Comics Reviews: Flash 327, Wonder Woman 309, Green Lantern 170, Jonah Hex 78

Flash 327 coverFlash #327 – “Burnout” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Dennis Jensen

Last issue, Fiona Webb kept insisting her fiance Barry Allen had visited her in the hospital, even though her doctors said it was impossible. Fiona was right—Barry got in the building at invisible super-speed—but the doctors thought she was losing her mind. When Flash came to the hospital to get his hands bandaged, Fiona came running out like a maniac, yelling about how glad she was to see her beloved Barry again. Has Fiona figured out Barry’s secret identity? No, she’s actually talking about an unconscious blond guy on a stretcher right in front of Flash. Fiona is sedated and the doctor explains she’s delusional, seeing Barry everywhere. Flash feels guilty, thinking if he hadn’tFiona sedated snuck in to visit Fiona, she wouldn’t be losing it now. Flash decides he might have to stop appearing in public as Barry Allen, for Fiona’s sake; if he shows up, she’ll expect to get back together with him and if he’s convicted (as Flash) of Professor Zoom’s murder, he’ll just end up leaving her again. Meanwhile, Captain Frye and Frank Curtis are investigating Barry’s “disappearance” and who trashed his apartment. Of course, we know Barry trashed the place himself in a fit of anger, and Barry’s parents suspect that too, but they don’t let on to Frye or Curtis. At a fire downtown, Angelo (the street kid Flash mistakenly suspected of robbing an old lady last issue) runs into the burning building to save his mother. Flash shows up and saves both of them Flash saves Angelo's momjust in time, earning Angelo’s gratitude. Angelo’s old gang (the Vultures) are watching and they’re not happy. They’re already pissed off because Angelo quit the gang and now he’s getting friendly with the Flash. They figure they might have to teach Angelo a lesson. Flash leaves the scene at high speed to avoid the barrage of questions from reporters and shanghais his parents (by forcing their car off the road at high speed!) to have a talk. He admits he’s the one who wrecked his apartment and says he’s worried about the manslaughter charge hanging over his head. His parents reassure him, telling him no jury would convict the Flash, and the whole case might not even make it that far anyway. Downtown, the Vultures jump a drunken bum in an alley and start roughing him up. Unfortunately for them, this drunkard is more than he appears. Triggered by one of the punks claiming to be stronger than a gorilla, the bum remembers his true identity and turnsGrodd wastes a punk back into … Gorilla Grodd! (We saw Grodd get turned a bum in Flash 313.) Grodd mentally subjugates most of the gang, but decides the leader is too recalcitrant to dominate, so he tosses the punk up in the air, letting him splatter on the ground on impact. Grodd reads the punks’ minds and learns about Angelo and his new friendship with Flash, which gives Grodd the inkling of a plan. Flash is out brooding when he’s teleported to the JLA Satellite by his teammates, who want to discuss the whole “killing a super-villain” thing. Apparently the JLA Charter has rule about killing, so they have to vote on whether or not to let Flash stay or kick him out. The entire team isn’t there, but they’ll have enough for a quorum once one more member shows up, so they decide to start voting right away. Aquaman votes to kick Flash JLA votesout, while Firestorm and Green Arrow are more understanding (Green Arrow reminding everyone that he was once forced to kill someone … this was well before Long Bow Hunters). Wonder Woman votes against Flash, saying his actions have tarnished the JLA (ironic considering what she’ll do to Max Lord in a couple decades … although I guess that might technically be a completely different Wonder Woman, depending on how you look at it). Hawkman also votes against Flash staying, but Aquaman votes in his favour, so it’s a tie. The tie-breaker finally shows up and it’s Superman, so everyone figures Flash is screwed. Superman makes his decision … but we have to wait until next issue to hear it.

Wonder Woman 309 coverWonder Woman #309 – “The Black Canary is Dead” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

Last issue, Black Canary’s mind was switched with a Romani woman named Zenna Persik, who was then captured by a Nazi called Schlagel (and his gorilla henchmen, which I think is bullshit because gorillas would never work for Nazis). Zenna, in Black Canary’s body, invaded the JLA Satellite looking for a weapon to use against the Nazis and ran into Wonder Woman and Elongated Man. Zenna assumes Black Canary (in her body) is probably dead already, since Schlagel isn’t known for mercy, but Wonder Woman wants to head to Star City to check. Zenna volunteers to go along and Wonder Woman agrees, thinking her knowledge might come in handy. Zenna tells Wonder Woman about the vile experiments Schlagel performed on Romani during the war and looksSchlagel gloating forward to killing him. Wonder Woman warns her about the price of vengeance. At Schlagel’s hideout, he gloats to Zenna (not realizing it’s Black Canary’s mind in Zenna’s body) about how his experiments alerted him to the psionic potential of the Romani (so-called Gypsy magic). He kidnapped a bunch of Romani children, transforming some of them into his monstrous minions (ha, I knew they weren’t real gorillas) and tapping into the psionic abilities of others. Schlagel has absorbed some of those abilities—telepathy for one—and plans to take over America and start up the whole Nazi crap again. Canary notices herself looking through a skylight and Zenna reverses the mind switch, putting them each into their own bodies again. Wonder Woman Wonder Woman pounds through force fieldbusts in and Canary warns her the apes are mutated kids. Zenna knocks Schlagel off a balcony but he saves himself with psychokinesis. His telekinetic force field keeps the three women from harming him and he orders the apes to attack. Zenna uses her firestarter ability to keep them at bay and Canary knocks them out with her sonic cry. Wonder Woman pounds her way through the force field, but before she can grab Schlagel, he teleports away, taking her with him. But right before she disappeared, Zenna performed another mind switch, putting herself in Wonder Woman’s body and leaving the Amazon behind in Zenna’s body. In Washington, Steve Trevor has recovered from his fight with Aegeus and is upset to learn Major Griggs ended up getting his assignment in the Caribbean. Lisa AbernathyLisa and Eloise with Steve and her daughter Eloise come in and Lisa thanks Steve for helping clear her father, Senator Abernathy, of treason charges. Eloise wants to meet Wonder Woman and Steve says he’ll try to arrange something. Lisa tells him they’ll be moving into the Senator’s place, which is also where Diana Prince and Etta Candy live. Looks like they’re setting up some new supporting cast members. Wonder Woman (still in Zenna’s body) and Black Canary track Schlagel to a Pacific island where he’s trying to disrupt a missile shield test (an early form of the SDI, maybe?) Zenna (in Wonder Woman’s body) is already Schlagel’s captive, since she doesn’t know how to use her super-powers effectively. When the missile comes in, Schagel uses his mental powers to Zenna steers the missiledrop the shield, putting the base in jeopardy. Wonder Woman figures she might be able to change the missile’s course with her magic lasso, even though Zenna’s body doesn’t have Amazon strength. She snags the missile and it drags her out of her invisible jet. She steers the missile off course and it ends up hitting Schagel and blowing him to hell. Black Canary assumes Wonder Woman died (in Zenna’s body), but Wonder Woman rises from the ocean in her own body and says Zenna switched their minds back at the last second, then made sure the missile took out Schlagel … at the cost of her own life.

Huntress – “Black Market” – Joey Cavalieri/Tim Burgard/Rodin Rodriguez

This one starts with a dude heading into the sewers to let a freaky-looking guy named Earthworm know that the “package” he was delivering was intercepted by Huntress. Earthworm gets pissed off and summons a ratHuntress takes out the gunman swarm to kill the messenger, then heads off to acquire more “merchandise”. What merchandise are they talking about? Remember last issue when Huntress interrupted what she thought was a drug deal but the package turned out to be moving? Well, it was a baby they were trying to sell. Huntress beats the shit out of the sellers and buyers and grabs the baby, but the last guy pulls a gun. They have a stand-off until Huntress conks him with her Batarang and asks where the kid came from. He tells her Earthworm kidnaps the babies for them to sell and that he hangs out in the sewers, so Huntress heads off to find him.

Green Lantern 170 coverGreen Lantern #170 – “The Inheritance” – Gary Cohn/Mike SekowskyFrank McLaughlin, Rodin Rodriguez

This is another filler issue where Green Lantern Hal Jordan barely appears. There’s a framing sequence (with art by George Tuska and Gary Martin) about Krista wanting to quit the Green Lantern Corps over their treatment of Hal and the Guardians give her a memory crystal which prompts the flashback that makes up the main story. Basically it’s about a Lantern called Lodar Monak on Cygna IV. A bunch of Z’nang warships, filled with robots programmed only to kill, invades Lodar’s home to lure him out. The Z’nang figure if they eliminate the sector’s Green Lantern, the way will be open for them to conquer planets left and right. Lodar is returning from a space mission and attacks the Z’nang fleet, but can’t prevent them from devastating his home. Lodar is blasted by a yellow death ray from a Z’nangLodar blown away ship and his wife is blown away trying to help him. Lodar revives long enough to wipe out a pile of robots and give his Power ring to his son Meeno before dying. Since the robots were only programmed to kill Lodar, they ignore Meeno, even as he dismantles their ships and smashes them to shit. Meeno uses the ring to find out that the Z’nang sent the ships, and that Lodar wanted to go after the Z’nang when they first started building up their forces, but the Guardians wouldn’t allow it. Meeno is ready to go after the Z’nang but the Guardians try to dissuade him. Meeno won’t listen, so the Guardians send other Lanterns to stop him from going too far. On Z’nang, the planet is ruled by a crazed tyrant named Korhalem, who keeps his people subjugated with his Meeno prepares to blow up a planetrobot army. Meeno attacks the planet and smashes numerous robots before deciding to harness a comet and wipe out the whole place. The Guardians let him know he’d be wiping out a bunch of people who had no choice but to obey their cruel masters. Meeno changes his mind and diverts the comet, but that distracts him and the robots kill him. The other Lanterns show up and are ready to waste the Z’nang, but the Guardians order them back to Oa. Meeno’s ring leaves him to seek out its new master, which it finds on Z’nang in the person of a freedom fighter who is in jail for speaking out against the tyrannical government. Now that he has a Power Ring, he figures he canHal and Krista really change things on Z’nang. On Oa, Hal Jordan wakes up from the psychodrama tests he’s been subjected to for the last few issues and is told by the Guardians he’ll be receiving new orders soon. He talks to Krista, who asks him if all the bullshit the Guardians put him through is worth it, and Hal says he’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if they asked. Like last issue, I have no idea how the main story is supposed to relate to Hal; I think it was probably an inventory story that they slapped in here to fill space.

Jonah Hex 78 coverJonah Hex #78 – “Man of Two Bloods” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

Last issue, Jonah Hex found out his old nemesis Quentin Turnbull had tricked him into getting thrown in prison to spy on conditions for the governor (who turned out to be a crony of Turnbull’s). Hex busted out of prison and went to the governor’s mansion, just in time to be accused of killing him. (The governor slipped and hit his head while trying to get away from an enraged Quentin Turnbull, but nobody witnessed his death.) Hex was smart enough to have the governor sign a letter attesting to his innocence before going to prison and Turnbull figures Hex’s latest flame (Emmylou Hartley) has the letter, so he and some thugs invaded her room to find it. Emmylou denies having any letter and Turnbull’s boys are ready to work her over. Turnbull prepares to leave, since he (ironically) has no stomach for violence. Hex busts through the windowHex busts into Emmylou's room and pounds the thugs, but Turnbull slips away. Hex knows he’ll come after him again, so he tells Emmylou to ride to the next town and wait while he goes to get the letter he hid before going to prison. Meanwhile, the prison warden is trying to explain to the press why he declared Hex dead, but now claims Hex busted out of prison and probably killed the governor. In a town called Carterville, a gang robs the bank and shoots a man, but as they’re escaping they find the road blocked by a farmer and his herd of goats. The farmer turns out to be a bounty hunter and he (Homer) and his brother (Wilbur) blow the robbers away. These guys talk like stereotypical dumb hicks, but they’re obviously smart enough to anticipate the robbers’ target and lay a trap. As Hex rides hick bounty huntersout to the place he hid the letter, he comes on the scene of a massacre; a bunch of Ojibwa women and children killed by white men with buffalo guns. Only one kid is left alive and Hex tries to help him. Meanwhile, the bounty hunters have collected the reward for the robbers and set their sights on a bigger prize … Jonah Hex, who’s got a $10,000 bounty on his head. Elsewhere, Marshall J.D. Hart goes to Mei Ling’s farm to tell her that Hex is in trouble and needs help. (Hex and Mei Ling last saw Hart back in issue 44.) The kid Hex helps turns out to be little Raven, the chief’s son, and to prove himself to his tribe he wants to avenge the slaughter of his people. Hex agrees to go along and tracks the killers to a field where they’ve killed a bunch of buffalo. The killers are buffalo skinners who were poaching on Ojibwa land and killed theHex shoots at the skinners Indians to keep them quiet. Little raven sneaks down to a wagon full of TNT (I have no idea why buffalo skinners would need TNT, but whatever) and spreads it around. When he’s discovered, Hex shoots some of the skinners and puts a bullet into a TNT barrel, blowing the whole bunch to hell. Hex and Little Raven return to the Ojibwa tribe and are both celebrated. Hex undergoes a blood-brother ceremony with little Raven, whose new name is Man of Two Bloods. Hex leaves the tribe the next day and meets Homer the bounty hunter, who asks for a drink of water. Hex doesn’t notice Wilbur behind a rock getting ready to shoot him.

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