Comics Reviews: Flash 251, Wonder Woman 233, Jonah Hex 3

Flash 251 coverFlash #251 – “Vengeance on Ice” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Joe Giella

This issue continues directly from last ish—sort of. Last issue we clearly saw Iris getting frozen by Golden Glider, using her brother’s new cold gun (as revenge for Flash’s hand in her boyfriend, the Top’s death). But now we see Flash escape from the energy cage Glider had surrounded him with, just a little too late to save Iris from her frozen fate. But save her he does; Flash somehow takes the hit instead and he’s partially freeze-dried. Iris is despondent—way to protect your husband’sIris freaks out secret identity, Iris—but Flash soon revives himself by vibrating (no wonder she loves him so much) and takes her home after she passes out. They wonder why the blast affected Flash instead of Iris, but can’t figure it out. We soon learn the truth though, as we see Golden Glider tinkering with the gun. She realizes it can only be attuned to one person at a time, and since it was already attuned to Flash, it only affected him. I guess that means Iris was never really in danger. Glider works to adjust the gun so it will affect Iris, and we get some flashbacks of her stealing the gun from her brother, Captain Cold. Speaking of Cold, we see him in prison, pissed off at his sister for stealing his gun and getting him caught by the Flash. He’s so worked up that he suddenly keels over and is later pronounced dead by prison doctors. They say his body temperature is thirty degrees too low—in other words, Captain Cold froze to death. Gee, I wonder if it’s some kind of Iris grabbedtrick? Barry and Iris are discussing the news the next day and they’re so fascinated that they don’t even notice a top hovering over Iris’s head. When the top drags Iris into the air Barry finally pays attention and changes to Flash right there in the street. He chases the top and grabs Iris from its tractor beam. Glider speaks through Iris and tells Flash she’s going to make him pay for Roscoe Dillon’s death (Dillon was the Top’s secret identity) by killing Iris, the woman Flash loves. Barry takes Iris home, then does some research at the police station. He gets a line on Golden Glider, but gets a phone call from his old girlfriend, Daphne Dean. You remember her, right? Old flame of Barry’s who’s an actress now, pretended to have amnesia so she could test her acting skills on him until Iris figured it out? He goes to see Daphne at the airport and asks her for aCaptain Cold escapes favour. At the prison morgue, we see Captain Cold escaping (see, I told you it was a trick!) by turning himself into a block of ice and freezing the guards. He goes to get revenge on Flash and Glider. Speaking of Flash, we see Barry and Iris pondering an invitation to the ice show. Barry knows it’s a trap because his research uncovered the fact that Lisa Snart, aka Golden Glider, aka Captain Cold’s sister, aka Top’s girlfriend, is a star in the show. They know she’ll be gunning for Iris, but don’t seem too worried about it. At the ice show, Golden Glider zaps Iris, but is mystified when the freeze-dry gun doesn’t affect her. Flash shows up to grab Glider, but her pissed off brother also makes the scene and they start fighting.Flash vs Glider vs Cold Their sibling rivalry distracts them enough for Flash (who’s also wearing ice skates!) to freeze them together by skating around them and covering them with ice shavings. Of course, the “Iris” who got zapped was actually Daphne is disguise, and since the gun wasn’t calibrated for her molecules, it had no effect. Flash and Daphne get a standing ovation from the crowd, which I’m sure won’t make Iris jealous at all.last page

Noticeable Things:

  • I guess I can buy the stuff about Cold’s gun needing to be attuned to a certain person’s molecular structure, and I can even swallow that Captain Cold would be able to program the gun for Flash’s molecules, since they’ve been enemies forever. But how would Golden Glider be able to match the gun to Iris’s molecular structure? Did she grab some of Iris’s DNA when we weren’t looking?
  • Barry says Golden Glider’s “intense, driven look” reminds him of Batman. Or maybe it’s the legs?
  • After saving Iris for he second time in less than 24 hours, Flash thinks people might get suspicious. No shit. I’m surprised Barry even has a secret identity anymore.
  • Glider speaks through Iris “via a remote hookup between my flying top and Iris Allen’s vocal chords”. I know it’s comic book science, but that’s a bit much.vocal chords
  • Golden Glider saw Flash and Iris together last issue and immediately assumed Flash was having an affair with Barry Allen’s wife. It seriously never occurred to her that Flash might BE Barry Allen? This is a woman who can reprogram cold guns to match people’s molecules, and use a top to take over someone’s vocal chords, but she can’t put two and two together?When Cold escapes prison, he says he put himself in a “sub-zero metabolic trance” to simulate death. I guess I can buy that, but how did he turn himself into Iceman all of a sudden? Don’t all Captain Cold’s “powers” come from his cold guns?
  • At the end, Daphne pulls off an “Iris” rubber mask that’s very lifelike. I’m not even gonna ask where that came from, or why Barry would have one lying around.

Wonder Woman 233 coverWonder Woman #233 – “Seadeath” – Gerry Conway/Don Heck/Vince Colletta

We start out with Wonder Woman pounding the crap out of some saboteurs at a munitions factory in Alexandria, Virginia. Of course, they’re Nazis and Wonder Woman uses her lasso to get the truth out of one about their stateside contact. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know much, only the code name of the traitor (Armageddon) and a location where they were to meet. WW learns there’s been a lot of sabotage lately and says she’ll help any way she can. She switches to Diana Prince and goes to hang out with Steve Trevor, who’s been depressed after being injured during a weapons test. We next see a ship out at sea being attacked by a pod of whales that seem pretty pissed off.whale attack Where’s Aquaman when you need him? The whales smash the ship to shit and everyone jumps off. A Nazi U-boat shows up and its Captain (named Strung) brags about being the one who directed the whales to attack. His crew slaughters the survivors of the shipwreck and they take off, but one man is left alive among the wreckage. Wonder Woman goes out in her invisible plane to look for Strung’s U-boat and she’s attacked by flying fish. She knocks herself out (is this a Green Lantern comic?) and wakes up as Strung’s prisoner, tied with her own lasso. She gives him some patriotic jive and he chains her to an anchor and blasts her out of a torpedo tube. She busts loose and smashes the sub enough that it has to surface. She decks Strung and disarms most of his crew, but not before they can summon a sea siren, which looks like a big-ass C’thulhu-ish (or maybe Kirby-ish) The monster plucks WW off the sub and dives into the ocean. Back in Washington, Steve Trevor is mugged right out of his apartment by the Nazi saboteurs. On the U-boat, Strung gloats about the monster devouring Wonder Woman and we see a guy named Friedrich, who seems to have something to do with controlling the monster. Strung treats Friedrich like shit, and we find out he’s Jewish. We see the monster under water, with Wonder Woman in its mouth trying to keep from being chewed up and swallowed. We’ll have to wait till next issue to see what happens.

Noticeable Things:

  • This issue has a cool cover by Gray Morrow, which reminds me ofWW in torpedo tube early D&D art, with Wonder Woman in the monster’s mouth.
  • Aren’t saboteurs supposed to be inconspicuous? These guys are dressed up for Halloween. And wouldn’t it make more sense to recruit homegrown Nazis instead of sending guys over from Germany?
  • When Wonder Woman is shoved in the torpedo tube, she’s chained to an anchor. How the hell would an anchor fit in there?

Jonah Hex 3 coverJonah Hex #3 – “The Fugitive” – Mike Fleisher/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Last issue, Hex was framed for the triple killing of the sheriff and two deputies in Wyandott, Texas. Apparently, word’s gotten out, because there’s a Wanted poster on a tree saying anyone who brings Hex in—dead or alive—gets $10,000. A posse is already on his back and one of them wings him, but he takes off and we get a flashback to last issue of Ned Landon gunning down the lawmen, then being killed in turn by a mysterious man with a gold-topped cane. Hex hides in a creek as the posse passes over a wooden bridge, and Hex stumbles onto a lone cabin. The dude inside is blind (and a bit of a Bible-thumper), but he takes Hex in. Hex says his name is Jim Wilson and that the Hulk is after him—no, wait, that’s the wrong Jim Wilson. He says his horse was spooked by a snake and that’s how he got hurt. The old man (whose nameHex hides is Jacobs) tends Hex’s wounds and feeds him, saying his daughter lives there too but went into town for supplies. A knock at the door makes Hex run for the back room, pistol in hand. The sheriff and his posse are at the door, asking about Hex. Jacobs says he doesn’t know anything, so they leave a Wanted poster. Hex knows Jacobs isn’t stupid, and asks why he didn’t turn him in. Jacobs is a pacifist, a Quaker, who believes violence only begets more violence so handing Hex over to the sheriff to be lynched would be wrong. He says he wouldn’t condone violence even to save his own life. Just then, a Molotov cocktail comes flying through the window. Hex puts out the fire and Jacobs says a guy named Henson has been trying Hex blasts bad guysto get him off his land for a while. Hex dresses up like Jacobs and walks outside carrying the Bible. He guns down most of Henson’s men and the rest take off. When the last two men report back to Henson, he figures out who Hex is (thanks to the Wanted posters all over the place) and tells his men to get the sheriff out to Jacobs’ place the next day. He then starts to round up a bunch of his own men. The next day, we see Hex looking around Jacobs’ place, trying to figure out why Henson wants it so bad. He comes up empty, until he finds some weird blue rocks. Back at Jacobs’ cabin, his daughter is home. Hex tells them he found turquoise on their property and it could be worth a lot of money. They’re getting ready to eat, but the daughter (Faith) notices the Wanted poster left by the sheriff and freaks out. Jacobs says he knew all along who Hex was and they argue back and forth about turning him in. Faith heads out to get the sheriff, but she’s grabbed outside by Henson and his men.  Henson says if Jacobs sends Hex out and clears off his land, Faith will be returned unharmed. Hex tries to get Jacobs to cover him from the front window as he sneaks out the back to ambush Henson’s boys, but Jacobs refuses. He says he won’t participate in violence, even to save his own daughter. Hex goes out the back anywayHex blasts Henson's men and circles around behind Henson and his men. He guns most of them down, and Faith gets into the act by taking a chomp out of the guy’s hand who’s holding her. Hex shoots him too, and Faith warns him about the last gunman hiding on the roof. The gunman wounds Hex, but Hex puts him down, and Faith drags Hex inside the cabin. Jacobs says the bullet went right through and Hex should be fine, but just then the sheriff starts hammering on the door. The sheriff pushes his way inside and heads for the back room, but he’s too late … Hex is already gone. We see him riding through a canyon, still leaking blood like crazy and wondering where he can find someone to patch him up. We also see he’s about to be shot from ambush by … Jonah Hex! Huh? We’ll have to wait till next issue to see what’s up with that.last page

Noticeable Things:

  • The blind guy in the cabin helping Hex brings to mind the blind guy in Frankenstein, helping the monster hide out.
  • Once Hex knew Jacobs wasn’t going to turn him in, why did he leave the Wanted poster lying on the table? He must’ve known the daughter would see it.
  • I know bad guys are stupid, but wouldn’t Henson have sent someone to cover the back door of the cabin?
  • Where’d Hex get the horse he was riding at the end? He showed up at Jacobs’ place on foot … unless he hid his horse someplace nearby.

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