Thursday, November 18, 2010


From the 60s to the 70s--

FLASH #257 (written by Cary Bates and drawn by industry stalwart Irv Novick) features the second appearance of the hero's first significant female villain, the Golden Glider. Though the Flash-feature has been deservedly lauded for its Silver Age rogues' gallery, it was an all-guy gallery. GREEN LANTERN at least had one femme fatale, the long-standing Star Sapphire, and even HAWKMAN had a couple of evil alien queens rattling around. But the Glider is the Flash's first super-villainess, albeit one with roots in the old rogues' gallery, in that she was the sister of Captain Cold. She was also the bereaved lover of the Top, who perished while trying to kill the Flash. Naturally this made the Glider, a champion ice-skater, whip up some super-techno devices by which she could "skate" through the air and plague the Flash. As seen on the cover, by #257 she'd decided that her criminal-motif would be gimmicked-up gemstones: those are giant bouncing pearls that she's dropping on the hero's noggin.

Despite her sharing the juvenile gimmicks affected by the rest of the FLASH-rogues, the Glider was more bloodthirsty than the Silver Age had allowed. In this story the villain purposes to seek vengeance by destroying both the hero's wife and his parents in a death-trap. She comes very close to succeeding, and the Flash even threatens to kill her to make the Glider free his loved ones. Naturally, Flash doesn't kill the villainess but does save his family. Still, this tale shows that, two years before the events of the "death of Iris" storytline, the pristine silver glimmer of THE FLASH was already becoming darker.

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