Comics Reviews: Flash 283, Wonder Woman 265, Green Lantern 126

Flash 283 coverFlash #283 – “Flashback” – Cary Bates/Don Heck/Frank Chiaramonte

Last issue, Flash found out (thanks to a videotape from the murder scene) that Clive Yorkin wasn’t the one who killed his wife Iris, though Yorkin did witness the murder. Flash went into the future to see who did kill Iris, but the murder was still unsolved. On his way back to the present, Flash figured out who the real killer was, but upon arrival his cosmic treadmill exploded, seemingly killing him. This issue opens with Flash’s arch-nemesis, Professor Zoom, gloating over the wreckage. Zoom is the one who sabotaged the cosmic treadmill and as he discovers and views the videotape of Iris’s murder, Zoom seems almost sad that she’s gone. He knows who theZoom prepares to replace Iris killer is—and taunted Flash with that knowledge last issue—and he realizes that Flash figured out who the true killer was right before the treadmill exploded. Zoom takes a photo of Iris and leaves. He goes to the old Milk Factory (where we saw the cops shooting it out with some criminals a couple issues back) and we find out Zoom is the head of the heroin ring that’s been operating out of the police station. Now that Zoom has eliminated Flash and gotten his main flunky Chief Paulson thrown in jail (also last issue … see what you missed?), he’s ready to expand operations. Zoom has figured out a way to add heroin to certain foods (like powdered milk) so it can be transported and consumed more easily. His henchmen know he’s kinda nuts, but don’t care since he took care of Flash. Zoom heads to his hideout, where more on his men have a present for him … a young woman they drugged and abducted. But this isn’t just any woman; she has a specific look and bone structure, one a lot like the late Iris Allen. Zoom has hired a plastic surgeon to “recreate” Iris, using the unfortunate woman as a starting Iris killedpoint. Yeah, Zoom is definitely crazy. But the surgeon says he’ll do his best and takes the woman—and the photo of Iris—away to his be reborn. We find out Zoom destroyed the records that Flash was seeking in the future, naming Iris’s killer. Zoom decides to record what really happened, so he can replace the information in the future archives. Turns out Zoom had a weird obsession (which calls love) with Iris; he showed up at her house a while back and asked her to dump Barry and marry him. Predictably, she laughed in his face and told him to fuck off. Zoom gave her 24 hours to change her mind, then hypnotically erased the memory of his visit, though the memory of his ultimatum supposedly stayed in her subconscious. Don’t ask me how that works … 25th Century tech, I guess. Anyway, the 24 hours ran out the night of the masquerade party at the Whitlock Mansion, where Zoom went dressed as himself. He asked Iris to be his woman again, and again she told him where to go. He wiped her memory again and had one of his men dose Flash with angel dust to get him out of the way while Zoom took care of Iris. But Zoom found Clive Yorkin lurking in the mansion and figured he’d be a great patsy, so he killed Iris by phasing his hand through her brain (moving at invisibleFlash pulls himself together super-speed to avoid being caught on camera) and hid while Flash came in and found Yorkin standing over her. Zoom then pushed Yorkin out the window (again, at invisible super-speed), making it seem like Yorkin was fleeing. Zoom still insists he loved Iris, but if he couldn’t have her, neither could Barry. After recording his confession, Zoom is drained and decides to take a nap. Across, town the heroin milk factory starts vibrating like there’s an earthquake. The vibrations get worse until the whole place falls down. Zoom is woken by a familiar voice … Flash is speaking to him from his own recording device. Zoom can’t believe Flash survived the explosion of the cosmic treadmill, but Flash says he noticed it was booby-trapped less than a second before materializing. Since Zoom’s bomb was designed to scatter Flash’s atoms backward and forward in time, Flash dispersed his own molecules and rode the shockwave Flash pounds Zoomforward a few hours. Then he just had to wait until a few hours passed to reconstitute himself. He vibrated Zoom’s heroin factory to the ground, then criss-crossed Central City until he found Zoom’s hideout. Flash is ready to make Zoom pay for killing Iris, but Zoom takes off. Flash chases him all over and it looks like Zoom loses him while they’re running over the ocean’s surface, but Flash swims underwater at super-speed and grabs Zoom as he’s boarding his time ship to go back to the 25th Century. Then Flash gets his revenge by breaking Zoom’s neck … nah, I’m just kidding; Flash would never do something like that. He does smash Zoom’s face into the floor about a hundred times at super-speed, which must’ve been somewhat satisfying. Flash says he’s taking Zoom back to the 25th Century, but the time ship goes backward in time instead. Turns out Zoom has the controls trapped; if anyone but him operates the time controls,Flash abandons Zoom to his fate the ship will go in the opposite direction. Zoom says the ship is on a course to go back to the beginning of time … and beyond, before the existence of the universe, where he and Flash will both blink out of existence. Flash is ready to abandon ship, but Zoom says it’s too late; the ship is already in the pre-dinosaur age and accelerating, so they’d be torn apart by the timestream if they tried to leave. Flash figures it’s better than certain death before the beginning of time, so he jumps off the ship, leaving Zoom to careen toward his doom. What happens to Flash in the timestream? We’ll find out next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • The plastic surgeon didn’t just have one photo of Iris to help him transform the innocent woman into her doppleganger; Zoom says there’s a full physical dossier, plus plenty more photos at the doctor’s lab. How long has Zoom been creeping around photographing Iris?
  • Flash says the 25th Century has brought back the death penalty, so Zoom will be executed for killing Iris. Would they execute someone for a crime committed in another time period?
  • There’s no more mention of the surgically altered Iris doppleganger, but I’m thinking she might pop up in a future story.

Wonder Woman 265 coverWonder Woman #265 – “Land of the Scaled Gods” – Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo/Joe Giella

This story is obviously filler; it’s set during the time Diana was working at NASA, but doesn’t have any of the regular supporting cast from that time. It’s also something of an homage (or rip-of) of Burroughs’ The Land That Time Forgot. Diana shows up late to a shuttle launch and sneaks aboard, startling her co-pilot, Jansen. After they launch, the shuttle is grabbed by a weird blue energy beam that drags them down toward a misty valley in the Rocky Mountains. Conveniently, Jansen is knocked out, so Diana can change to Wonder Woman and save him before the shuttle crashes. She carries Jansen into a mysterious cave, where she sees an eerie light. She follows the light and runs into a dinosaur, which she pounds into the wall. She soon realizes the cave leads to an entire Lost World, full of dinosaurs. (She mentally compares it to reports she’s readWW fights pterosaur from World War II about Dinosaur Island.) She meets Dr. Lute, Professor of Palaeontology at USC, who’s been trapped in the dinosaur world for over a year. After fighting a pterosaur, Wonder Woman asks Lute for his story. He says he was researching Native American legends about a thunder lizard and found a mountain that was perpetually shrouded in fog … the Hill of the Scaled God (which sounds like an old-school D&D module). The Native Americans stayed away from it, but Lute took a team to see what was there. He found dinosaurs and figured it’d make his career if he could bring back evidence. Wonder Woman asks what happened to the rest of his team and why he hasn’t left yet. Lute says his team are all dead, and he can’t leave because the Scaled Gods won’t let him. As he says that, a bunch of frog-faced aliens step out of the mist with guns. We’ll see what happens next issue.

Donna figures out the codeWonder Girl – “Mr. Jupiter is Dead” – E. Nelson Bridwell/Ric Estrada/John Calnan

The back-up story is a Wonder Girl solo that starts with Donna Troy (Wonder Girl’s civilian identity) learning that Loren Jupiter has died and left his huge fortune to her. (Jupiter was the “richest man in the world” who funded the Teen Titans a few years back.) Apparently, Jupiter didn’t leave a real will, just a note he scribbled hastily right before keeling over at his desk. Donna examines the note and notices a hidden code saying Jupiter isn’t dead and asking for Wonder Girl’s help. She shows up at the funeral as Wonder Girl and soon sees the body is fake. She uses her lasso to compel the truth from the mortician; Jupiter is being held in an old fortress on an island. He’s not being held for ransom; instead, the head of the kidnappers (a woman calling herself Perfection) wants to pick Jupiter’s brain to help in her schemes. Jupiter’s secretary (Miss Maple) comes in and is thrilled to hear he’s still alive. She arranges transportation to the island for Wonder Girl, and invites herself along. (I think I can already see where this is going.) Wonder Girl pounds some guards (who are dressed like Roman gladiators for some reason) and finds Jupiter. But it turns out the whole thing was a set-up and Wonder Girl falls through a trap door. We’ll find out where she lands next issue.

Green Lantern 126 coverGreen Lantern #126 – “The Peril Pact” – Denny O’Neil/Joe Staton/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, Green Lantern went to Qward to confront Sinestro, but the villain escaped. After realizing the Qwardians had sent an army of Weaponers into Earth’s dimension, he came back himself, bringing a kid (Fabian) who’d wandered through the portal to Qward. GL seals up the portal, to prevent anyone else from using it and brings Fabian back to Coast City. But when they arrive at the waterfront, everyone is acting weird, like they’re scared for no reason. The pointless fear soon grips Lantern’s mind as well, and he realizes his old enemy, the Shark, is using his mental powers to screw with everybody’s minds. GL uses his ring to bust through the pier and land in the water, which suits the Shark just fine, since the ocean is his original habitat. He uses his powers to gather gold from the ocean and encase GL in it. Since GL’s ring is useless against anything yellow, he can’t break out of the airtight gold coffin.Shark fight Elsewhere, we see the Weaponers of Qward building a teleporter to invade Oa. It seems Earth wasn’t their target after all, just a jumping off point. Shark is in a restaurant, stuffing himself with rare (and raw) steaks, something he’s done before. GL manages to knock his gold sarcophagus into the ocean depths, where the pressure crushes the fragile metal and frees him. He zips back to the surface and figures Shark will be chowing down for a while. He takes Fabian to Carol so she can look after him (which she’s not thrilled about) and heads home to recharge his ring. GL returns to the pier in time to follow Shark to the Weaponers’ hideout. I have no idea how GL knew Shark was working with the Weaponers, but his ploy works and Shark leads him to their hidden cavern. Shark tells the Weaponers he’s taken care of Green Lantern and wants his reward, but they betray him; he’s turned back into his original form of a tiger shark. GL feels bad for him, so he returns the shark to the ocean instead of letting him flop to GL fights Weaponerdeath on shore. He heads back to the cavern, but most of the Weaponers have gone through the teleporter, leaving only a few as a rear guard. GL kicks the crap out of them, but can’t get any information on their plans except that their General (Fabrikant) is a genius who’s going to lead them to triumph. GL jumps through the teleporter where he finds himself on Oa. The Weaponers have already pounded the Guardians of the Universe (which makes sense … the Guardians are pacifists, after all) and attached a bunch of them to the central power battery. The Weaponers want to combine the battery’s power with whatever force gives the Guardians immortality to create the ultimate weapon. That’s what GL blunders into when he jumps through the teleporter; we’ll have to wait until next issue to see what he does about it.

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