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DC Comics History: Kid Flash (1964 - 1967: The New Look)
By Deejay Dayton

February 15, 2020 - 07:27



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Even though Kid Flash started appearing regularly as a member of the Teen Titans, and played a supporting role in a number of the Flash’s adventures, his own back-up series, by Fox and Infantino, appeared only three times during the period 1964 – 1967: the New Look. The tales were all centred in Blue Valley, and always involved other students from his school. It would have been great to have had some real villains show up, but Kid Flash had more basic challenges to deal with.

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The Kid Flash tale in Flash 144 begins with Wally being awarded for “excellence in scholarship,” which is somewhat surprising, given that the character isn’t generally credited with academic achievements. But this is done primarily to contrast him with another boy who gets an award for athletics, and has little interest in education. A flash flood causes the dam to burst, and though Kid Flash channels the water safely away, he injures his ankle and needs a helping hand from the second boy. The pair then wind up stumbling across a cabin that thieves are using as a hideout, and get locked in by the bad guys. Kid Flash is capable of getting them free, but plays up the injury so that they will have to think their way to escape. Even so, it’s still Kid Flash who creates a miniature explosive to blast the door open. But at least the point is made, and the second boy comes to value education.

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Tommy Davis, the science whiz who helped the Flash against the Weather Wizard, makes a return in the Kid Flash story Flash 164. Tommy moved from Central City to Blue Valley, and winds up becoming immaterial and invisible to all except Kid Flash.  Tommy explains that he was working on an invisibility ray when his experiment backfired, which he believes has caused the trouble. It actually turns out to be partly the fault of Kid Flash's super speed, which is why Wally can see him.  The hero switches back and forth between Wally and Kid Flash as he tries to solve Tommy's dilemma, and needs to cover his identity at the end of the story, with a phone call from Wally while Kid Flash is supposedly in the room. This is Tommy Davis' last appearance, which is a shame.  He could have made a decent supporting character for Kid Flash.

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The Kid Flash story in issue 167 is the last one Wally West will get until 1970, as well as being the final one during Infantino's tenure.  It's not a really stand out story, unfortunately. The tale takes place after Wally goes into Kid Flash action to bring one of his classmates rapidly around the world, helping out a hypnotist performing at the school. There are some criminals in the story as well, looking for tools to use in another robbery, but the main thrust of the somewhat wandering story is that, yet again, Wally has to work to cover his identity, after almost exposing it through careless impulse.  In fact, Wally is just darn lucky the hypnotist has no interest in pursuing the secret.

Kid Flash returns in the period 1970 – 1975: the House of Weird.

Kid Flash: Flash 144, 164, 167 (May 64, Sept 66, Feb 67)

Next up – The War That Time Forgot!



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