SUPER POWERS (KENNER)
“Flash is the fastest man alive. Can run at super-speed. Can vibrate his body so quickly as to be immaterial, so that bullets pass through him, or can go through walls. Can also move so fast he becomes invisible. Can run on water.”
Despite the namesake being one of DC’s earliest heroes, and this particular iteration being the character that ushered in the Silver Age at DC, The Flash was nevertheless, rather conspicuously missing from DC’s earliest forays into the world of action figures. He wouldn’t get his toy due until Kenner’s Super Powers, where he at least was not only finally included into toy form, but was also in the line’s inaugural year. Way to go Kenner! Let’s look at that figure today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Flash was included in Kenner’s first assortment of Super Powers in 1984, debuting alongside most of the rest of the core Justice League line-up. Since Barry was still the current Flash at the time, the figure was very definitely based on him, in his look that more or less remained unchanged from his very first appearance in Showcase. The figure was one of the shortest in the line, at a little under 4 1/2 inches tall, and he sported the standard 7 points of articulation. Barry was typically depicted as a little bit on the shorter side compared to some of the other members of the team, so this slightly smaller stature fit the character, and also helped to keep the slightly more diverse physical characteristics of the line’s take on the heroes. His sculpt also depicts as being much more lithe than his teammates, with notably narrower shoulders than the other male heroes. It definitely helped to place emphasis on his legs and his build as a runner, which is very appropriate for the character. His face has a nice, friendly smile on it; most of the heroes had a generally friendly expression, but Flash’s is very definitely a smile. And it’s not one of Wally’s more sly grin’s, either; this is very definitely Barry’s goofy scientist type of smile. I really like it. Flash’s costume elements are largely sculpted, which is certainly impressive. Perhaps the coolest little touch is the inclusion of the treads on the bottoms of his feet. That’s an area that usually gets left smooth, but not on this guy. It’s a very nice attention to detail. The figure’s paint was pretty basic. There’s not exactly a ton of details to be had, but he was, like the rest of the line, bold and colorful. I like that. Unfortunately, Flash is also a figure very prone to paint wear over time, specifically on his nose and chin, as can be seen on my figure. I’ve actually had three of this guy over the years, and every one of them had the exact same wear. Flash had no accessories, but he did include his own action feature, dubbed “Power Action Lightning Legs”. When you squeeze his arms, his legs kick back and forth, in a sort of a reversal of the other figures.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
A proper Kenner Flash was actually one of the later additions to my early Super Powers figures, which is amusing, because it’s actually Flash’s fault I was introduced to Super Powers in the first place. When I was first getting into collecting in the ’90s, Flash figures were hard to come by (the Total Justice one had just dried up at retail, and the JLA rerelease wasn’t quite out yet), so my dad bought me one online. It was the Toy Biz DC Super Heroes one, but had be incorrectly identified as the Super Powers one. That ultimately led to me stumbling upon the Super Powers Archive and low-key falling in love with the line, but for the first few years, my “Super Powers” Flash was actually the Toy Biz one. It wasn’t until my dad got me a batch of various figures for Christmas one year that I actually got to upgrade to the one seen in this review. Despite not being my first Flash, he’s still a very cool Flash, and definitely one of my favorite Flashes, and he really shows that Kenner was very committed to not phoning these figures in.