Comics Reviews: Flash 252, Wonder Woman 234, Green Lantern 96

Flash 252 coverFlash #252 – “Double Dose of Danger” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Frank McLaughlin

This one starts with Sue Dibny (wife of Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man) recounting the story in a flashback. We see a scuzzy-looking dude sneaking up on Sue and propositioning her. She kicks his ass and it turns out to be Ralph testing his gangster disguise. No wonder Dr. Light got so close, Sue probably thought he was Ralph fucking around. Ralph puts his face back to normal (or what passes for normal with him) and prepares to go undercover to infiltrate the hilariously-named Chane Gang. But just as he’s toasting Sue with a shot of Gingold, he disappears. We pop into the present where Sue is recounting all this to Barry and Iris Allen. Barry says he’ll do whatever he can to find Ralph, but after Sue leaves Barry confesses to Iris that he was the one who made Ralph disappear, whisking him away at super speed. We get another set of flashbacks as Barry explains things. Barry had been on his way to see Ralph when he passed the site of the Chane Gang’s latest holdup and grabbed Ralph so the two of them could tackle the Gang together. Ralphfighting robbers finished sucking back his Gingold and they took on the bank robbers. They literally couldn’t lay a hand on the thieves and realized they’d been fighting holograms. The Chane Gang was actually just one dude with a special hologram projector. They caught the real thief and recovered the loot, but half the money was missing. They couldn’t figure out how the holograms stole the other half, but Ralph got a brainstorm and took off. He’s been missing ever since. Barry finishes his story and leaves to find Ralph. Flash zips all over the city, but Ralph’s gangster disguise is so good, Flash doesn’t recognize him. Ralph has taken out an ad in the classifieds to smoke out the other member of the Chane Gang. Ralph (still dressed like a hood) meets up with him and tells him he knows the guy’s secret; the robbers were identical twins, so when Flash and Ralph caught one of them, the other got away with the loot. Before he can ventilate Ralph for knowing the secret, Ralph impresses the guy by stretching out his gun barrel. stretchingFlash tells Sue he couldn’t find Ralph, but after he leaves she turns on the TV and sees Ralph in his hoodlum disguise at the airport. There’s a newscast about a new super-sonic plane and Ralph’s hanging out in the crowd. When Flash gets home, Iris is watching the newscast too and the SST suddenly melts all over the tarmac. At the airport, Ralph brags to his new crook friend about how well his “elastic touch” worked. Flash showsFlash vs Molder up and confronts them. Ralph whips off his disguise to reveal a weird costume and says his name is the Molder. He gooifies the tarmac, trapping Flash, who thinks he recognizes Molder’s voice. He vibrates out of the melted pavement and decks Molder, whose face goes back to normal, revealing him as Ralph Dibny. Flash is in a state of shock and Ralph takes advantage of it to liquefy him. You heard me right, Ralph melted his best friend. We’ll have to wait till next issue to see what happens.Flash melted

Noticeable Things:

    • The super-sonic plane at Central City airport looks a lot like the Concorde. The cost of the plane is given as $34 million—that’d probably be the cost of a ticket nowadays.
    • When Ralph reveals his Molder costume, I guess his face is meant to be different from usual, but he looks a lot like the real Ralph to me.
    • There’s a recurring gag about Barry taking off so fast that Iris can’t tell if he kissed her goodbye or not. It ain’t the kissing she should be worried about.

      Iris wonders
      He didn’t even take time to bang me … or did he?

 

Wonder Woman 234 coverWonder Woman #234 – “And Death My Destiny” – Gerry Conway/Don Heck/Joe Giella

This one continues directly from last issue with Wonder Woman about to be devoured by a sea monster that was summoned by a Jewish guy (Friedrich) with psychic powers who’s working for a Nazi U-boat captain named Strung because Strung’s holding the guy’s kids hostage … got all that? Wonder Woman gives the monster the bends by making it rise and dive numerous times. She guides it toward Strung’s U-boat and jumps out of its mouth when it surfaces.WW escapes monster Strung blasts the monster with torpedoes and it takes off. Wonder Woman is floating unconscious in the water and Strung takes her prisoner and heads back toward Germany. We now get a continuation of the B-plot from last issue, with the saboteurs bringing a kidnapped Steve Trevor to a power plant near Washington, D.C. To meet their leader, Armageddon. Wonder Woman wakes up with her bracelets chained. She freaks out at Friedrich, thinking he’s working with the Nazis and he tells her he’s only helping them because they have his kids. If it wasn’t for his psychic ability to control sea creatures, he’d be in a death camp. Strung finds a merchant convoy and brings Friedrich and WW fightsWonder Woman up on deck. He forces Friedrich to summon a pack of sharks, which somehow capsize the merchant ship (!) and start devouring the crew. Wonder Woman freaks and starts fighting, in spite of supposedly being helpless because her bracelets were chained by a man. She gets the Nazis to shoot the chains off her wrists and goes to save the sailors from the sharks. She manages to turn the sharks on each other and rescues the sailors, then calls her invisible plane and heads for Germany. We see Steve Trevor in captivity, having had the shit kicked out of him. He grabs a (convenient) toolbox and bashes a guard in the head, then escapes. Armageddon doesn’t seem too surprised … almost like he let Steve go. In England, Strung attacks a Royal Navy base, making Friedrich send a mass invasion of sharks to destroy the base. Wonder Woman shows up with two kids in her plane … I wonder whose they are? Yeah, she rescuedFriedrich sacrifices self Friedrich’s kids to loose Strung’s hold on him. She fights the Nazis, but Strung has her golden lasso, which he took off her when she was unconscious. Before Strung can use it on her, Friedrich summons the sea monster again and it crashes into the U-boat, taking the boat, Strung, and Friedrich himself to a watery grave. Wonder Woman tells Friedrich’s kids that he may have been weak when he was alive, but he died a hero. I’m sure that’ll be a great comfort to them as they grow up without parents.

Noticeable Things:

  • Armageddon has a very “Marvel” look to him; he looks like he stepped right out of an issue of Invaders.
  • I have no idea how Wonder Woman found the right kids in a Nazi concentration camp and brought them back so fast.

Green Lantern 96 coverGreen Lantern #96 – “How Can an Immortal Die?” – Denny O’Neil/Mike Grell/Vince Colletta

This one starts out with Katma Tui falling through space toward Earth. Her aim is pretty good (or she’s really lucky) because she comes down just outside Hal Jordan’s house (or maybe it’s Carol Ferris’s house … whatever). Green Arrow and Black Canary are just leaving and Arrow saves Katma from splattering. But a weird-looking alien with a Lantern ring tries to grab her, so Arrow jumps him. He’s about to get his ass kicked when Hal shows up and the alien takes off. Katma mumblesGA fights alien something about the Guardians being in trouble on Oa, so Hal takes off leaving Arrow and Canary to look after Katma. They put her to bed, but she doesn’t seem to be doing too well. She manages to say that Hal shouldn’t go to Oa (a little late for that!), so Arrow tries to contact him, but his signal can’t get through. In space, Hal runs across a huge spaceship and gets jumped by a freaky-looking alien. As far as I can tell, it’s the same one who went after Katma on Earth. Hal figures he’s another renegade GL like Sinestro (since he has a Lantern ring), so he captures him and heads for big shipOa, leaving the spaceship unexplored. On Oa, a whole bunch of his fellow GLs are there and they attack him out of the blue. He tries to get away, but the other GLs erect a force field around the planet. On Earth, Katma wakes up and says the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps have been taken over by some kind of evil entity. Parallax? Nah, too soon. On Oa, Hal gets away from the attacking GLs and heads into the Guardians’ citadel. They ask for his ring and, like an idiot, he hands it over, only to find out the Guardians have gone evil too. He starts beating the shit out of them and the entranced GLs come busting in. Hal pounds GuardiansThey try to blast Hal, but he tosses one of the Guardians into the path of their beams and he gets zapped instead. That brings the Guardians and the GLs to their senses. They realize they were being controlled somehow and were released when the Guardian got zapped. The Guardian is dead, but Guardians are supposed to be immortal, so what the hell?dead Guardian We’ll have to wait until next issue to find out.

Noticeable Things:

  • Hal says he’s come to a major decision, but we don’t find out what it is until next issue.
  • Arrow says the doctor couldn’t help Katma because he was unfamiliar with her alien physiology; no shit. Can you imagine being that doctor? Not only do you have to make a house call, but when you get there, the patient is an alien! I think his bill’s gonna be high.

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