Comics Reviews: Flash 332, Wonder Woman 314, Green Lantern 175, Jonah Hex 83

Flash 332 coverFlash #332 – “Defend the Flash … and Die?” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, Flash was in Florida talking to his lawyer (Peter Farley) on the phone when a bomb went off in Farley’s office. Flash zooms back to Central City at top speed, hoping he can get there in time to save Farley from an explosion he’s already heard happen. Even though it sounds physically impossible, Flash does get back in time to save Farley from being killed, although he’s in critical condition. Flash feels guilty because he assumes Farley was targeted for agreeing to defend him in his manslaughter case. Elsewhere, we see Rainbow Raider putting on his costume as he watches a news report about the bomb thatFlash hears about Fiona almost killed Farley. Raider doesn’t know anything about the assassination attempt, but figures the distraction might give him an edge if he runs into Flash. At the hospital, Farley’s doctor tells Flash he has a 50-50 shot at pulling through. Flash stops in to check on Fiona Webb, but finds out she’s been transferred to a psychiatric facility upstate. Flash thinks she must be getting better and decides his idea to make Barry Allen “disappear” was probably correct. Across town, lawyer to the stars N.D. Redik is happy that Farley is no longer Flash’s attorney so he can grab the high profile assignment himself. He asks a reporter friend to plant the idea of him Flash fights Rainbow Raiderrepresenting Flash in the local paper. At Peter Farley’s mountain home (where Flash has been staying) he gets a telegram from Farley’s law partner (named Horton) who offers to be Flash’s new lawyer. Not too far away, Rainbow Raider knocks off an armored truck and scoops up all the cash. The next day, Redik drops by police headquarters to ask Captain Frye if he’ll let Flash know Redik is willing to represent him free of charge. Flash is patrolling downtown when Rainbow Raider spots him and decides to attack, reasoning that Flash will be off his game because of his recent troubles. Flash evades Raider’s initial attack, but has to stop to subdue a crowd of brainwashed bystanders. Raider tries to take off but gets slammed by the sudden intervention of GreenFlash meets Cecile Lantern. GL has heard about Flash’s legal trouble and come to see him. After Flash explains everything, GL considers using his ring to probe Flash’s subconscious, to see if he really intended to kill Zoom or if it was just an accident. But GL decides that would be playing God, so he doesn’t do it and just wishes Flash luck before heading back to Coast City. Later, Flash is at Farley’s place when Farley’s partner shows up, still eager to defend Flash … and she turns out to be a rather attractive woman named Cecile Horton.

Noticeable Things:

Wonder Woman 314 coverWonder Woman #314 – “The Nature of the Beast” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

Last issue, Wonder Woman went to a Caribbean island to rescue Major Keith Griggs, who’d been sent on a secret assignment to investigate military corruption. Wonder Woman found Griggs had been transformed (along with many others) into a beast-man by the magic of Circe, who wants to destroy Wonder Woman because of some prophecy of doom she fears coming true. Wonder woman’s bracelets were fused together, rendering her powerless, so Griggs (who’s now a satyr-like goat-man) attacks and Wonder Woman tricks him into fighting some of the other manimals. Circe exhorts Griggs to kill the Amazon, so Wonder Woman uses her words, breaking through Circe’s spell. Griggs uses his horns to freeGriggs grabbed Wonder Woman’s fused bracelets and resisting Circe’s magic causes him to turn human again. As Wonder Woman fights some of the other beast-men, Griggs is grabbed by a huge snake and Circe says he’ll be killed if Wonder Woman doesn’t surrender. Back in Washington, Steve Trevor is getting ready to head to the Air Force base, but he takes the time to ask Etta out to dinner, which shocks the shit out of her (though she doesn’t say no). On Paradise Island, Sofia Constantinos has retrieved the memories Hippolyta removed from Wonder Woman and tries to contact the Amazing Amazon to tell her what she’s discovered. In the Caribbean, Circe tries to kill Griggs after Wonder Woman surrenders, so Circe calls for helpshe busts loose and starts pounding Circe’s beasts. Circe summons a jaguar from an obsidian mirror, but Wonder Woman evades its attack. Circe asks for help from her unseen ally (whose thunderbolts fused Wonder Woman’s bracelets last issue) and more lightning blasts down from the skies. Wonder Woman is expecting it this time and deflects the lightning into a nearby patch of herbs, which freaks Circe out. Griggs takes off and has to fight off a bear, but makes it to safety. Back in Washington, Steve runs into Lisa Abernathy, the reporter, who warns him of rumours she’s heard that a Senator named Covington might be setting General Darnell up to look bad. Steve’s stupid little gremlin friend is hanging around, but Lisa can’t see him. The gremlin notices Sofia’s message in the invisible jet, but can’t get Steve’s attention. In theCirce disappears Caribbean, Circe braves the flames to save her herbs (which confer immortal youth on her), but they burn. When she sees a reflection in the obsidian mirror of herself as an old crone, she freaks and ends up disappearing into the mirror. The jaguar reveals its true form, Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god. He uses the mirror to change Wonder Woman back to Diana Prince, and all the beast-men change back to human form too. Tezcatlipoca claims to have raised Circe up before ultimately destroying her. He says he’s both creator and destroyer and revels in chaos and confusion. He uses the mirror to transport Diana, Griggs, and the others to an Aztec city, possibly in the distant past. Diana is astounded to find that some of the city’s inhabitants are Amazons.

Huntress – “Life is for the Lionhearted” – Joey Cavalieri/Mark Beachum/Gary Martin

This one starts with the cops chasing a couple of thieves in a car through Gotham. The thieves drive off the edge of a pier, but their car turns into a Sea Lion kills thieveshovercraft and they get away. The thieves rendezvous with a submarine and go aboard to deliver the loot. Unfortunately, their boss (a weird-looking guy named Sea Lion with a wooden leg and a hook for a hand) is pissed off that they had the cops on them, so he kills them. At the hospital, Huntress drops by to check on the baby she rescued from Earthworm last issue. At the local TV station, Nedra Borrower gets fired for banging Terry Marsh, a political candidate she was supposed to be reporting on. At the police station, Detective Minelli is told he’s supposed to shadow Huntress and report on her activities. Minelli has the hots for her, so he doesn’t want to, but he testified against other cops in a corruption trial, so he doesn’t exactly have a lot of pull on the force. Back at the hospital, Huntress meets a couple of new characters: Dr. Peake, who’s an artist in his spare time; and Mizuki Tori,Huntress and Mizuki who’s kinda snotty to Huntress. (Mizuki has a Japanese name, but she’s drawn as Caucasian.) Huntress gets suspicious and noses around, discovering that someone has tapped the phones. She confronts Mizuki (whose ass Mark Beachum seems to be in love with) and finds out she heads a project called Starfish that’s supposed to help people regenerate limbs. The project is government funded and the hospital isn’t supposed to patent or profit from it, but someone’s been stealing the data and patenting it, potentially making billions. Mizuki tapped the phones and intercepted the mail to figure out who’s stealing the data, but she’s found nothing. Huntress offers to help her.

Green Lantern 175 coverGreen Lantern #175 – “Shark Bait” – Len Wein/Dave Gibbons

This one starts with Congressman Jason Bloch ranting to himself (as most comic book villains do) about how he hates Carl Ferris and wants to destroy his company because he blames Ferris for his father’s death. Bloch’s tirade is interrupted by a dude who dresses like a Man in Black (although his name is Smith, so maybe he’s more like one of those dudes from the Matrix), who tells Bloch Smith’s employers want him to lay off Ferris Aircraft. Smith’s employers (Continental Petroleum, or Con-Trol for short) have their own plans for Ferris and want Bloch to stay away until those plans are done … then he can pound Ferris into the ground for all they care. Bloch knows Con-Trol is a powerful company, but he’s so pissed off he doesn’t care. After telling Smith to getSmith warns Bloch lost, Bloch checks out his safe where he keeps his secret weapon … a file on Green Lantern’s secret identity. Speaking of Hal Jordan, he’s out in Coast City having breakfast with Carol Ferris when he sees an item in the newspaper about Flash being on trial for killing Professor Zoom. Hal is mad that Carol didn’t mention it, but she says she’s had a lot on her mind lately. Hal changes to Green lantern and heads for Central City to see Flash. Meanwhile, the Shark (who we saw emerge from the sea last issue) is stalking the back alleys of Coast City and drains some homeless guy of his life energy. When GL arrives in Central City, we get a repeat of the scenes from Flash 332 (which I reviewed above) where Flash fights Rainbow Raider and Green Lantern gives him a hand. GL helps against Rainbow RaiderThey have the same talk as in that Flash issue and GL heads home. At Ferris Aircraft, Clay Kendall takes another shot at harnessing psionic power by strapping himself into the machine he built. Kendall is shocked when he actually does manage to reach out psychically and touch another mind, but that mind is so inhuman it freaks him out completely. Shark decides to attack the local STAR Labs facility since it was their toxic waste that awoke him last issue (but the waste only evolved him partially, so he’s not as “perfect” as he used to be). He wreaks havoc in the lab until Green Lantern shows up to tackle him. Shark’s invisible yellow force field makes it hard for GL to fight him, but he uses other weapons (like a lamp post) to knock Shark around. Shark inducesGL fights Shark terror in GL, so Lantern decides to do the same, conjuring a dolphin with his ring (which sharks are apparently scared of … who knew?) Just as GL is about to finish Shark off, a newspaper blows into his face and Shark drains his energy. (The newspaper has been a running theme throughout the issue, with various people reading a story about GL saving the city.) Shark is ready to waste all the cops but he suddenly feels some kind of mental attack, causing him incredible pain. Shark flees, leaving Green Lantern unconscious in the street.

Jonah Hex 83 coverJonah Hex #83 – “Blues in the Bottle, Stopple in My Hand” – Michael Flesisher/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts where last issue left off, with Jonah Hex beating the shit out of J.D. Hart for putting the moves on Hex’s estranged wife, Mei Ling. Hex leaves and heads back to town, hoping to hook up with Emmylou to forget about Mei ling. But (as we saw last issue), Emmylou left on the stagecoach to St. Louis and was kidnapped halfway there. Hex is pissed off that she left town without a word, so he heads to the saloon to drown his sorrows. Out in the wild, we see Emmylou’s kidnapper (Brett), who introduces her to his two henchmen … well, henchwomen actually. Yup, seems Brett kidnaps good-looking women and forces them to help him in his robberies. When Emmylou resists his orders to work around camp, hedrunk Hex shoots gunslingers slaps her around. In town, Hex is getting wasted when a couple of bandits call him out of the saloon. Even hammered he’s a hell of a shot and blows them away before heading back in for another drink. At Brett’s camp, Emmylou tries to sneak away during the night, but Brett catches her and ties her up. In town, Hex is sleeping in the livery barn when some townsfolk decide to burn the place down because they don’t like a gunfighter hanging around. Hex escapes and rides out into the country. He has a drunken crisis of conscience and throws his pistols into a pond before passing out. He wakes up to find a woman watching him. Her name is Catherine Smollett and she’s one of those schoolmarmish temperance advocates who’s always going on about Hex wastes gunman with a pitchforkthe bible and the evils of drink. She harangues Hex into coming to her Christian Temperance Farm to dry out and become a God-fearing man. Maybe Hex really is tired of his old life because he doesn’t resist. Hex meets a fellow boozehound who appropriates Hex’s whiskey. When Catherine catches them fighting over it, she blames Hex and takes the booze. Hex spends the next few days working around the farm, which gets his mind off his recent troubles. But Hex draws trouble like flames draw moths, so a trio of gunfighters show up looking for him. He still has his Bowie knife and takes one guy out, then lures the others to the barn. He kills one with a pitchfork to the face and the last guy with a sickle across the throat. Catherine knows he was defending himself but asks him to leave anyway. She wishes he could’ve stuck around to be saved, but Hex says he’s about as saved as he’ll ever get.

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