Comics Reviews: Flash 296, Wonder Woman 278, Green Lantern 139, Jonah Hex 47

Flash 296 coverFlash #296 – “The Man Who Was Cursed to the Bone” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Bob Smith

That’s right, Infantino’s back on Flash, in a goofy tale that seems like it might have been left over from his first run on the comic. It starts with Flash zipping across country, looking for Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny, who’s been missing for a few days after taking a case in Chicago. Ralph’s wife, Sue, asked Barry Allen if he’d get his “friend” Flash to look for Ralph, but so far the Scarlet Speedster has come up empty. Flash runs into a cop car being driven by three characters straight out of a circus: Hokus (a magician); Scrunch (a dwarf); and Miss Blubba (the fat lady). They apparently stole the cop car during a getaway after a robbery. Flash gets them in a whirlwind, but Hokus distracts him long enough for Scrunch to hypnotize him. Hokus suggests Flash spin at super-speed untilFlash spins into the ground he drills into the ground and the thieves take off. Flash manages to reverse his spin before plunging into the Earth’s core, but a trip through a natural gas pocket leaves him unconscious. We see the circus folk returning to their leader (Master Jero), a guy with some major skin problems. Turns out they were stealing Interferon to use on the leader, but they still don’t have enough, so they’ll have to try one last robbery … in Central City. Three days later, Barry talks to Sue Dibny, who’s been doing some investigating of her own. She found clippings from various European newspapers (all from cities she and Ralph recently visited) and noticed that the Baxxum Brothers Circus played each of those cities. Barry says that circus is in Central City right now and he’ll go check it out. Flash zooms over to the circus, where he finds Ralph in Sue's sexy curea cage under the label “Triple-Jointed Man”. Ralph is in a trance and Flash notices the three thieves he tangled with before. Flash says it never occurred to him the thieves might’ve come from a circus … really? Where else would a magician, a dwarf, and a fat lady come from? He figures they’re going out to commit another robbery and follows them. Sue shows up at the circus soon after and finds Ralph in his cage. She decides to snap him out of his trance as only she can … with sex. Or at least with some heavy frenching. It works and Ralph tracks the thieves to STAR Labs, the only place in the state that produces Interferon. He tackles the thieves but before he can apprehend them, Flash shows up and starts fighting with Ralph. The thieves take off and after rolling Ralph into a hoop, Flash explains that he has a reason for interfering. He and Ralph head back to the circus, where they find the thieves giving Master Jero an interferon cocktail. Turns out Jero haselephant man neurofibromatosis, like the Elephant Man. His condition is getting worse, but his genius I.Q. Let him come up with a possible cure. His friends stole the ingredients to help him, but when he drinks the cure it doesn’t work. Ralph checks out the formula and sees that one of the ingredients is an extract of Gingold, the drink that gives Ralph his stretching ability. Since he and Jero have the same blood type, Ralph figures a transfusion might cure Jero. It works and Jero turns out to be a young blond stud. Flash says he and Ralph will recommend the authorities go easy on the circus folk for the thefts, and Jero decides he wants to be a lawyer. Too bad, I was just starting to like him.

Firestorm – “Rain Rain Go Away … Come to Kill Us Another Day” – Gerry Conway/Jim Starlin/Bob Wiacek

Last issue, Firestorm rescued a guy named Drake, a diver in a bathysphere who’d been cut loose during a storm by a ruthless ship’s captain named Hammer. But the nuclear power source in the bathysphere blew, giving Firestorm vs TyphoonDrake weather-based super powers. The transformation drove Drake (or Typhoon as we’ll call him now) nuts and he tries to kill everyone on the ship. Firestorm saves them, but since they were the ones who tried to waste Drake in the first place, Firestorm has no problem leaving them floating o a raft in the Pacific Ocean while he follows Typhoon toward Australia. He catches up to him as Typhoon is wreaking havoc in Sydney. Professor Stein realizes they can use science to counter Typhoon’s weather-based abilities, so Firestorm creates an iceberg and lowers the air pressure around Typhoon. That takes away Typhoon’s powers, changing him back to Drake. Now the only problem is how to split back into Ronnie and Stein without stranding one of them thousands of miles from where they’re supposed to be. Although since Hammer and his crew are probably going to jail, I don’t think it really matters if Stein sticks around the Pacific anymore.

Wonder Woman 278 coverWonder Woman #278 – “The Serpent and the Amazon” – Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo/Dave Hunt

Last issue, international terrorist Kobra stole a nuclear device called Cobalt 93 from the American government, planning to use it to blackmail the world. Wonder Woman tracked him to his hideout in India, but ended up in a pit full of cobras as the mastermind loomed over her. She uses her bracelets to deflect the snakes’ fangs and flings them at her tormentor. The snakes kill him, but it turns out he wasn’t the real Kobra, just some lackey dressed like his boss. Wonder Woman goes after the real Kobra, but a huge cobra attacks her. She pounds it and finds out it’s just a robot, but Kobra and his cultists escape. Wonder Woman searches the lair, but finds only an altar that looks like a pyramid with a cobra coiled around it. Back in the States, Steve Trevor and Diana Prince discuss Kobra’s threat to irradiate theWonder Woman smashes robot cobra Middle East oil fields with the Cobalt 93 bomb. If the world pays him half their national product as he wants, it’ll plunge the world economy into chaos … and if they don’t pay, no more oil for about a hundred years; either way, Steve figures Kobra will use the ensuing chaos to take over the world. They get a reading on some unusual radioactivity in Egypt and Steve heads over in a supersonic plane, followed by Wonder Woman in her own invisible jet. Steve gets to the radiation’s source, the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Steve plays Tomb Raider and slips inside, telling his Egyptian Army contact to level the pyramids if he doesn’t come back with the Cobalt 93 bomb. Wonder Woman shows up soon after and blunders into some of Kobra’s guards. Not being Americans, they don’t recognize her and have no idea how powerful she is, so she lets them take her into the pyramid. Seems like everyone in the world should Steve infiltratesrecognize Wonder Woman, but I suppose murderous cultists don’t have time to watch the news. The cultists lead her to the launch bay, where Kobra has mounted the Cobalt warhead on an old ICBM. Seeing Wonder Woman being led in so easily, Kobra assumes his men have drugged her and doesn’t listen when they try to tell him the truth. Steve sneaks onto the missile and starts sabotaging it; he figures Kobra stole the ICBM, but knowing how the Americans operate, I’d guess Kobra probably just bought it from them. The missile starts to launch and Wonder Woman starts kicking ass, surprising Kobra. They fight, but she can’t stop the missile from launching. The pyramid starts coming downWonder Woman pounds Kobra around them, so Wonder Woman leaves Kobra to be crushed (although there’s a hint he might not have perished after all) as she and the cultists haul ass out of the collapsing pyramid. The Egyptian soldier tells Wonder Woman Steve was on the missile when it launched and she goes to look for him. She finds him in the ocean, where Steve’s sabotage sent the missile. She rescues him and they make plans for some sweet, sweet lovin’ later.

Huntress – “The Lion Roars at Midnight” – Paul Levitz/Joe Staton/Steve Mitchell

This one starts with Huntress going to see District Attorney Harry Sims, who’s figured out her secret identity. Harry is at Gull Island Prison (he was there for some kind of conference), the most secure prison in the state, but Huntress talks with Harrythat doesn’t stop Huntress. She breaks in and talks to Harry. Nothing is really resolved; Harry doesn’t tell her he’s in love with hr, and she doesn’t tell him her father was Batman, but Harry does promise to keep her secret. As she’s leaving, the prison’s power plant blows up as part of a breakout, knocking Huntress out. The prisoners take over and kidnap the warden, led by a convict called Lionmane. Harry revives Huntress and they realize Lionmane has taken over the prison and is holding the warden. Since they’re on an island, the prisoners have no way off, but holding the warden gives them leverage. Huntress knows Lionmane and has a score to settle with him. Harry offers to help, but she drugs him to keep him out of the way and prepares to go after Lionmane. We’ll see how that turns out next issue.

Green Lantern 139 coverGreen Lantern #139 – “Slay On, Silvery Moon” – Marv Wolfman (plot), Roy Thomas/Joe Staton

Last issue, Eclipso launched an artificial satellite (the Murder Moon) that blocked out the sun’s rays, insuring he’d always have his powers. When Green Lantern confronted him, Eclipso used his black diamond to bring out GL’s evil side. At Ferris Aircraft, Tom Kalmaku is shocked to see Carol,Ferris (who was kidnapped a while back) stalking through the building with a briefcase chained to her wrist. When Tom tries to talk to her, she freaks out and decks him. Before Tom can wonder too much about Carol’s weird behaviour, he notices the sun has been eclipsed and wonders where GL is. In space, Eclipso leaves Green Lantern to be killed by his doppelgänger while Eclipso goes inside his Murder Moon to see about making his eclipse permanent. GL realizes his opposite number is just as powerful as he is, so he out-thinks the carbonGL fights his dark side copy; he encases his double in a purple sheet, and since purple is the chromatic opposite of yellow, the doppelgänger is vulnerable to it and fades from existence. Eclipso distracts GL by blasting California from space, causing earthquakes. GL heads down to mitigate the damage, but Eclipso surrounds Los Angeles with a cone of energy. GL gets conked on the head as usual and Tom commandeers a car to help him. We see Carol planting explosives throughout Ferris Aircraft’s facility, but she’s being directed by someone … probably the asshole who kidnapped her and still holds her parents hostage. Tom fills Green Lantern in on what’s been happening: the JLA couldn’t crack Eclipso’s energy cone over L.A., and Eclipso threatened to total half the city if they got anywhere near his Murder Moon. But he’s also demanded a billion dollars to spare L.A. from destruction, so GL figures it’s up to him to JLA frustrated by Eclipsostop Eclipso, since he’s inside the energy cone already. Tom mentions Carol’s weird behaviour and shows GL one of the bombs she set in her own plant. Lantern wants to go look for her, but can’t leave L.A. to Eclipso’s mercy, so he heads back into space. He has to run a laser gauntlet, but finally gets close enough to the Murder Moon to implement his plan; GL figures the Moon must run on solar power, since it was designed by Eclipso’s alter ego, Bruce Gordon (who’s obsessed with solar power), so he erects a huge solar array with his ring to cut off all incoming energy to the Murder Moon. GL heads inside, where Eclipso has strapped himself into a device designed by Bruce Gordon to rid himself of Eclipso’s personality permanently. Eclipso has redesignedEclipso splits into two people the device to get rid of his Bruce Gordon side, but GL changes the programming so Gordon splits off from Eclipso, leaving them as two separate entities. Eclipso freaks and tries to blast GL with his black gem, but he misses and tears a hole in the Murder Moon. Eclipso is pulled out and drifts off into space, while GL saves Bruce Gordon. Back at Ferris Aircraft, Carol finishes planting the bombs and her unseen tormentor tells her his plan is almost complete … Ferris Aircraft will soon be no more.

Jonah Hex 47 coverJonah Hex #47 – “Doom Rides the Sundown Train” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

Jonah Hex married his long time sweetheart, Mei Ling a couple issues ago and the happy couple are settling down to a peaceful life of farmers. But the past doesn’t always stay in the past; a guy like Hex makes a lot of enemies and a quartet of outlaws shows up at Hex and Mei Ling’s farmhouse and start blasting. Hex manages to flank them and uses some dynamite to blow them to hell. Mei Ling is upset with Hex’s violent solution, but he didn’t really have much choice. In Richmond, Virginia, we see Hex’s old nemesis (Quentin Turnbull) finding out about Hex’s recent nuptials. Turnbull still blames Hex for his son’s death and figures Hex’s new bride is a perfect opportunity for revenge. A few days later, some bandits (hired by Turnbull) take over the local train station and force theHex knocked out stationmaster to lure Mei Ling into an ambush. They’re planning on carting her all over the country, moving her constantly so Hex can’t find her and will spend the rest of his life looking. They were planning on waiting for the night train to escape with Mei Ling, but the stationmaster makes a break for it and gets shot, so the kidnappers have to advance their schedule by taking the train currently at the station. Hex has come into town looking for his wife and hears about the trouble at the station. He shows up right after the bandits kill the sheriff, but Hex can’t do anything while they have Mei Ling. One of the kidnappers conks Hex on the head and they take off on the train, killing the fireman and forcing the engineer to feed the boiler. Hex wakes up and tells the town doctor to let the undertaker know he’ll be needed soon. Hex grabs going off the rails on a crazy traina horse and almost ruins it catching u to the train, which has stopped to take on water. As the train speeds up, Hex jumps on a boxcar. The guy inside hears him, but Hex fakes him out and blasts him. He heads up to the engine and takes out the bandit there, getting Mei Ling’s whereabouts from the engineer. Hex gets to the caboose in time to stop Mei Ling from getting molested. He pounds the shit out of the guy, deciding to curb his usual lethal tendencies for Mei Ling’s sake. But the outlaw revives and wings Hex with his pistol. Hex shoos Mei Ling into the next car and uncouples the caboose, which flies off the rails and over a cliff as the train rounds a bend. Back in Virginia, Turnbull is disappointed his thugs failed, but vows to keep trying to exact his revenge.

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