Saturday, January 22, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 22: Happy birthday, Top!

Born on this date in the DC Universe: super* villain The Top! (*Your mileage on the adjective "super" may vary.)

from Super DC Calendar 1976

As the story begins, our attention is drawn to suspect new arrival to Central City, Anton Previn. Don't let your adopted daughter marry her stepfather, Anton!

from "Beware the Atomic Grenade!" in The Flash (1959 series) #122 (DC, August 1961), script by John Broome, pencils by Carmine Infantino, inks by Joe Giella

Wait, is the Top's birthday 1/22 because he debuted in issue #122?

Soon after, mild-manned police scientist Barry Allen ACAB discovers a new criminal at large in Central City. Ya might as well face it, Flash: things were okay until you came along. You're attracting a new super class of crook!

The Top tries his tremendous twirling talents and terrible trick toy tops to toxically terrorize the townspeople! Also, rob banks, but there's not much alliteration there.

Aha! I've got this story figured out. New arrival in town (and mackin' on Iris too!), new criminal in town...this could only mean one thing: a predictable Silver Age ending! JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHERS.

Barry apprehends the Top! Using, I dunno, super speed or somethin'. I wasn't paying attention.

Wow, he's running so fast the page edges are burning up!

So now the Flash unmasks the Top and finds out that he actually is AntOH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD STORY

Ooh, you got me this time, John Broome. You caught me out. Very sneaky. But I shall have my revenge at guessing your twist endings later this year, yes I shall! (cackles insanely) Oh, and happy birthday, Top! (returns to bwah-ha-haing)

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