Tag Archives: Time Travel

Help Wanted: Golden-Age Flash Collectors!

The Grand Comics Database needs better scans of the original Flash Comics. In particular, the following two covers are marked as needing replacement:

That said, there are quite a few others that are either low-quality scans or scans of badly deteriorated comics. If you have any copies of Flash Comics or All-Flash in decent condition, I’m sure they’d appreciate it if you’d help them out by improving their cover database!

Most of my own Golden Age collection is coverless, or in poor enough condition that it wouldn’t be worth contributing, though I was able to submit a few of the later All-Flash covers.

I actually have a copy of that Flash Comics Miniature Edition, and considered sending a scan, until I pulled it out of the box and saw what condition it was in:

As you can see, it’s in worse shape than the one they’ve got! This isn’t terribly surprising. One of the previous owners of this copy wrote a note on the back of the board:

Wheaties giveaway, 1946. All known copies were taped to Wheaties boxes and are never found in mint condition.

Yeah, that might cause a problem…

It makes me wonder what the print run was on books like this. How many copies were taped to cereal boxes and shipped to markets nationwide? How many were removed carefully, and how many were summarily ripped from the packaging? How many were treasured, and how many discarded?

Oh, yeah, you’re probably wondering: Who’s that pointy-headed guy on the cover? That’s Dmane, a one-shot villain (as so many of them were those days) billed as “The Criminal From Tomorrow,” who used futuristic technology to perform miraculous feats in the present day. (Sound familiar?) It’s also an early case in which Jay Garrick travels through time under his own power with perfect accuracy.

Beyond the Speed of Sound

For those who have been wondering whether the original Flash, Jay Garrick, could exceed the speed of sound back in the Golden Age of comics…

The Golden Age Flash circles the Earth

Yes he could.

The speed of sound is roughly 340 meters per second (varying with humidity, altitude, etc.)

Earth revolves around the sun at roughly 30 kilometers per second.

So in that panel he was running at least 88 times as fast as the Flash: Rebirth promo claims was his top speed before he met Barry Allen.

Source: Flash Comics Miniature Edition (promo book taped to boxes of Wheaties in 1946), in which the Flash goes up against the one-off “Criminal From Tomorrow!” Dmane. And yes, that looks like the same stunt Superman pulled in the 1978 movie with Christopher Reeve.

I seem to remember that Jay reached the same levels of insanely impractical speeds that Barry did on a regular basis — this was just the first place I thought to look, since I remembered the time travel element.