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The Flash (1959) - #137
"Vengance of the immortal villain"
DC Comics


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  Editor(s):
Julius Schwartz

Cover Artist(s):
Murphy Anderson
Carmine Infantino
 

Rating (out of 10):
7.3
from 3 votes

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Cover Date: June 1963
Cover Price: US $ 0.12

Issue Tagline: None.

Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages

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Synopsis:
None entered.

Reprinted/Collected in:
Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups (2005) TPB vol. 01
DC Comics Classics Library (2009) HC vol. 05
Flash Archives (1998) HC vol. 05
The Flash (1959) #213
The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told (1991) HC vol. 01
The Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told (1991) TPB vol. 01
Justice Society of America 100-Page Super Spectacular (2000) #1
Showcase Presents: The Flash (2007) TPB vol. 02

Notes:
This is a huge issue. While Showcase #4 is DC putting one tentative toe in the water of the multiverse, and The Flash #123 is rightly seen as the first actual appearance of the multiverse in any form, this is the beginning of the "full concept". That is, this is where it stops being a gimmick for the cover of The Flash and starts being something that DC is really committing to.

After a very brief, all-in-flashback reference to the JSA in issue #129, here we see them for the first time in the flesh, still alive, and still super-powered. When the issue's main story ends with the JSA members deciding to reform the team, we know that DC is really saying, "We mean it. There really are two Earths."

[The second Earth does not get its name, "Earth 2", here, but will have to wait until its fourth appearance, in JLA, v. 1, #21 for its "official" designation.]

For an indepth discussion on this issue:
Tom vs. the Flash - Tom vs. The Flash #137 - Vengeance of The Immortal Villain!

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An image for Flash (DC)(02 - Barry Allen) exists Flash (DC)(02 - Barry Allen)

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Multiple Stories in this Issue

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"Not Wanted: High School Dropouts!" - Edit this story

Story Arc(s):    Add/remove story arcs to this story

Writer(s):
Jack Schiff

Penciller(s):
Sheldon Moldoff - 'Shelly'

Inker(s):
Sheldon Moldoff - 'Shelly'

Colorist(s):
(Story is monochromatic)

Letterer(s):
(Unknown Creator)

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Notes:
Public Service Announcement. One page.

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"Vengeance of the Immortal Villain!" - Edit this story

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Writer(s):
Gardner Fox

Penciller(s):
Carmine Infantino

Inker(s):
Joe Giella

Colorist(s):
(Unknown Creator)

Letterer(s):
(Unknown Creator)

Characters:    Add/remove characters to this story
An image for Atom (DC)(01 - Al Pratt) exists Atom (DC)(01 - Al Pratt)
An image for Doctor Mid-Nite (DC)(01 - Charles McNider) exists Doctor Mid-Nite (DC)(01 - Charles McNider)
An image for Flash (DC)(01 - Jay Garrick) exists Flash (DC)(01 - Jay Garrick)
An image for Flash (DC)(02 - Barry Allen) exists Flash (DC)(02 - Barry Allen)
An image for Joan Garrick exists Joan Garrick
An image for Green Lantern (DC)(01 - Alan Scott) exists Green Lantern (DC)(01 - Alan Scott)
An image for Hawkman (DC)(Earth-2 - Pre Crisis) exists Hawkman (DC)(Earth-2 - Pre Crisis)
An image for Johnny Thunder (DC)(01 - JSA) exists Johnny Thunder (DC)(01 - JSA)
An image for Vandal Savage (DC) exists Vandal Savage (DC)
An image for Iris Ann Russell West exists Iris Ann Russell West
An image for Wonder Woman (DC)(Earth-2 - Pre Crisis) exists Wonder Woman (DC)(Earth-2 - Pre Crisis)

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Justice Society of America (DC)

Synopsis:
While reading a copy of All-Star Comics #37, Barry Allen notices strange lights appearing overhead. Speeding around North America in response, he discovers a pattern: lights have begun appearing over the home cities of key JSA members.

Sensing this must mean something is wrong on Earth 2, he uses his super speed to "cross over" to talk with Jay Garrick. A light matching what he saw on Earth 1 then appears over Keystone City. Racing back home, Jay is immediately imprisoned in a stasis cube. Still free, Barry goes to the source of the light and disables it, freeing Jay.

The pair discover that the person controlling these lights is none other than Vandal Savage, the villain who made his first appearance in the very same All-Star #37 that Barry was reading back on Earth 1.

They go to his lair, only to be rewarded by a blast from a device that makes the Flashes fight each other. Jay gets knocked out, and Barry is led away from the scene of the fight--into a trap. Now able to focus his mind again on the original mission, Barry eludes capture and frees Jay and the various JSA members trapped by Savage. Together, they overcome Savage and take him to jail.

The JSA members, together for the first time in a number of years, then agree to come out of retirement and reform the original "super team".

Notes:
Prior to this issue, there was only the implication that other heroes besides Jay Garrick lived on Earth 2. This issue positively demonstrated, for the first time, that any character that had previously existed in the 1940s probably still existed on Earth 2. Except for Jay Garrick, who had been seen a couple of years earlier, this was the first appearance, since the dawn of the multiverse, of the key members of the JSA.

Interestingly, it's also the origin story for Vandal Savage.

This issue reinforces the idea, now twice seen before, that comics published during the 1940s were just as available to residents of Earth 1 as they were to us, the readers. But, from the perspective of Earth 1 characters, they're also shown to be a "real" history of events on Earth 2, rather than pure entertainment.

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"What's the Difference Between..." - Edit this story

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Notes:
Half-page filler.

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"[Amazing Speeds!]" - Edit this story

Story Arc(s):    Add/remove story arcs to this story

Writer(s):
Julius Schwartz

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Notes:
One Page filler; possibly un-named story.

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