Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fast Talk: Radio-Reception Watch

Radio-Reception Watch: Never underestimate the brilliance of Barry Allen. He may have been endowed with genuine superpowers when he was struck by that errant bolt of lightning but our hero possessed some amazing abilities even before that fateful lab accident. Don't let that drab tie, humdrum lab coat, and his bureaucratic surroundings fool you. This is a man who uses his spare time to develop revolutionary new technologies as a personal hobby! Here we see Barry tinkering with his wristwatch. Is he changing the battery, perhaps? Nothing so mundane! In fact, Barry has invented a "radio-reception watch" that allows him to "keep in touch with the battle of police against crime--all over the world!" Indeed, the first transmissions to be heard are intercepted from Scotland Yard! The practical improbabilities of such a device are obvious, of course. Even Dick Tracy's legendary radio wristwatch surely had a limited range. Given that this radio-reception watch likely represents an early prototype for the gadgetry that the scarlet speedster would later install in his winged earpieces, we can only image what sort of communication signals the fastest man alive is capable of intercepting while in costume! (Think about that the next time you're trying to have a private conversation on your cell phone.) Yes, Barry's a bright spark alright, and it's important to remember that his scientific genius owes nothing to those electrified chemicals. It's amazing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. Stay in school, kids!

Issue: Showcase #13 (March-April 1958)

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