The Flash Vol. 1 #206: Paging Nurse Barry
Posted October 13, 2009on:
Finally, modern age comics are taking a cue from some of my favorite late-Silver Age books and are plugging in some secondary co-features. The Flash Vol. 1 #206 features a completely fucking absurd pair of stories: Barry Allen in “24 Hours of Immortality” and a bizarre seven-page Elongated Man co-feature entitled “Showdown in Elongated Town!” Well, hell, if the book comes with two stories for the price of one, it looks like you’re gonna get two recaps, too! Lucky, lucky you!
24 Hours of Immortality: Our main story starts out with Susan Logan, an aviatrix (which I’m assuming is a cross between an aviator and a dominatrix) and her son, Timmy, soaring amongst the clouds. She tells him in explicit detail about the Sky Devils Circus aerial stunt contest she’s entered to win his college tuition, to which he replies by reminding her that her husband is dead. Heartwarming!
In the next panel, neurosurgeon William Kandel and his wife, Sylvia, are cruising around in their convertible, talking about how some professor is both on the verge of developing a cure for cancer and dying of some unnamed something or other. Fortunately, Dr. Kandel is ready and able to perform the life saving surgery. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters, how about Susan the Aviatrix crashing her plane straight into William’s car? Because that’s totally what happens. Both Sylvia and Timmy are killed in the flaming wreckage, leaving William and Susan to weep over the corpses of their beloved family members. But don’t worry, it’s totally cool, because THERE ARE ALWAYS ALIENS.
Enter the ghostly-looking Duus and Unuus, two aliens who claim to be “countless light-years advanced” over us (because how advanced your society is is measured by distance) and sent by the Astra-Counsil (dibs on the band name) to study humans under extreme stress. Since ghost-aliens are totally all-powerful and stuff, they decide to bring Sylvia and Timmy back to life on one condition: in 24 hours, Susan and William will die! William agrees to the deal and, since he’s a man, Susan automatically agrees too, even though she didn’t actually say anything. The aliens raise the dead, repair the plane and car, and say, “Oh, yeah, you’re also immortal for those 24 hours. Later!”
Immediately, William is back behind the wheel of the car, determined to save that professor’s life before his time is up. Unfortunately, he’s the unluckiest son of a bitch ever, and he drives right into the middle of a high-speed firefight between a bunch of convicts and cops. The Flash runs up just in time to watch William catch two slugs in the chest. Barry vibrates the front tires off of the convicts’ truck and uses his “ultra-vibrations” (kinky) to hurl them at the escaping convicts. He goes to check up on the totally not dead Dr. Kandel, who tells him the story of the aliens, right down to the same details Susan told Timmy in the plane (because Dr. William Kandel is everywhere all the time). He finishes by mentioning the professor’s impending surgery and asks the Flash to get them to the hospital. On the way, William mentions that the surgery takes ten hours and he only has 24 hours to live and he wants to spend time with his wife and his staff is only human and he wishes he had some way to “speed up their movements” and blah blah blah. Solution?
The surgery is a success and the Flash runs off to check out “the other human whom nothing can kill — for a day!” Instead of finding her, he finds a massive forest fire surrounding the airfield where the Sky Devils Circus contest is supposed to take place, threatening to shut it down! Poor Susan watches from her plane and worries whether she’ll ever get her son’s college tuition.
Thank god the Flash shows up. He simultaneously puts out the fire by running around it and lectures us about how fucking evil and apathetic people who smoke cigarettes are. He then runs up the smoke (what?) and pushes the plane the rest of the way to the contest. To make a long, stupid story short, Susan wins the contest by jumping out of her plane and landing on her feet, totally unharmed. Nobody questions how she pulled that off. She wins Timmy’s college money.
The next day, Barry, Susan, and Dr. Kandel all meet up where the aliens granted the day of immortality and, guess what, the aliens show up with guns, ready to kill the pair. The Flash trots out the whole cliche “you gotta get through me first” thing and the aliens open fire on him with a bunch of different space lasers, all of which he just vibrates through. Then the story ends in the most boring way possible. The aliens just go, “Man, fuck this. We’re going home.”
Here’s my question, though. If Susan and Dr. Kandel knew the aliens were planning to killthem, couldn’t they have just, you know, not shown up for the rendezvous? I mean, the aliens gave up pretty fucking fast in the end anyways. I’m pretty sure they’d have just gone, “Aw man, they totally stood us up. The Astra-Counsil is gonna be pissed!” Whatever.
Showdown in Elongated Town: This ridiculously short story starts out with Ralph Dibny running through an Old Western ghost town, suddenly realizing that he has no idea what the fuck he’s doing in an Old Western ghost town. The weird(er) thing is, the entire town looks like it’s being reflected in “a fun-house mirror” (hint, hint). Before he can think about what’s going on, his nose starts twitching and he’s confronted by a stretchy distorted looking cowboy-type.
After yelling that “the town can’t stetch enough fer the both of us,” the cowboy pulls out a revolver with a tiny mirror on top (hint, freaking, hint) and shoots a light beam at Ralph. Unfortunately, when Ralph dodges the laser beam, he bonks his head and allows the cowboy to switch places with a dummy, getting away. always the detective, Ralph pulls the dummy close to his face and realizes that only stuff far away from him looks all funky.
As soon as he comes to this conclusion, he finds himself trapped between a stampede of bulls and a rattlesnake! He quickly realizes that the bulls and snake are holograms (HINT, HINT, RALPH) and he ducks into a hotel window. Hidden from view, he POPS HIS EYES OUT OF HIS SKULL and realizes that somebody stuck funky shaped contact lenses on his eyes while he was spaced out. He grabs a rifle off of the wall and figures out who the cowboy really is, Mirror Master!
The Mirror Master tells Ralph that his plan was to use Ralph Dibny as a practice fight, kill him, and use his corpse to lure the Flash into a trap. But as we all know, you can’t kill a Dibny! Ralph packs himself into the rifle and shoots himself at Mirror Master’s dick, knocking him unconscious. The story (abruptly) ends in the ghost town’s Sherrif’s office, where Ralph discovers a “mirror-mesmerizing gizmo” and a bunch of old movie posters. The last panel is just Ralph staring at a passed out Mirror Master. Creepy!