The Flash #139: "Menace Of The Reverse-Flash!"

The Flash #139
 "Menace Of The Reverse-Flash!"
 September, 1963

 Story: John Broome
 Art: Carmine Infantino & Joe Giella

 The Scarlet Speedster is on an urgent mission to deactivate a threat to the 25th Century and finds himself face-to-face with a new foe who use super-speed as a threat to law and order! How can the 20th Century Flash find an advantage to put an end to the "Menace Of The Reverse-Flash!"

 A new type of satellite orbits the Earth, designed to travel not only in space but also through time! As the satellite orbits the world, it rotates on its own axis at a faster rate... then suddenly disappears from sight... News of its disappearance spreads across the globe... News of the amazing event is discussed on radio and television... A young physicist named Walter Drake constructed the time satellite as a time capsule so that it could be sent into the future directly rather than being buried as have previous time capsules!

 An atomic clock, current books and music records, and a spare uniform of the Flash have been placed into the time satellite... which the Monarch of Motion provided at the request of Doctor Drake himself! The people of the future will have samples of our twentieth century civilization and Doctor Drake will be attending a special meeting of the Federation of Science tomorrow in Central City before the national press! At the press conference, Doctor Drake is presented as the man who created the time satellite! As the physicist takes the stage, he suddenly announces that he has nothing to say! The physicist dashes away from the stage, leaving a surprised audience behind...

 Later that day, Iris West comments about Doctor Drake's bizarre behavior to her boyfriend, police scientist Barry Allen. He can't explain to her how he knows Doctor Drake -- as the Flash, and how he knows Drake would never do anything so rude! Barry excuses himself from Iris and tells her he has some police business to do! Once outside and in a hiding place, Barry activates his ring, causing a crimson costume to expand upon contact with the air...

 At the home of Walter Drake, the physicist tells what he knows about the time satellite... and about the atomic clock -- which caused him to lock himself indoors... After checking over certain figures, he made a terrible discovery... A nucleonic change has come over the atomic clock and causing it to become an atomic bomb!

 Doctor Drake has unknowingly created an atomic bomb which will cause terrible destruction once it arrives in the future! Millions of lives will be at stake and there is no way to retrieve the time satellite! The Flash brings his friend to where his cosmic treadmill is stored!

 It takes some time for the necessary cosmic ray voltage to build up in the treadmill's power pack and the Scarlet Speedster does not know if there is enough of a charge to sent him all the way in the future! But he must try! After switching on the cosmic treadmill, the Flash move at incredible velocity... and the treadmill marker is set for five hundred years from now...

 While the Scarlet Speedster seeks to gain the future -- our attention shifts to the year 2463 -- and Professor Zoom! He has always boasted he would become the greatest criminal in all history! Now there is no doubt he will attain his lifelong ambition! Who could possibly stop him -- now that he possesses super-speed? It all began yesterday when an ordinary thief with great imagination was ready for opportunity when it came a-knocking!

 He was walking in Mid-Town when an object suddenly materialized out of thin air! The object fell to the ground and burst open... As hands began to reach for the various items within, the thief grasped the genuine Flash costume... The Scarlet Speedster has always been his favorite historical character because he stood for law and order -- and Eobard Thawne stood for the reverse! What he envied about the ancient hero was his super-speed! He had an idea to travel into the past -- to visit the 20th century!

 Once there, he would use modern 25th century technology to take an impression of the Flash's super-speed wave patterns -- and amplify them -- to give himself super-speed! Unfortunately, he could never reach the past, and the past reached out to him... Eobard dashed home where he set up his equipment... The genuine Flash uniform contained super-speed wave patterns left over from the last time the hero used it! It was very faint, but unmistakable! Eobard Thawne's luck was holding out! After amplifying the wave patterns with a 25th century technique, he dyed the uniform so that it was now the reverse in color of the Scarlet Speedster's! He now wondered if he truly had super-speed and if his theories were correct --!

 As he dashed back and forth across the room... he now had super-speed -- and his heartbeat remained normal! Due to his scientific knowledge, the authorities referred to him as the "Professor," and now with super-speed, he became Professor Zoom! He could now move so fast -- he became invisible to normal sight! There was now nothing to prevent him from achieving his goal of becoming the greatest criminal of all time! There was only one thing on Earth valuable enough to deserve his attention -- the Cribi Sculptures! Explorers from Earth in 2418 found striking metal sculptures and no sign of the civilization who made them centuries ago! It was later discovered that the metal of the sculptures would not tarnish, not be dented, or even analyzed! The sculptures were brought back to Earth where the mystery of their origin grew!

 The value of the Cribi Sculptures have become astronomical and only the richest of people have been able to afford to own one -- until now, that is! Professor Zoom was now about to corner the market on Cribi Sculptures and his impending wealth would be beyond calculation! At the home of Bord Bal Samo, the richest man in the galaxy... atomic robot guards are watching over the Cribi! At that very moment... the Reverse-Flash vibrates himself through a wall --

 CRAACK! ZZZZZZSSST! Professor Zoom is moving so fast that he manages to grab Balsamo's Cribi -- and take it away before the atomic robot-guards before they could release their deadly radiation! Outside, the 25th century police attempt to stop the fast-moving thief, who uses the Cribi as a shield against their rays! Now able to zoom away with the speed of an electron, he is soon back in his hideaway... intent on possessing all the Cribis in existence!

 He makes a map showing each location and eyes the one pertaining to Ducland Phillips, the atom-power king who has his Cribi -- in a special building surrounded by a personal force-field! Now that he can move with super-speed, Professor Zoom will find a way to get past the deadly energy force-field! On a nearby street corner... the air begins to bulge -- and something comes into view --!

 As the Reverse-Flash begins his assault, his heroic counterpart from the 20th century has arrived in the 25th century -- through the use of his own super-speed! He must maintain his internal vibrations all the time he is here or else -- he will return to his own time period! When a bystander comments about the strange objects from the past that came into view yesterday, the Flash learns that the time capsule has been taken to the nearby Science Center--!

 At the Science Center, he sees the time capsule has been placed on display -- and that it crashed and broke apart shortly after landing... All items with the exception of two have been recovered -- his uniform and the atomic clock have been taken by looters -- Although he doesn't understand why someone would want his old uniform, the important thing right now is to retrieve the atomic clock! According to Doctor Drake, there is only one hour left before the clock explodes, and there is no time to broadcast a warning! The best thing to do is to search for the atomic clock himself -- by traveling through the entire city at super-speed!

 As the Monarch of Motion passes a street corner... he sees a picture on a full-color newspaper of a criminal who has gained super-speed! Professor Zoom has broken into the building housing the second Cribi by vibrating up through the concrete floor and avoiding the force-field entirely! The Scarlet Speedster sees this Reverse-Flash is the reverse of himself! Instead of a crime-fighter -- he is a criminal!

 Using the Flash's old uniform, Professor Zoom has given himself super-speed -- making him the most dangerous criminal of the 25th century -- and the authorities are trying to stop him! Since the Scarlet Speedster is responsible for his criminal activities -- he must stop him! For all the Flash knows, the Reverse-Flash has the atomic clock! As the Monarch of Motion pours it on... he barely catches up with Professor Zoom! They are both going so fast... that if the Flash makes the slightest movement towards him... to wrestle with him... he will slow him up... and fall behind in the blink of an eye! There is only one way to deal with this...

 The Flash pulls ahead of the Reverse-Flash and this gives him a split-instant to grab -- empty air! In addition to super-speed, Professor Zoom is wearing electro-rockets to give him added acceleration whenever necessary! Professor Zoom has taken an advance course in the art of trickery! He doesn't realize the Flash can track the faint molecular agitation in the air left behind...

 By moving at super-speed and vibrating externally at the same rate as the agitation -- the Scarlet Speedster can see it and follow it! The agitation trail leads to a certain house! He has enough time to notice how different houses look in the future! Inside the 25th century home, he catches Professor Zoom with his rockets off! The pair of rockets are eliminated, leaving the two combatants to duel each other man-to-man! As the two speedsters move against one another, a tremendous whirlwind is created -- and the house is wrecked in the powerful vacuum effect!

 Professor Zoom flings a barrage of objects at the Flash -- fast enough to cut clean through him if they connect! The Scarlet Speedster makes his way through the deadly volley to reach close quarters with his foe! As the Flash grabs ahold of his foe -- the Reverse-Flash's fist moves at super-speed, and the Scarlet Speedster manages to roll with the blow!

 Their speeds are equal and it appears to be a stalemate! When Professor Zoom comments on his using 25th century super-science to duplicate the Flash's aura by covering his uniform with a chemical coating -- his boast shows the Scarlet Speedster the way to beat his foe! The next moment finds the Flash lifting the Reverse-Flash off the ground and moving at an immeasurable rate... He must go faster than Zoom has ever gone before... faster than he has ever gone... and travel as if he had million-league boots...!

 Professor Zoom is rendered momentarily helpless as his protective chemical coating is broken down! As the Flash's aura continues to protect him, he holds the Reverse-Flash out as far away as possible--! As they both reach hyper-velocity... Professor Zoom begins to burn up and begs the Flash to slow down because he is now truly beaten! Eobard Thawne is now a beaten man -- even though the Scarlet Speedster slowed down before any real harm occurred to him! The Reverse-Flash is defeated and the stolen uniform is removed before he is turned over to the authorities!

 At police headquarters, truth serum is used to reveal that Thawne knows nothing about the location of the atomic clock! There is hardly any time remaining before disaster strikes! The Monarch of Motion begins his desperate rounds... until he finds the object of his search in a house on the outskirts of the futuristic city... He sees an elderly woman admiring the object, perhaps unaware of the authorities' request for its return! The atomic clock vanishes before her very eyes as the Flash moves at such speed to render both himself and the clock invisible! According to the atomic clock, he has only a second to locate a proper spot for the atomic explosion! Once the Sultan of Speed has reconnoitered the Arctic Circle, he lets go of the clock... and beats a hasty retreat to leave the mushroom cloud behind him!

 Relaxing his internal vibrations, the Flash returns to his own time period, and tells Doctor Drake about his futuristic adventure! He attends to the important chore of burning his old uniform -- so that no one else can ever misuse it -- the way Professor Zoom -- tried to do! The following day at the coffee shop, Iris comments to Barry about how Doctor Drake is now a different man at today's press conference! The physicist answered all of their questions and was very cooperative as can be! The newshen finds this to be very mysterious... The police scientist reminds her that a man can have his moods! It seems to Iris that Barry acts as if sometimes he knows something, but she's certain it's just a pose to impress her!

 This story was reprinted in The Flash #205 (April-May, 1971).

 Actor John Wesley Shipp voiced Professor Zoom on an episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold.

 The Tardis is a device that can travel through time and space.

 Being a reporter at Picture News, Iris West was present at the news conference when Doctor Drake made his mad dash from the stage.

 The Cosmic Treadmill was first used in the "Conquerors Of Time!" story in Flash #125.

 The Reverse-Flash has appeared on the new Flash TV series, most notably in "The Man In The Yellow Suit" episode.

 Eobard Thawne's 25th century wardrobe suggests he thinks bowties are cool and that the Atom's pants and boots make quite a fashion statement.

 The Invisible Girl can project force-fields.

 Brainiac 5 has his own personal force-field.

 The Flash must maintain his own internal vibrations during time-travel via his Cosmic Treadmill, unlike the objects sent in the time satellite.

 The accident that gave Barry Allen his super-speed also surrounded him with a protective aura at the same time.

 The Scarlet Speedster had to beat the atomic clock before disaster struck in the 25th century.

 "Beat The Clock" was the title of an episode of the 1990 CBS Flash TV series.

 Steve Chung
 "Review Of The Reverse-Flash!"