Last issue Professor Zoom told Flash he knew who had really killed his wife, Iris. Before Flash could inquire further, Zoom attached a pair of density boots to Flash’s feet, causing him to sink into the ground toward Earth’s molten core. Flash uses his super-speed aura to protect himself from the heat (and to keep a sheath of oxygen around himself), but the boots are too dense to vibrate out of. As he gets deeper underground, the heat finally melts the boots enough for Flash to vibrate free, but he’s immediately swept into a flow of molten magma. Flash has no choice but to go with the flow (so to speak) and ends up getting spewed out of a volcano in the Pacific Ocean. Flash heads for home, running on top of the water, and runs into Green Lantern, who gives him a lift back to shore and promises to help him against Zoom if he wants. Flash says he’ll let GL know and heads home. Flash isn’t naive enough to believe Zoom was telling the truth about his knowledge of Iris’s killer, but Zoom’s boast gives the Scarlet Speedster an idea … why not use the cosmic treadmill to go into the future and find the identity of Iris’s killer in official records? Flash heads for Zoom’s home era (the 25th Century) and almost causes an accident upon arrival. He saves the youngsters, but nobody recognizes him except law enforcement types. Flash goes to a historical library (where the robot librarian also recognizes him), but the records say Iris’s murder was never solved. Flash gets pissed off, thinking Zoom was lying to torment him … or to get him out of the way while he pulls some shit back in the 20th Century. Speaking of which, we see Barry’s erstwhile boss, Police Chief Paulson, with his wife in South America. They fled there after Barry started getting close to uncovering Paulson’s role in the heroin ring that was operating out of the police station. Paulson thinks he’s safe, but Flash shows up out of nowhere and yanks him out of his taxi. Flash says he’s taking Paulson back to the States to face charges for the heroin distribution. On the way, Flash interrogates Paulson, who says he was working for someone named Zyx, who he never actually met; Zyx always gave him orders in a deserted garage, but his voice came out of thin air so Paulson has no idea who he is or even what he looks like. Flash is acting weird—much snottier than usual—and that, combined with the fact that we last saw Flash in the future, tells me this is probably Zoom in disguise. He drops Paulson at the police station and gives the cops a tape of the conversation they had on the way back from South America, which amounts to a full confession. Outside the station, “Flash” runs into Green Lantern again and tells him to fuck off, then decks him. Yup, this is Zoom in disguise, which he quickly sheds before giving GL another slap-down and zooming off. The real Flash returns from his trip to the future but when he rematerializes on the cosmic treadmill, it blows up! We’ll find out if Flash survives next issue.
- The country Paulson fled to is said to be San Velga, which has no extradition treaty to the States; I’m not sure if it’s ever used again.
- Judging by Zoom’s interrogation of Paulson, it looks like my speculation last issue was right … Zoom is the mysterious Zyx who’s behind the whole drug ring.
Last issue Wonder Woman was grabbed by a villain called Gaucho, who works for a guy called the Prime Planner, head of a cartel of criminals. Wonder Woman foiled an earlier assassination by one of the cartel’s other operatives and stumbled onto Gaucho’s attempt to kill a U.S. Senator. But Gaucho managed to snare her in his electrical lariat and drag her into the air behind his flying horse. (Yeah, he has a flying horse … he’s a very modern cowboy.) He dumps Wonder Woman over the ocean, but she manages to bust free of the lariat and summon her invisible jet before she hits the water. Her jet almost causes a crash on a highway, but she saves everyone in time. Just outside New York Harbor, a gigantic submarine grabs a yacht belonging to a rich guy named Cramer. Cramer is one of Prime Planner’s employers, head of a company called Intercontinental Communications. ICC hired Prime Planner to kill the Senator because his Judiciary Committee might uncover ICC’s shady business dealings … why don’t they just buy him off like every other politician? Cramer is worried about Wonder Woman’s interference and tries to call off the hit, but Prime Planner says contracts can’t be canceled, so they’re going to kill the Senator whether Cramer changed his mind or not. In Washington, Diana Prince tries to get information on Wonder Woman under the Freedom of Information Act, but a lawyer tells her she’d need a court order, which takes a compelling reason for wanting the information. She tells Diana Wonder Woman should apply herself to see her file, but she already tried that and got the runaround. Diana’s police radio alerts her to trouble at the Capitol and she takes off. She finds an anti-nuke protest, as well as a bunch of rheas running around. Yeah, you heard me … a bunch of flightless South American birds are running around in front of the Capitol. Wonder Woman assumes it’s a distraction cooked up by Gaucho, but she soon learns she has to take it seriously. One of the birds turns out to be a robot with a bomb inside. She tosses the bomb, but wonders how she’ll capture the others without setting off their bombs. To make things even harder, some of the rheas are real, but there’s no way to tell which are which without grabbing them and maybe blowing a bunch of innocent bystanders to hell. Wonder Woman gets an idea and takes off, leaving Gaucho to bust into the Capitol and go after the Senator. Wonder Woman soon returns with a female rhea from the zoo; she noticed all of Gaucho’s birds were male, so she figured she could separate them from the robots by using a sexy female bird. It works … the real birds chase the hapless female, leaving Wonder Woman to gather up the booby-trapped robots and detonate up in the sky. Meanwhile, Gaucho has been toying with the Senator, chasing him through the Capitol, but before he can finish him, Wonder Woman shows up and punches Gaucho out. The cartel’s previous assassin, Bushmaster, took an amnesia pill when he was captured, but Gaucho didn’t have a chance to do that, so Wonder Woman figures she might actually get some answers from him. We’ll see if she does next issue.
- I have no idea how nobody noticed that mammoth submarine near New York; wouldn’t it show up on sonar or radar … or displace so much water it’d be impossible to miss?
- It may seem a bit convenient that all the rheas were male, or that Gaucho toyed with the Senator instead of killing him outright, but Gaucho was written as an arrogant sexist, so both those things fit his personality.
This issue starts with Green Lantern and Tom Kalmaku rigging up an alarm on a portal to Qward so GL will know if Sinestro comes through. They finish and head for Ferris Aircraft, as Denny continues his resetting of Green Lantern’s world; not only is Hal Jordan back working at Ferris, but so is Tom. Seems his chain of gas stations went bust due to the energy crisis … makes sense for the time, but it was pretty quick considering everything was fine just a couple of issues ago. Anyway, there’s some friction between Hal and Carol (that’s why they say you shouldn’t date your boss) and there’s bound to be even more after Hal takes off to answer the alarm he placed on the portal to Qward. Sure enough, Sinestro has busted through and GL tackles him. Having set up some traps around the portal, GL quickly gets the upper hand and even disarms Sinestro by pushing him away with his power ring, leaving Sinestro’s yellow ring behind (since GL’s ring can’t affect anything yellow). Sinestro flees through the portal, taunting GL to follow. GL stops to charge his ring first and doesn’t notice a kid heading into the portal. GL goes into Qward and runs into a huge storm. A column of spaceships and soldiers are slogging through the storm, but GL ignores them and goes looking for Sinestro. Hmmm, a bunch of armed soldiers with ships, marching toward a portal to Earth’s dimension … what could that mean? I guess after all those hits to the head, GL isn’t that bright. He does figure out that Sinestro will be at the Weaponers’ lab, getting a new power ring. He runs into a Weaponer at the lab and distracts him with a hologram, but when he closes in his ring won’t work. He decks the Weaponer, figuring they must have a yellow neutralizing field operating in the lab. GL starts getting a nagging feeling that something’s wrong, but goes into the lab anyway. He finds Sinestro and a Weaponer creating a new ring and discussing the storm outside, which the Weaponer says is a side-effect from some General’s experiment; the General was trying to create a weather-control device for the invasion. The kid who wandered in earlier pops up and yells GL’s name, which alerts Sinestro and the Weaponer. GL decks the Weaponer, but Sinestro grabs his nearly-finished ring and starts blasting. This ring is powerful than his old one, so he misses GL, who grabs the kid and runs like hell. But GL can’t get out of the lab, and Sinestro starts toying with him. When will these villains learn to just waste the hero and get it over with? GL grabs a lightning spear from the Weaponer he decked earlier and brings part of the ceiling down on Sinestro’s head. He then uses another lightning spear to blast out of the lab. GL takes the kid back through the portal to Earth, but finds the land around the portal is scorched down to nothing. He finally realizes what the column of soldiers (and the Weaponer’s conversation with Sinestro) mean: a Qwardian army has invaded Earth! We’ll see what Green Lantern does about it next issue.