The Silver Age of comic books is so fondly remembered that most of the time, comic book companies like DC and Marvel cannot help but go back to these stories over and over again. I think it’s fantastic that DC Comics had a consistent continuity from 1938 to 1985 with hardly any hitches…except the whole infinite number of universes thing. Whatever.
One of the greatest and longest-running titles during the Silver Age was The Flash. And for all its hokiness and cheese during the 1950s and 60s, I feel the title’s strongest story was the ongoing struggle of the Flash (Barry Allen) during his murder trial! Yes, you heard right: the Flash was on trial for manslaughter charges against the Reverse Flash, who almost killed Barry’s girlfriend/fiancé Fiona Webb!
This Showcase collection, printed in black and white, includes issues #327-350 (approx.). Although the cost is lowered when in black and white, it’s daunting to imagine the crimes of the Rainbow Raider without seeing his trademark rainbow . As a consumer, and with the many advancements in printer ink cartridge technology, let’s fork over the extra half-a-penny for the color pics, ya feel me DC?
The story is triumphant, weaving a riveting tale of crime and passion and heartbreak all while winding down the Flash title. Barry manages to run into every single Rogue in his gallery of villains, all with very little referral to their many conflicts of the past (in case you just want to read Trial of the Flash). Also, because Barry is such a likable character, you are eager to see how things will work out for him, even though he’s pretty much sh*t on for the entirety of these issues. At one point, Flash’s entire face is caved in by Big Sir, and he needs it surgically reconstructed by gorillas. And then he’s kinda sorta thrown into an alternate dimension to find some snot-nosed street kid who’s doing the bidding of Gorilla Grodd! What a champ!!
The tale (authored predominately by Cary Bates) intertwines perfectly the trials of Flash the superhero and Barry Allen the man: distressed ex-girlfriend, dead first wife, nosy parents, concerned police chief and of course, the do-goody Justice League. The art is super retro 70-80s (penned predominately by Carmine Infantino) and an enjoyable lay of ink to take in.
As DC continues to stumble in the dark with their new continuities, it is comforting to know they respect the history of the DC Universe, and have decided to re-print this classic line of issues. If you’re a fan of the Flash, or if you’ve just heard about him with upcoming news of movies and television series, take a gander at Trial of the Flash…you won’t be disappointed!
Trehern started blogging way back in 2006 and has addressed pop culture nonsense ever since. He travels the multiverse in an attempt to answer questions no one has ever really asked, and he's at times stubborn with dangerous delusions of grandeur. He also once won then quickly lost the Destigeddon World Heavyweight Championship. At PopCultureBeast.com, he writes TREHERN READS! He also hosts the 5Cast Podcast.