Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Classics - The Flash #137

   One of my first "favorite" super-heroes was The Flash, as rendered by Carmine Infantino and written by John Broome and Gardner Fox.

   And one of the things about that series that set it apart from most DC Comics was something that's very common today: crossovers.

   When this comic was released in 1963, there were specific titles built for that purpose: World's Finest teamed Superman and Batman, Brave and the Bold teamed different heroes - but in their own titles, guest appearances were virtually nonexistent.

   (Did Superman's titles ever feature another hero in the early '60s? Did Batman's? Aquaman's?)

    But editor Julius Schwartz knew the value of bringing heroes together, and The Flash led the way with the first-ever crossover between Earth-1 (the home of the Silver Age Flash) and Earth-2 (the home of the Golden Age Flash).

   The Flash also had adventures with Green Lantern and the Elongated Man - it made the series a lot of fun, and made the adventures bigger and better.

   But this issue took it all to a higher level, as the two Flashes team up to battle the immortal villain Vandal Savage - and in the process they rescue the Justice Society of America. (Not long after, that team would start its annual crossover series with the Justice League.)

   Marvel was better known for its tight continuity, with lots of crossovers and guest appearances, but for at least one DC title, it was a standard feature - and it made for some great stories.

Grade: A




Anonymous said...

I came a little later to the crossover party...Flash #151, which featured the two Flashes fighting The Shade...and Barry proposed to Iris! It was all new to me and I loved the concept of two worlds and Two Flashes. Even at my age I understood what was going on. It was special and it wasn't overdone, as it would go on to be in the coming years.

Sam Kujava

Billy Hogan said...

Congo Bill appeared in Action Comics in the back of the issue during the 1950's until sometime in 1960.

Chuck said...

But did he appear in an adventure (story) with Superman? Those hero crossovers were rare in their own titles. Batman would pop up on rare occasions to help Superman protect his secret identity, but actual team-ups (or crossovers) were rare for DC's "Big 3" (as far as I know).