Comics Reviews: Flash 308, Wonder Woman 290, Green Lantern 151, Jonah Hex 59

Flash 308 coverFlash #308 – “The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Dennis Jensen

This one starts with movie star Daphne Dean (who we’ve seen before in issues 248-251) having a dream about when she and Barry Allen were kids and used to play together. Daphne wakes up and heads into the Central City police station to see her old friend Barry, turning the heads of all the cops as she walks in. She asks Barry to do a little digging for her; she’s been getting creepy letters from a guy they used to know as kids, Lance Basilla. Lance was a bully whoBarry analyzes letters had a crush on Daphne and grew up to be a mobster. He’s been sending her (relatively innocuous) letters from prison, but since his recent parole Lance’s letters have gotten more insistent and scary. Barry analyzes the letters but can’t conclude much. Each letter was sent from a different city, so Barry figures Lance has been drifting from job to job, but from the tone of the letters he worries Lance might try something more direct with Daphne. His fears turn out to be right, as he gets a call from Daphne that night saying some kind of monster is trying to get at her. Barry changes to Flash rescues Daphne in the elevatorFlash and zooms over to Daphne’s hotel. She’s not in her room, but he sees the elevator going down and chases it. Just before he reaches the elevator, some kind of electrical discharge hits the cable, breaking it and sending the car plummeting toward the basement. Flash vibrates into the elevator car, grabs the unconscious Daphne, and phases both of them to safety right before the elevator crashes. Daphne was alone in the elevator, so Flash wonders if her mind has snapped and she’s just imagining everything. Meanwhile, in upstate New York, lance Basilla is at some kind of sleep research center. He’s been under observation for a day and continues to have very vivid brainwave activity even in the midst of dreaming. The scientists observing him have mummy attacks Barry and Daphnenever seen anything like it and decide to keep him another day. In Central City, Daphne tells Barry she was abducted by a ghostly mummy and Barry remembers when Basilla dressed up like a mummy to scare them when they were all kids, an escapade that ended with Basilla being struck by lightning. Barry and Daphne go out for a walk (and Daphne kinda puts the moves on Barry), but they have to head for shelter when a thunderstorm rolls in. They’re accosted by a ghost mummy rising up out of a statue after it’s hit by another electrical discharge. The mummy zaps Barry and Daphne recognizes its voice as Basilla’s. At the research center, the scientists observe Basilla’s dream on their monitors and remark how vivid it is, but as Flash shows up to fight the mummy, one of the scientists realizes the scene is actually happening. The lightning strike as a kid somehow increased the electrical energy in Basilla’s brain,Flash takes the mummy down allowing him to astrally project all the way to Central City. Flash has trouble with the mummy, partly because of the electrical energy and partly from his leftover childhood fear of Basilla. Flash finally figures out the best way to fight the mummy is to overload it, so he zips back and forth, building up a negative ion charge around the mummy. That attracts a real lightning bolt, making the mummy disappear. Back in New York, Basilla wakes up and flees the dream research center. He sends Daphne one last letter, saying he knows they don’t have a future and that the better man won. It almost seems like Barry and Daphne might have a thing going, but I don’t think anything ever comes of it. There’s no mention at all in this story of Fiona Webb, the woman Barry’s been dating for quite a while.

Dr. Fate – “Dawn of the Sixth Sun” – Martin Pasko/Keith Giffen/Larry Mahlstedt

Last issue, a Lord of Chaos named Malferrazae took Inza Nelson’s jealousy Dr. Fate fights the demonof Dr. Fate and transformed it into a living creature, a demon that he sent to battle Dr. Fate. If Fate kills the demon, Inza will die too and Kent Nelson will cease to be a willing host for Fate, thus insuring Malferrazae an unimpeded path to power. Fate fights the demon, but before he kills it he feels a familiarity that spurs him to check with the Eye of Agamotto—er, I mean, the Orb of Nabu. The Orb shows him the truth and Fate decides to reunite the demon with Inza. Before he can complete the spell, the demon blindsides him and Inza crashes to the ground in a heap. The demon strips the Helm of Nabu from Fate’s head, leaving Kent Nelson to look upon the body of his wife. Will the Orb’s prophecy come to pass? We’ll see next issue.

Wonder Woman 290 coverWonder Woman #290 – “Panic Over Pennsylvania Avenue” – Roy Thomas, Paul Kupperberg/Gene Colan/Romeo Tanghal

Last issue, Dr. Psycho figured out a way to drain ectoplasmic energy from Steve Trevor, using it to shape an idealized body that Psycho could substitute for his own small, misshapen one. Wonder Woman found Steve and shut down Psycho’s machine, but before she could get Steve to safety, Silver Swan came busting in. Wonder Woman tackles Silver Swan and they end up fighting high in the air, Wonder Woman standing on her invisible jet. Wonder Woman manages to snag Swan with her magic lasso, but Swan’s will power is so strong she actually resists the lasso’s magic compulsion to surrender. Dr. Psycho is smitten watching Silver Swan fightCaptain Wonder attacks and decides to help her as Captain Wonder, the idealized figure he plucked from Steve Trevor’s mind last issue. Steve is unconscious again, so Dr. Psycho turns into Captain Wonder and attacks Wonder Woman. He forces her to release Silver Swan and tangles Wonder Woman in her own lasso, rendering her helpless. Silver Swan and Captain Wonder are instantly attracted to each other, but each is afraid of rejection if the other saw their true form. (Silver Swan is actually a rather plain woman named Helen who gained her power and beauty from Mars in exchange for killing Wonder Woman.) Swan wants Wonder Woman dead so she’ll never have to become Helen again and Psycho agrees. Meanwhile, Steve is having strange dreams, showing him the truth about Wonde Woman pounds Silver Swanhimself … he’s not actually from this reality. He was pulled here by magic from a different dimension to replace this reality’s Steve Trevor, who was dead. Silver Swan and Captain Wonder force Wonder Woman to fly her plane Washington, planning to kill her in front of the White House so everyone will see. Mars orders Swan to kill the President too, so she asks Captain Wonder to crash the plane into the White House. Wonder Woman resists that command, and as Steve wakes up back in Virginia, Captain Wonder weakens, allowing Wonder Woman to send him crashing to the ground where he turns back into Dr. Psycho. Silver Swan attacks, but Wonder Woman decks her and pulls the plane up just before it hits the White House. Mars is disappointed in Silver Swan, so he takes back the power he gave her, turning her back into Helen Alexandros. When she and Dr. psycho see each other in their real bodies, they both reject each other, proving they’re both hypocritical and shallow … a perfect match if I ever saw one. Wonder Woman goes back to check on Steve, who tells her his dream of being from another world, but says his world is wherever she is.

Huntress – “Death Atop Its High Tower Calls” – Paul Levitz/Joe Staton/Mike DeCarlo

Last issue Huntress was captured by a guy with the imaginative name of Crimelord. He’s been keeping her in his castle and challenged her to fight him. She has no choice: not only does he know her secret identity, he’sHuntress dislocates her arm threatening to kill someone close to her, someone connected to the New Stratford Repertory Theater. Huntress surprises Crimelord as he’s gloating and starts fighting back, waging a running battle up toward the castle’s roof. Crimelord uses his weapons to slash one of Huntress’s arms and she dislocates the other throwing him around. Crimelord tries to toss her off the roof, but the weight of his own armour drags him over the parapet and he plunges to his death. Huntress feels relieved, but wonders how she can possibly get to the theater in time to save her friend. Who is Huntress’s friend (I have a pretty good idea) and will she save him in time? We’ll find out next issue.

Green Lantern 151 coverGreen Lantern #151 – “Resolutions” – Marv Wolfman/Joe Staton/Frank McLaughlin

This issue is Wolfman’s last as scripter (though he does some more plotting), so it covers a lot of ground as Wolfman tries to clear the decks before sending Green Lantern off on an extended sojourn into space. Last issue, Lantern was told by the Guardians he had 24 hours to clear up all his business on Earth before heading out to police the rest of Space Sector 2814, which he’s kinda been neglecting lately. In the meantime, the Bloch brothers’ vendetta against Ferris Aircraft has resulted in the company being shut down, their solar jet prototype being destroyed, and CEO Carl Ferris wandering through the desert with oneLantern tells Flash the bad news of Bloch’s henchmen named Bishop and a briefcase full of evidence against Bloch. Oh, and Carol, Bruce Gordon, and Rich Davis have broken into Ben Bloch’s place to look for evidence to clear Carol’s father. This issue starts with Green Lantern dropping by the JLA Satellite to let Flash know he’ll soon be unavailable for missions. When GL gets back to Ferris Aircraft, he realizes something heavy has gone down and goes to check Carol’s place. A bunch of thugs are waiting for him and he starts pounding them, but they’re just cannon fodder trying to soften GL up for their boss … Goldface. Carol’s team is caught by Ben Bloch, who says he can legally kill them since GL vs Goldfacethey broke in. In the desert, Carl Ferris is having trouble after trekking through the sweltering desert. Bishop tries to jump him and a shot rings out. At Carol’s place, Goldface is holding his own, since GL’s ring can’t affect him. He reveals that he knows GL’s secret identity and that he’s been working with the Bloch brothers all along. Goldface taunts GL about Carol and her father’s fates, which galvanizes Lantern into action. He uses materials from the house to wrap Goldface up long enough to get away. GL gets to Ben Bloch’s place, where his brother, Congressman Jason Bloch, is about to order Carol and her friends killed. GL stops them and goes to look for Carol’s father in the desert. Carl Ferris and Bishop are fighting and BishopGL saves Carl Ferris gets the upper hand, setting the briefcase full of evidence on fire. GL shows up and extinguishes the fire, then threatens Bishop into signing a confession. Later, Carol tells GL that the evidence they saved was enough to clear her father and implicate Ben Bloch, but Jason got off scot-free. The government isn’t reinstating Ferris’s contracts and the company is broke, but her father is vowing to start all over again. Green Lantern doesn’t really care about Ferris Aircraft … he’s dreading saying goodbye to Carol. They proclaim their love for each other and GL heads off into space. For how long? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Jonah Hex 59 coverJonah Hex #59 – “Night of the White Lotus” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts with Jonah Hex rescuing his estranged wife, Mei Ling, from being burned at the stake by Apaches. During the rescue, Mei Ling takes an arrow in the back and falls dead into Hex’s arms. Naturally, this is all a dream and Hex wakes up screaming for Mei Ling. She’s been on his mind lately, since she walked out with their son, and Hex worries he might be hitting the bottle a bit too hard trying to forget her. After dodging the come-on of a hotel floozie, Hex heads out to get some supper. He’s confronted by a gaggle of gunslingers looking forHex wastes McGrath's men trouble. Hex tries to avoid them, but ends up blowing all six of them away and continuing on to the café. We soon see the attack wasn’t random; a Chinese gentleman hired a guy named McGrath to send his best men against Hex. McGrath is shocked at how easily Hex handled them, but the Chinese guy says he learned what he needed to know. Obviously, he wanted to see Hex in action. Elsewhere, Mei ling is at her sister and brother-in-law’s farm, and she’s also thinking about Hex. She knows she did the right thing leaving him and his violent lifestyle, but can’t help worrying that he might be in danger. Mei Hex kidnapped by WuLing must have ESP, because back in town, Hex is approached by the Chinese dude (whose name is Wu), who engages him in conversation. Wu gives Hex a white lotus flower that knocks him out and Wu has a bunch of Chinese henchmen drag Hex out of the hotel, pack him into a crate, and cart him out of town. At her sister’s farm, Mei Ling receives a note with a dried white lotus blossom enclosed. She leaves her son with her sister and rides off immediately. The Chinese kidnappers trundle Hex across three states to San Francisco, where he’s loaded onto a slow boat to China. We’ll see what happens when he gets there next issue.

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