Comics Reviews: Flash 276, Wonder Woman 258, Green Lantern 119

Flash 276 coverFlash #276 – “Freakout” – Cary Bates/Alex Saviuk/Frank Chiaramonte

You’ll remember last issue was a pretty momentous one; Barry and Iris attended a costume party (as Flash and Batgirl) and someone drugged Barry. Iris went to get him some water and ended up dead, apparently at the hands of escaped nutcase Clive Yorkin, who blames Barry for letting him be turned into a raving maniac by a prison experiment (even though Yorkin volunteered for the experiment and Barry had it shut down as soon as he realized how dangerous it was). Barry still thinks Iris is alive and tries to go after Yorkin (who crashed through the window last issue), but Barry’s still screwed up from being drugged, so he just falls out the window into the bushes. By the time Barry’s fellow cop Frank Curtis and anotherFlash dreams of pounding Yorkin party guest get down to the yard, Barry is gone. We see Flash catching up to Yorkin and beating the shit out of him, raving about him hurting Iris. It turns out to be a dream and Barry wakes up strapped down in the hospital, still worked up about Iris. He’s still whacked out from being drugged but manages to vibrate out of his restraints. The hospital staff grab him and sedate him; he has a fever dream of all the weird shit that’s happened lately. Five days later, Barry is finally being released from the hospital and Frank Curtis comes to pick him up. Barry’s still wondering about Iris and Yorkin and Curtis tells him they found him only a few feet from the bushes where he landed, so obviously the whole thing about him pounding Yorkin was just a drug-induced dream. Curtis breaks the news that Iris is dead, which makes Barry question his sanity. recapCurtis tells him someone dosed him with angel dust at the party (which explains some of his bizarre behaviour), but they don’t know who, when, or how. Barry still can’t accept that Iris is dead, so Curtis takes him to the morgue so he can see for himself. Barry finally has to face the truth and Curtis takes him home. On the JLA Satellite, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern are discussing the news of Iris’s death and talking about how they can support Barry. Flash shows up and asks them if they’ll use their powers (or Amazonian super-science) to resurrect Iris. All of them say it’s impossible, but Flash gets pissed off at Green Lantern, saying his ring is basically a miracle machine that can do everything he wants … which is kinda true. GL says he can’t control life and death and Flash freaks and starts wrecking the place. Batman figures the angel dust is still in his system, causing him to act crazy. Whatever it is, he ends up smashing the main gyroscope controls, which will cause the Satellite to fall out of orbit. Superman substitutes himself for the busted gyro while the others try to subdue Flash.Flash vs JLA He’s too fast for them and by the time Superman stabilizes the Satellite, Flash is completely losing his shit, threatening to tear the whole place apart. We’ll see if he succeeds next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • Is sedating someone whose wife just died (and then not even telling him she’s dead for five days) standard practice at hospitals? Is that even legal? It sure doesn’t seem ethical.
  • As far as the mystery of who dosed Barry with the angel dust, my money’s still on the guy dressed as Sandman; he was going around “zapping” everyone with his gun, so he could’ve shot something into Barry’s drink, or sprayed some angel dust in his face or something.

Wonder Woman 258 coverWonder Woman #258 – “The Long Grey Line … of Death” – Paul Levitz, Paul Kupperberg/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

This one starts out with Wonder Woman showing up on graduation day at West Point and attacking a tank. Has she gone nuts? No, it turns out the tank is being controlled remotely and was about to blast a podium full of generals. Wonder Woman plays Super Mario and flips the tank on its back. She mentions that this is the second attack, the first being an assassination attempt on the Commandant of West Point, General Grant. (Someone tossed a grenade into his office … subtle.) General Bradford says Grant should take precautions, but Grant is more worried about the cadets and their families who are there for the graduation. A former graduate named Pierce shows up and Bradford mentions Pierce’s son, who’s in the latest class, but Pierce says his sonobstacle course left West Point the previous winter. Wonder Woman says she’ll stick around to keep an eye on things. After the ceremony starts, Wonder Woman notices someone taking out a guard and sneaking into a bunker with a radio antenna on top. Before she can investigate, mortars start falling on the parade field, so she heads down to deflect some of the fire. The generals move everyone to safety and tell Wonder Woman she’ll have to run the gauntlet over the assault course to get to the bunker and destroy the antenna, since someone is obviously using it to control everything remotely. Wonder Woman goes through the course, dodging mortars, machine guns, and mines. She reaches the bunker and wrecks the antenna, and the guard who was knocked out says it was Pierce who did it. Turns out Pierce’s son got in shit for cheating and was going to be expelled; he was found innocent, but his fellow cadets decided to shun him, so he quit in disgrace. Now Pierce seems to want revenge on the Commandant. Plane attackHe steals a VTOL plane loaded with munitions and Wonder Woman goes after him in her invisible jet. She plays aerial tag with him until he launches a missile at her. She manages to draw the missile into the upper atmosphere where it explodes, but Pierce’s second missile bypasses Wonder Woman’s jet and locks on to Indian Point Nuclear Plant. If it hits, the entire area will be radioactive. Wonder Woman uses her lasso to pull the missile off course and into the water, where it explodes harmlessly. Pierce then decides to play kamikaze and aims his plane at Indian Point Reactor. Wonder Woman jumps onto the plane and yanks Pierce out of the pilot’s seat, still raving about completing his “mission”. The change in weight throws the plane off course and it misses the Reactor as Wonder Woman jumps to safety, dragging Pierce with her. Turns out Pierce’s son killed himself after leaving the Point, unable to live with his humiliation. So Pierce wanted to “kill” West Point before it killed any more cadets like his son. The generals say he’s nuts, but Wonder Woman thinks he may have a point and decides to skip the graduation ceremony.

Noticeable Things:

  • There are no women shown at West Point, even in the background. Women first entered West Point as cadets in 1976, which means the first graduating class to contain women was 1980, a year after this story.
  • Twice Wonder Woman mentions “men playing at war” with their destructive weapons. I know she’s supposed to be a big pacifist, but if she feels that strongly about it, why was she hanging around West Point anyway? And why would she fall in love with Steve Trevor, a poster boy for the military?

Green Lantern 119 coverGreen Lantern #119 – “The Gravity Connection” – Denny O’Neil/Alex Saviuk/Dave Hunt

This one starts with Ollie and Dinah (that’s Green Arrow and Black Canary, in case you didn’t know) on the hunt for some special chili powder so Ollie can make one of his gut-burning concoctions. But the only place in town that carries “Raging Red Bull Chili Spice” just sold the last six bottles to a woman named Mrs. Vorpal (snicker-snack!), whose husband works the high steel. Across the country, Green Lantern and Kari Limbo are at her old fortune-teller shop. GL admires a vase but gets zapped when he touches it and the vase cracks open to reveal a weird-shaped metal thingamajig inside. Kari touches it and gets a vision of a bunch of spaceships with solar sails (actually, they look more like umbrellas) falling toward Saturn. GL figures he better check it out. Back in Star City, Arrow tracks Mrs. Vorpal to a drugstore and interrupts a junkie trying to rip theGL finds doohickey place off. Arrow does his crusader routine and tells the guy to get help instead of pounding him. The druggist says Mrs. Vorpal bought a bunch of rat poison and he gives Arrow her address, since he just saved his ass from the junkie. GL heads into space and finds the fleet of ships with solar sails. A bunch of aliens outside one of the ships tell GL that their own engineering corps has seized the ships and is now firing at them. GL erects a force field to protect them, but the aliens point out that their ships are all caught in Saturn’s gravity and are spiraling down to their doom. This being Green Lantern, he’s promptly hit on the head by flying space debris. In Star City, Ollie is looking up drug references, since something about Mrs. Vorpal’s purchases has made him suspicious. Dinah tells him Kari is coming for dinner and Ollie figures he can make his gut-buster chili, which Dinah tries to talk him out of. Around Saturn, GL and engineerssomething miraculous has happened … Green Lantern wasn’t knocked out after being hit on the head, just stunned! Debris from Saturn’s rings is inundating the ships, possibly wrecking the solar sails. GL throws up another shield, then busts into the ship to confront the engineers. They say they weren’t trying to hurt anyone, they just didn’t want their people to freak out about being caught in the planet’s gravity well. They’ve been trying to repair the damaged engines, but it’s been a thousand years since they had to do any maintenance, so they’re not too good at it. They say a vital piece of the engine is missing, lost when one of their ancestors visited Earth centuries ago. GL tries to hold back the ships, but Saturn’s gravity is too strong and he figures they’re shit out of luck. In Star City, Kari shows Ollie and Dinah the weird metal thingy she found at her shop and it floats in the air. Ollie gets a brainstorm andArrow saves Vorpal grabs the floating dingus, saying they don’t have long to save a life. Back at Saturn, GL tells the aliens it’s time to abandon ship, but they say their laws prevent them from leaving the ships until they reach their destination … a million years from now. Talk about your long trips; I hope they brought a Michener novel. In Star City, a construction worker (Mr. Vorpal, naturally) gets whacked out after eating his wife’s chili and almost falls to his death, but Green Arrow uses the anti-gravity doohickey to save him. Green Lantern swoops down out of nowhere and grabs the doohickey, then speeds back into space. Good thing he didn’t show up a couple minutes earlier, or Mr. Vorpal would be dead. GL finally realized what all of you have been yelling for the last dozen pages, that the doohickey he found in Kari’s shop is the missing part of the alien engine. He gives them the part, which restarts the engine and saves them all from a fiery death. The aliens continue on their way and GL heads home for some hot sex. GL and Kari bangingYou thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

Noticeable Things:

  • We’re never told exactly where Kari Limbo’s place is, but it was described as a “Midwestern city” a couple issues ago, so maybe it’s Chicago?
  • The aliens say the guy who lost the spaceship part visited Earth ten thousand years ago, but the art shows some kind of highwayman holding up a horse-drawn carriage; maybe it should be one thousand years ago, although that’s still too early for the scene shown.
  • Green Arrow says Mrs. Vorpal mixed disulfate mercurochloride with the chili to kill her husband, which as far as I can tell doesn’t exist. The editor says they changed the name of the chemical (to keep people from poisoning each other, I guess), but I’m wondering if the whole “killed husband with rat poison disguised by chili” thing was inspired by a real life incident.
  • They don’t seem to do anything about Mrs. Vorpal trying to kill her husband. Dinah says she’ll be sorry once her husband recovers, so I guess she’s saying it’s okay if he goes home and beats the shit out of her? Doesn’t sound like something Dinah would say … Ollie, maybe, but not Dinah.

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