the gaps themselves.

Mark Millar and the Flash discuss secret identities and how DC had to rewrite continuity when heroes started revealing their real names... with "The Identity Crisis."

Originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings.

In 1998 it was a play on the title of DC’s biggest ever crossover event. In 2004, it was the title of DC’s latest big crossover event.