Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crisis Part 4 - From The Dark Dimension!

After the second annual crossover of the Justice League and Justice Society, there seems to have been a small push to promote some of the Earth-2 characters. I'll get to the first major instance of that in the next installment.

Returning to where is all began, this time we're looking at the next chapter in the saga of the two Flashes.

The Flash #151 features the villainy of The Shade. "Invader from the Dark Dimension" was written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, with a cover inked by Murphy Anderson. The story begins with Barry Allen and his fiancee Iris West in a jewelry shop picking out an engagement ring. But a black shadow appears and envelops the ring along with the entire shop eventually. Barry changes to the Flash but is unable to stop the effect but when the shadow leaves the store is stripped bare of jewels. Soon thereafter a series of beastly black shadows appear in Central City, each committing a robbery. Flash chases them down but to little effect.

He then identifies the shadows as the work of The Shade, an Earth-2 villain he battle alongside Jay Garrick, the Flash of that world. He vibrates himself to Earth-2 and finds the Garricks at home. Ironically enough the one-of-a-kind engagement ring he also hopes to find on Earth-2 belong to Jay's wife Joan. Barry and Jay talk and discover that The Shade, who has been released from jail, has been living the high life, but hasn't been committing his usual crimes to fund it. They gather he's been using his shadow powers to rob Earth-1 and enjoy the spoils on Earth-2.

They confront The Shade and he confirms their surmises telling them of a Dark Dimension he discovered between the Earths that allows him to prey on both, and he also promptly takes Jay Garrick prisoner. Unable to penetrate The Shade's shadowy shield, he escapes to continue his crime spree on Earth-1. Barry follows, leaving Jay a prisoner on Earth-2. Unable to stop him, Barry decides to cover himself with gold and pretends to be a statue in a museum which Shade eventually robs. Disquised as booty, Flash is able to penetrate the Dark Dimension and defeat The Shade by taking away his walking stick which seems to control the power of the Dimension.

Quickly then he takes The Shade to jail, returns the stolen property, and frees Jay Garrick, before returning to Earth-1 and his fiancee Iris where he at long last gives her the engagement ring she covets.

This is a fairly standard Flash story with a good villain in The Shade. The sense though of a crossover story is undermined a bit by Jay Garrick's minimal role in the story despite his being featured on the cover. There's no attempt in this tale unlike previous ones to give Jay some featured action.

There will be much more exporation of Earth-2 though in the next installment. See you then.

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