Showcase #13: "Around The World In 80 Minutes!"

Showcase #13
"Around The World In 80 Minutes!"
 March-April, 1958

 Script: Robert Kanigher
 Pencils: Carmine Infantino
 Inks: Joe Giella

 The Flash, the Fastest Man On Earth travels to Paris, to the Sahara Desert, to Tibet -- and to the Pacific Ocean! Join him as the Scarlet Speedster travels "Around the World in 80 Minutes!"

 As police scientist Barry Allen and news hen Iris West exit a showing of "Around The World In 80 Days" at the Central City Cinema, she asks him how long it would take to circle the Earth now! Barry tells her it takes about ninety minutes via space-satellite! She then wonders how long it would take the Flash to accomplish such a feat! When the police scientist says that maybe the Scarlet Speedster will show them one day, Iris asks that he try to remember to meet her for their date tomorrow, and not to be late! After promising Iris to be on time, Barry Allen is back at the police laboratory, and is picking up a police signal from the radio-reception watch he has been working on! He is now able to keep in touch with police signals from all over the world! Barry wonders what signals he will soon be picking up!

 The following day at 11:30, the police scientist calculates it is about twenty minutes from police headquarters to the Plaza Fountain for his lunch date with Iris -- but he will leave now -- to give himself plenty of time! TING -- TING! The radio-reception watch is picking up a Paris surete signal regarding an emergency at the Eiffel Tower! Barry Allen activates his ring, revealing the crimson costume which expands upon contact with the air... VROOOSH! The Scarlet Speedster has got eighty minutes to learn what is happening in Paris -- and to return to Central City for his lunch date with Iris West!

 As the Monarch of Motion passes by the Plaza Fountain, he sees Iris snapping photos, and decides to kiss her on the cheek at super-speed! As the news hen notes how windy it suddenly got around her, the Flash is propelled across the Atlantic via his own vibrations... Once in Paris, he notes how bad the traffic is than in Times Square and spots the Eiffel Tower straight ahead!

 Le Chat Noir is heading to the top of the tower in the elevator and is carrying an atomic bomb! The Sultan of Speed pasts unseen beyond the police cordon... he knows the Black Cat has got a live atomic bomb for Paris and is now a threat to the city! The Flash hurtles up the tower's framework and chases after the rising elevator... Nine-hundred and eighty-four feet are reached in the fraction of a second... where the Flash must save a female hostage from Le Chat Noir! If the Scarlet Speedster takes another step, he will be fatally scratched by an atomic claw!

 As Le Chat Noir moves forward, the Flash and the female hostage hurtle over the side, and the Scarlet Speedster creates an updraft by whirling one of his hands... The hostage is safe, but there is still the matter of the Black Cat! With his other hand, the Flash creates a downdraft beneath Le Chat Noir to draw him downward...

 With the fate of the city of Paris depending on him, the Flash uses his sense of balance, and trims Le Chat Noir's claws by seizing the atomic bomb! As the Black Cat is led away and the atomic bomb is disarmed, the Scarlet Speedster receives a kiss on the cheek from the former hostage! BONG! BONG! BONG! Hearing the tolls of Notre Dame, the Flash realizes he must cross the Atlantic once more for his date with Iris!

 His radio watch picks up a Cairo Police signal concerning Princess Tara at the Khufu Pyramid! The message is cut off and the Scarlet Speedster must travel to Egypt! Once he is at the base of a pyramid, the Flash sees the princess at the top! As captor of the princess, El Claw is confident the Sultan of Speed will be spending the rest of his life running in place! The blocks of the pyramid have been coated with oil and the faster the Flash goes -- the faster he slips behind! It is as if he is running in place!

 At the top of the pyramid, El Claw demands to learn the location of the hidden jewels from the princess! As Princess Tara says the jewels were to be sold for money to be used for a local children's hospital, the Flash decides to make the pyramid come down to him! Whirling around the pyramid at super-speed, the Monarch of Motion's vibrations causes the large blocks to tumble out of place! RRRUMBLE! He is swifter than the desert hawk in catching Princess Tara! The bandits have been swept off their feet and so has the princess, who kisses her handsome rescuer!

 The Flash's work is not done, as he races around the huge blocks... the pyramid is erected once more in mere seconds! Once El Claw and his men have been taken into custody, the Scarlet Speedster apologizes to the princess, and mentions he only has about forty minutes to cross the Atlantic Ocean... His watch broadcasts another plea for help... The lookout station at Mount Everest is in the path of a giant avalanche!

 The Flash turns his speed eastward towards Tibet... where he spots the lookout station and heads into the heart of the avalanche itself... The friction of his super-speed causes the snow to melt -- but now the lookout station is being threatened by a tidal wave! More friction transforms the water into steam... SSSSSSSS! Now maybe he won't be delayed any further by a girl! When the lookout emerges from the station, she gives the Scarlet Speedster a warm hug! Now he has got only twenty minutes to keep his date in Central City!

 The Fastest Man Alive is running eastward across the Pacific Ocean when he comes across the Viking, a ship carrying gold bullion, under attack by a pirate submarine! He could ignore the signal and be on time for his date with Iris... but he cannot refuse a cry for help! The pirate submarine has fired off another torpedo at the Viking! The Monarch of Motion speeds across the torpedo's path and makes it swerve away from the ship! Now the torpedo is pursuing him -- and it is only a matter of time before it hits him! Now underwater, the Flash spots the pirate submarine -- and the torpedo is closing in fast!

 The Sultan of Speed re-surfaces for air, just as WHAAM! The pirate submarine was unable to get out of the way of its own torpedo! A lifeboat from the Viking comes up alongside the Flash and its Captain gives her thanks in the form of a kiss! When she mentions that today is Tuesday, the Monarch of Motion realizes he left on Monday, and has lost a day on his world tour!

 Now back in Central City, the Scarlet Speedster has changed back to the police scientist, and knows that Iris will never forgive him for missing their date! Barry is surprised when she tells him he is on time for their date and takes his picture for her article! He will be able to see himself in Tuesday's edition of Picture News! The police scientist suddenly realizes he crossed the international date line from west to east -- regaining the day he had lost! The Flash has gone around the world in eighty minutes! As Iris congratulates him on keeping their appointment, Barry is starting to see some new possibilities!

 This story was reprinted in 80 Page Giant #4 (October, 1964).

 "Around The World In 80 Days" starred David Niven, Cantinflas, and Shirley Maclaine.

 Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen had his very own signal-watch given to him by the Man of Steel himself.

 Linda Turner and Felicia Hardy were both known as the Black Cat.

 The Man of Steel once saved Lois Lane from danger on the Eiffel Tower in Superman II.

 Robert Kanigher wrote the adventures of Mademoiselle Marie.

 Prince Khufu died and was reincarnated as archeologist Carter Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman.

 Iris West would be pretty steamed if she saw the Flash being thanked by the Tibetan lookout.

 Pirate torpedoes are purple and gold with skull and crossbones etched in white on the front.

 The Scarlet Speedster gives new meaning to speed-dating during his world tour conducted in a mere eighty minutes.

 Barry Allen got the picture when Iris informed him he managed to keep their date and he now had plenty of time to mull it over.

 Steve Chung
 "Around The Review In 80 Minutes!"