Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Showcase On Fireman Farrell

A look at the first issue of Showcase from March-April, 1956, and the hero of that issue....

....Fireman Fred Farrell.

That first issue had three stories, then Farrell had 3 appearances after that up to the Crisis On Infinite Earths.

Showcase 1

The first story of the issue is "The School For Smoke-Eaters" by Arnold Drake and John Prentice.  This story introduces Fred Farrell, Jr., the son of a fireman who died in the line of duty, who had to pass a rigorous test to become a fireman. 

The second story, "Fire Under The Big Top", by Drake and Prentice, has Fireman Farrell getting his first assignment of fire inspection duty from Fire Lieutenant Reiner, dealing with a problematic circus, that has been fined in the past for setting off unsafe fireworks displays at their shows.   

The third and last story by Drake and Prentice, is the "Fourth Alarm", which details how the news media underplays what firefighters are worth as a problem with fireman pay is detailed as the residents of Center City are voting on a pay increase for their fire fighting heroes.

The issue also had special features on fireman and their equipment, setting up for the comic's rotating features.

Showcase 100

Showcase #100 (May, 1978) is the next appearance of Fireman Fred Farrell, though Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz and Joe Staton really only give us a cameo of the man who started off the long run of this issue which featured many of the past stars of Showcase working together in "There Shall Come A Gathering", where he helps deal with the chaos that happens when events get crazy around super heroes.

Batman 305

Under a cover by Jim Aparo, Batman #305 (November, 1978) features the story of a "Death Gamble Of A Darknight Detective" by Gerry Conway, John Calnan and Dave Hunt, where a group of villains called the Death's Head Group are aggressively attacking Gotham City under the direction of mystery villain Thanatos by bombing sites, prompting Fire Chief Farrel (spelled this time with one "L") to ask Batman and Commissioner Gordon to work as hard as they can to stop the problem.

Crisis On Infinite Earths 7

Fireman Farrell appears as part of the world changing mini-series, in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (October, 1985) by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Jerry Ordway and Dick Giordano, as Earth's heroes deal with the Anti-Monitor, Fireman Farrell does what he always does, work to put out fires and keep people safe, even visitors from other universes like Lady Quark. 

Post Crisis

Fireman Farrell has two appearances after the Crisis, where he seems to have moved to Metropolis, being involved in the creation of a new Eradicator in Action Comics #693 (November, 1993), and in a flashback tale Batman & Superman: World's Finest #4 (July, 1999).  All this is done to show how important firemen are to the DC Universe, and here in the real world!

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