Comics Reviews: Flash 253, Wonder Woman 235

Flash 253 coverFlash #253 – “Don’t Mess With the Molder” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Frank McLaughlin

This one continues from last issue when Flash was melted by the Molder, who’s really Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny in disguise. Ralph went undercover as a crook, but somehow turned into a real criminal and wasted Flash. Iris sees it on TV and freaks out, and Sue (who knows about Ralph’s disguise) can’t believe her eyes. Ralph melts the tarmac around his erstwhile accomplice and takes off. He decides to catch a quick nap in a junkyard (!) and immediately starts having a sexy dream about Sue. She must be one hell of a lay. He alsoRalph is a prick dreams about last issue, giving us a recap. Iris goes to see Flash’s remains loaded into the meat wagon and then goes to work to compile a video tribute to Flash. Sue goes to see her and tells her the Molder is really Ralph, which makes Iris freak out again. Some seedy-looking guy is eavesdropping and figures he can use the information about Ralph going crooked to his advantage. Iris takes off (and Sue still can’t figure it out—some detective) and heads for the hospital where Flash’s remains are being kept. Iris sneaks into the room while the guard is distracted by her news report about Flash on TV; I guess that’s some kind of meta-sneakery. Iris figures she can bring Flash back from the dead. When Flash melted, part of his soggy ass formed the shape of a lightning bolt, so Iris applies a big jolt of electricity to the remains. She gets blown through the wall, but Flash comes back to life and saves her.Iris through the wall They go home and bang like rabbits (the caption is much more getting it oncircumspect, but that’s the gist of it). Next morning, Iris wakes to find Barry doing some research. He’s already been around Central City and all the way down to Mexico. Barry figures his super speed vibrations fucked up the gingold that Ralph was sucking back last issue, giving Ralph extra powers and turning him into an asshole. So Barry found a diseased gingo tree and says if he can inject Ralph with an extract from it the disease will kill the gingold present in Ralph’s system, making him a slightly less annoying good guy again. Iris calls Sue, but she’s being held hostage by the scumbags who overheard her talking to iris. They’re trying to use her to get Ralph to help them, but his memory is so screwed up he doesn’t recognize her … but he does thinkRalph back to normal there’s something familiar about her. Maybe they should’ve taken a full-body shot. Flash pounds the hostage takers and Sue tells him about the blackmail. At an art show by some Russian defector, the gang (including Ralph) attack and Ralph melts the Russian artist’s mural. Flash shows up and Molder attacks him again, but Ralph soon comes to his senses and the two of them team up to pound the Russian thugs. Apparently, Flash injected Ralph with the antidote a couple of pages back, when Ralph was melting the painting (which turned out to be a fake; the real painting was put away safe, in case you’re wondering).

Noticeable Things:

  • When they’re loading Flash into the coroner’s van, Iris is crying and carrying on … not a great way to preserve her husband’s secret ID. But if he’d really been dead, I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway.
  • Sue doesn’t know about Barry being the Flash, so I’m not sure why she went to Iris to tell her about Ralph being the Molder. Just because they’re friends? Because Iris is a reporter? You’d think Sue would want it kept quiet. And didn’t she wonder where the hell Barry was?
  • Apparently Barry’s mind was intact while his body was a puddle of goo.
  • I’m not sure why the Russian thugs thought melting the defector’s art was the best way to get back at him. Why not just kill him? Or drag him back to Russia?

WW 235 coverWonder Woman #235 – “The Biology Bomb” – Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

This one starts out with a bunch of Nazi saboteurs trying to blow up a train. Wonder Woman kicks all their asses and tosses the bomb into a river. Friedrich’s kids are on the train, but I’m not sure if that’s why the Nazis were blowing it up. You remember Friedrich—Jewish guy, could control sea creatures, sacrificed himself to stop Captain Strung last issue? Wonder Woman has brought his now-orphaned children to America, but has a hell of a time finding a place for them. The regular orphanage doesn’t want them because they’re Jewish, so she takes them to a place called Jerusalem Home. racist orphanageWe see Steve Trevor in hospital, recovering from his “escape” from the Nazi spies last issue (you do remember how the head spy, Armageddon, let Steve escape? Yeah, I knew you wouldn’t forget that). One of Steve’s doctors is Charles McNider aka Dr. Mid-Nite, who feels some weird abrasion on Steve’s arm and decides to look into it further—so to speak. AMcNider fights very Aryan-looking orderly watches McNider and later attacks him in the lab. McNider tosses a “blackout bomb” and changes to Dr. Mid-Nite, then kicks the Nazi’s ass. The punk spills that Armageddon doesn’t want Steve Trevor examined too closely and Mid-Nite realizes he’s stumbled into some heavy shit. Later, at a conference at the White House with President Roosevelt and a bunch of Allied generals, Steve freaks out and heads for the bathroom. Diana follows him, but he hulks out (actually, he looks more like Blockbuster than the Hulk) and starts pounding all the soldiers. He goes after Roosevelt and Wonder Woman slams him with her tiara, which causes him to bust through the wall and run away. Dr. Mid-Nite tracks Armageddon to a WW pounds mutantdeserted warehouse and pounds his Nazi minions, but Armageddon gets away. Twelve hours later, the Army has tracked the mutated Steve Trevor to the Washington Monument. Wonder Woman wants to confront him on her own before the Army starts blasting, but Dr. McNider warns her Steve’s humanity is probably all gone. She tries anyway, but mutie-Steve freaks out and starts smashing stuff. Wonder Woman yells that she loves him and that seems to get through to him, but it’s too late; a tank blasts him and the Muutorr falls over, dead. Wonder Woman is devastated … and we’ll have to wait till next issue to see what happens.

Noticeable Things:

  • Wearing purple uniforms with swastikas on the forehead is hardly inconspicuous … these guys aren’t very good saboteurs.
  • Wonder Woman feels guilty about hurting Steve in his hulkish form, but he was gonna kill the President. I know she loves him, but you gotta draw the line somewhere.
  • Armageddon says Steve was injected with a chemical that turned him into a Muutorr—an artificial mutant. I get the feeling Conway was still in Marvel Mode when he wrote this story.Muutorr

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