Showcase 4 (September-October 1956)

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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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