Comics Reviews: Flash 315, Wonder Woman 297, Green Lantern 158, Jonah Hex 66

Flash 315 coverFlash #315 – “The Eradicator Strikes Again” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Rodin Rodriguez

Last issue, a new vigilante (Eradicator) came to Central City and started killing criminals using some kind of eye-beams to disrupt their molecular structure and reduce them to powder. Eradicator ended up killing an assassin who was gunning for State Senator Creed Phillips (who’s currently dating Barry Allen’s ersatz girlfriend, Fiona Webb) and this issue opens with Flash finding the assassin’s remains and zooming up to the roof, only to find Eradicator is long gone. The next day at police headquarters, Barry Allen and Patty Spivot are given what’s left of the assassin to analyze. Meanwhile, one of Central City’s biggest crime bosses (Mugsy Malone) is coming in on his private jet. Turns out he’s the one who ordered the hit on Phillips (since Phillips has beenGoldface smashes Malone's plane campaigning on an anti-crime platform), but he didn’t anticipate Eradicator showing up and wasting his assassins. As the plane lands, Malone gets another surprise, as Goldface is waiting to meet the plane and smashes it to pieces. Goldface says he’s here to become the new crime lord of Central City. Senator Phillips attends a press conference where he condemns Eradicator’s actions, even though he’s only going after criminals. Phillips says law and order is the only way to run the city; anybody else think he’s going to turn out to be Eradicator? Or is that too obvious? Phillips is also there to present an award to the Flash (who’s late because he stopped to thwart a bank robbery). Flash is pissed off that Fiona threw him over for Phillips, but he’s forced to smile Mick escapes from Goldfaceand make nice in order to guard his secret identity. Across town, Mick Rory (formerly known as Heat Wave) is getting off work when he’s forced into a car by gun-toting thugs. He’s taken to Mugsy Malone’s mansion, but soon finds out Malone is dead and Goldface has taken over. Goldface has heard that Mick knows Flash’s secret identity and wants the info. Mick stalls and pulls out a trick lighter that wraps him in a heat shield. He melts through the window and takes off, but knows Goldface will be looking for him so he’d better find somewhere good to hide. Flash rousts a well-known pickpocket downtown and squeezes info out of him about Goldface trying to muscle his way into Central City. Flash goes back to the police lab as Barry Allen to continue his analysis of the remains he was given. Barry now figures they’re what’s left of Mugsy Malone, but before he can ponder that too deeply, he’sFrye tries to change out of his costume called into Captain Frye’s office. Frye surprises Barry by greeting him in costume; yeah, Frye hasn’t given up his idiotic idea about being a costumed vigilante, Captain Invincible. He’s wearing the same stupid costume as before, which looks like something that was rejected by Forbush Man. Frye says he’s ready to take care of Eradicator and Barry tries to talk him out of doing anything stupid. Frye insists he’s been practicing and calls his assistant to bring some coffee. He tries to change back to his civilian clothes before she comes in, but only manages to get down to his underwear. She’s puzzled but accepts his explanation that he was exercising. These days, she’d probably slap a doctor is eradicatedharassment suit on him. Elsewhere, Senator Phillips’ doctor calls him to say he’s found something strange on one of Phillips’ x-rays and wants to see him. The doctor has found that Phillips seems to have four bullets embedded in his chest, but figures that’s impossible. Hmmm, Eradicator was shot last issue … I guess they’re going with the obvious after all. Unfortunately for the doctor, it’s Eradicator who shows up to waste the doctor and burn the x-rays. At police headquarters, Goldface goes on a rampage to draw Flash out. It works and Flash jumps the shiny villain, only to find his super-speed punches have no effect on Goldface’s metal skin. I thought gold was a fairly soft metal, so you’d think Flash could at leastFlash fights Goldface make some dents. For that matter, he could use friction to melt Goldface’s skin, since gold melts at a relatively low temperature. But maybe Goldface’s hide isn’t pure gold because he resists Flash’s attempts to harm him. He grabs Flash and starts crushing him, saying he’s taking over Central City’s mobs and Flash better stay out of his way. Flash starts vibrating to escape Goldface’s clutches and Goldface smacks him one, sending him flying halfway across town to end up unconscious in a back alley. Meanwhile, Mick Rory has found the perfect place to hide from Goldface’s men … Barry Allen’s apartment. We’ll see how all this plays out next issue.

Noticeable Things:

  • Goldface’s last appearances were in Green Lantern, where he tried to take over all the mobs on the West Coast.
  • I know Mick saw Flash without his mask on, but I thought the whole deal was that he didn’t recognize who Flash was; he was just some guy and Mick had no way of figuring out his name, so he basically knew half of Flash’s secret identity, the face but not the name. But here he knows Barry Allen is the Flash, so when exactly did he figure that out? If it happened in a Flash comic, I don’t remember it.

Wonder Woman 297 coverWonder Woman #297 – “Thunder on the Wind” – Dan Mishkin/Gene Colan/Frank McLaughlin

This one starts with Wonder Woman hanging out on Paradise Island, taking it easy. Her mother Hippolyta warns her she’s had some kind of mystic vision of he Amazons being in danger. She doesn’t know exactly what the danger is, but it’s bent on the destruction of the Amazons. Meanwhile in Greece, a terrorist named Nikos Aegeus has kidnapped and murdered an ambassador. Aegeus and his men flee to a remote island, where they find an ancient temple. The temple isn’t empty though; aDiana's war games mysterious old man emerges to address Aegeus by name and says he is Aegeus’s new master. In Washington, Diana Prince has been combing through databases to find any possible threat to Paradise Island, but she’s come up empty. Steve Trevor tells her she’s to be part of some combat simulations, designed to test her flying skills. Diana and Steve go up in fighter jets and Diana impresses him with her skills. But she gets a shock when a freaky-looking dude rides out of the sunset on a winged horse. Yup, it’s Aegeus, but he’s been transformed into some kind of Greek warrior, riding a flying horse and Wonder Woman fights Aegeustossing lightning bolts around. A lightning bolt hits Steve’s plane and Diana summons her invisible jet to keep him from crashing. She changes to Wonder Woman and lassoes Aegeus’s horse. But she finds she can’t control the horse and figures Aegeus must be imbued with some powerful magic. Aegeus uses a lightning bolt to teleport away, leaving Wonder Woman to wonder why the hell he was there in the first place. She soon finds out when she goes to check on Steve and he’s not in the downed plane. Back on the Greek island, Aegeus pops through a teleportation warp and greets Steve, who’s being held by Aegeus’s men. He tells Steve his last thunderbolt teleported him here, but the next one can kill him.

Huntress splashHuntress – “Go Save the World” – Joey Cavalieri/Joe Staton/Sal Trapani

This one starts with some punks shaking down a store owner for protection money. Charley Bullock (one of the new lawyers at Helena’s law office) comes in and tells the punks to get lost. The store owner laments that Batman is no longer around to deal with scum like that. Across town, Helena surprises her boyfriend Harry Sims (Gotham District Attorney), telling him she’s the new liaison between the cops and his office. She figures it’ll cut their workload in half, plus they’ll get to spend more time together. But Harry’s not thrilled by the idea and Helena gets pissed off, thinking he just doesn’t want to spend time with her. HarryBlackwing falls is actually worried about Helena being the Huntress (which he’s known for some time) and risking her life every night, and he figures seeing her every day at the office will just make him worry even more. On the way home, Huntress notices the punks shaking down another store owner and prepares to jump in. Before she can do anything, someone else intervenes, a dude in a bat-themed costume calling himself Blackwing. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have Batman’s skills, so he crash lands and ends up being unmasked by the punks. Guess who it is? Yup, it’s Charley from Helena’s law office. We’ll see what happens to him next issue.

Green Lantern 158 coverGreen Lantern #158 – “A Loop in Time” – Mike W. Barr/Keith Pollard/Mike DeCarlo

This one starts with Green Lantern going through the remains of his asteroid home, which was destroyed last issue by Hector Hammond. GL figures maybe it’s time to get a spaceship to live on while he completes his extended space mission. He goes through a space warp to the planet Talkor, which has a veritable junkyard of spaceships orbiting it. Before he can pick out a ship, GL gets a distress call from nearby. He finds a spaceship being attacked by a yellow space serpent, which was attracted by their use of sub-space radio. GL uses his ring to provoke the space serpent into swallowing him. He gives the beastie a case of indigestion from inside, so it spits him out and takes off. The people he rescued (who wear Phantom of the Opera-type masks) thank himdragon spits GL out and he asks if he can come back to their world with them. He says it’s to protect them, but he’s really just craving human (or humanoid) contact. They head to Talkor’s third moon, where a scientist named T’gura has set up a lab. She yells GL she’s trying to crack the secret of time travel. While touring the facility, Lantern sees a room full of artifacts that turns out to be a shrine to T’gura’s lost love, S’omdarr. She shows GL around, explaining how she and S’omdarr fell in love at first sight but S’omdarr died after only six months. That was thirty years ago, but she hasn’t stopped thinking about him which is why she’s working so hard on time travel. The cargo ship leaves, but T’gura asks GL to stay for tea. He ends up regretting that, since T'gura relives historyT’gura shoots him with a ray gun. GL wakes up in a stasis field that saps his will power, preventing him from escaping. T’gura admits she’s already mastered one facet of time travel; she can isolate a finite amount of time and replay it over and over, forever. Naturally she’s chosen the six months she spent with S’omdarr, but until now she lacked a power source capable of running her machine. GL figures he can bust out once his ring is depleted of charge, but T’gura tells him the stasis field is outside time, so he’ll be stuck there forever with his ring powering T’gura’s screwed up love life. She activates the machine and GL watches as she grows younger and has her meet-cute with S’omdaar. But T’gura’s messing with time has created a backlash that causes waves of force to threaten the entire space sector. GLGL lets T'gura stay in her perfect place summons all his will power to emit sub-space waves and attract the space dragon. It crashes into the lab, destroying all the equipment and freeing Green Lantern. He turns the metal floor molten and wraps the dragon up, then yanks T’gura out of her pocket universe as it starts to collapse. She begs him to let her stay with S’ondarr and GL says he’s not sure if her new reality will last forever or blink out of existence. T’gura’s willing to chance it to be with S’ondarr, so GL lets her go. Later, the grateful Talkorans give GL a spaceship to thank him for saving their planet from the shockwaves. In the back-up story, Charlie Vicker saves the planet, bitching the whole time about how he hates being a Green Lantern.

Jonah Hex 66 coverJonah Hex #66 – “Requiem for a Coward” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts with Jonah Hex showing up at Palomino Creek stage depot looking forward to a hot meal. His dinner plans are interrupted when a gang of scumbags jumps him. They beat the shit out of him and take him to their hideout, while their leader goes to nearby Willow Bluff to inform Rod Webster that they have Hex. Webster is the banker in Willow Bluff, but fifteen years ago he was involved in an Army payroll robbery that ended up getting Hex’s fiancée (Cassie) killed (as we saw last issue). Webster got a warning about Hex from one of the other guys involved in the robbery and has been freaking out ever since, worried Hex will track him down. He’s not happy when he learns Hex is stillHex escapes from the bandits alive, since the deal was for the bandits to kill him. But the bandit leader wants double what Webster promised, or he’ll let Hex go. Webster agrees, but says he wants to see Hex’s head before he pays any more money. Out at a deserted cabin, Hex burns his ropes off and jumps the bandits, who are too busy playing cards to notice until it’s too late. He manages to grab his pistols (which aren’t currently loaded), busts through the window, and rides off after scattering the horses. The ironic thing is that Hex wasn’t even looking for Webster; he’d decided to let the matter drop, figuring fifteen years was too long to hold a grudge. But since Webster sent men to jump him, he’s got a new grudge to be pissed off about. Back in town, Hex confronts Webster, who shows himself to be a big coward. Hex says he’ll give him until Stella strikes outtomorrow to close up his bank and get the hell out of town. Webster isn’t too happy about that and goes home to tell his wife (Stella) they might have to leave town. Of course, he tells her he was just along for the ride when the others stole the payroll and left Hex’s fiancée to die. He asks her to go see Hex and persuade him to change his mind … and by “persuade” I mean “have sex with”. Stella’s under no illusions about the kind of man she married, but she’s gotten used to living the high life so she agrees to his plan. But Hex has been reminiscing about Cassie, so he’s not in the mood to bang Stella. She goes home to tell Webster his plan didn’t work, but she says she wished it had because is way more man than him. Webster gets desperate and goes to see the bandits, begging them to take care of Hex for him. The bandits say they’ll do it, as long as Webster lets them come into town and clean out theWebster shows what kind of man he is bank. In town, Hex is told about the robbery, but isn’t inclined to help until he hears there’s a reward for every bandit he catches. At the bank, the bandits are looting the place and decide tangling with Hex isn’t such a great idea, so they plan to just take off with the money. Webster protests, so they knock him on the head and leave. Hex is waiting outside and he knocks three of the bandits out. The leader goes for his gun but Hex blows him away. Webster comes out of the bank and tries to bluff the crowd that’s assembled. But the bandits rat him out, telling everyone he was ready to give them all the town’s money to kill Hex. Webster freaks out and tries to shoot Hex as he’s walking away, but he just wings him. Hex is ready to blow Webster away, but he shows his true colours again, collapsing in the street and crying like a punk. Stella gives Hex her kerchief for his wounded arm and asks him to kiss her, so she’ll know what a real man’s kiss is like. He gives her a good one and rides off; I’m sure she’ll be using that as masturbation fodder for a while.

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