Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Flash's Masked Identity!

Frankly I've always been a little annoyed with the fetishistic fervor that superheroes sometime invest in the preservation of their secret identities. Not that having one ain't important, but often when confronted with an emergency which threatens the lives of others, these "heroes" first think of some trickeration which will allow  them to perform without revealing themselves. Sometimes the focus just seems misplaced to me.

In The Flash #128 we have a much-reprinted story titled "Origin of the Flash's Masked Identity" which spends its whole time in just such speculation. Barry Allen was inspired of course by the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick who went into battle sans mask but wearing only his signature helmet. So of course Barry thinks he too should emulate his hero and wonders what it might be like to enter the superhero fray without his mask. The result is that he is recognized and soon comes out as The Flash. This results in droves of fans surrounding his home and work, crowds of such size that they seem actually to impede the "Fastest Man Alive" in his work to save lives.

It all turns out to be a mere Barry Allen daydream and he wisely decides that a mask would be best. That's the end of the story. No super-villains, merely the threat of super-stardom. This little yarn by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella is a sleek example of the 60's Flash. It also has a 90's Jerry Seinfeld air to it as it's nearly a story about nothing.

More imaginary tales to come.

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