Sunday, November 14, 2004

...and he's gone in a "Flash"...


I read today where Harry Lampert died (which, to those who don't know the name, he was one of the artists of the original Golden-Age Flash character).

Although this is sad news, it wasn't really unexpected. So very many of the creators of the old 40's super-heroes have passed away. They've left us with a great comic book legacy over the years, of which I'm always grateful.

This got me to thinking about the events that may have never unfolded had Gardner Fox ,who actually wrote the first Flash story,had not done so. One of my best childhood memories of collecting was buying The Flash #123 in the very early 1960's. This was the first time DC Comics ever revived a super-hero from the 1940's, and they had the original Jay Garrick Flash teaming up with the more modern Barry Allen version. This led to numberous cross-overs and team-ups between them, one of which was in Flash 137 (1963) where the Golden-Age "Justice Society" was revived. Other revivals of these charactrs quickly followed, like Dr. Fate, Hourman, Green Lantern and Solomon Grundy in The Brave & The Bold, as well as "The Spectre" in Showcase, plus the original "Atom", "Wildcat", and others all of which I loved. It was pretty much my introduction to these characters having not lived in the 1940's and experienced their various titles first-hand. My favorite issues of "The Justice League" in the 60's were always the ones where they teamed up with "The Justice Society" members.

Yes, I'll always be grateful for those memories.

Yet, these revivials led also to the DC "Crisis" series, first starting in Green Lantern #40 in the mid-60's, and eventually the entire re-vamp of "The DC Universe" ('not so sure how grateful about all of that). I pretty much ignore the whole "Crisis" thing anyway. The DC characters will always be the ones that made an impression on my pre-teen to teenage years.

Now as the the years go by, I've stopped wondering "who" will be next to leave us. The legends they created (or helped to create) will always be with those who cherish their work.

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