Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Entry #33

Issue #23
November 1941
Rating: 5

 photo 4656cd21-c9a2-4beb-89cd-b33f05125bd2_zps3cc82558.jpg I feel the new era of the Flash begins here. The circumstances of his origin are accidental. Perhaps even carelessness leads him to obtain his super speed. Early on, he seemed more interested in getting Joan’s attention rather then contemplate the responsibility that he now must bear. He also finds himself helping old college buddies. Revealing his real name out of pride; ‘See it’s me – I’ve became someone important!’ His adventures are more aloof and preformed out of indifference to any greater social good. The Flash’s early adventures are full of rescues, but we don’t get a sense that he really is conscious of his actions . . . until now.
 photo flash23a_zpscd6b51e2.png
 photo flash23b_zps1dd8035f.png Up until this issue, the stories seem to be straight entertainment for children. Now, in the late summer of 1942, the editorial staff starts to give their characters throughout the title a sense of a unity that is needed to preserve the DC Universe.
 photo flash23c_zpsbd9f8239.png
This issue also is the first to use the term ‘nazi’.  photo flash23d_zps0de8c4b4.png  photo flash23e_zps6daa2a2c.png Although not united in the common cause yet, the Hawkman learns of his new ability to communicate with birds. This new self-awareness will serve him as his role in the changing world becomes more invaluable.  photo f1fe80a8-22b6-4d3b-9280-6fd8481da185_zps0b8056c0.jpg

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Entry #32

Issue #22
October 1941
Rating: 5

With the anticipated of the coming war, the Editorial Advisory Board is publicly announced.

 photo 02b9c418-3369-461f-a26b-0d64aae8a165_zps18f56900.jpg  photo 474ba67a-5788-4d82-97fb-159ffcbe4961_zps650be9fb.jpg  photo 5be0608d-4526-47cc-be70-d3d3482c6c6a_zps07a844f3.jpg  photo c82e5406-9528-4b87-a770-eb94d6387d98_zpscd9c6e7e.jpg  photo 3df85ac0-232e-4230-b30d-c809104443d4_zps8854b2be.jpg  photo ce399b5a-af2e-45ba-88d5-7ca31699fa07_zps868fde29.jpg  photo 2f198c40-99c1-4620-b9c8-3f07ee11b34d_zpsc8c6e12b.jpg  photo flash22e_zpse207412c.png  photo flash22d_zpsfcad0529.png  photo flash22c_zps25a95221.png

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Entry #31

Issue #22
October 1941
Rating: 5

 photo 1e21a959-8b7c-4ec0-af85-2acd45cabace_zps499821cd.jpg  photo 3661f678-2f1d-45c6-9036-c49b41372df7_zps8f08acbf.jpg  photo flash22b_zps551333dd.png
The Cover story of the Flash battling Chinese Tong is a bit confusing and an excellent vehicle at the same time. Flash stories work best when he is helping Joan Williams get out of trouble – this story has that. However, the bad guy is confusing. Why would a successful white doctor want to change his appearance to resemble a Chinese Tong and rule the Chinatown underworld? The pencils and inks are credited to Hal Sharp. Which may explain why Joan looks less glamorous and a little to homely.

Having read these first 22 Flash stories, a central theme emerges. A bad conscious that leads one to do wrong will be reprimanded by the greater good. This simple formula helps explain why I’m interested in collecting this series. As the referee of two small boys under the age of five, they submit to my rulings without putting up much of a challenge.
I imagine that was the intent of the DC Editorial Board. It acted as a minder for the youth of the '40s.

Here is how these early stories can be broken down into genres:

Social realism – clearly define bounds of right vs. wrong (Flash and Les Sparks)
Whimsical flirtations outside the social norms with hazardous consequences (Thunder)
Ambiguous which side of the law is the good guy on (King)
2nd rate Lois and Clark adventure stories (Whip)
Detective stories (Flash Novelettes)
Violent world of supernatural phenomena (Hawkman)

I feel the first epoch of Flash Comics ends with #22. In the next issue, the stories start to reflect the political realities of war. In addition the character of the Flash and the Hawkman start to evolve into their next phase of myth building.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

newsreel 07/41

July 4, 1941. Vichy French version of Deutsche Wochenschau No. 564 on the beginning of the German invasion of Russia. Translation by Olivenstein: On the 22 June 1941 on Radio Berlin, Dr. Goebbels, Reich propaganda minister, reads the Fuhrer's proclamation stigmatising Russian bolshevik action which for twenty years with its duplicitous diplomacy, tried to set Europe ablaze. For his part, at six in the morning, Mr Ribbentrop, foreign minister, reveals to German and the international press the note from the government of the Reich to the Soviet government. From the glacial Arctic ocean to the Black Sea, that is to say a front of 3,000 kilometres, German forces have taken position. Finnish and Rumanian divisions march on the side of the Reich. Italy, Hungary, then Slovakia also joined the anti-Bolshevik crusade. On the East Prussian front, camouflage barriers are torn down. A frontier guard rail is struck down. The German attack of Kovno in Lithuania, which along with Vilna, was occupied in two days. The Lithuanian border. Siberian sharpshooters fiercely defend this frontier village. The first prisoners. Soon, in spite of the resistance of 160 Red Army divisions the frontiers are crossed at every point. The San River is reached. The Soviet border. Beams are laid to enable trucks to use the rail bridge. The speed of the German attacks surprised the Russians such that bridges mined well in advance did not explode. In less than seven days, 2,233 trucks and armoured vehicles and 600 artillery pieces have fallen into German hands. Similarly, 60,000 men were taken prisoner. In parallel with the foot soldiers' advance, German aviation attacks Soviet airfields. Equally in less than a week, 4,107 parked aircraft were destroyed. Above Soviet territory, the Luftwaffe destroys communication centres and airfields. The struggle for the defense of the West is on. The biggest offensive that has ever been witnessed in the course of history has started."