Yay! The Flash Helps a Team Cheat in Baseball!
For those of you who clicked on this review for the Hawkman, Black Canary, Atom (Al Pratt), Ghost Patrol, or Johnny Thunder story, sorry. Seeing that I read this issue through 80 Page Giant #4 (featuring Flash reprints!) only the Flash story will get reviewed sorry.
Now that we got my apologies listed lets get on with this review:
The Golden Age of Comics is going into it's final years and delivers us a Flash story that takes a sport and superhero combination that makes it fun. Jay Garrick is walking down the street and gets hit in the head with a baseball and goes off on the player. Finding out the player was a woman and having some sexist 1947 fun we go on to learn that the lady has been coaching the Bobtails,which are apparently the worst baseball team, after her dad took ill. Jay meets the father with the nice woman and her young kid brother only to find out that if the Bobtails don't win the pennant will die as that is the only reason he fighting on. This gives Jay the idea to use his superspeed powers as the Flash to help out the teams during their games. After doing so the underworld gets angry as it screwing up their betting rings so they plan to kidnap the players during the final game. During the final game of course their are nine empty uniforms and the Flash takes their place. After winning the games he approaches the criminals in charge and beat them down. Later we visit the hospital to find the old man happy as well as getting us a happy ending.
The writing by Robert Kanigher was good, pencils were done by creator of the future Flashes (Barry Allen and Wally West) Carmine Infantino were excellent, with Frank Giacoia inking. Giacoia's ink job is definitely the high light of this book. It gives the art in this issue a more popping, cartoonish, Golden Age feel to it. Also congrats on Kanigher for writing a comic where superheroes and sports meet that I actually enjoyed. It is clear that this is the end of the Golden Age as by the end Americans wanted less action so superheroes were featured in more goofy or feel good tales instead of the usual crime tales. Usually when it comes to those superheroes and sport issues I usually dread reading them. There is always a voice going on in the back of my head that wants to tell the hero to stop playing and actually go help some people. After all their ain't no rest for the wicked. That and because I am not that big of sports fan. I like them when I am watching them at the stadium, but not on TV or listening on the radio so why would I want to read of sports. However with this one it played out nicely. It wasn't just something like "Superman is playing football to expose a coach" or "Batman and Robin must play a game a football to beat the crime family of the Smokey the Gangster". Here we see the Flash helping a team cheat just to make a sick old man and his kids happy. Plus, we actually get to see interaction with the family/coach and the Flash which I think helps out this sport /superhero tale. I'd say it would worth it if you find the story either in a reprint book or as a individual book when it comes to the Flash story. It is even worth a reread!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!-