Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Flash-Carmine Infantino-1948

I've tried to clean up this fiche scan and make it more legible. Some really nice Golden Age art on one of my favorite Golden Age characters by the artist most associated with the character's Silver Age namesake. This is one of the last FLASH stories of the original run.


Daniel [] said...

And from this story we learn the importance of keeping an eye on anyone whose name is an anagram of the name of someone nasty. Otherwise, we could find ourselves at the mercy of the next Dillraw Menroy or Krabac Maboa.

Daniel [] said...

More seriously, what struck me most strongly about this story was the idea that a bomb might plausibly split the world in two, and yet not have utterly wiped-out the inhabitants.

That could just be a matter of what I call “comic-books science”, but we're talking about a bomb here. Normally, we think of bombs as creating a sort of generalized destruction.

But maybe that's not how Americans were thinking in 1948, because it would have been hard to think of bombs and especially of super-bombs that way — not intellectually hard, but emotionally hard. After all, the United States had dropped super-bombs on two cities. Most people would have found it hard to think about what that truly meant.

I think that we see other examples in American popular culture of about this time where there are strained attempts to come to grips with what the United States had done. For example, in King of the Rocketmen (1949), the protagonist and another scientist have been working on something, ostensibly for the benefit of mankind. It's called “the Decimator”, and what it seems to do is to shake things terribly. In the hands of villains, it's used to flatten New York City. It's hard to see the up-side here; it's hard to see why something expected to do good would be named “the Decimator” in advance of construction. But it's easy to read this all as an expression of an insane assimilation of what America had told itself about the atomic bomb.