A Tribute to the of

The sacrifices I make for my readers. That and I tend to be awfully anal-retentive. After arguing with myself for a while I decided to go ahead and read the second and concluding issue to the Flash story I reviewed last time. I reasoned it could only get better. Couldn’t it? Well, not so much.

Let’s get the administrative stuff out of the way. Flash #181 has a publication date of August, 1968. The credits are identical to last time, i.e. a pretty decent Ross Andru and Mike Esposito cover and they continue their work on the interiors. Julie Schwartz is still the editor with Frank Robbins as write of “The Attack of the Samuroids!” This time around, however, the Grand Comic Database is uncertain if Gaspar Saladino again provided cover lettering.

I’m going to state right up front that I will not subject you to all the details of this painful mess, but refer you to my last review, which should give you a pretty good idea of what sort of story this was. I wanted to like it. I really did. I wanted to give Frank Robbins a chance. Truly. Obviously he was no John Broome or Gardner Fox, and truth be told, one story does not make or break a reputation, but I’m afraid I’ll hesitate before I explore another Robbins written tale, the old Man-Bat origins notwithstanding.

In addition to the overall silliness, implausibility (even for a superhero comic book story) and hokey, hokey, hokey dialogue (yeah, they’re still doing the “R” for “L” thing part of the time when the Japanese citizens speak) there were some outright flaws for those of us familiar with the Flash and all his abilities and yes, his values. I skipped over it last time, but remember when our hero discovered that Daisho was also a Saumuroid? The scene is revisited on the splash page of #181 and it came about because the Fastest Man Alive broke a Samurai sword on Daisho’s head. Now since when does a founding member of the Justice League of America strike a foe with a death blow from a sword?

Shortly after that, the Crimson Comet collides with one of the armored Samuroids and he’d apparently forgotten that they were impenetrable to him. He’s knocked for a loop which gives Baron Katana an opening to soften up our hero for interrogation. He has the Scarlet Speedster trussed up with ropes attached to his wrists, suspended just outside the castle. The ropes are attached to buckets which grow heavier with the rising of the tides.

Wouldn’t you think that someone with full control of his molecules could vibrate his way out of this one? Yeah. Me, too.

At some point the letterer must have cried Uncle, because on page 7, Katana and Daisho are speaking perfect English. The caption explains that it’s a direct translation from Japanese.

So, Hash and Tosh set up a cover on the island by supposedly doing a movie shoot. Iris is along and so is “Barry,” although it’s really Tushi as revealed a few panels later when she manages to get herself captured. She’s wearing Barry’s trench coat and gloves with the fedora pulled down far enough to obscure her features.

Later Hash orders the pretense dropped and they attack the castle. The Samuroids retaliate. Flash regains his senses after his jolt, the fight is on, blah, blah, blah. Finally Flash finds the control panel that is empowering all the androids and short circuits it and the day is saved, even though Tushi now knows the secret identity of the Flash, promising it will be their secret.

Again, whatta mess. The only thing I found remotely interesting in this issue was at the back where there’s a profile (literally) of Frank Robbins, drawn by himself, next to the header, “Meet Frank Robbins.” He goes on to introduce himself, to include his personal and professional history (peppered with more “Engrish”. The joke is getting really old, Frank…) and even listing some of his hobbies and aspirations, which include his development of a “super-compact loudspeaker enclosure,” ballistics, antique-weapon collecting, including a suit of Samurai armor, fencing, chess and his recent acquisition of a 1948 Pontiac convertible.

Now I’ve read bout Frank in articles and he obviously had an active sense of humor, but as I mentioned last time, I am still hoping to one day gain an appreciation for his art and now his scripting, but as of today, neither are there yet.

It probably didn’t help matters that I’m freshly back from the first Colorado Springs Comic Con and got to finally meet Joe Rubinstein face to face, chatted a while with Buzz, particularly about his recent notoriety at the Minneapolis Wizard World Con. If you don’t already know about it, look it up, and of course a few pleasantries with Neal Adams. Being around artists whose talents I appreciate only seemed to make poor Frank pale a bit more in comparison. This issue gets another 3 on the 10-point rating scale. I just cannot recommend it, but of course you be your own judge.

I will be back with a new review on the 15th and hopefully whatever gets selected will cleanse the palate a bit. Lord knows I could use some better reading material. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. I can always be reached at: professor_the@hotmail.com.

Until then…

Long live the Silver Age!

© 2000-2016 by B.D.S.

This feature was created on 05/01/00 and is maintained by



The Silver Lantern Site Menu + Map & Updates

HomeThe SageSage Archives1934-19551956
1967196819691970GL Data

All characters mentioned, artwork, logos and other visual depictions displayed, unless otherwise noted, are © by DC Comics. No infringement upon those rights is intended or should be inferred. Cover, interior and other artwork scans and vid-caps are used for identification purposes only. The mission of this non-profit site is to entertain and inform. It is in no way authorized or endorsed by DC Comics and/or its parent company. The Webmaster assumes no responsibility for the content or maintenance of external links.