Friday, October 14, 2016

The Flash #161

Honeymoon in Vegas

Pat McGreal, Story
Paul Pelletier, Pencils
Doug Hazlewood, Inks
Gaspar, Letters
Tom McCraw, Colors
Joey Cavalieri, Editor

Steve Lightle gives us a fun homage to the Golden Age with this cover that is actually one of the best he's done on The Flash. I've criticized him quite a bit, but here, I'm going to compliment him for capturing the look and feel of the old comics from the 1940s. Anyway, shown here with Jay and his bride, Joan, are several members of the Justice Society of America — Green Lantern, Wildcat, Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite and Atom.

Our story begins in the Flash Museum, where Impulse, Max Mercury, Jesse Quick and Jay Garrick are in full costume and just ... hanging out, I guess, for some reason. They talk about Wally and Linda finally getting to enjoy their honeymoon, which prompts Jay to mention his own frantic, and not very romantic honeymoon.

It doesn't take much prodding for Jay to launch into the full story, which compromises most of this issue. In 1947, Jay decided to take Joan to Las Vegas on their honeymoon (not the Niagara Falls like Bart guessed he was going to say). But instead of spending a quiet and romantic evening with Joan (who was drawn very sexily in this issue, I might add), Jay ended up getting dragged into and adventure with JSA, a corrupt casino owner, Jay's three greatest villains — Shade, Thinker and Fiddler — and, of course, his three bumbling sidekicks — Blinky, Winky and Noddy. (Back in the Golden Age, sidekicks came in two varieties: either the Robin-like child adventurer, or the plump, bumbling buffoon for comic relief. Green Lantern had Doiby Dickles, Plastic Man had Woozy Winks, and Flash had Blinky, Winky and Noddy.)

And, that's really all I have to say about this issue. Jay naturally saved the day, but ended up being too tired to spend any quality time with Joan. Max and Jesse were shocked to learn that Jay essentially slept through his wedding night, but all Bart wanted to know about was what happened to the big bag of money that the casino owner was trying to get away with. Turns out, it literally fell into the laps of the Three Dimwits, who decided to spend it on a trip to Cuba.

This was a fun, light-hearted celebration of the Golden Age. And I think it was a good idea to do something like this during these transitional issues between Mark Waid and Geoff Johns. Instead of trying to start a new story with Wally, fill-in writer Pat McGreal put the focus on the original Flash, who always could use a little more attention. Sadly, though, this issue marks the beginning of a long drought of Impulse in The Flash. Whereas Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn loved to incorporate all the characters of the Flash family, Geoff Johns will spend the majority of his run focusing exclusively on Wally. Luckily, Impulse still has plenty of issues of Young Justice to appear in.

Speaking of which, next time we'll take a look at some of the aftermath of Sins of Youth in Young Justice #20.

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