This one starts not long after the end of last issue. Flash is following Central City’s newest superhero, the Ringmaster, who’s flying through the streets with Iris in his arms. Yup, Flash is jealous because his wife seems keen on this new guy. Of course, Iris is interviewing Ringmaster for her news show, but she does seem rather charmed by him. Flash breaks off his pursuit, deciding to trust his wife. He heads to the police station where a psychiatrist is about to interview Golden Glider. Barry’s lab assistant, Patty, tells him they have evidence that needs processing right away. The psychiatrist talks to Lisa (Golden Glider) Snart and we get a recap of her origin—basically, she blames Flash for her boyfriend (the Top) dying and now wants revenge. The doctor points out that Glider doesn’t even want to kill Flash; she’d rather he was alive and suffering. Glider confirms that, even as she uses a “diamond” fashioned from an ice cube to hypnotize the doctor. She then tells the Doc all her plans: she found a studly-looking writer named Beau Baer, hypnotized him into being Ringmaster, and provided his weapons and costume. She then allowed Ringmaster to “capture” her, so he’d look like a better superhero than Flash. The police captain shows up with Glider’s costume and we find out she hypnotized him earlier with another ice cube. Glider tells the doctor to forget everything she’s heard and busts out of jail. When the alarm goes off, Barry changes to Flash and searches the building at super speed. He finds Glider with some unconscious cops, but goes flying out the window because she threw a bunch of pearls on the floor. I gotta say, it’s hard to take Flash seriously as a first-tier superhero when he can be tripped up by some marbles. He goes through the window, then uses the falling glass shards to climb back up at super speed. But when he gets back to the window, he forgets to keep running and plunges downward. What did he see that freaked him out so much? Just Iris making out with Ringmaster. Of course, it was just Golden Glider making out with a hypnotized cop—lucky bastard—and casting the illusion of Iris and Ringmaster. Flash figures out it was an illusion and digs his heels into the building to stop his descent. When Flash returns to the window, Glider is gone. He follows her ice trail, but finds only her boots. A reporter takes a photo and makes a snotty remark about Ringmaster being better than Flash. Flash apparently takes that to heart and tries to prove himself by rescuing people all over town, but he’s still feeling inadequate. When Iris gets home, she finds Barry watching a news conference where Ringmaster tells Flash they shouldn’t be rivals but should team up to fight crime. Barry’s not impressed and starts grilling Iris about where she’s been and why she wasn’t taking notes while “interviewing” Ringmaster. He notices she’s wearing a different ring than her wedding ring and freaks out. Iris finally admits she’s hot for Ringmaster and says she’s moving out. Barry is despondent, naturally. The next day, Iris is stepping out with Ringmaster (I wonder where she spent the night?) when Flash comes hurtling down from a building toward the street. Ringmaster uses some anti-gravity rings to save him from splatting, but it turns out to be just a dummy. We see Golden Glider laughing her ass off on a building. Seems she tossed the dummy out a window and thinks it’s funny that Ringmaster’s natural instinct (even under hypnosis) is to be a “goody two shoes”. The real Flash shows up and says he accepts Ringmaster’s offer to team up. We’ll see where that goes next issue.
- Golden Glider points out that none of the male costumed crooks were interviewed by psychiatrists, but the doctor says they’re all just common (though elaborate) thieves, whereas Glider is motivated by her love for the Top.
- I’m not sure how Glider turned an ice cube into a diamond-shape, nor how she could use that to hypnotize someone. She says being Captain Cold’s sister helped with the ice cube, which shouldn’t mean she has any particular command over ice. And she does use diamonds as Golden Glider, but I always assumed those were special electronic devices.
- With a name like Beau Baer, that guy was either gonna be a writer or a porn star.
- Glider tells the psychiatrist to forget everything she heard, but it looks like the doc was taking notes; I wonder if that’ll come into play later?
- I don’t know about the “running on falling glass” thing; wouldn’t all the glass shards fall at the same rate? The art shows a vertical trail of shards leading back to the window.
- It seems obvious that the new ring Iris is wearing has something to do with her odd behaviour, especially since we know Golden Glider uses gems to hypnotize people.
- I’m not sure why Glider tossed the Flash dummy off the building; to test Iris’s reaction? Or Ringmaster’s? Or just because she’s a sadistic asshole?
- Ringmaster introduces Flash to “Ms. Iris Allen” and Flash says “Yes, Mrs. Allen has interviewed me many times.” Way to be passive-aggressive there, Barry.
This story (and every story from here on out) features the Earth-1 Wonder Woman from the modern-day, as opposed to the Earth-2/World War II stories of the last year and a half. Harris reminds us several times that this is the Earth-1 Wonder Woman, even showing her beaming down from the JLA Satellite. We also get a quick update on the status quo, especially regarding Steve Trevor. The basic story is the same: Trevor showed up on Paradise Island, Diana helped him and they fell in love, and they fought all kinds of threats together. But a while back, Wonder Woman lost her powers and her memory for a time and when she got them back, she learned Steve had been killed. Aphrodite brought him back to life, but now he’s known as Steve Howard and has dark hair. Wonder Woman still loves him, but admits to herself he’s not the same as the old Steve Trevor. Oh, and Steve and Diana work for some special United Nations Task Force. I think that brings us up to date. Speaking of the U.N., Wonder Woman comes across a bunch of scumbags kidnapping a guy named Dr. Selkirk from the U.N. Building. She jumps the kidnappers, but they tell her they’ve set bombs all over New York, so she has to let them go so she can try to contain the damage. She rushes around the city, rescuing people and shoring up broken structures. When she returns to the U.N., she’s mobbed by reporters. Steve Howard shows up and says the terrorists are part of an organization called SCYTHE, They want their leader, Sorkhan, released in exchange for Dr. Selkirk and if he’s not released, they’ll bomb the shit out of the country … from space! Steve says Dr. Selkirk’s knowledge could allow them to do that and Wonder Woman realizes they’d need the space shuttle that’s currently at Cape Canaveral. As she leaves, we see a couple of Army officers entering “Room 18”, a top-secret archive. They go through some files and say they have to find Steve Trevor’s body, for the good of the country. At Cape Canaveral, security is tight but the space shuttle takes off anyway. Wonder Woman chases it in her Invisible Jet and climbs aboard, but finds it’s being operated remotely. The terrorists tell her (via radio) that their demands were rejected so they’re releasing the first two bombs. Wonder Woman smashes the controls and dives out after the bombs, using her old “gliding on air currents” trick to catch them. She uses one bomb to blast the other before either can hit its target. (The targets were the Washington Monument and the White House.) Steve tells her the government is going to trade Sorkhan for Dr. Selkirk … that was a quick flip-flop, even for politicians. The exchange is set for the North Pole and Steve tells Wonder Woman to come along as Diana Prince, since SCYTHE said no superheroes. They land and make the exchange but SCYTHE double-crosses them … it’s getting so you just can’t trust terrorists anymore. Wonder Woman calls her Invisible Jet (which has been trailing them) to fly in a circle and whip up a snowstorm. She and Steve pound the thugs, but when the snow settles, Sorkhan and Dr. Selkirk are both gone.
- The space shuttle here looks nothing like the real Space Shuttle that was being built around this time.
- Harris seems to be doing the “pacifist Wonder Woman” bit here. She repeatedly says how she hates violence (once while she’s punching someone out), so it’ll be interesting to see where Harris goes with that, or if it’s just lip service.
This one starts with Green Lantern looking for his cousin, Air Wave. Air Wave disappeared last issue and it seems like he was … I don’t know, thrown into another dimension? Turned into a radio wave? It doesn’t really say. Whatever it is, Green Lantern can’t find him, so he heads back to his big rig just in time to get a distress call from Carol Ferris. A weird rock-like creature (which we saw climb out of Itty’s grave last issue) is pulling her house down, but it disappears by the time GL gets there. He shores up the house and rescues Carol, then checks out the damage. The concrete in the foundation has been eaten away and turned to powder, so GL says he’ll take it to Ray (Atom) Palmer for analysis. On the way, he notices Itty’s grave is empty. I wonder if there’s a connection? In Coast City, Green Arrow and Black Canary are at a beauty contest (Miss Industry) and arrow seems to be enjoying himself. Canary reminds him they’re there to stop a kidnapping. Seems a guy named Bito Wladon from the country of Modora has threatened to snatch the winner of the contest. (Hmmm, that name sounds familiar.) Some armed thugs show up and Arrow and Canary kick their asses. The thugs are from Modora so Arrow and Canary decide to get the winner out of town tonight instead of tomorrow as originally planned. They also decide to let Green Lantern know what’s up. We see Lantern at Ray Palmer’s lab and Ray tells him the concrete from Carol’s house has had all the calcium removed from it, rendering it powdery. Ray says if the creature attacked humans and removed the calcium from their bones, it could be deadly. We see the creature in Coast City, sucking on a statue which crumbles in front of some bystanders. At the airport, the creature slides onto the plane that’s set to take Arrow, Canary, and Miss Industry out of town. Nobody sees it and they all board not suspecting anything. Carol gives GL arrow’s message and he heads out after the plane. But Bito Wladon is already attacking the plane in mid-air. Who the hell is Bito Wladon? He’s GL’s old foe, Sonar. GL shows up and they fight. The plane has to climb into a storm front and the two combatants outside soon follow. Sonar uses the noise of the thunder to almost deafen Gl, but Lantern turns the tables and captures the crook. But the plane is in trouble from the storm and has to ditch in a mountain valley; everyone survives, but it’s freezing out. We also see Air Wave being zapped back from wherever the hell he was and immediately crashing down into a snowbank. The crash survivors decide to wait for rescue, but soon find out they have a stowaway … the rock creature that’s been devouring shit all issue. Everybody guard your calcium!
- The dialogue in this issue reads a little different to me than previous issues. It’s almost like O’Neil is trying for a lighter tone, with more jokes and quips. I kinda like the new mood … I hope it lasts.
- If you’re wondering why Sonar wants to kidnap a beauty queen, it’s because he wanted his home country of Modora to host the pageant. That’s a recurring theme for Sonar; he’s always trying to prove that his backward, nobody’s-ever-heard-of-it country is some kind of paradise.
- I’m thinking the rock creature actually is Itty, at least in part. I seem to recall starfish are made of calcium (or calcium carbonate or something like that), so I assume there’s a connection.