Tripwire continues its 100 Graphic Novels You Should Read While Stuck Inside with its fifty-eighth choice, The Flash Of Two Worlds Deluxe Edition by Gardner Fox, John Broome, Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella and Sid Greene, reviewed by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
The Flash Of Two Worlds Deluxe Edition
Writers: Gardner Fox, John Broome
Artists: Carmine Infantino with Joe Giella and Sid Greene
Today’s choice takes a look at one of the most seminal DC comics of the silver age. When DC brought out The Flash 123 in Sept 1961, it turned everything on its head. Gardner Fox worked out a way to bring the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick back into DC continuity to exist at the same time as the 1960s iteration Barry Allen, it opened up a world or worlds of possibilities.
This hardcover reprints that classic issue as well as five other meetings between the two Flashes. The strongest tale here is obviously Flash 123 as it is the most dynamic and it is also the first team-up. Artists Infantino and Giella were the finest Flash artists of the 1960s, mixing grace with kinetic energy and also tackling the Flash’s Rogues Gallery with pizazz and style.
The second tale, Flash 129 is still a breezy and light affair, teaming Garrick and Allen up once again to save Earth 1 by locating a meteor which is also found on Earth 2. The novelty does start to wane a little but it’s still great to see them in action.
The third tale features Vandal Savage, a villain who becomes more of a threat years later in DC titles. Here he threatens the Justice Society Of America, which acts as a catalyst to return them to DC continuity at this point too.
The fourth story has The Shade as the main adversary and it’s interesting to compare and contrast him here with James Robinson’s reinvention in Starman decades later. Here he is a very silly pantomime villain, miles away from the nuanced subtlety in the 1990s title. Giella’s inks continue to be the perfect foil for Infantino’s pencils.
The fifth tale sees Sid Greene take over on the inks and here Infantino’s pencils lose a little of their finesse in this story that sees the Flashes battle against 64th century magician Abra Kadabra. However the script is still a fun affair and it’s a decent addition to the volume.
The sixth and final story, from Flash 173, sees John Broome take over the writing and Greene is still the inker. Here the pair fight against new sci-fi villain The Golden Man, hellbent on using the Flashes’ powers to evolve his fellow aliens to become as sophisticated as him. Broome has a decent handle on the characters and it actually ends the volume on a bit of a high.
The Flash 123 was a very important comic but it is entertaining for fans of the Silver and the Golden Age iterations to see them join forces. My only criticism is that unlike their rivals over at Marvel, the dialogue here is a little flat at times. However, the stories here display invention and a sense of adventure that very few other DC books of the same vintage do. So this hardcover is a worthy addition to our 100 GNs list.
Here’s links to the other graphic novels reviewed so far