FIRST APPEARANCE (DC DRIECT)
After the success of Superman and Batman, DC created a whole host of additional costumed heroes to join them. Debuting in Flash Comics #1, Jay Garrick became the first incarnation of the titular character. When the Golden Age ended, he was replaced by Barry Allen as the Silver Age Flash, but re-appeared just a few short years later in “Flash of Two Worlds,” the story that placed all of the Golden Age heroes on a separate Earth and officially created DC’s Multiverse. Pretty nifty, huh? Despite being a rather prominent fixture of the DC ‘verse, Jay’s been light on toys. Under DC Direct, he got his second figure, amusingly enough, under the First Appearance banner.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Flash was released in the first series of DC Direct’s First Appearance figures, alongside the previously reviewed Batman. Prior to this one, his only figure was the less style-specific figure from the main JSA line. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation. While DCD were willing to spring for extra joints on Batman, they were not similarly inclined for the rest of the assortment, so Jay just got their standard movement of the time. It’s enough for some decent posing, but is admittedly pretty limiting. He’s certainly not getting any deep running poses or anything. Like the rest of the line, this version of Jay is quite strictly based on his first appearance art, in this case, Harry Lampert’s illustrations from the interiors of the book. He seems to draw the most inspiration from the illustration of Jay that ran alongside the character’s header within the book, right down to his slight pre-posing seeming to line up with the slight running pose of the drawing. It’s actually not a bad match for the art, though it certainly leaves him looking a bit more polished, and generally just a bit, I don’t know, prettier? He’s a pretty man, I guess, or at least he was in 1940. Less so later. I’ll admit, I’m a touch weirded out by a Jay that’s not at least middle-aged, but he wasn’t always, I suppose. This figure also reflects the minor changes that were present in Jay’s costume earlier on, with the free-floating lighting bolt, the slightly less defined boots, and the bolts on the sides of his legs (presumably to make him go faster?). Flash was the one figure in the first series to lack any cloth goods pieces, due to his costume’s tighter-clinging nature. He does, however, get a removeable helmet piece. It’s not as defined as other versions, but it’s also accurate to the art in that way, so good on them for that, I suppose. Flash’s paint is quite bright and colorful, which is appropriate for this incarnation, and also makes him fairly eye-catching. As with Batman, they vary up the finishes a bit on some of the colors, which helps give them a little more pop. Flash was packed with a display stand (same as Batman’s) and a reprint of his story from Flash Comics #1.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My main focus when this line hit was Batman, so I really didn’t pay this guy much mind when they were new. Not many people did, honestly, so he would up being way marked down at Cosmic Comix about a year later, which is when I finally picked mine up, because, hey, he was cheap, right? I also didn’t have another Jay Garrick at the time, so he worked on that front, too. He’s not a bad figure, though he’s maybe not one of the showier offerings from this line.