by Ben Weese
What is Public Domain?
"Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Examples include the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, most of the early silent films, the formulae of Newtonian physics, Serpent encryption algorithm and powered flight. The term is not normally applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission"."
Who is Captain Flash?
"Captain Flash was Keith Spencer, a science professor who lived in Atom City, a municipality located somewhere in western United States. As the name implies, lots of atomic research went on there. One day, Keith Spencer was a teaching a class when an experiment with radioactivity went horribly wrong. Keith bravely shielded his students with his own body, absorbing all the radiation. Although he survived the experience, he knew that the radiation would eventually kill him and prepared for a slow, painful death.
But to Keith's surprise and disbelief, he didn't die. In fact, the radiation seem to have made him feel stronger, faster, more resilient and generally better then ever before. Keith ran several experiments, not daring to allow himself a glimmer of hope, but the results came back the same. Keith clapped his hands and, to his amazement, this set off a miniature atomic explosion within his body. He became taller and more muscular, and his newfound abilities increased exponentially. Keith decided to use his powers to fight crime and protect the Atom City from anyone who tries to use the power of the atom for nefarious purposes as Captain Flash.
The effect of the atomic explosion were temporary. Whenever Keith needed to become Captain Flash, he had to clap his hands and his powers returned to their peak. Sometimes, the power ran out in the middle of the fight (the comics never established just how long they were supposed to last), but he could regain it by clapping his hands. He fought Eastern Block agents, aliens and supernatural creatures (most of which were after the research conducted in Atom City) He was nicknamed "America's Ace Defender." Ricky Davis, a student in Keith's class, didn't have any super powers, but he put on a costume and tagged along as Captain Flash's sidekick, Ricky. Mostly, it was out of a sense of obligation (after all, Keith did save his life).
Captain Flash was one of the several "transitional" heroes created between the decline of superheroes at the end of the Golden Age and the beginning of Silver Age. Like other heroes of his type, he was meant to test the waters for a superhero revival. Since it (obviously) didn't take, he only lasted for a few months."
Captain Flash, Eternal Youth:
I am now reaching the end of my years as I am now in my 80's and my body is riddled with cancer that baffles the doctors. It turns out the radiation that gave me such great powers and made me a super hero gave me cancer but also held it from killing me. However when I clapped my hands to change into Captain Flash I would put off radiation that eventually gave my sidekick Rick and my wife Cancer. The government is helping me out for all I have done for my country but I think they just want to use me to create a nuclear deterrent. There is a lovely lass who works with me and has even designed a suit for me that would have allowed me to use my powers without harming those I cared about. Years to late I guess but it is the thought that counts. Her name is Dr. Caitlin Snow and has claimed to work with meta humans before even a guy who seems to have stole part of my name known as The Flash. The Flash has been doing a lot of good and so I don't care that we share a name. Specially since I am now to old to fight, or so they tell me. I at least have been using my years of experience and knowledge of science to help where I can.
I came in early on Friday to get started working on the Captain Flash suit to tweak it here or there. Just thinking about the good old days when a new girl came in. I asked where Caitlin was and her mask shattered at the look of my concern. She burst out crying and told me that Caitlin had been taken by the Rogues, a group of bad guys normally fought by The Flash but he was out of town fighting with the Green Arrow. As I hugged this sobbing girl I looked down out my wrinkled hands and made up my mind what to do. I told the girl I would take care of it and she looked at me puzzled. I then had the girl leave the room and I clapped my hands together starting my atomic reaction to release my powers. It had been so long I thought something went wrong as I collapsed to the ground in pain. Turns out that another power I did not know I had was internal youth. I rapidly lost 60 years and was back to my prime, powers restored. I looked up at the new costume and suited up…
Stay tuned next week for the exciting conclusion of Captain Flash vs The Rogues.
**Captain Flash is a public domain character and can be written by anyone. All other characters are a parody from The Flash for entertainment purposes.**
More Golden Age Public Domain Comic Heroes