Comics Reviews: Flash 334, Wonder Woman 316, Green Lantern 177, Jonah Hex 85

Flash 334 coverFlash #334 – “Flash Freak-Out” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

This one starts with famous lawyer N.D. Redik reading a tabloid story about Flash being romantically involved with his new attorney, Cecile Horton. Little does Redik know, Cecile told Flash last issue that she hates him and everything he stands for and only took his case as a favour to her injured law partner. Meanwhile, Pied Piper lures a prominent hairdresser into an alley and puts him to sleep so he can take the guy’s place at his next appointment … with the mayor of Central City. Pied Piper uses his micro-transmitter to hypnotize the mayor into doing his bidding. At home, Captain Frye talks to his wife about Barry Allen being missing. Frye has Barry’s extra Flash ring, but doesn’t know what it contains. As Frye takes a phone call about a hostage crisis, the cat starts batting the ring around. Flash goes to see his ex-lawyer (Peter) is the hospital and asks himFlash asks Peter about Cecile why Cecile hates him so much. Peter says it’s not his place to say and that Flash should just ask Cecile. The now-hypnotized Mayor Pinchot checks out the damage at the Flash Museum (from the fire last issue), but refuses to allocate any city funds for repairs. The public is shocked and the city council wants to release the funds, but can’t do so over Pinchot’s veto. At Frye’s house, his cat gets a surprise when Barry’s ring springs open to reveal his Flash costume, but the enlarging fluid has dried out so the costume is pretty small. The cat drags it under the couch to play with. Flash is all worked up over the mayor’s lack of support for the Museum, so he leaves a meeting with Cecile to go for a run and ends up saving some window washers. Flash confronts the mayorMeanwhile, a tabloid reporter is assigned to watch Flash and dig up (or manufacture) some dirt on him and Cecile. The reporter is on hand when Flash confronts the mayor and he gets some photos that make Flash look bad. A cop shows up with a radio and Flash talks to someone claiming to have left a bomb under the desk of the local news anchor, set to go off right away. Flash zooms over to the studio and demolishes the anchor’s desk, but there’s no bomb. Flash realizes too late that he’s been had; it looks like he attacked the news anchor on live TV. Naturally, Pied Piper is behind it all … and he’s not done yet.

Wonder Woman 316 coverWonder Woman #316 – “The Chaos Game” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

Last issue, Wonder Woman and Keith Griggs were abducted to an Aztec city by Tezcatlipoca, the God of Chaos. He showed Wonder Woman distorted visions of herself, trying to break her spirit, but she overcame them. She shatters all Tezcatlipoca’s mirrors with her tiara and he animates the shards of glass, throwing them at her. She deflects all the shards with her bracelets and Tezcatlipoca sends his captive Amazons after her. Meanwhile, Keith (who went through one of Tezcatlipoca’s mirrors last issue) finds himself in the jungles of Tropidor, a Central American country that has recently cut ties with America. Keith saves a military captain (Montez) from some rebels and Montez says they have to get to the capital or the rebels might start a bloodbath. In the AztecWonder Woman and Amazons fight living statues temple, Wonder Woman realizes a caged eagle holds the key to the Amazons’ thrall. Once she frees the eagle, the Amazons regain their senses and help her fight Tezcatlipoca’s stone statues come to life. Wonder Woman kicks the doors open and the Amazons get out, but she’s grabbed by Tezcatlipoca. On Paradise Island, Sofia Constantinos is discovered by Hippolyta, but Sofia threatens to expose Hippolyta’s secret … that she lied to Wonder Woman about Steve Trevor. Hippolyta is ready to pound Sofia, but she has to rescue Paula from the Memory Machine first, giving Sofia the chance to get away. Steve is approaching Paradise Island in Wonder Woman’s jet, but he’s intercepted by Amazons in hang-gliders. In Washington, Etta is approached by the guy who’s been Wonder Woman defeats Tezcatlipocafollowing her. He claims to work for Senator Covington and needs to check some files. He also asks her out to dinner and she accepts. In the Aztec temple, Wonder Woman finds the miniature statue of Tezcatlipoca, but still can’t touch it. She uses her lasso to pick it up, then slings it at him, shattering him into a million shards. Turns out Tezcatlipoca just took over one of the rebel leaders to instill chaos in the country (and eventually the world). Tezcatlipoca vanishes, but tells Wonder Woman he’s planted the seed of chaos that will live on in the rebels, causing them to start a senseless war. Wonder Woman ignores the implications of that to talk to her fellow Amazons. But these Amazons are different from the ones she knows; they address her as Artemis, thinking she’s the original Wonder Woman. They also mention that Queen Hippolyta has lied to them, making Wonder Woman curious as to what the hell they’re talking about.

Huntress – “The Roar of the Ocean” – Joey Cavalieri/Mark Beachum/Gary Martin

Last issue, Huntress and Dr. Peake were captured by Sea Lion, who injected Peake with a genetic weapon to turn him into a protoplasmic form so heHuntress defeats Sea Lion could be reconstructed as anything. Sea Lion wants the formula to restore his missing arm and leg, but Huntress busts loose and tries to retrieve it. Sea Lion launches mini-buzzsaws at her and takes off. She deals with the buzzsaws and programs the computer to reconstitute Peake’s original DNA. She blows a hole in the hull, forcing the submarine to surface and goes topside to kick Sea Lion’s ass and retrieve the stolen bio-weapon. Peake ends up rowing Huntress and the captured Sea Lion back to shore in a life raft.

Green Lantern 177 coverGreen Lantern #177 – “Interlude” – Len Wein/Chuck Patton, Dave Cockrum/Bob Smith

This is mostly a reprint of issue 128 with a bit of new framing material. Since I’ve already reviewed that issue, I won’t go into depth again. Basically, GL hauls in the STAR Labs ship after defeating the Shark last issue and the scientists who were illegally dumping toxic waste decide to turn themselves in. A reporter asks GL how it felt having his mind stolen by Shark, which prompts him to think back to the time when Hector Hammond got control of his ring. After his flashback, GL saves an out-of-control jet from crashing and we see the Guardians of the universe preparing to summon him to help a planet that’s about to explode.

Jonah Hex 85 coverJonah Hex #85 – “Behold the Gray Ghost” – Michael Fleisher/Tony DeZuniga

This one starts with Quentin Turnbull addressing a meeting of the Fort Charlotte Brigade, who still hate Jonah Hex for supposedly betraying them to the Yankees. The Brigade is moping because they can’t seem to get revenge on Hex, but Turnbull rallies them and says he has someone who can take care of Hex for them … the Gray Ghost. Who is the Gray Ghost? We’re about to see him in action. At a wedding down South, a masked man in a Confederate uniform busts in and charges the groom with betraying the Southern cause by sharing troop movements during the War. He blows the groom away and takes off, pursued by members of the wedding party. (Apparently Gray Ghost hasHex breaks Clifford's arm sworn never to kill an innocent person, so he leaves instead of staying to fight.) The mob runs through the streets looking for Gray Ghost and an old man tells them he just headed out of town. As they ride off, we see the old dude whistling Dixie, so I guess he’s actually the Gray Ghost. Naturally, the posse can’t find Gray Ghost and the Sheriff tells them Gray Ghost was a soldier whose family were killed by Sherman’s troops. Gray Ghost never surrendered when the War ended and kept fighting, compiling a list of supposed traitors to the Southern cause and killing them. In New Orleans, Jonah Hex has been partying like crazy with his new fiancée, Adrian (who got hot for him last Emmylou agrees to cooperate with her kidnapperissue when Hex was her bodyguard). Adrian’s ex (Clifford) comes in with a gun, but Hex breaks his arm and tosses him out on his ass. Many miles north, Emmylou’s kidnapper finally lets her out of the closet where she’s been tied up. He wants her to help him (and his other girls) rob a stagecoach, but Emmylou’s not interested. She changes her mind when he threatens to lock her back in the closet. This whole thing (kidnapping girls and locking them in a closet to break their resistance and coerce them into committing robberies) has a very Patty Hearst vibe to it. In New Orleans, Hex and Adrian are returning from a party when they meet a familiar-looking old man. Yup, it’s the Gray Ghost (going by the name Mr. Gray) and he asks for a lift in their wagon. As they’re heading home, they’re ambushed by some gunfighters (hired by Clifford). Hex kills a couple of them but Gray is wounded and Adrian insists he come home and stay with them. Later, Gray gets ready toGray Ghost gunned down waste Hex but Adrian walks in on him and he shoots her, even though she’s an innocent. Naturally, Gray blames Hex and tries to shoot him, but Hex is ready for him now. Gray realizes he can’t finish Hex right now, so he tries to get away, but Clifford’s thugs are waiting outside. They see the Confederate jacket and mistake Gray for Hex, gunning him down. Turns out Adrian’s not dead-the doctor says she’ll recover in a few weeks—and neither is the Gray Ghost. He pays the doctor off to declare him dead, but takes off, so we may not have seen the last of him.

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