"The Flash: "Origin of the Flash"": At Midwestern University in the late 1930s, a student was involved in a laboratory accident, and inhaled some "hard water gas" fumes, which put him in a coma for two weeks. Jay Garrick made a complete recovery, and soon was back on the school's football t
Flash Comics #1 is an issue of the series Flash Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1940. It was published on November 20, 1939.
- 1 Synopsis for The Flash: "Origin of the Flash"
- 2 Appearing in The Flash: "Origin of the Flash"
- 3 Synopsis for Cliff Cornwall: "The Disappearing Plane"
- 4 Appearing in Cliff Cornwall: "The Disappearing Plane"
- 5 Synopsis for "The Origin of Hawkman"
- 6 Appearing in "The Origin of Hawkman"
- 7 Synopsis for "The Kidnapping of Johnny Thunder"
- 8 Appearing in "The Kidnapping of Johnny Thunder"
- 9 Synopsis for Flash Picture Novelette: "The Demon Dummy, part 1"
- 10 Appearing in Flash Picture Novelette: "The Demon Dummy, part 1"
- 11 Synopsis for "Origin of the Whip"
- 12 Appearing in "Origin of the Whip"
- 13 Notes
- 14 See Also
- 15 Recommended Reading
- 16 Links and References
Synopsis for The Flash: "Origin of the Flash"
At Midwestern University in the late 1930s, a student was involved in a laboratory accident, and inhaled some "hard water gas" fumes, which put him in a coma for two weeks. Jay Garrick made a complete recovery, and soon was back on the school's football team. A weird after-effect of the fumes was that Jay could think and act at tremendous speeds. He soon graduated from college, and moved to New York City, to become an assistant professor at Coleman University. In New York, at age 21, Garrick adopted a secret identity as the Flash, and embarked on a super heroic career, starting with the dismantling of a local protection racket.
Jay's college sweetheart, Joan Williams, visits Jay and enlists his help in locating her missing father, Major Williams, who has been kidnapped by Sieur Satan and the rest of the Faultless Four, a group of scientists working for a foreign power. They are seeking the plans for the secret new "Atomic Bombarder." Flash rescues the major from the spies, who then fight back, and make a distraction, by sending an aircraft to strafe a nearby beach. This murderous tactic backfires on them when the Flash simply follows the fuel-depleted plane back to the site of the gang's new hideout, which he immediately invades. To save his own skin, Sieur Satan electrocutes all three of his partners, then flees in a car. In a stupid attempt to bump The Flash off the road, Sieur Satan loses control of his car and plummets to his doom.
Appearing in The Flash: "Origin of the Flash"
- unidentified foreign sponsors of the Faultless Four
- The Faultless Four (Single appearance)
- Sieur Satan (First appearance) (Apparent Death)
- Serge Orloff (Dies)
- Duriel (Dies)
- Smythe (Dies)
- Professor Hughes (Single appearance)
- Midwestern University Panthers
- Bull Tryon (Single appearance)
- New York
- New York City
- Coleman University, Jay's academic employer
- New York City
- Midwestern University, Jay's Alma Mater
- Hard Water Gas fumes
- Atomic Bombarder
- Faultless Four's ground-attack aeroplane
Synopsis for Cliff Cornwall: "The Disappearing Plane"
The U.S.Army calls in F.B.I. agent Cliff Cornwall because they have lost contact with a fleet of U.S.Bombers in Alaska. He is sent alone with a special plane in search of the fleet.
Arriving in Alaskan airspace, he is attacked by a black plane, and forced to land. On the ground he is accosted by a woman with a gun, who at first mistakes him for one of the "Black Plane" pilots. These Black Planes have been destroying or capturing all the U.S. planes in Alaska, and their base is up on a mountain nearby. So Cornwall and the woman, Lys Valliere, survey the area from the air, and find an airplane graveyard, along with a hidden base within the mountain, with a hangar as an entrance. Cliff and the woman blow up the hangar, trapping the enemy pilots within, then they call in the U.S. Army to arrest them.
Appearing in Cliff Cornwall: "The Disappearing Plane"
- Cliff Cornwall (First appearance)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Lys Valliere (First appearance)
- Black Plane Pilots
Other Characters: Locations:
- U.S. military planes
- "Black" planes
Synopsis for "The Origin of Hawkman"
- Long ago, Khufu and his love, Shiera, were both killed with this dagger, by Khufu's longtime enemy, Hath-Set. At the moment of his death, Khufu promised to be reincarnated, in order to avenge his own murder.
In modern New York City, Carter awakens from the experience, with knowledge of his previous unknown life. Soon after this he meets Shiera for the first time, as she's fleeing a deadly electrical "accident," in the NYC subway. Shiera has been plagued by dreams of her previous life as well.
Carter then fashions wings and a belt of ninth metal, an anti-gravity material with special properties. He also dons a hawk-shaped headpiece to appear as the Hawk-God Anubis, in which he dubs himself "Hawkman." He sets out to find the source of the subway disturbance.
Armed with a quarterstaff, Hawkman soon locates and invades the laboratory of Doctor Hastor, electrician extraordinary. Hall realizes that Hastor is the reincarnation of his ancient foe, Hath-Set, and smashes some of this equipment, while Hastor hastily escapes. Hawkman then flies back to Rimble Road and finds Shiera missing, re-arms himself with a crossbow and a Ninth Metal cloak, then flies back to Hastor's estate. Meanwhile, Hastor has used a "strange hypnosis" to telepathically summon Shiera, in order to use her against Hawkman. The winged hero returns to the villain's lair, finding Shiera already cued up on a sacrificial altar, and throws a protective sheet of ninth metal over Shiera to protect her, then shoots Hastor with a crossbow. Hastor's laboratory and estate are destroyed when he falls against his own dynamo, causing it to run wild, setting the stones of the place on fire. Hastor appears to die and the laboratory is destroyed. Finally, Hawkman returns Shiera to her home.
Appearing in "The Origin of Hawkman"
- Shiera Sanders (First appearance) (Origin)
- Anubis (Behind the scenes)
- Prince Khufu (First appearance) (Dies in flashback)
- Chay-Ara (First appearance) (Dies in flashback)
- Kolar (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Kidnapping of Johnny Thunder"
One year old Johnny Thunder, son of Simon B. Thunder, is kidnapped by agents of Badhnisia, working for the Priest of Aissor. Johnny was born at 7:00 AM on July 7, 1917 and according to Badhnisian legend, will inherit great powers on his seventh birthday. In an elaborate ceremony, in the Temple of the Seven Great Gates, Johnny is given a magical belt called the "Eternal Zone of the Zodiac," and a ceremony is performed with the mystical words Cei-U, which in English sound like "Say You."
When he is five, through an unlikely series of accidents, Johnny escapes from Badhnisia, and is returned home by an American freighter, then through another unlikely set of events, is reunited with his family. Starting on his seventh birthday, torrential rains last for seven days, all over the world, but the Thunder home is spared. The Badhnisian cultists search for Johnny, but they cannot locate him until he is twenty-three years old.
Johnny gains employment as a window washer and during an accident says the words "Say You." An invisible magic thunderbolt appears and answers Johnny's wishes, although Johnny is unaware of its intervention. The Badhnisians attempt to kidnap Johnny again, but the Thunderbolt rescues him. Johnny however loses his job.
Appearing in "The Kidnapping of Johnny Thunder"
- Priest of Aissior (First appearance)
- Badhnisians (First appearance)
- Jailer-nurse (Single appearance)
- Kidnappers (Single appearance)
- Captain Cosher (Single appearance)
- New York City
- Simon L. Thunder's 4-room cottage
- Temple of the Seven Great Gates
- Eternal Zone of the Zodiac, a magic belt
- SS "Eastern Seas"
Synopsis for Flash Picture Novelette: "The Demon Dummy, part 1"
Ventriloquist Harry Dunstan was engaged to Madge Devere, but his rival for her affections was Jim Devlin, a corrupt private detective. Devlin framed Dunstan, for murder, and the ventriloquist was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He was permitted to bring his dummy, "Red", along with him. In prison, the dummy seemingly took on a life of its own, giving voice to all of Dunstan's darkest thoughts. When it came to Jim Devlin, his thoughts were dark indeed.
Jim Devlin had married Madge, who later died, in childbirth. Eventually Devlin's crime, for which he had framed Harry Dunstan, was solved correctly, Devlin was imprisoned, and Dunstan was released. But this brought him no joy; Madge was dead, and his imprisoned enemy was safe from his revenge.
Appearing in Flash Picture Novelette: "The Demon Dummy, part 1"
- Harry Dunstan
- Red (a dummy)
- Madge Devere
- Jim Devlin
- The Cargo Cafe
- State Prison
Synopsis for "Origin of the Whip"
Bored and wealthy playboy Rod Gaynor decides to travel across America with his assistant Wing. His travels bring him to Seguro in the American Southwest, where he meets Marisa Dillon, the daughter of a newspaper publisher. Marisa is concerned for the poor laborers who are being mistreated by the law.
Intrigued by Marisa and wanting to help the poor, Gaynor is inspired by the legend of Don Fernando Suarez, a rich man who took the secret identity of El Castigo, the Whip, to fight against wealthy landowners in the 19th century. Gaynor puts the legend to work for him and becomes a new incarnation of the Whip. For his first act, he frees Carlos, a wrongly imprisoned worker, and defeats the corrupt town sheriff.
Appearing in "Origin of the Whip"
- Whip (First appearance) (Origin)
- Marissa Dillon (First appearance)
- Don Fernando Suarez (First appearance)
- King (The Whip's horse)
- Wing (First appearance)
- Sheriff (First appearance)
- The Association of Ranchers (First appearance)
- Padre (First appearance)
- Marissa's father (First appearance)
- Published by All-American Comics, Inc.
- This entire issue was reprinted in Famous First Edition #F-8 and Millennium Edition: Flash Comics #1.
- Flash: Origin of the Flash was reprinted in The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told, The Golden Age Flash Archives Vol. 1, The Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years and The Flash: 80 Years of the Fastest Man Alive – The Deluxe Edition.
- Jay Garrick's lab accident is caused by Jay smoking a cigarette.
- This story is retold in Secret Origins Vol 2 9.
- Hawkman:The Origin of Hawkman was reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives Vol. 1.
- Anubis is called "the Hawk God" but in Egyptian Mythology Anubis actually is the Jackal God. It is remarkable that Hawkman's costume was inspired by this error, as his enemy worshiped this god and Carter wanted a costume that could frighten him. This error is also reflected in the depiction of a statue of the god.
- Carter Hall's address, in this story, is 88 Rimble Road, in New York City. He also has, or later obtains, a house at 20 Hudson Terrace, in New York (per Flash Comics #3), and later still has a house at 1948 Keystone Avenue, in Gotham City (per Flash Comics #98).
- Actually, Anton Hastor has not died in this issue. He will return to plague the All-Star Squadron in All-Star Squadron Vol 1 10. However, that issue was published during the Bronze Age (even the story itself being set during the Golden Age), thus Flash Comics #1 is the only historical Golden Age appearance of Dr. Hastor.
- This story is retold in Secret Origins Vol 2 11, and with further, new details in Hawkman Annual Vol 3 2.
- Johnny Thunder: The Kidnapping of Johnny Thunder was reprinted in The JSA All Stars Archives Vol. 1.
- The small, tropical, island nation of Badhnisia seems to be in or near present-day Indonesia, judging by the scenery and the Muslim-influenced architecture of the major buildings.
- Thunderbolt is invisible during all the story: Only the effects of his powers are visible. In a first glance, the reader can think that the powers come from Johnny himself. Further issues reveal the existence of Thunderbolt to the reader, and later, to the naive Johnny Thunder himself.
- The origins of the Whip and Johnny Thunder are retold in Secret Origins Vol 2 13.
- Also appearing in this issue of Flash Comics is a text story, written by Gardner Fox, titled Warfare in Space.
- The Flash Recommended Reading
- Hawkman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- The Atom (Volume 1): The Atom and Hawkman #39– #46
- Brightest Day
- Convergence: Hawkman
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Hawkgirl (Volume 1)
- Hawkman (Volume 1)
- Hawkman (Volume 2)
- Hawkman (Volume 3)
- Hawkman (Volume 4)
- Hawkman (Volume 5)
- Hawkworld (Volume 1)
- Hawkworld (Volume 2)
- JSA (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 3)
- Mystery in Space (Volume 1): Mystery in Space #87– #91
- The Savage Hawkman
- Shadow War of Hawkman
- World's Finest (Volume 1)