Check Out Those Ads! – The Flash #256

The Flash #256

For today’s comic book ad we are jumping back to one of the infamous dirty dozen comics I received from a friend of my dad. This week we’ll look at The Flash #256 from 1977.

The Flash has never been one of my favorite characters in comics. He always seemed like a good supporting character, but never the main character. However Flash is one of the original superheroes that helped launch DC comics. The Flash made his first appearance in The Flash #1 published in 1939! In the original Flash, college athlete Jay Garrick was The Flash. Barry Allen would become The Flash in 1956. Currently Barry’s nephew Wally West is The Flash.

I have few Flash comics in my collection. The majority of my Flash knowledge comes from the 1990 TV series. In that Series Barry Allen was still The Flash, it’s a great show to watch.

The Flash 256 Cover

The comic toady is The Flash #256 published in December 1977 and features Police scientist Barry Allen as The Flash. The Flash is trying to capture members of the Rogue Gallery and runs into an old foe, The Top.

I did like when The Top shows up in the comic there is an asterisk by his name, the footnote reads ‘the Top-Alias Roscoe Dillon, the first of Flash’s foes to die, as seen in Flash #243’ There are 6-7 such footnotes in this issue of the comic. That’s a nice touch for those who don’t know all the villains or a kid who might be reading The Flash for the first time(hint: me). But it also raises the question, if The Top died, what is he doing here?

The Flash losses his memory of recent events, even his marriage and his wife is desperate to get him back. In the end The Flash is knocked back to his senses and regains his memory. It’s an OK story, nothing great, at least not for me. I always wonder if I had read a better story as my first Flash story, would like the character more? Guess we’ll never know.

The Top didn’t steal my memory, so let’s stroll down memory lane and look at the ads from The Flash #256.

The Flash 256 Hostess

The last Hostess Fruit Pie ad we saw featured the Human Torch saving the fruit pies. This one has the Penguin, Batman’s Arch-Villain. Batman doesn’t make an appearance to stop Penguin from taking over the city with his Cuckoo Clocks. It’s the police who figure out the Cuckoo’s love real fruit filling and the light fluffy crust. Batman or at least Robin should have been in this ad.

The Flash 256 BB Gun

Shooting BB guns indoors!!! Who thinks of this stuff? While I may have shot my BB gun inside the house, it wasn’t something my parents would condone. All my BB escapades were outside, shooting cans, trees and the occasional squirrel. Having this indoor setup in the winter months would have been awesome. I somehow doubt my mom would be sitting on the couch joyfully watching me shoot the target though…

The Flash 256 Slim Jim

Ahh, the Slim Jim. A tasty treat anytime of the day. This ad seems better suited for a comic released in October. Maybe the sales team dropped the ball and couldn’t get it in the October issue. Either way, I’ve loved Slim Jim’s since the first time I tried them. They’ve always been cheap enough you could grab one or two and for a good snack and still have money left over for the arcade.

The drafting table ad wasn’t for me. I didn’t want a high paying job in drafting.

The Flash 256 Strong Arms

Strong Arms for only $4!! Seems like a good deal. Cheap super hero muscles aside, I was more interested in the trinkets at the top of the page. X-Ray Glasses, flesh eating plants, joy buzzers and exploding pens! Those are the perfect toys for a young prankster. At some point in my youth I had the joy buzzer, it worked OK, but wasn’t as painful as the picture shows.

The Flash 256 Sea Monkeys

This is the granddaddy of ads in comic books. Super Sea-Monkeys! The first time I saw this ad I wanted them. It took awhile to convince my parents they should buy them for me. When I finally got the Sea-Monkeys it included an aquarium as well. They were as awesome!

I would sit and watch them swim around, feed them nightly and love them and hug them and call them George…OK, not quite. Sea-Monkeys were the best and for me, they lived up to the hype of all the ads I saw over the years. Seeing this ad again makes me want to buy some now. I wonder if they still sell them??

The Flash 256 Posters

I liked posters growing up. Unfortunately I didn’t have any hanging in my room. Instead I had a full size Railroad crossing sign (complements of dad’s job on the railroad) and a Grain Belt beer sign. Not sure how I was able to have a beer sign in my room and not a Farrah Fawcett poster, but that’s life. Of the four posters for sale in this ad, I’d take the obvious choice of Farrah with the Rocky poster coming in a close second.

The Flash 256 Models

I loved models when I was a kid. I wasn’t into car models though. I gravitated toward airplanes, ships and tanks. F-16 Falcons, SR-71 Blackbirds, A1 Abrams, Sherman Tanks, just about any vehicle except cars. Don’t know why, they just didn’t appeal to me. I even had a model paint holder that held over 60 bottles of paint! I started out with these snap together models and moved on to the more advanced models. I’d love to get my hands on the Huey Chopper in the picture.

The Flash 256 Carters

I also loved to color as a kid. Getting a set with a dozen giant posters to color would have been awesome! And you can glue them all together with the included Stix-A-Lot glue stick. Catchy name. The real problem with this ad is how you get the poster kit. The ad instructs you to go to the store and buy a pack of Carter’s Draws-a-lot crayons and then send in for the poster kit with the coupon in the crayon box. I don’t know about you but we had two brands of crayons in my town, Crayola and generic.

Carter’s did themselves a disservice by not including the coupon on this ad. As you can guess, I never got the posters. And for the record, I still haven’t seen a box of Carter’s Draws-a-lot crayons.

Until next time, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!

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About Pitfall Gary 26 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.