Comics Reviews: Flash 284, Wonder Woman 266, Green Lantern 127

Flash 284 coverFlash #284 – “Run Flash … Run for Your Life” – Cary Bates/Don Heck/Frank Chiaramonte

You’ll remember last issue Flash found out that Professor Zoom was the one who killed his wife, Iris. Flash caught Zoom and was returning him to face punishment in Zoom’s home era of the 25th Century. But Zoom’s time ship was booby-trapped to zip backward to before the beginning of time in the universe. Zoom assumed that he and Flash would perish there together, since the ship was moving too fast to bail out. But Flash decided to take his chances and jumped out into the timestream, leaving Zoom to his fate. Flash manages to keep from being torn apart by the forces of the timestream, but soon realizes that conventional physics don’t apply there. He can’t keep himself from being pulled into a strange “time whirlpool” and loses consciousness. He wakes up on solidmeeting Limbo Lord ground, but is worried when he realizes his super-speed powers have disappeared. His surroundings are still beyond the laws of Earthly physics, with the ground dropping away in front of him, and a manifestation of Fallville, the town he grew up in. Before reaching the faux Fallville, he’s confronted by a guy called the Lord of Limbo, who wants Flash to bow down and acknowledge him as master, like everyone else in Limbo does. Flash plays along and learns that Limbo exists outside the timestream; people there exist, but experience no past, present, or future. Limbo Lord offers Flash a chance to check out Fallville, but starts slapping him around when Flash forgets to bow again. He tosses Flash into a huge chasm, but the Scarlet Speedster is only stunned after falling hundreds of feet. Turns out death has no meaning in Limbo either. Flash meets some funky-looking aliens who tell him they were all time-travelers spinning with an alien boostwho got caught in Limbo Lord’s vortex too. They mention Limbo Lord projects some kind of mental jamming wave that saps people’s will to use whatever powers they have, which explains Flash’s lack of speed. The aliens say they’ve figured a way for Flash to escape Limbo, though none of them can go with him. Flash starts spinning and the aliens all add their will power to his own, which overcomes Limbo Lord’s mental jamming and restores Flash’s super-speed. The aliens tell him if he follows the portal in Fallville that leads to his own life in the timestream, he’ll get back where he belongs. Flash heads into the fake Fallville, which looks like it did when he was a kid. He sees himself being born and realizes he has to “catch up” to his own life in the timestream to get out of Limbo. He zips forward in time, seeing the accident that gave him his super-speed. Limbo Lord shows up and tries to stop him, but Flash keeps running forward through the moments of his life—his first meeting with Jay Garrick, hisFlash escapes wedding to Iris, her funeral—staying just ahead of Limbo Lord the whole way. Flash approaches the point where he entered Limbo (when he left Zoom to his fate) and overtakes himself in the timestream. But Limbo Lord grabs him at the last second, dragging him back toward Limbo. Flash accelerates further by shedding some of his molecules, which gives him enough impetus to break free of Limbo Lord’s grip and return to his regular time. Barry goes to Iris’s grave and says goodbye again, but tells himself it’s time to move on with his life. I assume that means he won’t be constantly thinking about Iris all the time … sounds like it’s time for Fiona Webb’s entrance.

Noticeable Things:

  • When Flash first realizes his speed is gone, he confirms it by playing a quick game of Jacks with some pebbles.
  • Lord of Limbo is a very Marvel villain; he looks like something out of a Kirby-era FF comic (or maybe Micronauts) and the whole “ruler of Limbo” thing owes a lot to Immortus.
  • Flash hopes he can rescue the aliens he left behind in Limbo, but I’m not sure if that ever happens.

Wonder Woman 266 coverWonder Woman #266 – “The Uninvited” – Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo/Vince Colletta

Last issue Wonder Woman and her fellow astronaut (Jensen) were shanghaied into an ERB-style lost valley full of dinosaurs and met an anthropologist (Lute) who’d been held there for years by some reptilian aliens. (This story takes place when Diana Prince was still working for NASA as an astronaut.) Wonder Woman starts pounding the aliens, but Lute tells her they’re just testing to see how strong she is so they can calibrate their weapons properly. Lute is right and Wonder Woman is blasted unconscious by the aliens. When she wakes up in a cell, Lute tells her the aliens’ origin. They came to Earth as a survey crew a couple centuries ago, but crash-landed. A radiation leak from their ship caused most of the crew to devolve into dinosaurs, leaving only a handfupounding alien guardl of reptilian aliens. They used their superior tech to remain hidden in the valley and to frighten off any Native Americans who got too close. They also downed any aircraft that flew over, which is what happened to Diana and Jensen’s shuttle. Wonder Woman says she has to find Jensen, even though Lute insists escape is impossible. She jumps a guard but is startled to find her magic lasso can’t hold him. They grapple and she blasts the alien with his own ray gun (though it’s in his hand, and he pulls the trigger, so if he’s hurt or dead it wouldn’t be Wonder Woman’s fault). She and Lute find Jensen being probed (mind-probed … get your minds out of the gutter) in a lab and she attacks. Lute blasts a couple more aliens and Wonder Woman forms a theory as to last aliens devolvewhy they captured her shuttle instead of just shooting it down. Her theory is confirmed when they find the remaining aliens examining the shuttle. Wonder Woman figures the aliens want to return home, but need a ship; Earth has advanced so much technologically since the aliens crashed that they need to study Earth spaceships to see if they can use them to leave. Lute wonders if the aliens’ mind-probes have influenced the rapid technological advances humanity has made in the last couple of centuries, but Wonder Woman prefers to believe in human creativity. She summons her robot plane to escape and lassoes the remaining aliens. Before they can wriggle free, she dumps them into the radioactive pool created by their original crash, which instantly devolves them into dinosaurs.

Wonder Girl – “The Perfect Crime” – E. Nelson Bridwell/Ric Estrada/John Calnanmeeting Perfection

Last issue, Wonder Girl’s old mentor, Loren Jupiter, supposedly died. But she found a secret code in his last letter and a wax dummy at his funeral. She tracked him to an island and found his cell, but naturally it turned out to be a trap and she fell into a hidden pit. She lands on her feet but gets conked out. When she wakes up, she’s tied up with her own lasso and surrounded by guards dressed in Ancient Roman armour for some reason. She meets the big mastermind, who turns out to be Miss Maple, Jupiter’s latest secretary … which I’m sure most of you predicted as soon as she appeared last issue. Maple (who calls herself Perfection—and she is pretty good-looking) wants to be perfect and make the world perfect as well, thereby eliminating all the bad stuff like war, beating Perfectiondisease, famine, hate, and other forms of ugliness. She figured since the Amazons are as close to perfection as anyone on Earth, she’d capture Wonder Girl and learn their secret for perpetual youth. I can’t help wondering if Perfection really wants to help the world or if she just wants to be young and hot forever. Wonder Girl busts loose, explaining that the lasso they tied her up with isn’t the real one; she suspected a trap and substituted a fake. She pulls out the real lasso and pounds all the guards, while Perfection begs her not to punch her in the face and ruin her total hotness. Later, Wonder Girl congratulates Jupiter for sending her the message tipping her off that something was up. She also says it’s too bad Perfection wasn’t as perfect on the inside as she was outside.

Green Lantern 127 coverGreen Lantern #127 – “Battleground: Oa” – Denny O’Neil/Joe Staton/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, Green Lantern tracked a force of Qwardian Weaponers through a teleportation portal to Oa, which they’d just invaded. The Weaponers plan to link their technology to the Central Power Battery to control all energy in the universe; they’re just waiting on their General (Fabrikant) to join them from Earth. Lantern follows them through, but is disoriented on first arriving. He shows up inside the Power Battery, which cancels out his ring with its own immense energy field. Lantern figures he’s trapped, but the Guardians of the Universe (who have been confined in the Power Battery) have an idea on how to get him loose. Once Lantern breaks the link between the trapped Guardians, they use him and his ring to broadcast a general distress call to other Green Lanterns across the galaxy … risking destroying their own minds byfirst casualty doing so. But it works, and we see numerous GLs zooming to Oa in response to the call. The first to arrive looks like a huge space flatworm. The Weaponers send rockets to intercept him and he uses his ring to form a shield. The ensuing explosion kills the wormy GL. The larger contingent of GLs approaches and Sinestro arrives from Earth to take command of the mission. But the Weaponers tell Sinestro he was never going to lead them; Fabrikant just wanted him as cannon fodder to fight Green Lantern. Sinestro realizes the Weaponers never considered him worthy of their fellowship and he leaves, seething with anger. The Weaponers send a yellow vortex into space, trapping most of the approaching GLs. Their rings are powerless against anything yellow and once the vortex breaks through their shields, they’ll be exposed to the vacuum of space. A handful of GLs manage to avoid the vortex, but many of them are shot down before GL fightsreaching the Power Battery chamber. One makes it through, an insectoid alien of some kind, who gets to the Battery before being gunned down. Green Lantern manages to touch his ring to the dead alien’s, which gives the Guardians a chance to transfer power from its ring to Lantern’s (since the alien was outside the Battery, his ring’s power wasn’t canceled). Lantern busts loose and starts beating the shit out of the Weaponers. He’s caught in a yellow energy net, but before he can be pulverized he gets a helping hand … from Sinestro! Yup, Sinestro is so pissed off at the way the Weaponers treated him, he’s ready to stand beside his archenemy to fight them. Sinestro mentions the plight of the other GLs and says the yellow vortex is controlled from the Guardians’ Assembly Hall. Green Lantern and Sinestro invade the Hall and pound the Weaponers, destroying the console that controls the yellow vortex. Unbeknownst to them, a short, sinister-looking dude in a weird helmet is watching them from the teleporter; one of the Weaponers addresses him as General Fabrikant, but he disappearsbig Green Lantern Corps fight before they notice him. Once the vortex dissolves, the rest of the Green Lanterns attack, mixing it up with the remaining Weaponers. More GLs are killed, but they eventually triumph. We get a really abrupt interlude, showing Carol Ferris’s place back on Earth; Fabian, the kid Hal asked her to look after, is wearing the exact same suit that Fabrikant was wearing on Oa moments earlier. Fabian tells Carol he “found” the suit. On Oa, the Lanterns beat the Weaponers, although the Guardians hesitate to call it a victory, since they consider the very act of warfare to be a defeat. Sinestro seems to have disappeared and Green Lantern and the others prepare to clean up the mess … and to mourn their dead.

Noticeable Things:

  • Green Lantern makes sure to tell Sinestro not to kill any of the Weaponers when they invade the Assembly Hall.
  • The guy in the teleporter with the weird mask must be General Fabrikant, which I guess means Fabian is actually Fabrikant? GL did first encounter Fabian after he followed him through the portal to Qward, so maybe Fabrikant replaced Fabian and hitched a ride back to Earth with GL. I wonder if Sinestro knows about Fabrikant’s disguise?
  • There are a bunch of GLs attacking Oa, but the only ones I can definitively identify are Katma Tui, Tomar-Re, Chaselon, and (probably) Larvox. The rest look like extras from the Mos Eisley cantina.

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