Posts from 28th June 2008

Jun 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Bonus: Flash

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 528 views

(I thought it was worth adding this review of a recent release as a supplement to the recent piece on old DC superhero comics).

The second Flash volume is, for me, the best Showcase* collection yet. I love Carmine Infantino’s art on these old comics, the cleanness and liveliness and sharpness of everything he draws. I’m also fond of two odd stylistic tricks: the use of little hands pointing and gesturing in captions, and especially the bizarre way he depicts the city: almost everywhere Flash goes, from any angle, there is a huge paved plain, like the biggest city square in the world, with a modern city skyline in the distance, whatever is in the foreground.

The stories are sometimes very disposable: trivial and inconsequential, just another crook with a ridiculous gimmick (mirrors, tops, boomerangs…) captured by our hero. On the other hand, there is plenty of clever stuff, and some extraordinarily bizarre tales, often based on Infantino showing up with a cover idea he liked and John Broome writing something to fit. The one where he is correctly thinking “I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a PUPPET!” is an old favourite. There’s a great splash page, also, where the Flash is running towards Grodd (an evil super-powered gorilla – Infantino always liked drawing apes), beaming adoringly, saying “Grodd, you… you’re WONDERFUL!” Sadly he doesn’t actually kiss him.