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CSBG Archive

Almost Hidden – Wally West’s “Perfect Gift”

Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I’d say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.

I want you folks to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I’d like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.

A fascinating story that has never been reprinted is Flash #73 (really, the notion that Mark Waid’s entire Flash run has not been collected is quite silly), which is the prelude to a famous story. This issue, though, is just a great Flash Christmas story by Mark Waid, Greg LaRocque and Ray Richardson…

Enjoy!

In “The Perfect Gift,” Wally and his girlfriend, Linda Park (they had only gotten together a few issues ago, but they were already such a good couple that it felt longer – damn, Bill Loebs did such a great job setting Waid up for the Wally/Linda relationship) are celebrating Christmas with Joan and Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Flash).

Wally is being a bit of…well…a bit of a pest…

While on patrol, Jay asks Wally what he wants for Christmas. Wally seems to be not overly thrilled…

The dedication to Denny O’Neil is extremely apropos, as this story definitely evokes many Denny O’Neil Christmas stories in old issues of Batman.

Finally, after the story had a traditional (although very well told) resolution, Waid gives us a brilliant epilogue…

and the reveal of who is at the door takes the issue to a WHOLE other level. The last page actually WAS reprinted in a trade that collected #74-79!

Wow, this really was a great issue. LaRocque and Richardson did a fine job on the artwork and Waid just killed it from a plot and characterization stand-point. This was roughly a year into his Flash run (it was issue #73) and he already had put his stamp on the book as a whole, and there was a lot more good stuff to come in the future!!!

6 Comments

Yea! I miss LaRocque’s art. Full of human characters and expressions. Loved his run on this book and the Legion before that. Where have you gone, Wally West, “the” Flash in my book. Having Barry back is nice, but not at the price of losing Wally.

I love that Jay has Linda give Wally the baseball mit. That right there says so much about Jay.

Why did they have to get rid of Wally? Barry’s great but I grew up with Wally as the Flash. Man when I go to my comic book shop I’m picking up this up. Thanks Brian for showcasing this issue!

Bill Loebs, the most under appreciated writer of the Flash EVER !!!

He took over very early from Mike Baron ( about # 11) and passed it on to Waid in the 60s. Some of my favorite Fash issues were by him and he’s easily as good as Waid and Johns

Ah, I missed this post in the retro-postings. I need to find a whole mess of Waid Flash, he did such a good job.

Actually, the whole Wally Flash series is so great for how Wally was allowed to grow up. Baron had him as the arrogant jerk, I believe, while Messner-Loebs let him start growing up, and find love with Linda, then Waid had him grow with Linda and their love kept Wally going through thick and thin, then when Johns came in, he actually continued some of that growth. What happened?

And yeah, Wally is MY Flash, and despite some of what was done to Wally in turning him into Barry, he’s still more interesting. Let’s hope Wally eventually returns.

God I miss Wally and Linda. I miss legacy being a cornerstone of the DCU. I miss 4 generations of Flashes fighting together. I miss the post Crisis DCU.

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