What I thought of the Flash #195

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If you’ve read some of my older blogs you’ll realise I love The Flash.Not because he’s only the fastest man alive, but because his adventures were fun, exciting and most of all weird even at a time when DC’s characters were either starting to become Marvelised or exceptionally weird, you’d have The Flash as this island of ultimate weirdness.

The Flash #195 isn’t the weirdest Flash comic ever, it does however have a great Neal Adams cover and an opening page that has the Flash at the Jerry Lewis Telethon signing autographs for Mark Evanier, Peter Sanderson and Irene Vartnanoff. All names that should be familiar to comics fans of a certain age but lets get to the part where the Flash is saved from a gang of thugs by a dog.

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Artist Gil Kane manages to play it straight, so his pencils and the usual crisp and clear pencils Kane put in but complemented by some lovely Murphy Anderson inks the art here is sublime for a throwaway Flash story where The Flash utters these immortal lines…

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Turns out the dog is called Lightning and he’s accused of killing his master, which in Central City means the dog is going to be put to death. At this point the Flash tries to clear the dog’s name and yes, this is actually the plot of this story, really! Of course everything ties up nicely and leads into the second story, this time written by Mike Friedrich, with pencils still by Kane but inks by Vince Colletta who manages the tough job of totally fucking up Kane’s pencils.

It’s a passable wee story but the entire thing is spoiled by Colletta’s clunking cartoony inks which reduce Kane’s sharp pencils to a slurry in places. The one thing to take from this second story is the creeping influence of the style of Marvel Comics as younger writers start moving into writing DC’s titles in the late 60’s, early 70’s.

Mainly though this is a cracking little bit of nostalgia, but dear god, Vinnie Colletta should never have been allowed near Gil Kane’s pencils……

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