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Showcase: The Trial of the Flash featured 1980s soap-opera elements

by Matthew Price Published: September 3, 2011

The two-plus-year storyline “Trial of the Flash,” primarily by Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino, was collected in a black-and-white Showcase edition by DC Comics last month.

The Showcase edition collects The Flash #323-327, 329-336 and 340-350.  When the Flash attempts to save his fiancee from the Reverse-Flash, the Reverse-Flash is killed.   The Flash is put on trial for manslaughter, in one of the longest-running storylines of the time.

I can see how fans would have tired this a month at a time, especially in an era where continued storylines were more rare.  And the legal fallacies in the series are rather extreme.  But the series does have a soap opera type charm, as the Flash deals with attacks on his lawyers, the deteriorating mind of his fiancee, and the return of his rogues gallery.

With 24 issues collected for  $19.99, it’s a good value for the money.  And though some issues in the run were left out, the story flows cleanly for the most part.  However, one issue that’s primarily a Kid Flash reprint is included, so you kind of wonder why to include that and not some of the trial subplots in the excluded issues.

You can find a summary of what was left out of the Showcase in this Speedforce post.

While there’s plenty you could criticize about the story, or the exclusion of issues, it’s an interesting snapshot of a different period in time for a character that has had a recent resurgence of popularity.

- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011
:  1,316. Still to go: 695.

 

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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