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- We've talked before, how the Silver Age
of comic books, is largely agreed to have started
with Showcase number four
and the introduction of Barry Allen as The Flash.
But what are the odds that someone can be struck
by lightning and then doused
in the exact chemical composition needed
to give them super speed?
Well what if it wasn't an accident?
What if the whole thing happened on purpose?
Welcome to Comic Misconceptions.
The show that takes you into detail
about the things, think you know about comics.
I'm your host, Scott Niswander, and The Flash
TV show pilot aired yesterday.
So of course we're going to talk about that.
You guys really seemed to enjoy the video I did
on the real origin of The Fantastic Four
a couple weeks ago.
So with that in mind,
I bring you the real origin of The Flash,
with an issue that I assume DC has been trying
to sweep under the rug since it was released.
An issue entitled, "The Real Origin of the Flash".
Which is a bit on the nose, but, you know.
But first, a quick refresher on the original
origin of The Flash in Showcase number four from 1956.
Barry Allen was a police scientist
who was notorious for being late and working at a slow pace.
One night at the lab Barry is reading a Flash comic book,
featuring the original flash Jay Garrick,
wishing he could be just like the fastest man on Earth.
He approaches a shelf full of,
every chemical known to science,
and a lightning bolt suddenly strikes him
and bathes him in a certain few key chemicals.
As he leaves he discovers that he's traveling
at incredibly high speeds
and can seemingly see things happen in slow motion.
Inspired by the comic book hero, Barry dons
on some tights, that he designed to fit inside his ring
for easy access and becomes The Flash.
Of course different variations of this origin have appeared
in comic books throughout the years, but you get the gist.
But in 1967 a decade had passed
since Barry's first appearance, and DC wanted
to retell his origin for newer Flash fans
who were jumping on board to comics for the first time.
But the origin they decided to tell
was so radically different and bizarre
that it's no surprise that it was almost immediately
and purposefully forgotten.
The Flash number 167 opens innocently enough
with the Flash beating up some jewel smugglers
with some kind of cool and inventive action,
but then Flash catches on fire
as his protective body aura is no longer shielding him
from the immense friction that he endures
from moving so fast.
He jumps into the nearby harbor to put out the flames,
and he emerges with a rather odd man waiting for him.
The man introduces himself as Mopee,
an Initiate Tenth Class of the Heavenly Help-Mates,
whatever that means.
He explains to Flash that he was responsible
for turning off his protective aura
as he was the one who gave Flash his powers
in the first place.
Flash argues that it was the lightning and the chemicals
that gave him his powers, but Mopee says that the odds
of that happening are 10 quadrillion billion to one,
and a scientist like Barry should know better than
to believe that something like that would happen by chance.
The real story goes that Mopee's superiors assign him
to the task of giving one human the gift of super speed
for a reason that was never explained.
Mopee followed around Barry and found that he was worthy
of the gift since he was honest brave and sincere.
It was Mopee that then guided the lightning bolt down
into the lab Barry was working in that had him crash
into those chemicals and turn him into the Flash.
Years later Mopee's superiors discovered he made a mistake.
Here we discover the first of many weird rules
of The Heavenly Help-Mates.
The initiate can only use objects that are owned
by the giftee to bestow the gifts.
In other words Mopee used the lightning bolt
and the chemicals to give Barry his powers
but Barry didn't own those chemicals,
the police department did.
So now Mopee has to take away Flash's abilities
because that's what the rules say to do.
Barry actually contemplates the idea
of not being The Flash anymore,
But he decides it's better to not stop saving lives.
So he has Mopee look into the laws a little bit,
see if there's a loophole in there that will allow Flash
to keep his powers.
They find out in the case of a mistake,
the Initiate can recreate the experiment
that gave the giftee their powers under certain conditions.
In this case Barry has to buy the chemicals
that turned him into the Flash
and then they can remake the accident.
Then we encounter another one of the weird rules.
He can't buy the chemicals as Barry Allen,
but has to earn the money to buy them as the Flash,
for again a reason that was never explained.
And he has to do it in exactly 24 hours.
This whole thing hinges on the idea
that the giftee would create a dual identity
with the powers that Mopee gave them.
Which is kind of, I guess a hole that I have in that logic.
I guess an easy way to remedy that would be, you,
as Barry Allen giving your friend that money
and then your friend would give you as Flash
that money back for doing something,
because you have to earn it,
so just do dishes really fast,
or organize a DVD collection really fast,
or open a door at regular speed.
You have to earn the money.
Instead Flash puts out an ad in the newspaper
that goes public the next day,
and he is flooded with letters
from people asking for his help.
Letters that arrived that day
since he still only has 24 hours to complete this task,
and that is some fantastic delivery time.
He really only has to do one job,
so Mopee selects it for him because that's a rule
that again the reasoning for was never really explained.
Long story short, The Flash does the job, buys the chemicals
and they reenact the experiment that gave him his powers.
Just as Mopee is leaving, he wonders about Kid Flash,
AKA Wally West who got his powers
in a very similar way to Barry.
The Flash realizes that maybe Wally
was the one in quadrillion billion who defied all odds
and received his powers naturally.
The story ends there and it's seldom referenced again.
Now there are so many problems with this issue,
but the biggest one that I have,
is that it completely redefines the character
from being science-based to being magic-based.
We talked before that a lot of the Silver Age
heavily focused on science for its heroes
and their origins.
Even if it was wildly inaccurate science.
Flash was designed to be a science-based hero.
He, himself, is a scientist.
Heck, they even have a standalone page in Showcase number 4
dedicated to the science of speed.
It just feels weird taking that aspect of the character
and replacing it with magic.
Which is likely one of the biggest reasons
why this whole Mopee business is largely ignored.
Mopee was even brought back to poke fun at himself
in Ambush Bug number three from 1985,
when he starts listing off characters
that he takes credit for creating.
He helped guide Superman's rocket to earth.
He threw a bat through a window of Wayne Manor.
He even went over to Marvel and created Hulk, Spiderman,
and The Fantastic Four, amongst many others.
So just ignore that whole video I did before
about the real origins of Fantastic Four,
because this is it apparently, Mopee.
Over the years however, Mopee has been very sternly said
to have never existed in the first place.
Like in "Who's Who" the definitive directory
of the DC Universe, number eight,
on the page about Flash where it explicitly states
and I quote, "An account alleging that the accident
"that gave Allen his powers was actually staged
"by a being named Mopee is entirely incorrect."
They do try to slide Mopee into continuity
in The Life Story of The Flash from 1997,
but in a different way.
The night Barry got his powers, he was investigating
a new drug on the streets that the kids are calling "Mopee".
This Flash origin with Mopee is a little bit weird,
but it does raise an interesting question.
Should heroes be chosen by random chance
or by intentional and deliberate decision?
Let me know what you think in the comments,
and let me know which Flash origin you prefer.
If you want to listen to our review of The Flash pilot
with Ross from Comic Cinema,
(body thumping)
that will be available on Monday right here
on YouTube or on iTunes and Stitcher
if you want to go check that out.
Thank you so much to the NerdSync patrons over
on our Patreon page.
You guys helped us get past our first big milestone.
Thank you very much you are amazing individuals,
and I look forward to talking more
about The Flash with you, over there.
And if this is your first time hanging out with us here
at NerdSync, please do subscribe.
We do weekly comic book videos just like this one,
every Wednesday, and we don't want you
to miss out on any of it.
I'm Scott, you can find me on Twitter
and Instagram, and we'll be off next week.
We'll be back the following week with more things
that you thought you knew about comics, see ya!


閃電俠 (The REAL Origin of the Flash! | Comic Misconceptions)

1836 分類 收藏
Barrett D Fergus Allen 發佈於 2015 年 12 月 26 日
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