Comics Reviews: Flash 331, Wonder Woman 313, Green Lantern 174, Jonah Hex 82

Flash 331 coverFlash #331 – “Dead Heat” – Cary Bates, Joey Cavalieri/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, Flash was lured into a strange netherworld by Angelo, the street kid he’d been searching for. But Angelo is under the mental domination of Gorilla Grodd, who has managed to sap Flash of his super-speed by using Angelo as a conduit. After Flash collapses, Grodd picks him up and spins him around as a precursor to finishing him off. Grodd admits that Flash still has his speed, he’s just been brainwashed to forget that fact, so spinning him will divest him of the speed force in his body. As Angelo watches his hero about to be killed, Grodd’s domination of him slips and he runs off. Angelo hates himself for getting Flash captured and now for running out on him. He wonders if there’s something he can do toFlash takes Grodd out help, but before he can come up with an answer, he passes out. Grodd prepares to pound Flash, but the Scarlet Speedster has been holding back a bit of speed energy and escapes Grodd’s clutches. Grodd sends a mental bolt at Flash, who circles around behind the super-ape and pushes him into the path of his own attack. Grodd’s own mental force bolt knocks him out and Angelo shows up with Solovar and a troop of other intelligent apes … all good guys, of course. Solovar and the apes take Flash and Grodd back to Gorilla City, where Grodd is confined by force beams. Turns out the nether Angelo back homedimension is a sort of “playground” for the citizens of Gorilla City, where they can exercise their mental powers. When they discovered Grodd had disappeared into the nether-verse, they went after him and were surprised to find Flash and Angelo there. Speaking of Angelo, he goes back to Central City in style, getting dropped off by a couple of gorillas in a futuristic jet. As Angelo lands, Captain Frye is dropping leaflets about the missing Barry Allen all over the city. I know this was pre-internet, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to just go on TV? Flash’s lawyer, Peter Farley has been working on his case, but hasn’t been able to get in touch with Flash and is starting to worry. In Gorilla City, Flash explains his criminal case to Solovar and says he needsFlash hears the bomb over the phone to return home. On the way across the ocean, Flash rescues a downed plane, bringing it (and the crew) to safety in Florida. In Central City, we see some guy (we don’t see his face) practicing putting in his office and taking a call from someone who sounds like an assassin. Flash calls Peter from Florida and hears a bomb go off in Peter’s office. Flash starts running but is he fast enough to save someone from a bomb when he’s a couple thousand miles away? We’ll find out next issue.

Wonder Woman 313 coverWonder Woman #313 – “The Animal Within” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

This one starts with Wonder Woman calling her mother Hippolyta to let her know she tried to share her secret identity with Steve Trevor and he wasn’t interested. Sofia Constantinos overhears the call and wonders about Hippolyta’s own secrets that she’s been keeping from her daughter. As Wonder Woman comes into Washington, her invisible plane takes on a life of its own, refusing to obey her mental commands until she takes back control with an act of will. Meanwhile on Circe’s Caribbean island, she turns Major Keith Griggs into a satyr, adding him to her menagerie of people transformed into animals. Diana Prince returns to the Pentagon just in time to referee an argumentWonder Woman attacked by animals between Steve and General Darnell. Darnell explains that Major Griggs was sent to the Caribbean to check up on possible smuggling by armed forces personnel and now he’s disappeared. Steve is pissed off because Griggs was sent in with little prep time and not much undercover experience. (At least that’s what Steve says, but Etta wonders if Steve isn’t a bit jealous because the assignment was originally supposed to be his.) Darnell tells Diana he’s sending her to see what happened to Griggs. On Paradise Island (well, Science Island to be precise) Sofia tries to use the memory machine to check out the memories Hippolyta extracted from Diana. When Paula catches her, Sofia pretends Sofia knocks Paula outcontrition to put Paula at ease before knocking her out. In the Caribbean, Diana’s plane is attacked by a pterodactyl. She receives a mental message from Circe, which lets her know who’s behind all this. She bails out and changes to Wonder Woman, running into a gorilla and a tiger when she lands. Circe says there’s some terrible prophecy that she’s trying to prevent and that’s why she wants Wonder Woman dead. In Washington, Steve is talking to Darnell when the gremlin that he and Wonder Woman rescued last issue pops up outside the window, disappearing before Darnell or Etta can see it. Yeah, that’s not gonna get old. In the Caribbean, Wonder Woman fights her way past the tiger, as wellGriggs attacks Wonder Woman as a snake-man and a rhino, taking care not to hurt them since they’re transformed humans. Circe calls down lightning which Wonder Woman deflects with her bracelets. Unfortunately, that fuses her bracelets together, which robs her of her strength. She wonders how that’s possible, since only a man binding her bracelets is supposed to sap her strength, but Circe says she had help from an ally. She brings out the satyr, who Wonder Woman recognizes as Griggs, and commands him to kill the Amazon.

Huntress – “The Worm Turns” – Joey Cavalieri/Tim Burgard/Gary Martin

Last issue, Huntress was menaced by a mob stirred up by anti-vigilante rats swarm Huntresspolitician Terry Marsh and biased journalist Nedra Borrower. She swings clear and heads down to the street, opening up a water pipe to cool down the pissed off crowd. Huntress goes to talk to Marsh and realizes he’s mixed up with Earthworm, the criminal who’s been kidnapping and selling black market babies. After roughing Marsh up a bit, she gets info on Earthworm’s hideout in the sewers and goes after him. Earthworm sends a pack of rats after her, but she brushes them off and grabs Earthworm’s henchman, rescuing a baby from him. Earthworm slips through a grate and escapes as Huntress promises to track him down and bring him to justice some day.

Green Lantern 174 coverGreen Lantern #174 – “I Shot a Javelin Into the Air” – Len Wein/Dave Gibbons

Last issue, a new villain named Javelin stole the engine for Ferris Aircraft’s prototype solar jet. When Green Lantern tracked Javelin down, he was coated in a yellow polymer that encased his entire body, rendering his ring powerless to keep him aloft. As he plunges earthward, GL realizes his ring can affect the lungful of air he inhaled just before Javelin coated him in the polymer. He exhales and uses the ring to expand the air molecules until they burst the polymer film around his body. He goes after Javelin and his cadre of thieves, but gets suckered by a decoy weapon that Javelin used to lay a false trail. Since the crooks are long gone, GL heads back to Ferris and tells Tom Kalmaku what happened. Tom letsBloch calling Javelin him know there’s an emergency meeting, so he heads over as Hal Jordan. Carl Ferris is freaking out as usual, giving everyone shit for losing the solar engine. Carol finally has enough and tells her father off, letting him know he can’t treat his employees like crap anymore. Carl apologizes and admits he’s really mad at Jason Bloch, the crooked Congressman who’s trying to ruin Ferris to get revenge for a slight against his father. Speaking of Bloch, we see him in Washington, where everyone in his office is polite to his face but hates him behind his back. Bloch calls Javelin (no surprise they’re connected) to ask if he destroyed Ferris’s solar engine. Javelin admits he stole the engine instead of destroying it, since it’s worth a lot of money. Javelin attacks GLBloch gets pissed off, reminding Javelin that he wants Ferris ruined. Javelin says he can handle that and we see he’s constructed a giant javelin-like missile. Meanwhile, some STAR scientists are dumping radioactive waste in the ocean. Why am I mentioning that? It’ll become important later, trust me. At Ferris, the meeting breaks up and everyone is down about their prospects without the solar engine. Clay Kendall gives them a pep talk that really motivates Hal and he goes out as Green Lantern to look for Javelin. He returns to the scrap yard where Javelin lured him earlier to examine the weapon Javelin used. Javelin has been monitoring the place and sends four goons with lasers to take care of GL. He deals with them and realizes Javelin’s hideout must be under the scrap yard. He pulls the roof right off Javelin’s command centre and they start fighting again, matching Javelin’s trick spears against GL”s ring. Lantern defeats the villain with an old-fashioned punch in the mouth, but learns he’s too late to recover the solarGL extracts the solar engine from the missile engine. Javelin’s big missile takes off, powered by the solar engine, and heads straight for Ferris Aircraft. The missile is yellow, so GL can’t stop it with his ring … and he needs the solar engine intact. He opens up the missile and extracts the solar engine (which isn’t yellow), dropping it safely to the ground. He uses his ring to give himself wings (I guess he was out of Red Bull) and lifts the missile enough that it goes off-course and lands in the ocean, leaving him to recover the solar engine. Oh, remember the toxic waste the STAR guys were dumping in the ocean earlier? Apparently that awakened (or reconstituted) GL’s old enemy the Shark, who we see coming ashore in Los Angeles with death on his mind. Told you it’d become important.

Jonah Hex 82 coverJonah Hex #82 – “Mortal Enemies—Mortal Friends” – Michael Fleisher/Dick Ayers/Tony DeZuniga

Last issue, Jonah Hex and his mortal enemy Quentin Turnbull were trapped in a cave by Hex’s other mortal enemy El Papagayo. Hex and Turnbull managed to get out, taking a bandit as a hostage, and took off in Turnbull’s carriage. But they didn’t know El Papagayo had planted dynamite in the carriage. When Turnbull finds El Papagayo’s goodbye note, Hex realizes what’s happening and bails out, dragging Turnbull with him. Yeah, despite everything Turnbull’s done to make Hex’s life a living hell, Hex saves him again. (He already saved him from the rattlesnake bite last issue.) They end up on the side of a sheer cliff, where the bandit takes aPapagayo spares Hex swan dive. Turnbull is freaked out by the man’s death, which Hex finds funny, since Turnbull’s usually so bloody-minded. El Papagayo checks the wreckage of the carriage and sees Hex has escaped, but he prevents one of his men from shooting Hex, saying Hex escaped his trap fair and square. Turnbull wonders what kind of weird cat-and-mouse game Hex and Papagayo are playing. Elsewhere, Emmylou is on a stagecoach to St. Louis and we get a recap of her story and how she met Hex. She’s all broken up about leaving him and some slick-looking dude on the stagecoach offers her a drink. Back in town , J.D. Hart is still putting the moves on Hex’s estranged wife Mei Ling, and she seems pretty receptive. Out in the wild, Hex and Turnbull buy Mei Ling kidnappeda couple horses from a rancher and head for town. Turnbull tells Hex he hates being in his debt, so he’s going to clear him of any suspicion in the Governor’s death. That, with the Governor’s letter exonerating Hex of all the robbery charges, will clear his name completely. But Turnbull says he’ll never forgive Hex for getting his son killed, so once he repays this debt, he’ll go back to hating Hex and trying to destroy him. In town, the Riordan brothers grab Mei Ling and shoot Hart in the arm, telling him they want Hex. When Hex and Turnbull return to town, Hex finds out what happened and rides out with Hart (who insists on coming despite his wound) to find Mei Ling. They track the Riordans to an old railyard and sneak in. Hex and Hart take out most of the gang quietlyHex pounds Hart and Hex douses the leader in kerosene, threatening to light him up if he doesn’t tell them where Mei Ling is. The guy talks and Hart goes to free Mei Ling. She’s very grateful and Hex walks in on a tender moment. He gets mad and beats the shit out of Hart, who doesn’t try to fight back. Mei Ling is disappointed (as usual), but Hex doesn’t seem to care. The next day we see Emmylou’s stagecoach being stopped by bandits, who steal all the money and decide to take Emmylou as well.

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