Comics Review: Flash 249, Wonder Woman 231, Jonah Hex 2

Flash 249 coverFlash #249 – “A Hero Named Super!” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Frank McLaughlin

This one concludes the Master Villain story from last issue, when some punk kid drew a cartoon villain that was then brought to life by a curious alien and slapped Flash around. You know, the usual. This issue starts with Barry talking in his sleep about his high school girlfriend, Daphne Dean (who we met last issue and who has some kind of sinister secret). Iris listens to Barry talking about he and Daphne messing around (and kinda gets into it), but before he can get to the good part, the phone rings. It’s Master Villain, who somehow knows Flash’s secret identity, challenging Flash to meet him at a phone booth downtown. When Flash arrives, Master Villain attacks and almost pulverizes him. Master V thenFlash in Metropolis sends a disembodied fist after Flash, who runs off to Metropolis so he can phase through Superman and let the fist slam into Supes’ head and dissolve. Back home, Daphne puts the moves on Barry. He freaks and she says she was trying to jog her memory. Barry goes next door to play bridge (wow, the excitement never stops for the Allens, does it?) and his neighbours talk about how weird their son’s been acting lately. We get a flashback of the kid drawing Master Villain and the alien entity bringing the drawing to life. After the bridge match, Barry and Iris go home and she’s pretty mad about Daphne. She’s about to get madder, since Daphne’s sleeping on their couch. Before Iris can kill Barry and Daphne, Master Villain shows up and challenges Flash again. He also tosses him through the window.

Fight at the Allens
What do you think Barry’s insurance premiums are like?

Flash overhears the neighbour’s kid talking about how he “created” Master Villain and confronts him. The kid admits he did the original drawing, but says he’s come up with another drawing (cleverly called “Super Hero”) to fight Master V. The kid even has an idea how the Super Hero could beat Master Villain. Flash shows up for the fight dressed as Flash pounds Master VillainSuper Hero with a dummy of Master Villain which he pummels thoroughly. Thanks to Super Hero’s “voodoo power”, whatever happens to the dummy happens to the real Master Villain. The alien finally gets tired of having the shit kicked out of him and takes off. Master Villain fades into nothingness and Flash explains that he was actually pounding the dummy and Master V using his super speed. When he goes home, Iris isn’t there. We soon see her lurking in the bushes in the park, spying on Daphne, who’s talking to her manager about how she’s faking her amnesia around Barry. Why? We’ll have to wait till next issue for the answer to that burning question.

Noticeable Things:

  • The “Barry talking in his sleep” thing isn’t new; it was firsttalking in sleep referenced on Barry and Iris’s wedding night when Barry talked in his sleep and Iris first discovered his secret. There’s even a one panel flashback of that, though I’m thinking Iris’s reference to the “fastest man alive” on their wedding night might’ve meant something else.
  • Actually, I find the implication of that particular story interesting … apparently Barry and Iris never banged before their wedding night … or he never spent the night, anyway.
  • The Allens have some really weird lights in their bedroom. They kinda look like track lights, but they’re mounted on the wall, and judging by the size of them compared to Iris’s hand, they’re almost fucking klieg lights! Plus, wouldn’t they constantly be hitting their heads on them if they were right over the headboard like that?lights
  • Why did Flash have to go all the way to Metropolis to get rid of the fist? If the fist couldn’t phase through stuff, then he could’ve just gone through the closest wall, and if the fist could phase, why didn’t it phase through Clark?
  • Barry and Iris’s neighbours are named Fred and Ethel … they don’t look like the Mertzes, though.
  • In the flashback, the alien entity says “If you’ve entered one human, you’ve entered them all.” He must’ve worked in the porn industry.
  • During the fight in the Allens’ living room, Daphne never wakes up. She must’ve been drunk or something.

Wonder woman 231 coverWonder Woman #231 – “This War Has Been Cancelled” – Martin Pasko/Bob Brown/Vince Colletta

More WW II adventures of the Earth-2 Wonder Woman. We start with a flashback, showing a couple of tanks fighting outside a pyramid. A shell blows a hole in the pyramid and both tanks are obliterated by … something. Apparently, opening the pyramid to the air allowed a mummy to awaken and throw off her bandages. She turns out to be a long-forgotten queen called Osira, and she’s kinda pissed off that everyone just left her in the pyramid for 3,000 years.Osira She blasts the pyramid and takes off. Amidst the rubble, we see an ancient bust of … Steve Trevor? In Washington, a pyramid appears in place of the Capitol Dome … I wonder who could be causing that? Steve goes to check it out and Diana changes to Wonder Woman. Inside the Capitol, some Attacked by planesSenator is saying that Pearl Harbor was a “minor misunderstanding” and asking for Congress to cease hostilities against all the Axis powers. Wonder Woman yanks the pyramid off the dome, which turns everyone inside back to their usual bellicose selves. Steve says peace has broken out all over the world, and a bunch of ships, tanks, planes, and subs have been disintegrating. They head to Egypt (the pyramid on the Capitol dome being a rather obvious clue) and are attacked by British and GermanWW fights Osira planes when they arrive. Wonder Woman takes care of them and heads inside the pyramid, where she runs into Osira. They mix it up and Osira gets the upper hand, since WW can’t seem to penetrate her pyramidal force field. Wonder Woman wakes up imprisoned in another force field and we get a rundown of Osira’s origin—she and her honey from another dimension showed up on Earth ages ago, helped the people with their “pyramid power” and advanced knowledge, the people ended up turning on them and imprisoning them in the pyramid—you know, the usual stuff. Outside, Steve gets knocked out (what a shock!) by Osira’s mind-controlled minions and dragged into the pyramid. Osira says she’ll bring peace to the planet as she and her mate did millennia ago. WW says the JSA will stop her, but it turns out Osira’s already captured a bunch of JSAers. And just to add salt to the wound, she puts the moves on Steve, who is the spitting image of her ancient paramour—and I gotta say, I don’t think Steve minds all that much.Osira and Steve We’ll have to wait until next time to see what happens.

Noticeable Things:

  • Wonder Woman somehow hears what the Senator is saying inside the Capitol when she’s outside in her plane.
  • I’m not sure I buy Wonder Woman’s argument about a forced peace being bad. She may be right about it being impossible to stop people hating each other, but a peace accord in 1942 could’ve saved a lot of grief later on.No peace
  • I guess the pyramid they confront Osira in is a different one from the one she blew up?

Jonah Hex 2 coverJonah Hex #2 – “The Lair of the Parrot” – Michael Fleisher/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

This issue features the first appearance of Hex’s recurring foe, El Papagayo aka The Parrot. It starts out in Wyandott, Texas with Hex getting arrested for a holdup and dragged to jail. Turns out the holdup charge was bogus and a Secret Service agent named Ned Landon wants Hex’s help to catch the Mexican outlaw known as El Papagayo. Papagayo’s been robbing banks, Army posts, gold shipments … and killing a shitload of people while he was at it. The government is worried Papagayo might gain enough support to overthrow Diaz and take over Mexico. Landon says they’ll give Hex $10,000 and drop the false holdup charge if he goes to the Parrot’s hideout, pretends to join, and reports back on whatever the bandido is planning. Landon gives Hex a couple crates of rifles to “impress” Papagayo with (saying they’ll spread the word the rifles were stolen from an Army convoy) and sends Hex on his way. Landon then guns down the sheriff and his deputies … that’s what happens when you trust those government guys.Landon shoots sheriff Ten days later, Hex is ambushed in the Villa Rojo canyon … but he turns the tables and ambushes the bandidos. He rides into El Papagayo’s stronghold and shows the bandit chief the guys he caught. Papagayo’s nothex shoots bandits too happy with them, so he kills both of them. Hex shows him the rifles and Papagayo tries to strong arm him, but Hex wastes a bunch of his men. That impresses the Parrot, so he asks Hex to stay for supper and some entertainment. Unfortunately, Papagayo’s men discover the rifles have been sabotaged (the firing pins are missing), which is a complete surprise to Hex. Papagayo pulls his gun and he and Hex fight. Hex steals a horse and takes off. He realizes Landon sabotaged the rifles and sent him to El Papagayo to get Hex escapeskilled, so he heads back to Wyandott to find out why. But when he gets there, he finds a new sheriff in charge and the whole town howling for his blood because they think he’s the one who killed the old sheriff and his deputies. Hex takes off again, thinking he’ll have to track down Ned Landon to clear himself. But that’s going to be difficult, as we see Landon reporting to his boss in a run-down barn about how he set Hex up. The boss thanks him, then shoots him; poetic justice, I guess. The boss walks off, contemplating Hex’s suffering and inevitable death. More on that next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • We don’t get to see who the big boss man is (though we do get a look at his nifty cane), or why he wants revenge on Hex. Those questions will be answered in upcoming issues, but readers of Weird Western Tales can probably guess who it cane
  • Garcia-Lopez’s art continues to be brilliant.Hex in canyon

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