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Flash 107
"The Amazing Race Against Time!"


Story: John Broome Art: Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella

Who could possibly outrun the fastest man alive? Pass him as if he were standing still? For the secret solution behind this amazing event -- read... "The Amazing Race Against Time!" On the splash page, the scarlet speedster is traveling at super-speed, but a man dressed in a green and yellow costume has just raced by him! He - he'll reach the runaway truck before the Flash will!

Having finished a case and heading for home, the Flash sees a parked truck which begins to roll down hill! The truck will crash into a store -- hurt many people unless it is stopped! As the scarlet speedster puts on an extra burst of speed, he is passed by another fleet figure... In less than a wink of an eye, the green and yellow clad speedster puts the truck to a screeching halt! When asked by the Flash who he is, the new speedster claims to have amnesia!

At an apartment which the fastest man on Earth keeps in order to preserve his dual identity of Police Scientist Barry Allen... he seeks to learn more about this man who is faster than him! All he can recall is finding himself this afternoon on the outskirts of Central City. He didn't even know the Flash's name until he was told it a few minutes ago. The Flash vows to give him the best medical attention possible to restore his memory. At Picture News, Iris West learns that eyewitnesses saw the mysterious man outrun the Flash, and tells her chief that since everyone believes that the scarlet speedster is the fastest man in the world...

She proposes that they arrange a race for charity -- sponsored by Picture News. More than a million copies of Picture News will be sold -- and the question of who is the fastest man -- the Flash or the stranger -- will be answered! Reading the headline, the scarlet speedster knows that this is the handiwork of his girlfriend. He can't ignore it, for if he does, his reputation as the Flash would suffer, as would his crusade against crime! The doctor sees the mystery man, but doesn't know what's wrong with him. Flash proposes that they postpone the treatments... until after they race... if he agrees... which the mystery man does!

On the day of the great event... the editor asks Iris why the stranger is beginning the race by facing the other direction? She explains that it was her idea since seeing the stranger practice, and she is sure that he can beat the Flash, even by running backwards -- so she asked him to -- and he agreed. Iris thinks that this will be a much better story -- if Flash gets beaten! The starting gun is fired... In the span of two breaths, the two men have completed 999 laps in the 1,000 lap race... a split-second for the Flash to build up speed -- but the mystery man began at super-speed all at once, and maintains his lead! To the spectators, it is all a blur!

A high-speed camera records the finish... with the stranger winning, and Flash knowing that the mystery man is not faster than he, but just takes off faster! After the race, the stranger is congratulated -- and Flash takes him to the doctor... Electric treatments are used to jog the man's memory. The wires are in place... and once the current is switched off... what the mystery man has to say can only be said to the Flash --- alone!

Out of the doctor's office, the stranger knows who he is, and that something's happened to him! The electricity surged through him, bringing back his memory, but removing his speed! They are running at normal speed, but the stranger cannot pass the scarlet speedster! He is a visitor from another world who came by spaceship -- but it crashed, and robbed him of his memory... but now that he's regained it, he seeks the Flash's help... by assisting him in an urgent matter!

The crashed ship must be repaired... and under the stranger's instructions, the Flash is able to complete repairs in a minute! They are soon underway, with the spaceship entering into outer space... and the scarlet speedster learns that the alien is not human... He is an automaton... a hominoid (human-looking robot) so cleverly designed that even the doctors wouldn't be able to detect the difference. A few days ago, he stood before his masters, they who rule the galaxy. Kyri was to perform the task he was created to do --

On the planetoid F203, near to the center of the galaxy, there is a weak point... where terrible forces from another dimension have threatened to break through! Every few years the barrier has been able to hold back those forces... but it must be repaired or the galaxy will meet its destruction! Without his speed, Kyri can do nothing, and the Flash must take his place -- repair the barrier in a race against time! At the weak point shown to him by Kyri, the scarlet speedster sees lightning in a chaos of many different colors, which explode in all directions! The hole begins to widen... and it must be sealed at once! By whirling at super-speed by the weak point, the Flash's incredible velocity melts the rocks and minerals around it in the precise order... so that they can be fused together into a super-cosmic glue! (Holy Patchwork Man, Batman!) Kyri smiles and tells Flash that he's sealed off the danger for more years to come!

It is time for Kyri to bring Flash home -- and then for him to return to his masters! Back on Earth, they bid goodbye, and the scarlet speedster is amazed that Kyri wasn't human, but an artificial being. This means that he is still the fastest man alive -- at least the fastest to be found in nature! Visiting Picture News, he tells Iris that he is still the fastest human on Earth.

A fun story by Broome, Infantino, and Giella. Sleek, clean linework, and the importance to the Flash to maintain his reputation as the fastest man alive.

Kyri's costume is similar to that of Sprite, the Eternal from Jack Kirby's '70s mag.

In a story by Mark Gruenwald, Quasar meets an amnesiac speedster who remembers his name to be something like "Buried Alien," and that the title of being the "fastest man alive" meant much to him.

I like the character of Iris West, who knows a story when she sees one, and is clever enough to find a way to help charity and her paper's circulation in the bargain.

A race for charity has been a tradition for Flash, especially when he raced against the man of steel, which was also shown on an episode of the Superman Animated Series.

Kyri reminds me of the character, R. Daneel, who was created by writer Issac Asimov, and who proved to be more human than would appear at first glance.

The Rulers of the Galaxy are bald with orange skin, and wear brown tunics. They are his masters.

It is unknown if they have any relation to the Guardians of the Universe, who had created the Manhunters, before the formation of the Green Lantern Corps. It is possible they are an off-shoot, just as the Controllers and the Zamorans are.

The dimension is depicted by many exploding colors, and may lead to Quward, the Negative Zone, or even the Marvel Universe.

This story was reprinted in The Flash 80 Page Giant (21) #160.

This Review Is Dedicated To Hoy Murphy

Steve Chung
"The Amazing Review Against Time!"