A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bob Ingersoll on "The Trial of the Flash"

Just before the Crisis, there was The Trial of the Flash, wherein Barry Allen was charged with the murder of Professor Zoom. At the same time, a young Robert Ingersoll was beginning a column for Comics Buyer's Guide, "The Law is a Ass," where he pioneered the same ground I'm treading today, reviewing the law as it's presented in the funnybooks.

Over his first couple of years writing the column, he repeatedly skewered The Flash for its intrinsic and endlessly repetitive legal errors. It was a two-year storyline built around a 'crime' that was never really a crime to begin with.

It remains one of the more well-remembered arcs of the 1980s, although it has never been collected as a trade. Perhaps Mr. Ingersoll had something to do with that. In any case, a comic book legal event of that magnitude deserves some attention, and rather than simply repeat Bob's work (a difficult feat for myself, as I own just one issue of the arc), I've accumulated below an index of his columns that addressed different issues of the story.

Flash #324
Flash #334
Flash #336
Flash #339
Flash #341
Flash #343
Flash #344
Flash #345-347
Flash #350

Incidentally, the Barry-Zoom fight at the center of the trial was injected with a rather severe retcon by Geoff Johns during "Rogue War." While the two of them were running towards Barry's fiance Fiona, the modern-day Zoom travelled back in time and snatched Professor Zoom to bring him back to the future. Then Barry broke off and came to the future too. They, Wally, Zoom, and a whole slew of Rogues battled it out in Keystone City, and then Barry and Professor Zoom went back to the past and resumed running toward Fiona.