Comics Reviews: Flash 275, Wonder Woman 257, Green Lantern 118

Flash 275 coverFlash #275 – “The Last Dance” – Cary Bates/Alex Saviuk/Frank Chiaramonte

This one starts where things left off last issue: Flash is being compelled to speed across town against his will by a teenage girl who’s obsessed with him and has somehow found a way to control his actions. And Iris is at home wondering if her marriage is on the rocks, as crazy man Clive Yorkin peeks through the window. Yorkin was the subject of an experiment to remove his criminal tendencies, but it ended up driving him crazy and he now seems to be fixated on Barry Allen for some reason, even though Barry had very little to do with the experiment and was the one who got it shut down in the end. Iris has apparently planted a tracker in Barry’s Flash costume and decides to follow it to see if he’s really working late or if he’s messing around on her. Meanwhile, Flash is drawn to an out-of-the-way motel where the girl (I think her name is Melanie, though itFlash rescues Iris isn’t mentioned here) starts checking him out. She seems impressed by his body, but when she uses her “ESP lock” to force him to unmask, she’s disappointed that he has no real distinguishing features. In her words, he’s just “ordinary”. Melanie leaves, saying Flash is the second big disappointment she’s had (John Travolta being the first … I wonder if she used her power on him too?) Naturally, Iris shows up just as Melanie is leaving and she assumes Barry and Melanie were banging. Iris freaks out and takes off, running straight into a gasoline tanker on the highway. Flash saves her (and the guys in the truck) just before the tanker blows up. On the way home, Flash explains about Melanie and Iris believes him since she can see how hurt he is by being called “ordinary”. Elsewhere, we see some guy on the phone talking to one of the thugs that tried to kill Barry and Detective Frank Curtis last issue. The mysterious guy Yorkin spies on Barry and Irissays there’s a big costume party for everyone on the city payroll, so they’ll get another shot at Barry. At home, Barry and Iris decide the best way to spice up their marriage is by having a baby. They’re about to get started on that when they remember the costume party, which is apparently too important to skip, even for hot baby-making sex. Barry’s Batman costume wasn’t delivered, so Iris suggests he just go as the Flash, since nobody will know he’s the real deal. But Yorkin is watching through the window and even in his craziness, he realizes Flash and Barry Allen are one and the same. Before Yorkin can act on his newfound knowledge, Frank Curtis shows up to go to the party with Barry and Iris. Curtis is also dressed as the Flash and Iris is going as Batgirl, complete with red wig. When they get to the party (at the mansion of a famed philanthropist and health nut named Whitlock) we see Yorkin hitched a ride by hiding in the trunk of Curtis’s car; for a crazy guy, he’s pretty resourceful. The party is full of people dressed as super heroes and villains (which was the theme of the party) and Curtis goes off to hunt for some tail,Yorkin attacks Curtis leaving Barry and Iris to dance. Barry is called to the phone and Iris ends up dancing with someone dressed as Green Lantern. The phone call is from Chief Paulson, who’s skipping the party, and he tells Barry there’s been a development in the drug case but it can wait until tomorrow. Curtis is outside having a smoke when Yorkin jumps him, but when Yorkin pulls off the Flash’s mask and sees it isn’t Barry Allen, he loses interest and tosses Curtis off the balcony into the bushes. Barry grabs some punch and interrupts Iris’s dance; he’s surprised to learn her partner is the real Green Lantern. He congratulates them on trying for a baby (Iris has a big mouth … they haven’t even started banging yet) and takes off. Barry and Iris decide to head upstairs for a “private tour” (I’m pretty sure they were looking for a place to fuck), Iris and Barry downbut as soon as they get upstairs, Barry starts feeling really dizzy. He wonders if someone spiked the punch, but figures Iris would be affected too. She goes to the bathroom to get him some water and he hears sounds of a struggle and Iris screaming for help. He stumbles to the bathroom and finds Yorkin standing over Iris’s body. Barry freaks out and Yorkin crashes through the window and takes off. The disturbance brings a bunch of party guests running to find Barry trying to carry Iris out of the bathroom to get her some help. He keels over and the guests try to help. Detective Curtis comes in and asks what’s up, and a guest dressed like Batman says Barry and Iris are in trouble—one needs an ambulance and the other is dead! We’ll find out which is which next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • Apparently, Yorkin hates Barry Allen because Barry stood by and let the experiment happen, which sounds a bit weird to me. Yorkin did volunteer after all, and Barry had less to do with the whole thing than a lot of other people, but Yorkin’s crazy so I guess his thought processes don’t have to make sense.
  • Last issue, I wondered if Paulson might be involved with the drug smuggling gang and now I’m sure of it; why did he bother calling Barry at the party unless he was making sure he as there? I though maybe Paulson was at the party himself, but he’s shown sitting in his office, so the only reason for him to call would be to confirm Barry’s presence … and maybe give himself an alibi.
  • The costume party has guests dressed as a number of heroes and villains: Captain Boomerang, green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman,Captain Cold,party shot Golden Glider, Batman, Wonder Woman, Reverse Flash, Star Sapphire, Top, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Abra Kadabra, Heat Wave, Zatanna, Superman (with glasses and porn-star mustache), Calculator (talk about the bottom of the barrel), Green Lantern (who we find out is the real thing)and even the Phantom (the purple body suit one). It’s a bit weird that all the villains are from Flash’s Rogues Gallery, but they are in Central City, so I guess it makes sense.
  • There’s also an annoying asshole dressed as Sandman who keeps running around pointing his gun at people and yelling “Zap!” He does it to Flash just as he’s getting the punch and I’m wondering if he’s the one who drugged Flash. We know someone at the party was gunning for Barry Allen, and Barry wasn’t shy about letting people know it was him under the mask. The fake Sandman could’ve sprayed Barry with some chemical, or even shot something into his glass of punch … although it would be a 50-50 shot as to who got the doctored punch, Barry or Iris.
  • Sandman is the only Earth-2 character at the party; how would people on Earth-1 even know about him? It was established that the Earth-2 characters existed in comics stories on Earth-1, so I guess that might explain it, but there’s something suspicious about that Sandman.
  • For someone who was pissed off at Barry because she thought he was cheating, Iris sure seemed to enjoy dancing with—and getting groped by—Green Lantern.
  • I have no clue why Green Lantern was in Central City, or why he was at the party.
  • So this is the beginning of the big Iris Allen murder storyline. Apparently sales on Flash were down at the time and the editors thought killing off an important character would bring readers back. I think it worked … at least temporarily.

Wonder Woman 257 coverWonder Woman #257 – “The Case of the Impossible Crimes” – Paul Levitz/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

This one starts with Wonder Woman returning to New York City and relaxing in Diana Prince’s fancy apartment. The next day, an armoured car is attacked by a bunch of gunmen—and a dinosaur! Wonder Woman shows up and plays bullets and bracelets to save the guards from getting shot, but the dinosaur takes her by surprise and knocks her for a loop. She fights back and the dinosaur grabs a kid from a balcony (you’d think the parents would’ve taken the kid inside to hide) and tries to eat him. Wonder Woman jumps into the monster’s maw and plucks the kid out. She returns the kid to his parents but before she can go after the dinosaur, it disappears. At the United Nations, the security department is ready to rehire Diana Prince over the strenuous objections of her former boss, Morgan. Morgan vows to find evidence that Diana is a security risk. That night some thieves rob a museum with the help of a bear and try to get away in adinosaur fight helicopter. Wonder Woman shows up, prevents the chopper from taking off, and lassoes the crooks. But when she tears into the helicopter to find the bear, it’s gone. Wonder Woman is puzzled that a dinosaur and a bear could both vanish into thin air, but we see an insect perched in the wreckage of the chopper. The next day at the U.N., Diana is getting oriented n her new job and an Undersecretary named Wagner stops by to welcome her back. That night, Wonder Woman spots a familiar-looking helicopter on a roof and tackles some more thieves. This bunch is more prepared though, and she’s immediately wrapped up by a giant boa constrictor. The thugs bring out two halves of a glass sphere from somewhere and trap Wonder Woman and the snake inside. But the snake soon changes into an insect and escapes through a pinhole in the glass, after setting off some sleeping gas inside. Wonder Woman struggles to stay awake as the sphere is loaded on the helicopter and we learn her opponent is Multi Man introMulti-Man, a guy who can change his shape to any form he wants. Multi-Man and his thugs throw the glass sphere out of the chopper over the ocean, but Wonder Woman has been saving her strength for a last ditch effort. She manages to smash the sphere against the chopper as it rolls out, which pops the sphere open. Multi-Man isn’t worried, saying she’s miles from land and weakened from the gas, so she’ll drown anyway. Wonder Woman stays conscious after hitting the water and concentrates enough to call her invisible jet to pick her up. She links with the JLA Satellite and requests the file on Multi-Man. Later, Multi-Man and his crew are robbing the King Tut exhibit at the Museum of Natural History when Wonder Woman interrupts them. Multi-Man is in the form of an elephant this time, but Wonder Woman pounds him and his men. He changes to an insect again to flee, but Wonder Woman uses her lasso to knock him out of the air and commands him to stay in the same shape until he’s imprisoned.

Noticeable Things:

  • Diana apparently pays for her luxurious lifestyle with gold from Paradise Island.
  • Diana was apparently hired back by the woman named Fisher, who we saw last issue, but we’re never told exactly what Diana’s job is.
  • This guy looks kinda different, but this is the same Multi-Man who fought the Challengers of the Unknown years ago.

Green Lantern 118 coverGreen Lantern #118 – “Hell Quest” – Denny O’Neil/Alex Saviuk/Dave Hunt

This one starts with Kari Limbo having a vision of Green Lantern and Green Arrow fighting Crumbler and Professor Ojo and freaking out. Green Lantern snaps her out of it and she says her psychic powers are giving her the feeling that the two villains are going to commit some mayhem. She points out two locations on a map: New York and a wilderness area near Star City. They decide to split up and check both and Kari asks if she can go with Green Lantern. He figures her psychic power might come in handy (plus he seems kinda hot for her) so he agrees. In New York, Green Arrow goes to the headquarters of an organization called G.O.O.D. (Apparently, Kari was able to narrow her vision down to this particular building and called to let Arrow know.) Green Arrow being a consummate diplomat immediately starts some shit and ends up fighting a bunch of guards. He blasts through a steel door and finds the head of G.O.O.D.,Green Arrow starts a fight a guy named Barney Ling. Ling gives Arrow the lowdown on Professor Ojo: his father was a nuclear researcher who contracted radiation poisoning, which is why Ojo was born with no eyes. Ojo invented a device to allow him to see artificially, but wouldn’t share it with anyone. Because of his past, Ojo has an irrational hatred of nuclear power and Ling says he probably plans to attack a nuclear generating station. Speaking of which, Green Lantern and Kari are outside just such a station near Star City. They hear a commotion and see Crumbler about to get run down by a car. Crumbler uses his power glove to wreck the car and Green Lantern saves the driver from plunging over a cliff. The driver turns out to be Crumbler’s father (Tuttle), who’s still a huge prick. Seems Tuttle was trying to run over his son but didn’t count on Crumbler destroying his car. We learn the nuclear plant belongs to him and he takes off Crumbler attacks his fatherto oversee some work that’s being done. We see Ojo giving Crumbler shit for attacking his father, saying it might have jeopardized all their plans. GL shows up at the plant later with Green Arrow and Kari to warn Tuttle that Crumbler and Ojo are probably going to try and destroy it. Tuttle doesn’t care, since he has a shitload of guards with orders to kill intruders on sight and planes patrolling the skies over the plant. GL and the others get sick of Tuttle’s asshole demeanor and leave. We see Crumbler and Ojo, who seem to be tunneling through the earth using Crumbler’s power glove to disintegrate a path. At a nearby diner, Green Arrow has an epiphany and figures out that Crumbler and Ojo aren’t going to attack the main plant—they’re going after the nuclear waste that’s stored nearby but not so heavily guarded. Crumbler and Ojo come up well inside the perimeter and go after the waste containers. They breach the containers, sending radioactive wasteGreen Arrow takes down Crumbler billowing into the sky, but GL shows up and uses hs ring to make a giant vacuum to suck up all the waste. He hauls it into space (I’m sure it can’t possibly do any harm up there), while Arrow wraps Ojo in an unbreakable monofilament. Before Crumbler can use his deadly glove, Arrow covers it with some kind of glue and punches Crumbler out. Later, Kari finds GL charging his ring and says he reminds her of her dead boyfriend, Guy. Looks like she’ll get a chance for a one-to-one comparison, as she and GL immediately start making out. I guess she’s over Guy. We’ll see where this whirlwind romance goes next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • Kari is referred to as a “gypsy”, which is a somewhat racist term for Romany people. In this issue, she speaks with a weird syntax, which I guess is supposed to show that English is her second language, or that she has an accent or something. But she wasn’t talking like that last issue, so I don’t know why she suddenly turned into a stereotype.
  • G.O.O.D. Stands for Global Organization of Organized Defense, which seems a bit redundant.
  • Barney Ling first appeared in Richard Dragon comics in the mid-70s, also written by Denny O’Neil.
  • Ling is impressed by Green Arrow taking out his security guys and tries to hire him, but Arrow tells him to fuck off.

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