"The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero!": At Central City University, two scientists are toiling away on a new "mechanical brain" running its 2000th test to find that it is still providing nothing but wrong answers. Arriving on the scene is the Flash along with his friend the Elongated Man. The two
Appearing in "The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero!"
- Dr. Hudson, computer scientist
- Miss Twist, fashion model
- Mechanical Brain
Synopsis for "The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero!"
At Central City University, two scientists are toiling away on a new "mechanical brain" running its 2000th test to find that it is still providing nothing but wrong answers. Arriving on the scene is the Flash along with his friend the Elongated Man. The two heroes help figure out the problem. Dr. Hudson asks the Flash to use his super-speed to follow the electrical current in the computer to determine if there are any problems. The Flash unfortunately finds none, much to the doctor's dismay.
Leaving the University, the two heroes puzzle over the problem, however their attention is diverted when they hear a newspaper boy barking about a massive prison break. Getting a paper they learn that a tremor caused a wall at the prison to collapse, allowing a number of criminals to escape. Flash and Elongated Man then work together to round up all the crooks. However, when meeting with the warden they learn that they still haven't found one of the missing cons, Leonard Snart, AKA Captain Cold. The crime fighting duo go to the prison and examine the wall, and they soon suspect that the earthquake was due to one of Captain Cold's cold powers. Elsewhere, outside of town in his hideout, Captain Cold revels in the fact that it was his mastery of absolute zero that allowed for the tremor and gave him the opportunity to escape.
That night while on a date with Iris West, Barry Allen learns that Iris had investigated Len Snart's prison cell and found that it was almost wallpapered with posters and photos of fashion model Miss Twist. Their date is interrupted when they overhear a radio broadcast about Captain Cold robbing a Central City Bank, Iris cuts their date short to go cover it for the Picture News, giving Barry the opportunity to show up as the Flash.
When the Flash arrives on the scene and attempts to stop Captain Cold, the master of absolute zero keeps Flash off guard for a moment with one of his ice cold mirages, and flees the scene. Outside Captain Cold runs into the Elongated Man, and when the Flash exits the bank, he is shocked when Elongated Man stretches out to stop him, instead of Captain Cold. When Flash asks Elongated Man what's gotten into him, Ralph doesn't know what caused him to stop the Flash. When the Flash attempts to go after Captain Cold again, Elongated Man agaom attempts to stop him. When Captain Cold tosses Elongated Man his cold gun to keep the Flash at bay, the Scarlet Speedster is forced to knock out his friend. With Captain Cold's "ally" unconscious, the Flash then disorients the crook and turns him over to the police.
Later, Flash and Elongated Man sit in the park and Elongated Man attempts to make sense of his sudden betrayal. When he says that his mind just kept on giving him the "wrong answers", the Flash finally figures out what the problem is. Grabbing the Elongated Man, the Flash rushes back to the Central City University and seeks an audience with Dr. Hudson again. He tells all gathered that the source of the computer's malfunctions, and also the cause of Elongated Man's lapse in judgment, is caused by the same source of radiation. Asking them to run the machine again, the Flash singles out the problem: defective vacuum tubes, that are giving off a strange violet radiation. When they are replaced, the problem is solved, and both the computer and the Elongated Man no longer give the "wrong" answers to posed situation.
Appearing in "The Threat of the Absent-Minded Professor!"
- Frank Enwood
- Central City
- Central City Picture News
- Central City Bank
Synopsis for "The Threat of the Absent-Minded Professor!"
Barry Allen learns that Iris' father T.H. West, a renowned scientist, is in town to attend the Central City science conference. Always wanting to meet Iris' esteemed father, Barry calls Iris to learn that her father is also just as eager to meet Barry and that she had sent him ahead, to meet Barry at that moment. Iris warns Barry that her fathers devotion to science has made him somewhat absent minded.
Barry learns that this is a bit of an understatement when Mr. West finally shows up and forgets the purpose for his visit. He suddenly remembers and asks Barry what his intentions are for his daughter. Barry is slightly flabbergasted by the complete opposite reason for the visit than what he was expecting. Soon enough, Barry finds himself being led along by Mr. West to lunch so that he can get acquainted with his daughter's boyfriend, like they would in the "old days". They are ambushed outside of Barry's apartment and knocked out.
When they revive they find themselves before criminal Frank Enwood, who explains that while he was in prison he studied up on radiation, and has developed a ray that can crack the so called "burglar proof" vault at the Central City Bank, however to date he has been unable to get the device to work. He has kidnapped Mr. West to force him into his service to fix whatever problems the ray has. At first Mr. West refuses, but is forced into working on the device when Frank threatens to kill Barry. Mr. West fixes the device and it naturally works, deactivating the vault. The crooks then lock Barry and Mr. West in a darkened room while they go off to rob the bank.
Barry revives from the blow to his head and realizes that he has to risk exposing his secret identity to Mr. West in order to stop the crooks. Moving faster than the speed of light, Barry changes into the Flash, vibrates out of the room, runs to the bank, and creates a vortex that sucks all the air out of the vault, causing the crooks to pass out. Then he gathers them all up and deposits them at the bank. and returns to the spot he where was on the floor, in mere seconds. He does so just as Mr. West crouches down and sees if Barry is okay. Barry gets up and uses his conventional strength to break the door open and free them.
Around the corner they hear a radio report about the Flash's capture of the crooks, which prompts Barry to double check that his secret identity is safe. When asking Mr. West if he saw anything peculiar in the room they were locked in, he responds by telling Barry that he is so near sighted and the room was so dark he couldn't see much in the room, and due to his absent minded behavior didn't realize Barry was in the room until he actually almost stumbled upon him. Later while out with Iris and Barry, Mr. West wonders how the Flash could have learned about the robbery, Barry deflects the question knowing that Mr. West is so absent minded that he'll soon forget about the situation anyway.
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash Archives Vol. 5.
- "The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero!" is reprinted in Showcase Presents: Elongated Man Vol. 1, and in DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #22.
- This is also the first mention that Elongated Man's identity is publicly known (though he still wears a mask for a while longer).
- This is the only issue in which Iris' father is referred to as "T.H. West"; in later adventures he is referred to as "Ira West".
- No trivia.
- The Flash Recommended Reading