Comics Reviews: Flash 264, Wonder Woman 246, Green Lantern 107

Flash 264 coverFlash #264 – “The Golden Glider’s Final Fling” – Cary Bates/Kurt Schaffenberger/Frank McLaughlin

Remember last issue when Barry was talking about quitting as the Flash because Ringmaster made him look bad numerous times? Well, he did it. The police commissioner opens a box containing Flash’s ring (which pops out his costume) and a very old-fashioned tape recorder. The tape is from Flash, telling the cops that he’s packing it in. The commissioner is worried and gets Barry Allen to authenticate the tape (how’s that for irony), which he does. Barry’s still feeling like crap after Iris abandoned him to shack up with Ringmaster, so the commissioner tells him to go home early. Elsewhere, Golden Glider reminds us thatset up she’s the one behind Flash’s troubles. She used her hypnotic gems to make a struggling writer into Ringmaster, and to make Iris fall for him. But Glider picked a patsy who reminded her of her dead boyfriend, Roscoe Dillon (aka the Top), so now she’s fallen for Ringmaster herself. She wants Iris out of the way, but plans to have Barry kill her, just to make her revenge complete. Barry wakes up the next day and finds a present for Iris sitting on his dresser. He doesn’t remember buying it, but assumes he did and takes it to her at Picture News. I know Barry’s kind of dense sometimes, but he knows Golden Glider has it in for him, so wouldn’t finding a gift he doesn’t remember buying be a bit suspicious? Anyway, Iris opens the gift (it’s perfume), but tells Barry she loves Ringmaster now, not him. The booby-trapped gift explodes and Iris is killed. Barry freaks out and Iris’s co-workers assume he’s the one who booby-trapped the perfume out of rescuejealousy. The cops come and take Barry to jail as Golden Glider gloats nearby. But as Barry’s being hauled off, we learn the truth … Iris isn’t dead. (Well, of course not; as if they’d kill a major supporting character like Iris … that’d be crazy.) Apparently, Barry noticed a blue glow around Iris just before the booby-trap triggered, so he whisked her away at super speed, then returned with some chemicals to make it look like she’d been incinerated. That way, Golden Glider would think she was successful and Iris would be safe. Elsewhere, we see Ringmaster catching some crooks, then flying off for a tryst with Golden Glider, who uses her hypnotic gems to make herself invisible to everyone but Ringmaster. At the jailhouse, Barry vibrates through the wall of his cell, gets his costume back from the commissioner’s office, and grabs some chemicals from the police lab. He pours the chemicals in his jail cell and leaves, so when the guard comes around it looks like whoever incinerated Iris has now done the same to Barry. Golden Glider reads about the second “murder” and knows Flash has managed toGlider action clear Barry of killing Iris and will soon be on her trail. (Though, judging by the scene, Glider might have better things to do … woof!) If you’re wondering what happened to Iris after Barry rescued her, she’s in the Flash Museum and has apparently gotten into bondage … or maybe she’s just tied up so she won’t try to go back to Ringmaster. She’s being guarded by Dexter Myles, the museum curator, who quotes Shakespeare incessantly. Flash dropped Iris off and told Dexter to keep her tied up, but what neither of them knows is that the hypnotic ring Golden Glider used to make Iris fall for ringmaster has fallen off … so Iris is back to normal and wants nothing more than to see her husband again. Flash finally figures out that Glider was responsible for Iris getting hot for Ringmaster (like I said, Barry’s a bit dense sometimes). When he hears that an emerald of pure force is surrounding the Flash Museum, he thinks Glider knows where Iris is, but it turns out Glider did it just to draw Flash’s attention. boomerangRingmaster puts a constricting ring around Flash and flings him toward orbit, but Flash manages to bend the ring into a boomerang and comes back, slamming into Ringmaster and Glider. Ringmaster throws some razor rings, which Flash dodges, then the Scarlet Speedster whirls Ringmaster around so fast that all his rings fly off, rendering him helpless (and probably quite dizzy). Flash is ready to tackle Golden Glider, but she’s already been taken care of … by Iris! Yup, Iris used Captain Cold’s gun from the Museum to freeze Glider solid; seems she talked Dexter into releasing her after all. Flash assures Dexter that Barry is safe and sound and says he’ll return Iris to him right away. Flash’s retirement is officially over and Beau Baer (the ersatz Ringmaster) goes on TV to tell everyone he was under Golden Glider’s control and he’s leaving the superheroics to Flash.

Noticeable Things:

  • Golden Glider has life-sized posters of Top and Ringmaster; where did she get them, and why?
  • Golden Glider basically admits that Ringmaster is being coerced into “loving” her by her hypnotic gems, but she says it’s better than being alone. So, she’s basically raping him, and isn’t really bothered by it? Maybe she and Dr. Light should get together.
  • There’s a lot of talk in this issue about how many hundredths of a second are elapsing as Flash performs his various feats. I think it was a way of trying to make his superhuman exploits more plausible, but it doesn’t really help. Flash’s powers work however the plot needs them to, as usual.
  • Apparently, the Flash Museum keeps working models of super villains’ weapons; that seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.action
  • There’s a panel right at the end where Baer says nobody can match the Flash and Iris, who’s making out with Barry, silently agrees. Maybe I just have a sick mind, but it almost reads like she’s saying Ringmaster was a dud in the sack compared to Barry.

Wonder Woman 246 coverWonder Woman #246 – “Darkness, Darkness—Everywhere” – Jack C. Harris/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

This one starts with something we’ve all been dying to see … Wonder Woman doing laundry. Yup, Diana is in the basemen of her condo, washing her Wonder Woman costume. I’m surprised it isn’t some high-tech Paradise Island fabric that never needs cleaning. When she finishes, the lights go out in the building and she hears cries for hep coming from the elevator. She changes to Wonder Woman and busts through the elevator, finding a couple of Diana’s neighbours. She gets them out of the stalled elevator and heads back to her apartment, which she finds trashed. She looks around and realizes her tiara is gone (she didn’t take it to the basement). Some weirdo in a robe jumps out and conks her with the tiara, knocking her out. Steve Howard wakes her some time later and points out that there’s no power outage; her building is just surrounded by strange black smoke.tiara theft Wonder Woman says the building is being shunted to a demonic realm and she’s apparently right, as they’re attacked by some freaky-looking demons. She says the building has been transported to a Nether-Realm and the spell has to be reversed to take them back. Steve stops panicked people from leaving the building and Wonder Woman runs around the outside at top speed. That creates a vortex and she follows the smoke back to its source—a sorceress who’s been messing with dark magic and stole Wonder Woman’s tiara to increase her power. She blasts Wonder Woman through the door and the Amazon realizes they need light to fight the powers of darkness … but not just any light. Wonder Woman uses her bracelets to strike a magical spark and kindle some newspaper, then heads back in to face the sorceress. The magic fire drives the sorceress back and she reveals the demons are part of her, demonsincluding Diana’s neighbour, Mrs. Kravitz. Wonder Woman uses her magic lasso to compel the demons to leave, saving Mrs. Kravitz, then uses the lasso again to corral the magic fire and return the building to Earth’s dimension … just don’t ask me how. Turns out Mrs. Kravitz was screwing around with some kind of grimoire and accidentally summoned the demons, but she promises to stick to cookbooks from now on. Later, Diana tells Steve the building disappeared and reappeared so fast that nobody noticed … which is rather convenient. Reminds me of Inferno, over at Marvel. As Diana and Steve enter her apartment, we see someone slipping out the window. We’ll have to wait until next issue to see who it was.

Noticeable Things:

  • Diana’s fashions seem a lot more modern lately; or maybe I’m just used to her being in 1940s clothes. Even her glasses look like the kind Gloria Steinem used to wear.
  • Diana’s neighbours are called Abner and Mrs. Kravitz, just like the nosy neighbours on Bewitched.
  • Abner notices Wonder Woman isn’t wearing her tiara and she says he’s probably very observant because he’s an art student. Personally, I’m impressed he noticed anything above her neck.
  • This issue was really weird and disjointed, with magic and dimensional travel back and forth with no real explanation. I think Harris is trying to establish a new “feel” for the book, setting up some of Diana’s neighbours as supporting characters, and bringing more mystical elements into the book. But it’s not very well done … at least not in this story.

Green Lantern 107 coverGreen Lantern #107 – “The Man Who Murdered Green Lantern” – Bob Rozakis/Alex Saviuk/John Celardo

This one starts with a bunch of skyjackers (the unfortunately-named Yellow Peril) taking over the entire Coast City Airport. Are they still skyjackers when they’re on the ground? Anyway, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Air Wave are fighting the terrorists and kicking their asses, but the last guy says he’ll blow up the whole airport if they don’t back off. Green Lantern shows up, but the terrorist isn’t worried since his costume is yellow. Lantern says there are ways around that and uses his ring to create a trampoline and a giant hand; the hand pushes Air Wave into the trampoline and he bounces off and decks the terrorist. We now go into an extended flashback about what GL was doing before he showed up. He got an emergency call from the Guardians of the Universe about a comet heading for the planet Ungara. When he got there, his ring was useless because the comet was composed entirely of “yellowairport attack elements”, whatever that means. GL landed on Ungara to warn them about the comet and realized the planet was the homeworld of Abin Sur, from whom he received his Green Lantern ring. Unfortunately, the Ungarans aren’t as easygoing as Abin Sur was and when they hear Abin Sur is dead (and GL has his ring and uniform) they immediately assume GL must’ve killed Sur and stolen the ring. \talk about killing the messenger. They attack and GL tries to explain about the comet, but their instruments haven’t detected it and they can’t see it because their moon is blocking it from sight. They start beating the shit out of GL, but when the comet emerges from behind the moon, they freak out and try to make nice, begging for his help. I handballmight’ve told them to fuck off, but I guess that’s why I’m not a Green Lantern. GL figures out a way to deflect the comet … he creates a giant trampoline and a giant hand (yeah, you see where this is going) and bounces the moon off the trampoline, using it to knock the comet aside. The issue ends very precipitously, with Green Arrow and Black Canary saying they’re off to Star City (and the pages of World’s Finest) and Air Wave is heading for Dallas (and the back-up feature in Action Comics) to live with Hal’s brother, Jack. So it looks like Green Lantern has his comic book to himself again. We’ll see what he gets up to next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • At first, the Ungarans think GL is Sinestro, the renegade Green Lantern.
  • Since Abin Sur had a spaceship capable of reaching Earth, I’m assuming the Ungarans are rather advanced technologically. So you might be wondering they why don’t have instruments that can detect a comet on the other side of the moon. Green Arrow wondered the same thing and GL said it was because the Ungarans instruments were originally powered by Abin Sur’s ring, which can’t detect anything yellow. And since the comet was made up of all-yellow elements, they couldn’t detect it.
  • GL’s solution to the comet problem is so unscientific, I’m not sure where to start. Never mind that moving the moon out of orbit would cause catastrophes all over the planet, but wouldn’t the comet just crash into the moon, either impacting on the surface like a meteorite, or (if it was big enough) blasting the moon to pieces and causing an even worse emergency?
  • The back-up story is “ Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” byKatma triumphs Burkett/Fuller/Patterson. This one deals with the Mocker (from issues 96-99) on trial on Oa. Mocker’s schtick is that e thinks life is meaningless, so he goes around destroying shit and being a general pain in the ass. He busts loose and neither the Guardians nor the Green Lanterns can get through to his twisted mind. But Katma Tui starts remembering all the moments that gave her life meaning and that chips away at Mocker’s convictions. Katma finally decides she made the right decision, walking away from her marriage on Korugar (way back in GL #30) to join the Corps. Her self-assurance blows Mocker’s mind and he’s sent for therapy.
  • Abin Sur is usually depicted as being more of a purple colour (or maybe magenta), but the Ungarans are bright red here.

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