Comics Reviews: Flash 305, Wonder Woman 287, Green Lantern 148, Jonah Hex 56

Flash 305 coverFlash #305 – “Don’t Take My Wife—Please” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Bob Smith

This one starts in Keystone City on Earth-2, where we see Joan Garrick (wife of Jay Garrick, Earth-2’s Flash) asleep at home while Jay is out on patrol. A lightning bolt of some kind zaps her away and she ends up in some rocky hellscape, making her way along a precarious ledge. Something falls from above and she slips trying to avoid it, falling off the cliff … which is when Barry Allen (aka the Flash of Earth-1) wakes up. His dream about Joan falling off a cliff rattles him, so the next day he decides to pay a visit to Earth-2 by vibrating through the dimensional barrier. He arrives in he middle of a fire, which he extinguishes. The firefighters and cops of Keystone City assume he’s their Flash and Barry doesn’t slow down long enough for them to learn otherwise. Jay Garrick hasaftermath of Jay's house exploding recently gone public with his secret identity, so Barry can’t help wondering if that put Joan in some kind of danger. He heads for the Garrick house, hoping to find Joan there safe and sound. A while later, Jay returns home and is surprised to find Barry waiting for him. Jay has been out looking for Joan, who’s been missing for 24 hours. Barry offers to help look for her, but doesn’t mention the dream he had, not wanting to freak Jay out since the dream ended with Joan falling off a cliff. Barry wonders if the parallels between himself and Jay, Earth-1 and Earth-2, could extend to Jay’s wife dying tragically just as Barry’s wife did. Jay suspects a gang of criminals called the Ravagers might’ve grabbed Joan. He opens a drawer to show Barry some evidence against the Ravagers, but the drawer has been wired to explode. The two Jay tries to get answers from the bomberFlashes manage to vibrate their molecules and avoid harm, though Jay’s house is blown to shit. Jay managed to grab a threatening note the Ravagers sent him and shows it to Barry. Barry was just as quick, snatching a piece of the bomb in the drawer. They take the piece to police headquarters to check it for prints and find traces from a known bomb expert who works with the Ravagers. The guy is also a mountaineering expert and Jay says he didn’t search the nearby mountains while looking for Joan. They head for the mountains and Barry is getting even more worried, since his dream showed Joan falling off a cliff. Since his dream proved prophetic as far as Joan being kidnapped, he’s afraid the rest of the dream might be true and Joan is already dead. They find a hideout in the mountains and Jay goes in, busting up the place and pounding the Ravagers. Joan is nowhere to be found and the Ravagers sayDr. Fate shows them the truth they don’t know where she is; they swear the house was empty when they planted the bomb. Jay doesn’t believe them and is ready to shake the shit out of them when they disappear from his grasp. Dr. Fate pops up and says he zapped the crooks to jail. Fate confirms the Ravagers had nothing to do with Joan’s disappearance. Fate claims someone hijacked some magical energy from his Orb of Nabu and directed it to Keystone City, making Joan disappear … and it’s someone Barry has fought before. Fate shows Jay and Barry the same scene Barry saw in his dream, of Joan falling off the cliff. But they see the aftermath of her fall, where she gets up as if nothing happens, assisted by some aliens. Barry recognizes the place as the Limbo realm he was shanghaied to in Flash 284, where natural concepts like life and death are meaningless. Barry tells Jay the two Flashes in Limbothe realm is ruled by the Lord of Limbo, who abducts beings from many dimensions to serve as fighters in his personal fight club. The Lord of Limbo really wanted a Flash for his collection and since he didn’t get Barry, he must be trying to lure Jay there. Dr. Fate says he’s been after the Lord of Limbo for a long time, but his magic can’t pinpoint where Limbo is among the myriad dimensions. Fate imbues Barry and Jay with some magic so they can home in on Limbo as they vibrate through dimensions, but warns he can’t follow so they’ll be on their own. When they get to Limbo, they run into the same aliens Barry met before (who he promised to return and set free … better late than never, I guess), who tell him they were the ones who sent the dream about Joan to get his attention. Lord of Limbo shows up and uses his matter-manipulating power to make Jay accidentally deck Barry. Lord of Limbo says they’re stuck there forever and leaves, laughing like an asshole.finding the portal to Earth Joan shows up and Jay is thrilled to see her, but now they have to figure out how to get out of Limbo. Barry figures since Joan was brought there magically, there might be some kind of portal back to Earth-2. Joan takes them up the cliff where she first materialized and sure enough, there’s a swirling vortex in the air near the cliff. But when Barry tosses a rock to test the portal, it disintegrates, telling them the portal only works in one direction. Jay notices the vortex is swirling clockwise, so if he and Barry can reverse the motion it should allow travel in the opposite direction. The two Flashes jump into the vortex and exert all their energies, finally reversing the vortex’s spin. They see Dr. Fate looking through from the other side and beckon the aliens and Joan to jump through the portal before it’s too late. Everyone heads through and Barry pushes Jay through, since he has a wife waiting for him. As the last Barry gets a lifelinealien tries to enter the portal, Barry jumps him. Turns out it’s the Lord of Limbo in disguise, which Barry figured out because the illusory form didn’t have the same vibrations as the real aliens … or something. Barry makes the Lord of Limbo admit that he’s a prisoner there too and needed to lure both Flashes there to change the portal so he could escape. Barry fights to keep Lord of Limbo back until Fate can close the portal. Fate sends a mystic lightning bolt through the portal and Lord of Limbo assumes it’s an attack. He pushes Barry into the lightning, which is just what Fate was counting on; the lightning is a conduit back to Earth-2 and Barry uses his super-speed vibrations to return just before the portal closes forever. Fate returns everyone to their proper dimensions and Barry says he’d be glad to work with Fate again. Starting next issue, Dr. Fate will be the back-up feature in Flash, so we’ll definitely be seeing more of him.

Wonder Woman 287 coverWonder Woman #287 – “Eye of the Beholder” – Marv Wolfman/Don Heck/Romeo Tanghal

This one starts at the docks of New York, where Donna (Wonder Girl) Troy is supposed to meet someone. She’s a bit leery about the meeting, so she’s brought Starfire along for back-up. Sure enough, it’s a trap; Starfire is attacked by a bunch of weirdos in green robes with laser rifles. Donna is jumped too, and her attackers manage to overwhelm her and knock her out, taking her prisoner. The people attacking Starfire break off, since they were just a distraction to get Donna alone. Starfire fishes one of the attackers out of the harbour and it turns out to be a woman … who has certain demands if Starfire ever wants to see Donna alive again. Starfire isn’t sure how to proceed, so she calls Dick (Robin) Grayson, who gets in touch with Diana (Wonder Woman) Prince. She heads for NewTitans save bystanders York, wondering who might’ve grabbed Donna … but we don’t have to wonder: we see Dr. Cyber (and her lackey Dr. Moon) are the ones who kidnapped Donna, who’s chained up in a glass tube full of gas that saps her will. Dr. Cyber is after Wonder Woman and tries to use her sorcery to usurp the Amazon’s will. Wonder Woman’s will is too strong, but Cyber does manage to take control of her invisible jet. In their headquarters, the Titans notice Wonder Woman’s plane flying erratically and head out to help her, but Cyber’s control of the jet is absolute. She crashes it through the Twin Towers (!), leaving the Titans to save people from falling rubble while Wonder Woman is whisked off to Cyber’s hideout. Cyber wants Dr. Moon to transplant her brain from her Wonder Woman pounds Dr. Cyberbody (which was disfigured in a fight with Wonder Woman) into Wonder Woman’s perfect Amazon bod. Cyber threatens to kill Donna, so Wonder Woman lies down on the operating table. Turns out the Titans have been tracking her and they bust in and attack Cyber. But Cyber turns out to be tougher than they thought and kicks the shit out of them. Wonder Woman jumps her and Cyber tries to flood Donna’s prison with poisonous gas. Just as Wonder Woman pounds Dr. Cyber, Donna busts out of the tube, saying she used yoga techniques to slow her metabolism and concentrate her strength enough to break free. Wonder Woman takes Cyber and moon to prison, leaving a bunch of impressed Titans behind.

Huntress – “Karnage Doesn’t Kill Here Anymore” – Paul Levitz/Joe Staton/Bruce Patterson

Last issue, the killer-for-hire named Karnage busted into Helena Wayne’s law office. Since she’d already faced him as Huntress, Helena was afraid Karnage had figured out her secret identity, but it turns out he knows there’s a connection between Huntress and Helena’s boss, Arthur Cranston and he’s after Cranston to use as leverage. Helena’s colleague Charlie triesHuntress throat kicks Karnage to jump Karnage and gets decked, but since Cranston isn’t there, Karnage decides to take off. By the time Helena can change into Huntress, Karnage is gone. She chastises herself for letting him get away again and decides to follow the only lead she has … tracking down Karnage’s tech. She collected some of his stuff the first time they fought and breaks into a bunch of tech companies to see where it came from. She finally tracks the tech to the guy who paid for it … gang boss Stenville. Huntress breaks into Stenville’s place and threatens him—which she’s done before—then tracks down Karnage by scaring some street punk. She busts in on Karnage and kicks his ass … well, actually she kicks his throat, but either way it works.

Green Lantern 148 coverGreen Lantern #148 – “Beware My Power” – Marv Wolfman/Joe Staton

This one starts with a spaceship full of aliens from Ungara nearing Earth. Their captain (Malo) and his first officer (Crysa) confer about their mission … getting help from Green Lantern. These aliens look like the same magenta-skinned race as Abin Sur (from whom Hal Jordan received the Green Lantern ring) and Malo says GL “owes his existence” to them, so I assume that’s who they are. Crysa asks what’ll happen if GL refuses to help them and Malo says they’ll just have to force him. On Earth, things aren’t going great for Hal Jordan and friends. Tom Kalmaku is moping around the house, complaining to his wife about what a loser he is and how he expects to be fired any day. At Ferris Aircraft, Carol’s father tells her and Hal that Congressman Bloch has accused him of treason. To make matters worse, Bruce Gordon comes inHal gets kidnapped by Ungarans with the news that Ferris’s government contracts are being pulled, which will probably put them out of business. Outside, Ferris’s new VP (Rich Davis) takes the news hard, saying he needs to keep his job to pay all his bills. Hal wonders what bills he means, but soon figures it out as Davis says his health hasn’t been great lately, then proves his point by having a heart attack. After Davis is taken to hospital, Carol and Hal tell Tom about Ferris being in trouble, but before Tom can process that, a beam of yellow energy comes down from the sky and grabs Hal. The beam transforms him into Green Lantern and pulls him skyward, even as Carol and Tom try to hold him down. Elsewhere, we see Goldface’s “assistant” Stanley, who has been using his coercive powers to help Goldface while being continually treated like shit. But Stanley suddenly Stanley the alien threatens Goldfacerealizes he’s not even human; he’s a freaky-looking alien from another dimension, who came to Earth on some mission. Crossing the dimensional barrier screwed him up enough to affect his memory and allow Goldface to use him for his own ends. The alien rampages through Goldface’s house until he finds the golden crime-lord and threatens some payback. Green Lantern finds himself on the Ungaran ship and he’s pretty pissed off about being kidnapped. He doesn’t recognize the Ungarans, which seems a bit strange … you’d think he’d remember the race of the guy who changed his whole destiny. GL busts loose from the Ungarans’ force field and starts pounding them. One of the Ungarans says they may as well just kill him and use his ring themselves, but GL decks that dude. Crysa begs him for help, saying their planet is in trouble, and mentioning Abin Sur, GL’s predecessor and benefactor. He finally recognizes their race but still refuses to help, sayingGreen Lantern fights the Ungarans he has stuff on Earth to take care of, and adding that if there was a real crisis somewhere he’d have gotten an alert from the Guardians of the Universe. He takes off, leaving Crysa and Malo to despair over the fate of their planet, which is apparently on the brink of destruction. Back on Earth, GL is contacted by a really pissed-off Guardian, who tells him he’s been neglecting his duties as a Green Lantern; he’s supposed to be looking out for everyone in his space sector, not just the people of Earth … and certainly not just his friends and their personal problems. GL is summoned to Oa to answer to the Guardians. He agrees to go and says once he’s helped the Ungarans with their problem, he’s hanging up the ring and quitting as Green Lantern. We’ll see if he’s serious next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • There’s a Green Lantern Corps back-up (by P. Kupperberg/Newton/Adkins) about Ch’p (the rodent GL) helping his race’s mortal enemies, the Berrith (who look like big bad wolves). Ch’p saves the Berrith and his power scares them enough that they promise never to mess with Ch’p’s people again.

Jonah Hex 56 coverJonah Hex #56 – “The Asylum” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts with a frantic young woman interrupting Jonah Hex as he has breakfast by a campfire. She begs him for help, saying some guys are after her. Sure enough, three bruisers show up and try to drag her off, so Hex gives them a good shit-kicking. The fight ends when a doctor shows up to explain things. The doctor (Rondine) runs an asylum nearby in the desert and the woman (Susan Crenshaw) is a patient there. She escaped and he sent his orderlies to find her, but they got overzealous when hex tried to interfere. Hex feels bad for Susan but figures if she’s crazy she’s better off in the asylum than running around loose. TheyHerbert asks Hex for help take Susan away and Hex heads into Desert Forks, the closest town. He settles into the hotel (which is kind of a shithole) and starts shaving. He’s interrupted by someone trying to get into his room, so he flings the door open and threatens to slit the guy’s throat. The guy turns out to be Herbert Crenshaw, Susan’s husband, and he tells Hex his wife needs help. Susan’s father died not long ago and left her the controlling interest in a big mining company. Susan’s uncle Virgil (the junior partner in the mining firm) wants those shares for himself, so he and Dr. Rondine cooked up a scheme to hold Susan at the asylum until she signs over her shares. Hex says he might help, but wants Herbert to buy him a nice steak dinner first. Outside, they’re fight in the asylumambushed by three gunmen. Hex takes care of them and Herbert says Virgil must’ve sent them because he knew Herbert was getting someone to help Susan. Hex agrees to bust Susan out of the asylum … right after he’s had his steak dinner. At the asylum, Susan is being waterboarded by Virgil’s thugs and she finally agrees to sign over her shares to him. Before she can, Hex busts in and starts kicking ass. He has a temporary setback when he and a thug fall through a railing, but before Virgil can eliminate Hex, he uses some firefighting sand to distract the bad guys and pound them. Hex and Susan lock Virgil and his men in a cell and take off. Herbert is waiting for them outside … with a gun.Hex kills Herbert He admits he only married Susan for her father’s money (which is crazy, because she’s a total babe), but now he can walk away with all her money if he makes it look like Hex shot her and Herbert killed Hex in self-defense. Herbert tells Hex to hand over his pistol and while he’s doing so, Hex pulls the Bowie knife he carries in his collar and skewers Herbert with it. Susan is startled that Hex just wasted her husband, but I’d say she’s better off.

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