I’ve liked Long Beach Comic Con since it started, but this year was something else. They doubled the amount of floor space from previous years…and filled it. I think they doubled the number of programming tracks as well. And the fans came: I’d swear the place was busier on Sunday afternoon than it was last year on Saturday, and I had trouble finding parking for the first time ever.
A 1943 Flash comic book features Jay Garrick playing every role at once in a stage play, quick-change style, when the entire cast is quarantined for a measles outbreak. I’d recently updated the scans on an old post on the one-man team trope. The Disneyland outbreak made me think of the story, and I’ve posted a few scans at Speed Force.
*They’ve been intersecting all week, actually, since the actor playing Pied Piper on the Flash TV show is playing Marius on Broadway right now, and has been posting Les Mis-related stuff.
Comic Coverage recently posted a humorous look at the role smoking had in the Golden-Age Flash’s origin. Jay Garrick was working late, took a cigarette break, and knocked over a beaker of “hard water.” Interestingly, later retellings of his origin downplayed and finally deleted the cigarette.
First, here are the original 1940 panels from Flash Comics #1 (copied from Comic Coverage), showing grad student Jay Garrick taking time out for a smoke:
Four decades later, in 1986, Secret Origins #9 would retell his origin. Mindful of the details, but also concerned about modern sensibilities about health, writer Roy Thomas kept the cigarette break, but added Jay thinking, “I know I should give up these things…”
A decade later, the cigarette had disappeared completely. Flash Secret Files #1 (1997) featured a condensed retelling of all three (at the time) Flashes’ origins, and this time, Jay simply succumbed to the hour and nodded off, dropping the beaker.
Flash II (Barry Allen) and Fiona Webb (after Iris’ death): Zoom returns, Flash spends the whole day chasing him around the globe, and eventually Fiona gives up and runs out of the chapel, just in time for Zoom to try to kill her. (Flash stops him with a last-second choke-hold which breaks his neck, leading to a manslaughter trial, the disappearance of Barry Allen, and finally the cancellation of the series.)
Flash III (Wally West) and Linda Park: at the moment the rings are exchanged, Abra Kadabra kidnaps Linda, sends everyone home, and casts a massive forget spell, erasing all memory and records of her back to the point she met Wally. Eventually she escapes, Kadabra is tricked into reversing the spell, and they hold a new wedding – 18 issues later.