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We Finally Get A Winner in the Superman/Flash Races | CBR

This is “Always Kind of Wondered,” a feature spotlighting instances from comics where a comic book writer has clearly said, “Hey, why doesn’t Character X ever do Action Y?” The sort of things that typically occur when comic book fans grow up to become comic book writers, which wasn’t really a thing until the mid-1960s.

Today, we look at how we finally got a winner of the Superman/Flash race.

As noted in an earlier column, Carmine Infantino (who famously co-created the Barry Allen Flash and drew his adventures for a number of years) had the idea of finally giving the fans what they wanted and have Superman race the Flash. He naturally turned to Jim Shooter, one of the “Second generation” of DC writers who grew up reading DC Comics and thus had a true connection to the whole “Who WOULD win in a race?” debate. Shooter tackled the first Superman and Flash race in Superman #199 (art by Curt Swan and George Klein),

The issue ended with Superman and the Flash intentionally tying their charity race so that no gamblers would win any money…

A few months later, they raced again in Flash #175 (by E. Nelson Bridwell, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito)…

They intentionally kept it unresolved who won…

By this point, fans were now more than a little perturbed by TWO races having been done without a winner, as the debate kept going on (Julius Schwartz even posted some of the letters they were getting in World’s Finest Comics)…

Schwartz had recently taken over World’s Finest Comics in 1970 and he decided to make it a Superman team-up book (a counterpart to Batman’s Brave and the Bold team-up series) and the first team-up was a two-part race between Superman and Flash in World’s Finest Comics #198-199 (by Denny O’Neil, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella).

The heroes raced through time but both get injured and they literally crawl their way to the finish line (which also, in turn, helped save time itself)…

It’s a bit of a meaningless win for the Flash, but hey, he DID win.

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future edition of Always Kind of Wondered, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

In a feature spotlighting writers using plots fans thought of for years, CSBG shows how DC finally had Superman and Flash's races have a winner!

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