Contents: The Flash #141 (December 1963) to #161 (May 1966)
Key Creator Credits: John Broome, Carmine Infantino, Gardner Fox, Joe Giella, Murphy Anderson, and others
Key First Appearances: Paul Gambi, T.O. Morrow
Story Continues From: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2
Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 4
Overview: The fastest man alive is back with another collection of his Silver Age adventures. Most of the title-building has been done in the first two volumes, so this volume continues on with what has been previously established, with incremental additions to the ongoing story. Welcome to Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 3.
As was common in this era at DC Comics, most issues feature two stories, although there is the occasional full-length story to be found. The Flash’s various Rogues rotate in and out from issue to issue, finding new ways to challenge him each time. We still get plenty of situations with fiancé Iris West complaining about how slow Barry is always, a still-ironic plot point in a book about a man who runs really fast. Barry’s circle of friends is still in place, with frequent appearances from Kid Flash, the Jay Garrick Flash, and Green Lantern. The Flash even has a team-up with Doctor Mid-Nite from Earth-2.
There are two notable additions to the DC Universe in this volume. The first is the introduction of the villain T.O. Morrow, an inventor and scientist. He has often gone up against the Justice League and Justice Society and is most known for creating the android Red Tornado. The other introduction found in this volume is Paul Gambi, a tailor in Central City. While mostly forgettable, he becomes to the tailor for all of the villains working in the city, repairing or replacing their costumes following a defeat at the hands of the Flash. Having all of the villains getting their costumes in one place brought the group together in The Flash #155, and led to the formation of the Rogues Gallery.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: The Flash ranks near the top of my list of favorite Silver Age titles from DC Comics. The stories generally hold up; the situations that set-up the stories maybe aren’t as believable, but they aren’t as absurd as those in other titles in this era. We have a rotating team of Broome, Infantino, and Fox that build a near seamless universe for Barry Allen and company. Kid Flash graduates into his own re-occurring feature, in a time when Robin was not. This is a solid collection of the era and should be part of your library with the increased popularity of the Flash in current media.
Footnotes: The Flash #160 is a reprint issue. The cover is included in this collection.
If you like this volume, watch: The Flash tv show on the CW, which began in the fall of 2014. Sure, this seems like a no-brainer pick, but I think there may still be a few hold-outs among you. Anyway, building on the success of the Arrow tv show, executives worked out a way to bring the Scarlet Speedster back to primetime. Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen, handling the role like he was born to play it. The best part of this show is that it borrows elements from so many different eras in the Flash’s history. The show uses parts of the original Silver Age origin from Showcase #4, as well as the revised origin from Geoff Johns in the 2000s. We have many of the supporting characters, such as Iris West, Jay Garrick, and the Rogues Gallery. There are even nods to the 1990s Flash show, with the inclusion of John Wesley Shipp and Mark Hamill. This is a family-friendly show that I enjoy watching with my kids each week.