blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Showcase 4 (September-October 1956)

It’s hard to say who’s more enthusiastic about The Flash–Robert Kanigher or John Broome. Kanigher does the origin, Broome does the second adventure. Broome tackles time travel… Kanigher has Flash in a speedboat. I guess Broome wins.

Both have Carmine Infantino (inked by Joe Kubert) on art. Infantino doesn’t quite know how to tell a superhero story in this issue. His panels are all matter-of-fact and he doesn’t dynamically compose them. Flash in the speedboat is beyond silly.

But Kanigher and Broome–while writing a boring character in Barry Allen–manage to still write a compelling one. The stories’ villains are goofy; Barry’s excitement at his new abilities make up for them.

I don’t think I’ve ever read these stories before. They’re extremely influential, not just for DC, but also for Marvel (particularly Stan Lee’s Spider-Man origin).

The stories are guardedly ambitious, especially the Broome one.

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