Last issue, Flash got wind of a bomb planted under the desk of evening news anchor Rick Trent and rushed to the studio to find it, smashing Trent’s desk to splinters. Unfortunately, there is no bomb and it looks like Flash just came in and trashed Trent’s desk on live TV for no reason. Before he can explain, the news cuts to commercial and people around Central City react, some assuming Flash had good reason for his outburst, while others are skeptical. Flash’s lawyer Cecile Horton isn’t happy, since this won’t make her defense of him (on manslaughter charges) any easier. But another viewer is quite happy with Flash’s actions; Pied Piper is the one who set everything up, phoning in the fake bomb scare to trash Flash’s reputation. Pied Piper’s scheme runs deep … he’s already hypnotized the mayor into refusing funds to rebuild the Flash Museum. Piper calls the mayor, reactivating the hypnosis and instructing the mayor to talk shit about Flash in an upcoming TV interview. Speaking of mysterious voices, we see a couple of lowlifes sneaking around a crumbling tenement after receiving a phone call telling them to go there. They find a tape recorder (Mission Impossible style) and are told to blow up someone’s house, for which they’ll get $15,000 in advance and another 15 when it’s done. Flash goes to Cecile’s place to explain his actions and finds her (naked) in a sensory deprivation tank. She gives him shit for making a fool of himself on live TV and tells him to stay out of trouble. At Captain Frye’s house, Frye is looking for the ring he got from Barry Allen’s lab at police headquarters. Barry is currently “missing” (Flash has chosen not to appear as Barry to spare his ex-fiancée Fiona Webb any further pain) and Frye thinks the ring might help find him. Of course, Frye doesn’t know Barry is the Flash and that the ring contained an extra costume … before Frye’s cat dragged the ring under the couch and popped the costume out. Flash helps some skater kids at an old reservoir and shows them a few tricks before getting shit from a cop because the reservoir is too dangerous to be playing around in. Downtown, the editor of the National Penetrator (that’s a sleazy tabloid, not a porn star) gets his reporter (Winslow) to plant bugs in Cecile’s mountain villa, hoping to dig up dirt on her and Flash. In his TV interview, the mayor follows Pied Piper’s hypnotic suggestions and starts trashing Flash, even talking about banning him from operating in Central City. But the mayor shakes off Pied Piper’s hypnosis and walks out. Unfortunately, Piper calls him on his car phone and re-establishes control, directing the mayor to the airport. Flash stops by City Hall and learns the mayor sometimes unwinds by taking his private plane out for a spin. Sure enough, the mayor is flying his plane and Pied Piper is telling him to find a nice place to crash it. Flash catches up and saves the mayor’s life, which really pisses off Pied Piper. Out by Cecile’s house, Winslow and his helper are planting the bugs in the house when the two killers blow half the mountain to hell, causing a rockslide that buries the house and everyone in it … including Cecile.
After defeating Tezcatlipoca last issue, Wonder Woman was curious about the Amazons he’d captured and persuaded them to bring her to their city in the Brazilian jungle … which looks just like Paradise Island. Wonder Woman meets their leader (Atalanta), but as soon as she mentions her mother Hippolyta, the Amazons freak out and attack her. Over the real paradise Island, Steve Trevor (who has flown there in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet to answer a summons from Sofia Constantinos) is intercepted by some hang-gliding Amazons who try to force him down. He gets in touch with Hippolyta and mentions Sofia, repeating her allegations that Hippolyta has been tampering with Wonder Woman’s memories and knows something important about Steve’s past. Hippolyta refuses to answer any questions and Steve spots Sofia sailing away from the island in a small boat, just as a sudden current pulls Sofia toward some rocks. In the jungle, Wonder Woman fights off the Amazons and de-escalates things. Atalanta tells her they’re a bit touchy about Hippolyta, since it was her edict against consorting with men that made this particular branch of Amazons leave. Atalanta thinks Hippolyta must’ve changed her mind, since Wonder Woman is her daughter, but Wonder Woman explains that she has no father. Atalanta asks her if she’s ever loved a man, which embarrasses the hell out of her. Near Paradise Island, Sofia’s boat has been swept into a cave and Steve lands the jet to follow her. He finds some very life-like statues of Greek gods and sees Sofia being taken in a boat by Charon, gatekeeper to the Underworld. Sofia is nearing the gates to the underworld and Steve follows to try and save her before it’s too late. In Washington, General Darnell is getting worked up over his treatment by the Senate and gets mad when Etta informs him about Keith Griggs being in Tropidor. He tells Etta to get Griggs home as soon as possible and she makes the arrangements before heading out for a date with Howard, who works for the same senator who’s been giving Darnell so much grief. Etta knows Howard works for the Senator, but she doesn’t know that Howard has some deeper plan in store for her. In the jungle, Wonder Woman advocates for her mother, but Atalanta tells her Hippolyta is good at keeping secrets, which gets Diana wondering if her mother has ever kept anything from her. In the cave, Steve snaps Sofia out of her trance and gets her past Cerberus and Charon. They jump in the water and swim out of the cave, but neither of them notices the statue of Eros has come to life after being splashed with water. As Steve and Sofia take off, Eros watches and assumes it’s Wonder Woman in the jet, vowing to make her his bride.
This one starts with Helena (Huntress) Wayne on a train trip to Los Angeles. She runs into an old friend named Myra, who’s an art buyer for the Gotham Museum on her way to LA to bid on an expensive piece of Japanese art. At a party in the lounge car, Myra introduces Helena to Seiji Kato, a Kabuki actor, and Tracy Heather, an aspiring actress. Later, Helena hears a scream from Myra’s compartment and finds a strange woman climbing out the window. They tangle and the stranger is a better fighter than Helena expected, so she gets away. Myra is dead and Helena finds her diary which tells how she was going to LA to check out a piece of sculpture (the head) left over from a statue of a samurai. The art dealer (Seraphin) is known to handle fakes, so Myra was supposed to either authenticate the sculpture or expose it as a fraud. Helena goes to meet Seraphin, who’s surprised to learn of Myra’s death. Seraphin says the samurai head is stored somewhere safe and gives her some photos to examine. Helena’s no art expert, but she knows enough not to buy anything without seeing it in person and tells Seraphin if he doesn’t show her the real head within a week, it’s no sale. As she’s leaving, Helena is jumped by the woman from the train (calling herself Nightingale), who says the samurai head is hers. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to assume that Tracy Heather is Nightingale, but I’m calling it now … it’s Kato; Kabuki actors play both male and female roles.
This one starts with Congressman Jason Bloch meeting with the Demolition Team, who he hired last issue. After they introduce themselves and their various gimmicks, Bloch tells them to destroy Ferris Aircraft and they promise it’ll be done right away. In downtown Los Angeles, Green Lantern stops an armored car heist before changing to Hal Jordan and heading to his job at Ferris Aircraft. He finds Bruce Gordon, Tom Kalmaku, and Richard Davis preparing Gordon’s solar jet for its first flight. Hal is supposed to be the test pilot and we find out that Davis is pissed off about that, although he doesn’t let on to anyone else. Gordon gets a phone call from some nutcase who threatens him over the solar jet project. Gordon assumes it’s Bloch, but it’s some shadowy guy calling from a phone booth in the middle of nowhere, so it’s probably someone else. Back at Ferris, Clay and April go out jogging and run into Jake, who gives Clay a ride back. They all talk about Clay’s psi-chair and how he hopes to get it working soon. Meanwhile, Jason Bloch finds out Green Lantern is back in action (after being comatose briefly) and tries to call off the Demolition Team in case GL defeats them and they lead him back to Bloch. But the Demolition Team have already started their rampage at Ferris, which prompts Hal to change to Green Lantern. Unfortunately, before he can tackle the Demolition Team GL is contacted by a Guardian of the Universe, who tells him of a crisis elsewhere in his space sector. GL swore to handle anything that came up in his sector, so he has to leave Ferris to be totaled by the Demolition Team. He warps to Omicron Ceti IV where the entire planet is being shaken apart by quakes caused by the radioactive core. GL recognizes this as the same thing that happened to Krypton, which his fellow Lantern Tomar-Re was unable to avert. Back at Ferris, Carol realizes GL isn’t coming back and organizes some of her employees to stand against the Demolition Team. But the vandals have too much power at their disposal and are about to kill Carol, Tom, Gordon, and Davis when someone shows up to challenge the marauders … a Wolverine clone named Predator. Yeah, this is the beginning of the Predator storyline that everyone loves to hate. We’ll learn more about the character next issue.
Last issue, Travis Morgan led Krystovar and some fellow slaves against the corrupt regime of the United States in the year 2303, while back in Skartaris, Tara led her men against the New Atlanteans who had captured her ship. We get parallel scenes on the first few pages of Morgan’s team defeating the guards in their prison sector, and Tara and her forces retaking her ship. In 2303, Morgan starts planning how to take over the entire complex and free all the slaves, including Shakira and Reno, the scientist whose timey-wimey bullshit brought them to the future in the first place. In Skartaris, Jennifer Morgan sends Faaldren to check out conditions in Shamballah and he finds the New Atlantean conquerors are treating the Shamballans like crap. As Jennifer tries to come up with a plan, Ashir sneaks into her camp and offers to help. In 2303, Morgan and company run into resistance and get a helping hand from Shakira, who leads them to a secret passage. Turns out Shakira never went to the slave pits; she escaped in cat form and has been prowling around looking for Morgan and ferreting out secrets. Morgan leads them through the secret tunnel into the office of the President. They’re surprised to find the President is kinda out of it, mumbling to himself and barely cognizant of what’s happening. Dubrow (the President’s “adviser” who’s really pulling the strings) comes in, alerted by an alarm in the tunnel. Dubrow says the President’s min snapped after the nuclear war because he blamed himself for getting the entire country obliterated. Morgan gives the President shit for letting Dubrow usurp his office and the president remembers the nuclear devastation and his responsibility in it. He comes to his senses in time to stop Dubrow from killing Morgan, but having his memory of the war back is more a curse than a blessing. The President releases all slaves and ends martial law, starting the country on the road to rebuilding. But he can’t live with his guilt and blows his brains out. Because of everything he did to get things back on track, Congress appoints Morgan as the new President, which takes him completely by surprise.
Barren Earth – “Barasha’s Tale” – Gary Cohn/Ron Randall
This one starts with Jinal, Renna, Yisrah, and Skinner (who’s hammered) being taken to an inn by Barasha in the city of Skeen after last issue’s big brawl. Barasha tells Jinal she’ll be meeting with a representative of the Old Ones tomorrow and if she impresses him, she may be allowed to visit the floating city of D’roz. It’s no coincidence that D’roz is nearby; the Old Ones know about Jinal raising the star cruiser and are curious about her. Barasha tells how he spent a year studying with the Old Ones in D’roz when he was young and how he became leader of all the Harahashan on his return, so impressed were thy by his newfound wisdom. Jinal wonders how deeply the Old Ones are involved with the history of Earth and Barasha says she may find out when she meets them. In D’roz, the Old Ones are discussing Jinal and the Qlov signal from the desert we saw a couple issues back. The Old Ones aren’t sure if Jinal will be helpful to them in controlling things, or if she’ll be an adversary … in which case she’ll have to be neutralized.