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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Fidel Castro Threw the Flash a Birthday Party

by  in Comic News Comment
I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Fidel Castro Threw the Flash a Birthday Party

Every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, based on a suggestion from John Trumbull, we take a look at the time that Fidel Castro threw the Flash a birthday party…

Things started back in Flash #8 (by Mike Baron, Butch Guice and Larry Mahlstedt), where Wally West discovers that his father was a member of the Manhunters and that he had Wally’s mother killed. Luckily, Wally’s mom survived the boat accident his father had arranged and she went to go live with Wally.

Fast-forward to Flash #21 (by William Messner-Loebs, Greg LaRocque and Larry Mahlstedt) and the next major DC crossover, Invasion! William Messner-Loebs had recently taken over the title and he had a much different approach to the book than Baron, as Loebs tried to tone things down a bit while also ramping the humor up a bit (Wally’s mom, for instance, became more and more of a comic relief character). Loebs tried to play up the idea that Wally’s dad was just the sort of guy who falls in with bad crowds because he’s always looking for the next best thing (Warren Zeven reference intended).

So Wally’s dad alerts the CIA that they need the Flash’s help in Cuba, as the shapeshifting Durlans are invading the country (as part of an overall alien invasion of Earth). The CIA flies Wally and his friend Chunk (who can transport matter to another dimension – Baron had him as a villain and began to reform him before he left the book and Loebs picked it up and made Chunk a flat out good guy) down to Cuba (they are shot down by Durlans – their pilot is badly injured) and then they encounter Castro and his people…

Later that night…

Who saved Wally? We’ll come back to that in a bit.

But first, Wally helps to expose the Durlan invasion on national TV…

So he’s now a hero in Cuba. However, his dad suggests they start selling anti-Durlan merchandise and Wally calls him pathetic and leaves him. Unbeknownst to Wally, his father is then seemingly killed.

Okay, so now the person who saved Wally was Mark Shaw, the mercenary known as the Manhunter. Wally’s mom had hired him to keep an eye on Wally (she figured Shaw owed her for the crap she went through with her husband being part of the evil Manhunters, so she doesn’t tell Shaw she doesn’t actually have any money to pay him).

In Manhunter #8 (by John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Frank Springer and Pablo Marcos), we see that Shaw had been helping Wally out behind the scenes all throughout the events of Flash #21, as Shaw is fighting off Durlans (if it weren’t for the fact that this was an official crossovers, I’d count this as an example of my Our Lives Together column)…

So now Wally is a hero in Cuba. So what does that mean? Well, that means that Castro is going to throw him his 21st birthday party! Go to the next page to check out the insanity of Wally’s Cuban birthday party!

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