Comics Reviews: Flash 306, Wonder Woman 288, Green Lantern 149, Jonah Hex 57

Flash 306 coverFlash #306 – “Through a Glass, Permanently” – Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn/Carmine Infantino/Bob Smith

This one starts with Barry Allen and Fiona Webb at a disco, which apparently were still around in 1982. Their funky fun is interrupted by Mirror Master, who shows up to steal the disco ball for some reason. He uses a gun to freeze everyone in the place, but Barry vibrates out of danger and changes to Flash. He tackles Mirror Master, but can’t grab the slippery thief. Mirror Master uses the mirrors in the disco to reflect his blasts and actually jumps into a mirror to escape. Flash vibrates through the mirror right behind him and ends up outside the disco. Mirror Master is nowhere to be found, so Flash figures he must’ve altered the mirror somehow to transportMirror Master and Narcissa talk him elsewhere. We see Mirror Master back at his hideout, talking to a beautiful woman named Narcissa who’s trapped inside a mirror. Apparently, Mirror Master’s senseless crime (and the next ones he’s planning) are all part of a scheme to get Flash’s attention, so they can use him to free Narcissa. At police headquarters the next day, Barry and Patty Spivot examine the mirrors from the disco and conclude that they’re all normal. Barry theorizes that if Mirror Master could alter these mirrors to transport himself, he can probably do the same with any mirror. Mirror Master continues his strange crime spree, robbing insignificant targets and always escaping Flash by going into a mirror. Flash tests each mirror and tries to find a vibrational frequency that’ll let him duplicate Mirror Master’s feat, but keeps coming up short. Mirror Master Flash saves the mayorups the ante when he kidnaps the mayor from a clothing store. When Flash shows up, Mirror Master taunts him over the mayor’s fate before disappearing into a mirror. Flash has to save the mayor from Mirror Master’s solar ray deathtrap, so the villain gets away again. At his hideout, Mirror Master tells Narcissa (who he’s apparently in love with) that his plan is working and it’s only a matter of time before Flash figures out how to enter the “Mirror Limbo”, which will free Narcissa. We learn that Narcissa was an Atlantean scientist who projected herself into the Mirror Dimension to escape Atlantis’s destruction. Mirror Master found the fabled Atlantean mirror and discovered Narcissa inside. He’s been trying to free her ever since, but couldn’t match the Atlanteans’ super science. He did manage to figure out how to teleport himself by attuning to an object’s vibrational frequency,Mirror Master devastated at losing Narcissa and he knows if he can get Flash to vibrate at the Atlantean mirror’s frequency, Narcissa will be freed from the Mirror Dimension and Flash will be trapped there. Flash has figured out the proper frequency to duplicate Mirror Master’s teleport trick, but he also uses math to figure out where Mirror Master’s hideout is … naturally, it’s in an abandoned Glassworks. Flash zips over there and Mirror Master leads him through a mirror. Flash matches the correct frequency and follows, but finds himself being puled into the Atlantean mirror. Before he’s sucked in, he simply stops vibrating and crashes into the mirror, busting it into pieces. Mirror Master is so distraught at losing Narcissa, he doesn’t even put up a fight when Flash grabs him.

Noticeable Things:

  • The Dr. Fate back-ups (by Pasko/Giffen/Mahlstedt) start in this issue. I’ll just give a brief summary of the story, since I’ve never been a huge Doc Fate fan. Kent Nelson is summoned by Nabu to fight Totec,Dr. Fate goes to fight Totec Aztec God of War. He has the same old argument with his wife, Inza; she’s tired of having to share her husband with the Dr. Fate persona and wishes he’d give it up. Of course, Kent won’t do that and Inza is left to reflect on his origin and how being Fate has kept him (and her) young for decades. She decides she can’t let Fate face danger alone, but when she shows up at his fight with Totec, she distracts Fate and they’re both captured. Like I said, I’ve never been a big fan of Dr. Fate, especially Pre-Crisis. Giffen does draw a pretty hot Inza, though.

Wonder Woman 288 coverWonder Woman #288 – “Swan Song” – Roy Thomas/Gene Colan/Romeo Tanghal

This one starts with Wonder Woman rushing to the hospital to see Steve Trevor. We get a recap of Steve getting into a car crash after being kidnapped, Wonder Woman changing her costume at the request of a women’s group, and Wonder Woman beating the shit out of Hercules on Paradise Island. (All that stuff happened in the WW preview insert in DC Presents 41.) Steve is in some kind of weird coma and his doctor (a woman named Prescott) says it’s almost like his soul is trying to leave this world and get into some other world. Of course, we know this version of Steve is from a parallel world, brought as a replacement for the original, but Wonder Woman doesn’t have a clue about that. She tells Steve she loves him and that rouses him a bit. He asks about the briefcase he was supposed to deliver and she says everything is fine.Wonder Woman saves thieves Wonder Woman leaves, brushing off some autograph seekers, and heads back to find the briefcase she hid in a trash can while saving Steve. On the way, she runs across a bank robbery and goes after the thieves. The robbers are pretty organized … one of them tries to get away in a helicopter, but before Wonder Woman can go after him, the chopper is attacked by a woman called Silver Swan. She’s not too concerned with hurting the thieves and Wonder Woman has to act fast to prevent the robber and the chopper pilot from splattering. Silver Swan thanks Wonder Woman for the “assist” and takes off, leaving the crowd rather impressed … although the men only seem to notice how beautiful she is. Wonder Woman is pissed off at Silver Swan’s casual Darnell puts the moves on Dianaattitude about violence and wonders why the men in the crowd were so taken by her. That makes her wonder if she’s just jealous because they made a fuss over Silver Swan and not her. When Wonder Woman checks the trash can, the briefcase is gone; you’d think the garbage would’ve been dumped by then, but whatever. She heads to the Pentagon as Diana Prince to report the briefcase missing to General Darnell. Darnell still has the hots for Diana and says he’ll protect her from any official fallout, all while rubbing her shoulders and stroking her hair. That’d get him a sexual harassment suit these days, but Diana just brushes it off, telling him she doesn’t need to be “protected”. She heads home with Etta Candy, who tells her she’s been looking for another girl to share the apartment with them because their rent just went way up. A girlHelen returns the briefcase to Diana named Helen shows up about the room and has the briefcase Diana’s been looking for. Helen says she found the briefcase and overheard some guys who came looking for it talking about Diana and General Darnell. Etta says Helen phoned looking for Diana at the Pentagon and she told her about the room. Diana finds Helen’s story a bit suspicious, but is so happy to have the briefcase back she says Helen can move right in. Helen is a rather plain girl with an acne condition who says she’s afraid of men; I think she and Etta are going to get along just fine. But Helen turns out to be more than just a mousy girl … she’s really Silver Swan. We get her origin story: Helen Alexandros was unattractive (and the face full of zits didn’t help) but she Silver Swan's originwas a brilliant dancer. She was rejected as a ballerina for being too ugly, so she decided she hated all men (yeah, Roy’s not exactly a feminist writer) and Mars heard her curses and responded by giving her beauty and power as Silver Swan. Mars wants her to use her beauty to cause strife among mankind, and use her power to kill Wonder Woman. By observing Wonder Woman, Helen found out about the briefcase (and took it) and that Diana and Wonder Woman are one and the same. Thanks to Etta, she’s now sharing an apartment with Wonder Woman, so when the Amazon heads out to return the briefcase to the Pentagon, Silver Swan follows her. Silver Swan attacks when Wonder Woman reaches the Pentagon; at first, Wonder Woman thinks she’s after the briefcase, so she tosses it to Darnell who’s on the street below. But Silver Swan keeps attacking, knocking Wonder WomanSilver Swan blasts Wonder Woman on her ass. Wonder Woman gets mad and goes after Silver Swan, but Swan uses a sonic cry to blast the Amazon, almost killing her. She lands to finish Wonder Woman off, but is distracted by the adulation of all the men nearby, including Darnell. Silver Swan says she attacked Wonder Woman because she thought she was stealing the briefcase and the men are so besotted they believe her. Swan takes off leaving Wonder Woman to ponder why she didn’t kill her when she had the chance. At the hospital, Dr. Prescott has received orders that Steve is to be transferred to the care of another doctor … Dr. Psycho! We’ll see what that’s all about next issue.

Green Lantern 149 coverGreen Lantern #149 – “Death by Fire and Ice” – Marv Wolfman/Joe Staton/Dennis Jensen

Last issue, Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan was rebuked by the Guardians of the Universe for ignoring the Ungarans’ call for help in dealing with some drastic climate change on their planet. Hal told his friends on Earth he was sick of being summoned all the time and would quit the Green Lantern Corps as soon as his mission to Ungara was over. But before he goes to Ungara, he has to appear on the Guardians’ homeworld, Oa. He finds that news of his decision to quit has preceded him; his friends Katma Tui and Arisia try to talk him out of quitting, but Salakk thinks it’s good riddance. The Guardians give Hal shit for neglecting his duties to most of his space sector to concentrate on helping his friends and fighting petty crime on Earth. Hal says criminals are evil, but the GuardiansKatma slaps Salakk remind him that Earth has other heroes to fight crime, but he’s the only Green Lantern in his sector. He heads off to help the Ungarans, still vowing to quit once he’s done with them. Salakk is still being a dick and Katma smacks him in the face. Arisia’s “schoolgirl crush” routine is in full drama mode too; of course, we all know where that’s going to go eventually. (If you don’t know, you’re probably better off.) On Earth, the weird alien we saw last issue (who’d been transformed into Goldface’s lackey but recently got his memory back) has finished pounding Goldface in retaliation for how the mob boss treated him. The alien gets back to his original mission, killing Green Lantern. He busts into Ferris Aircraft and forcibly interrogates |Tom and Carol, who tell him Green Lantern went to Oa. The alien is happy, since Oa is the home of his people’s oldest enemies, and he zooms off into space. GL tries to help the UngaransOn Ungara, Green Lantern finds out the planet isn’t just having a bad cold snap; after Abin Sur died, the planet tore itself apart in internecine warfare, causing natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. Ungara ended up moving in its orbit, which brought on a permanent winter. Half the planet is already covered in ice and it’s encroaching quickly on the other half. GL apologizes for not helping earlier and swears he’ll save them. But his first effort—using giant pincers to move the planet back to its original orbit—doesn’t work and the feedback almost kills him. On Oa, Salakk thinks it’s hilarious that Hal failed (how is this asshole a Green Lantern, anyway?), but Arisia heads off to Ungara to help. GL tries to chip the ice away and to bring lava from inside the planet, but nothing works. Arisia shows up and mentions how she used to burn ants with a magnifying lens when she was a kid (well, not ants, glinzits, but same difference) and GL gets an idea. He passed a crystallineArisia strains to get the lens in position moon on the way to Ungara and he and Arisia bring it back and polish it into a huge lens that can permanently orbit the planet, turning Ungara into a warm paradise. Before they can set the lens properly, the weird alien shows up and attacks. GL tells Arisia to handle the lens and he goes after the alien. But the alien is immune to GL’s ring, even though the alien isn’t yellow. Arisia manages to get the lens into the right position to melt the ice, but the alien blasts her and while GL is distracted, blasts him too. Arisia falls onto an ice floe on Ungara as the alien hauls Green Lantern off into space, saying he and his fellow Lanterns are all doomed. We’ll see if that’s true next issue.

Jonah Hex 57 coverJonah Hex #57 – “The Debt” – Michael Fleisher/Ross Andru/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts with Jonah Hex riding into some town and heading straight for the saloon. Inside, some roughnecks are slapping around an older woman, calling her a tramp. Hex orders a bottle of whiskey and uses it to pound the roughnecks. Turns out the old lady is Hex’s mother (Ginny), so he really lets the thugs have it. After paying the bartender for the destruction, Hex goes back to his mother’s shithole house. She says she wrote to him for help because she borrowed money from a guy named Jagsted and now she can’t pay him back.Hex's mother wooed by a salesman Apparently she spent the money on some young stud who charmed her, and when he took off she had no way to pay Jagsted back, so now he’s threatening her. Hex promises he’ll handle Jagsted and his men tomorrow. As his mother goes to sleep, Hex thinks back 27 years to when he was a kid. The other kids spread rumours about his mother being a tramp and he got his ass kicked trying to defend her. His father went away for a weekend bootlegging trip, leaving Hex and his mother at home. A traveling salesman stopped by to show Ginny his samples, but when Hex got up in the middle of the night he found out they’d been showing each other a lot more than that. Ginny was packing to Hex wastes Jagsted and his menleave with the salesman and she said she had to get away from Hex’s abusive father. Ginny gave Hex some bullshit about how she’d come back for him after they got settled, but that was the last he’d seen of her until now. Hex’s thoughts are interrupted by Jagsted and his men pounding on the door. Hex goes outside to talk to them and skewers Jagsted with his Bowie knife. After blowing away Jagsted’s men, Hex gives his mother all the money Jagsted had on him. Ginny thanks her son and asks if he’ll come back to visit her some time. Hex promises he’ll come for a visit soon and rides away.

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