Thursday, December 10, 2015

Flash Facts Flash vs. the Rogues

One of the things the Flash was most known for in the Silver Age was his Rogue's Gallery.

You can search far and wide looking for their first appearances....

...or just get the Flash vs. The Rogues tradepaperback from 2009, under this cover by Ethan Van Scriver, with a collection of the first appearances of Flash's most important non-speedster foes.

Collected here are the first appearances of....

Captain Cold

Leonard Snart was a cheap crook who stumbled onto a gold gun in the Flash's second appearance, in Showcase #8 (May-June, 1957, by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), with "The Coldest Man On Earth". 

Captain Cold would be a driving force in Flash's life...and appeared next in Flash #114 (August, 1960, NOT in the trade, but mentioned so a cover with Captain Cold could be shown!).

Mirror Master

Sam Scudder used his knowledge of mirrors first to rob a bank, and then to become the Mirror Master, starting with Flash #105 (February-March, 1959) with "The Master of Mirrors" by John Broome and Carmine Infantino

Mirror Master was the first villain readers saw in the newly revived Flash comic....and he quickly returned in Flash #109 (October-November, 1959), also not in the trade, but a cool cover, nonetheless! 

Gorilla Grodd

Grodd was never really a rogue, but his first appearance from Flash #106 (April-May, 1959) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in the "Menace of the Super-Gorilla" made it into this collection (though not the next two parts of the Grodd trilogy, where Flash continued to face the gorilla, meet Solovar and find Gorilla City).

Heck, Grodd didn't even make it on a cover of Flash until Flash #127 (March, 1962)....story not included here, but the cover is to get a look at the furry foe of the Flash!

Pied Piper

Hartley Rathaway hadn't been happy in live, so he took his knowledge of sound and made himself into the Pied Piper to take on the Flash in "The Pied Piper of Peril" from Flash #106 (April-May, 1959, by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), even making the cover of his first appearance!

Pied Piper even branched out in his second story (not in the trade), being recruited by Mr. Memory as the Flash foe in Justice League of America #14 (September, 1962) along with Green Lantern foe Hector Hammond, Aquaman villain Sea-Thief, Wonder Woman rogue Angle Man, Green Arrow evil-doer Dr. Davis and (behind the scenes) the Joker (to capture Batman), all while dealing with the Atom joining the JLA; though all these villains didn't make the cover!

Weather Wizard

Mark Mardon was an escaped criminal who got his weather wand when he found his brother, Clyde, (noted scientist working on weather control) dead in his lab, and used that technology to create his weather wand to give himself control of the weather...and menace the Flash starting with "The Challenge Of The Weather Wizard" in Flash #110 (December-January, 1959/1960) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.

Weather Wizard didn't make the cover of his second appearance (Flash #130 of August, 1962, facing Kid Flash and the Elongated Man), but did finally in Flash #145 (June, 1964) in a tale not in the trade.


Jesse James was a messed up kid, being part of a circus aerialists (but was also afraid of heights).  Jesse came up with some shoes that allowed him to walk on the air, becoming a "Danger In The Air" in Flash #113 (June-July, 1960, by John Broome and Carmine Infantino).

Trickster quickly strikes back after his heist of a plane in mid-air, quickly coming back to play new pranks on the Flash in Flash #121 (June, 1961) in a story not in the collection.

Captain Boomerang

George "Digger" Harkness came into the Flash's life with "Here Comes Captain Boomerang" in Flash #117 (December, 1960 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), when W.W. Higgins recruited him to become his toy company's spokesman of Captain Boomerang to sell boomerang toys.  Captain Boomerang turned the tables and used the identity to rob the area.

This boomerang quickly returned, facing the Flash and the Elongated Man in Flash #124 (November, 1961), in his second appearance (which isn't in the trade).

The Top

Roscoe Dillon was a small time crook getting nowhere, until he came up with a spinning motif based on his love of tops as a child.  This led him into a spin-up with the Flash in Flash #122 (August, 1961 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino) with "Beware The Atomic Grenade" (a much larger threat than a spinning top, indeed!).

The Top spun onto his first cover on his own with Flash #141 (December, 1963), where we also met Peter Gambi, a tailor to super-villains in a stylish story (not in the collection)!

Heat Wave

Mick Rory was a kid who liked fire.  So much so, that he ended up as the super-villain, Heat Wave, and ended up making "The Heat Is On For Captain Cold" in Flash #140 (November, 1963 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), which started a competition between the two temperature opposite villains (starting a rivalry between them...and leading to a gathering of more Flash foes as well....).

Heat Wave's second appearance with with all the Rogues, but his appearance after that was in Flash #166 (December, 1966), still facing off against Captain Cold (but not seen in this trade), and Mick continued to be a thread to the Flash, eventually taking him on on his own!

....and the team-up of the Flash's Rogue's Gallery!  Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Pied Piper, Captain Boomerang, the Top and Heat Wave made live hard for the Flash in Flash #155 (September, 1965, by John Broome and Carmine Infantino), making Barry run "The Gauntlet of Super-Villains"...and there was a surprise villain the Rogues faced as well (who tried to make a monkey out of the villains).

The Rogues returned en masse for the second time in Flash #174 (November, 1967), making life hard for the Flash yet again in a story not in the Flash Vs. The Rogues trade, but, like all these stories, proving that sometimes things are better the second time around!


  1. Nicely done, Dave. But the Trickster's name was James Jesse, not Jesse James. The fact that his name was the reverse of that of an infamous Western bandit inspired him to turn to crime.

    1. Just a little dyslexia on my part! Probably inspired by the same devilishness that led James to crime!