Jack Flash

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Beano strip
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Jack Flash
Current/last artistDudley Watkins
First appearanceIssue 355
(19 February 1949)
Last appearanceBeanoMAX issue 1
Regular charactersJack Flash

Jack Flash was a character in the British comic The Beano. The strip starred a flying boy from the planet Mercury.[1] The character sported four tiny wings on his ankles and this is thought to be the source of his flying ability. The strips first series began in 1949 in issue 355. This first series was originally drawn by Dudley Watkins but in issue 367 Fred Sturrock took over drawing the strip. This first series was set in the fictional Cornish town of Colbay. This first series ended in 1949 in issue 388.[2] However this was not the end of the character as he reappeared for a second series in 1950 once again drawn by Fred Sturrock. This second series lasted for 20 issues (from issue 410 to issue 429) and involved Jack Flash babysitting four children whilst their parents are away tending a sick relative.[3]

The third series of Jack Flash began in 1951 in the issue after Dennis the Menace's first appearance. This series was drawn by Paddy Brennan, who drew a number of different adventure strips for The Beano, and for the first time featured Jack Flash's family. This third series was entitled Jack Flash and the Terrible Twins and not only featured Jack Flash's parents, Ma and Pa Flash, but the Terrible Twins, Jet and Jack, also.[4] Some of these strips ended in a way made almost formulaic by later Beano comic strips that is corporal punishment with one strip ending with the Terrible Twins being given a mid air spanking.[5]

After Jack Flash's third series the character disappeared from the comic for a number of years until resurfacing in 1955 with a fourth series. This fourth series involved pupils from the fictional Helmsford School being marooned in darkest Africa after Jack Flash's spaceship crashes during a geography lesson. This fourth series lasted until 1956 and was once again drawn by Paddy Brennan.[6]

After the end of Jack Flash's fourth series it wasn't long before a new Jack Flash series began, once again drawn by Paddy Brennan. Beginning in September 1956 this new series lasted only ten issues and was entitled The Happy-Go-Luckies and featured Jack helping the Luckie family move from Kent to Africa.[7] The sixth series was the final series drawn by Paddy Brennan and was entitled Jack's the Boy. This series began in 1957 and lasted thirteen issues and featured Jack Flash helping pupils from the fictional Moorfield School win a football championship so they can win funds for their school.[8]

Jack Flash's seventh and final series began and ended in 1958. This final series, drawn by Andy Hutton, saw Jack Flash helping capture an escaped circus lion.[1] After the characters disappearance in 1958 the character rarely appeared however the character's legacy still remained as the strip was one of the longest running adventure strips in The Beano and in the DC Thomson archive was found a mock cover of a Jack Flash comic.[9] Although the character has disappeared from the Beano he still occasionally appears for example on the back cover of the 2000 Beano Annual,[10] in the Beano retirement home [11] and most recently he had his own strip in the 2003 Beano Summer Special.[12] A new version of Jack also appeared in BeanoMAX issue 1 this time drawn by Tom Paterson.[13] In this strip the character was redesigned and the strip was more comedic in nature than the earlier adventure stories the character featured in. This strip also featured crossovers with two other Beano comic strips Billy Whizz and Calamity James. The character was not just confined to the pages of the Beano with Jack Flash also having had a series in Nutty [14] and a female version of Jack Flash, named Jackie Flash, appeared in the DC Thomson comic Mandy.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  2. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  3. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 315. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  4. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  5. ^ Beano Book 1953
  6. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 322. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  7. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  8. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 324. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  9. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9. 
  10. ^ The Beano Book 2000
  11. ^ Beano issue 3093 dated 27 October 2001
  12. ^ Beano Special No.4 - The Beano Summer Special published in 2003
  13. ^ BeanoMAX issue 1 dated March 2007
  14. ^ http://www.beano.com/retro-beano/jack-flash?decade=1940
  15. ^ http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/j/jakiflsh.htm