Comics Reviews: Flash 255, Wonder Woman 237, Green Lantern 98

Flash 255 coverFlash #255 – “Flashback to Danger” – Cary Bates/Irv Novick/Frank McLaughlin

This one starts with Flash returning home after having been out all night. Lucky for him, Iris isn’t there, but Stacy Conwell is, and she’s conjuring another demon in her room. Those wacky college kids … Flash tries to pull Stacy away from the demon and accidentally stuns her. The demon disappears and Flash changes back to Barry and asks Stacy about her necromantic activities. She says she wasn’t waving a magic wand, she was just practicing her baton twirling. He doesn’t believe her, but she has a Polaroid camera setStacy's pic up for some reason and shows him a photo of her dressed normally and twirling a baton. Barry realizes he must’ve hallucinated the demon conjuring stuff thanks to Mazdan’s screwing with his head last issue. Mazdan appears (though only Barry can see him) and torments him some more before taking off. Stacy obviously thinks Barry is nuts, and that feeling gets worse as he takes off at super speed without saying a word. He goes to talk to Iris about what happened last night and we get an extended flashback, a storytelling device I’m really starting to hate. Anyway, last night Barry was driving past a swanky movie premiere when Mirror Master showed up to rob the patrons. Flash confronted him and basically kicked his ass, but Mirror Master showed him a lightning bolt design (that resembled the Roscoe reverse FlashAward the Rogues presented to Flash last issue) and Flash suddenly started doing everything in reverse. He went back along the route he took while chasing Mirror Master, through the crowd at the theater, and into his car—all in reverse. That brings us back to the present, with him finishing his explanation to Iris. She’s no longer pissed off at him for staying out all night (you’d think she’d be used to it by now), so he takes her home to show her the Roscoe Award, which is still sitting on the kitchen counter. Like last issue, Iris can’t see it because it’s vibrating at a frequency only visible to Flash. But he changes the vibrations and Iris sees it finally. He says he has a plan to turn the tables on Mirror Master next time they meet. That meeting is later that night at the “office” of a well-known fence. Flash busts in and Mirror Master uses his “Roscoe light” trick again, sending Flash running backward the way he came. But when Mirror Master goes outside, Flash is waiting for him and kicks his ass. Flash explains that he used a device toFlash switches identities make himself see everything in reverse; seeing the Roscoe in reverse made him run forward (normally, in other words) instead of backward. He also wore special contacts that let him keep his balance and run at super speed while seeing the world in reverse. I’m not sure how that would work, but I guess it’s just comic book science. Flash overheard Mirror Master say the other Rogues are expecting him, so Flash decides to take the villain’s place by putting on his uniform so he can infiltrate the meeting of the Rogues. How will that work out? We’ll see next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • I’m not sure why Stacy is practicing baton twirling when she’s no longer a cheerleader, nor why she’s taking Polaroids of herself doing it. Maybe it’s some weird, pre-internet form of sexting?
  • That must’ve been one hell of a movie premiere; the jewelry Mirror Master collected made quite a pile!pile of gold
  • Mirror Master has a gun that liquefies gold and gems, sucks them up, then shoots them out later and reconstitutes them perfectly. I can usually ignore “comic book science” but that’s just too crazy. And if Mirror Master invented something like that, why not just market it? He’d make a hell of a lot more than he would ripping off jewels and shit.

Wonder Woman 237 coverWonder Woman #237 – “The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman” – Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

This one starts with Wonder Woman on Paradise Island, repairing the bracelet that Armageddon broke last issue. Her mother Hippolyte wants he to stay, but Wonder Woman says she needs to get back for an important meeting. When she gets back to her apartment, she finds someone waiting for her … Diana Prince! Diana pulls a gun and accuses Wonder Woman of being a Nazi spy. Down at union Station, a railroad cop finds a stowaway on a train and tries to arrest him, but the stowaway turns into some kind of animal and wastes the cop. At home, Wondertwo Dianas Woman changes from her civvies into her super-hero attire and tells the real Diana Prince her origin. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it: the Amazons were defeated by Hercules (agent of Ares, God of War) and moved to Paradise Island to be away from men and cultivate peace. Hippolyte wanted a kid, so she made one out of clay and prayed to Aphrodite, who made the clay come alive and that was Wonder Woman. Years later, a plane crashed near the Island and Wonder Woman rescued Steve Trevor and (rather improbably) fell in love with him at first sight. She healed him and learned about World War Two. In an alley nearby, another cop tries to stop the weirdo from the train station, but this time he turns into a praying mantis and eviscerates the cop. At home, Wonder Woman gets a call from Etta about the meeting and she and Diana Prince head over. On the way, she Amazon contestcontinues her story. The Amazons held a contest to see who would return Steve Trevor to Washington and maybe help in the war effort. Wonder Woman was forbidden to enter, but did anyway (in disguise) and won. Hippolyte was proud of her daughter’s disobedience, so she let her go. At a nearby munitions factory that’s full of “Rosie the Riveters”, General MacArthur shows up for a photo-op. The shape-changing cop-killer is disguised as one of the assembly line women so he’ll have a chance to waste MacArthur. Wonder Woman and Diana show up and Wonder Woman concludes her story. When she arrived in Washington, she needed a cover identity that would keep her close to Steve. She met Diana Prince crying over not being able to be with her boyfriend in South America (maybe he was a Nazi?), so Wonder Woman took Diana’s ID, gave her the money to go south, andKung revealed commanded her to forget everything with her magic lasso. Diana remembers it all now … until Wonder Woman promptly uses her lasso to suppress her memory again. The assassin turns into a praying mantis again and attacks MacArthur and Wonder Woman goes to fight him. He turns human again and says he’s a Japanese agent named Kung. Wonder Woman says she won’t let him get MacArthur, but Kung turns into a giant cat of some kind and attacks her. We’ll have to  wait until next issue to see what happens.

Noticeable Things:

  • Wonder Woman is a super-humanly strong Amazon, basically invulnerable, but she wears goggles when re-forging her bracelet. Safety first!
  • Kung talks in a weird cadence all through the comic, referring to himself as “this humble one”. I guess that’s supposed to clue us in that he’s Japanese before we find out who he is, but besides being vaguely racist, it’s annoying as hell. And I thought Mantis’s speech patterns were teeth-grinding!
  • When they’re heading to the meeting, both women look like Diana Prince. That’s not exactly inconspicuous.
  • MacArthur tells Wonder Woman he doesn’t need help from a female; that’s what we writers call verisimilitude.
  • When Kung is in his Rosie the Riveter disguise, he says “Americans never suspect treachery from a female”; and I say … no comment.

Green Lantern 98 coverGreen Lantern #98 – “Listen to the Mocking Bird” – Denny O’Neil/Mike Grell/Vince Colletta

This one continues right from last issue, with Green Lantern (having just been zapped halfway across the galaxy by the weird entity known as the Mocker) asks Green Arrow if he’s real. Of course, Arrow says yes and Hal explains everything that happened on Oa. Green Arrow and Black Canary fill GL in on the terrorists who attacked them last issue and Katma Tui’s subsequent disappearance. They’re all feeling jumpy as hell and realize they aren’t alone. A phantasm of Dinah’s dead husband, Larry Lance, appears in the room and she’s mesmerized. Green Arrow can’t affect the image physically (and GL is still out of it after his cross-galaxy jaunt), so Arrow—ever the problem-solver—decks Dinah. Yeah, that’s quite the relationship those two have.Ollie decks Dinah The entity changes nd starts talking like the Mocker again, but it says its name is Ffa’rzz, from 61 Cygni. Arrow attacks it, but gets nowhere until GL gets his shit together and imprisons Ffa’rzz. Unfortunately, it takes more than green energy to cage a non-corporeal being and Ffa’rzz disappears. Hal realizes Ffa’rzz hitched a ride back to Earth with him and figures they’d better catch him before he starts fucking up the whole world. Ollie figures Katma might be able to help, since she seemed to be basically immune to Ffa’rzz’s mind manipulation. Dinah wakes up, but decides not to go with them, so they head out to look for Katma. We see the terrorist from last issue (Junior Musto) and his dad arguing about what a fuck-up Junior is. Can’t even get a simple kidnapping right, for God’s sake! They happen upon Katma and Junior suggests they bag her as a hostage. Why settle for international car over bridgeblackmail when they could operate on a cosmic scale? Strangely, his father agrees and they grab her. She still kinda whacked out, but tries to fight back. Despite her unfamiliarity with Earth vehicles, she manages to steer the car off a bridge. GL and GA show up just in time to rescue her and pound the terrorists. But Ffa’rzz shows up out of nowhere and the terrorists take off. Green Arrow suggests GL skrag the car, because he noticed Ffa’rzz seems to draw power from nearby sources. GL does and figures out Ffa’rzz is somehow connected to him and Katma. They decide to get the hell out of Dodge and head back to the giant spaceship that GL found floating near Oa. If Ffa’rzz came from it, they might get some answers there. As they approach the ship, the same weird energy that leaked from the ship when GL directed the cobaltyellow bird bombs against it (last issue again) is still floating around. It turns into a phantasm of Dinah, but Ollie isn’t fooled. GL and Katma try to fight it, but it turns into a huge yellow bird, so their rings are useless. Arrow shoots at it, but with no effect until the two Lanterns make his arrow grow to gigantic proportions and skewer the yellow bird. They head into the ship and find an inscription that Katma translates as “You stand on the edge of the ultimate ending.” And on that ominous note, we take a break wait till next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • Junior’s dad says they come from six generations of terrorists … talk about pressure to go into the family business.
  • Junior and his dad are Native American, and when he sees Katma he wonders if she might be Native too, because of her red skin. He also says, “No reason you can’t be a friendly little Indian maiden”; so … he’s basically racist against his own race?
  • The whole thing with Dinah getting decked and then staying behind to pine over her dead husband just seems like a way of taking her out of the story. I wonder if Denny didn’t like writing her, or found it to challenging, or what?

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