Comics Reviews: Flash 339, Wonder Woman 321, Green Lantern 182, Warlord 86

Flash 339 coverFlash #339 – “Warday” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, five Rogues (Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Trickster, and Mirror Master) broke a huge dude named Dufus Ratchet out of the mental hospital and outfitted him in high-tech armour (obtained from the Monitor). The Rogues are setting Dufus (now named Big Sir) up to go after the Flash, to avenge Flash’s defeat of their fellow Rogue Pied Piper, which left Piper mentally unstable (well, more than usual). Right before Big Sir wakes up, the Rogues leave tracks from Flash’s boots (stolen from the Flash Museum) and pretend they were beaten to a pulp, hoping Big Sir will think Flash is a bad guy. The helmet they equipped himCecile talks to the Allens with clouds Big Sir’s memories, making him more susceptible to the Rogues’ bullshit story. At the home of Barry Allen’s parents, Flash’s lawyer Cecile Horton is getting their version of what happened when Flash killed Professor Zoom (in issue 324). Cecile (who’s showing a lot of thigh to the old couple) is preparing the Allens for their testimony in Flash’s manslaughter trial, where they’ll appear as witnesses for the defense. Cecile tells the Allens she hopes their son Barry is found soon, but she also says Barry’s face looks familiar somehow. Flash is at the mental hospital checking in on Pied Piper and the doctor assures him Piper was probably on the edge of a breakdown for a while, so his current condition isn’t Flash’s fault. Flash notices the damage Rogues convince Big Sir Flash is a bad guyfrom the Rogues busting Dufus out last issue and the doctor fills him in, adding that Dufus is normally quite gentle … unless someone hurts one of his rodent pets, then he goes nuts. Speaking of which, the Rogues convince Big Sir that he’s their friend and that Flash pounded all of them before taking off. Big Sir’s memory isn’t so bad that he can’t recall Flash being a hero, but when the Rogues show him a dead mouse (which they planted) in one of Flash’s bootprints, he goes wild and swears he’ll kill Flash. Meanwhile, Dreed (the psychic Captain Frye hired to find Barry Allen) gets a heavy vibe from Barry’s ring and starts following it, not dreaming that Barry is the Flash and that the ring used to contain his extra costume. At the courthouse, Cecile is doing voir dire for jury selection, trying to find jurors who are as unbiased as possible. One of the jurors who makes the cut is Nathan Newbury, the guy whose mind was altered by some weird force last issue. Meanwhile, the Rogues have beenBig Sir attacks Flash scouring Central City looking for Flash and they finally find him. While Captain Cold keeps Flash busy, Weather Wizard shows Big Sir a photo of the dead mouse’s desecrated grave (yeah, Big Sir buried the mouse) with Flash’s footprints leading away. Big Sir goes nuts and attacks Flash, using the Monitor’s high-tech devices to sling balls of pure energy at him. The energy balls operate at such a high frequency that Flash can’t vibrate through them. He tries vibrating into a wall to regroup, but Big Sir’s armour lets him know exactly where to smash the wall to get Flash out. Big Sir gathers up Flash’s unconscious body and takes off with him, planning to murder him in a nice quiet place.

Wonder Woman 321 coverWonder Woman #321 – “Doctor Cyber’s Revenge” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck/Rick Magyar

Last issue, Wonder Woman confronted Dr. Cyber, who had stolen secret nuclear codes from the Pentagon and framed Diana Prince for it. Steve Trevor ended up in Cyber’s hideout too and when he tried to help Wonder Woman, he got zapped with Cyber’s ray and Wonder Woman was entangled in some red hot wire. Before she succumbs to the extreme heat, Wonder Woman is saved by Eros (Greek God of Love) who’s been following her … although stalking might be a better word, since Eros claims to be in love with her. Wonder Woman isn’t sure about the whole love thing, but she’s grateful for the rescue. She and Eros (and Steve when he wakes up) fight Cyber’s robots, but when Eros realizes who Cyber is, he starts rantingSteve attacks security guards about vengeance and tries to kill Cyber. Wonder Woman stops him, but when she uses her lasso to compel the truth from him, Eros insists he’s her lover. Before she can digest that, a bunch of soldiers rush in (Cyber’s hideout is inside a top secret military installation) and thy aren’t inclined to believe one of the unauthorized intruders is really Wonder Woman. Steve attacks them, starting a fight that’s pretty one-sided (although Steve’s stupid little gremlin has to help at one point). Dr. Cyber slips away in the confusion, so Wonder Woman, Steve, and Eros go to look for her (Eros promising not to kill her). They leave the gremlin to look after Sofia Constantinos, who Cyber captured and interrogated last issue. While they’re searching, Wonder Woman gives Eros shit for his delusions about them, saying she’d Fighting Dr. Cyberremember if they were lovers. Steve chimes in to tell her that she might not remember, since he has evidence that Hippolyta screwed with Wonder Woman’s memories a while back. Before she can digest that, Wonder Woman sees Dr. Cyber trying to escape in a small saucer-craft and Eros jumps on board trying to kill her. Wonder Woman stops him again, but Dr. Cyber launches a missile at them. Wonder Woman dodges and the missile hits Cyber’s ship, sending it out of control to explode against a hill. They don’t find Cyber’s remains in the wreckage, but Steve says there’s enough evidence in the hideout to clear Diana Prince of treason. Wonder Woman asks Eros why he wanted Dr. Cyber dead and he drops a bombshell … he claims he’s the real Steve Trevor and Dr. Cyber killed him.

Huntress – “The Final Blackout” – Joey Cavalieri/Rod Whigham/Rick Magyar

Last issue, Huntress found herself having strange nightmares and blackoutsHuntress deals with June and wondered if they were connected to a recent string of mysterious robberies. She went to a police psychologist (June Moorman) for help, but June pulled a gun on her. Huntress kicks June ass and June reveals that she’s really Lucinda Morrison, an orderly who helped in the Arkham scam that Huntress uncovered back in issue 306. June assumed Huntress was still after her, so she tried to kill her, but Huntress had no idea June was Lucinda … in fact, she’d all but forgotten Lucinda even existed. Before they can figure out what to do, police detective Gary Minelli busts in and admits he’s been following Huntress, under orders from his superiors. He says he can alibi her for the robberies, but Huntress is more worried that he might’ve figured Minelli busts inout her secret identity. Another cop (Tom) comes in to arrest June and he and Minelli get all snarly with each other, since they’re both hot for Huntress. She’s not having any of it and takes off. The story ends on a weird note, with Monitor and Lyla watching Huntress from their satellite and Monitor wondering about her motivations (which Lyla chalks up to Huntress wanting her independence). This is the last Huntress back-up in Wonder Woman; there’s mention of a possible Huntress series, but that never materialized and this character was killed off (or retroactively eliminated from continuity) in Crisis, although she does appear in a few more issues of Infinity Inc. before then.

Green Lantern 182 coverGreen Lantern #182 – “It’s a Dirty Job, But …” – Len Wein/Dave Gibbons/Mark Farmer

This one starts with Hal Jordan trekking out into the mountains to the grave of Abin Sur, the alien who bequeathed Hal his Power Ring years ago. Hal recalls his origin and tells Abin Sur he needs to get on with his life and hopes he isn’t disappointed him. Across the galaxy, the Guardians of the Universe observe Hal and realize he’s serious about quitting, so they need to find a successor. In downtown Coast City, Carol Ferris and April O’Rourke are returning from lunch during a heavy rainstorm. Carol is trying to cheer April up over her fiancé’s paralysis and the distracted April bumps into some guy who walks off without a word. We later see it’s Major Disaster in disguise and he’s planning something big,Major Disaster revealed which explains the rain. At Ferris Aircraft, John Stewart is discussing his rebuilding plans with Richard Davis when Carl Ferris comes by with the company’s new administrator, the mysterious (and kinda creepy) Mr. Smith. John doesn’t like Smith much, but he has no choice but to be polite since smith’s company is bankrolling Ferris’s rebuilding efforts. Major Disaster attacks a dam and threatens to destroy it and flood Coast City if Green Lantern doesn’t surrender to him within the hour. On the way back to Ferris Aircraft, Carol runs into Bruce Gordon, who has received another threatening note about Tom in a bad moodhis solar jet project. Carol assumed Jason Bloch was sending the notes, but he’s dead so she doesn’t know who’s behind it. Gordon is afraid (although he doesn’t let on to Carol) that his evil alter ego Eclipso might be responsible for the threats. Hal stops by the hangar and gets some static from Tom Kalmaku, who’s obviously in a shit mood. John invites Hal out for a drink and tells Hal he looks familiar somehow. (I guess John doesn’t know Hal was Green Lantern at this point, but Hal does know John was a substitute Lantern.) They see a news report on Major Disaster taking over the dam and Hal’s first thought is to call someone in the JLA for help. The phone is occupied, so Hal goes toJohn Stewart confronts Major Disaster use the one outside and catches a glimpse of John in his Green Lantern outfit charging his ring. Hal realizes John has become his permanent replacement as this Sector’s Green Lantern, and he doesn’t seem thrilled about it. John heads up to the dam to confront Major Disaster, but it’s pretty obvious John isn’t the original Lantern (John is African-American, in case you didn’t know), so Major Disaster starts breaking the dam apart.

 

Warlord 86 coverWarlord #86 – “The Forever Man” – Cary Burkett/Dan Jurgens/Mike DeCarlo

If you’re wondering why this is the October issue of Warlord, my review of the Annual a couple of weeks ago threw things out of synch by a month, but since it’s only for the last three issues of 1984 I figured it was no big deal. This issue starts where the Annual ended, with Travis Morgan, Shakira, and Krystovar back in the Atlantean chamber with all the futuristic weaponry. Before Morgan and Tara can enjoy a proper reunion, n earthquake shakes the cavern, dropping a rock from the ceiling and uncovering a hidden room. Morgan gets blocked into the room by the fallen rock and checks it out. It looks like someone’s private study, but before Morgan can really explore it, a hooded guy phases through theMorgan fights hooded man wall and jumps him. They fight and accidentally start a fire. Luckily, Scarheart moves the rock blocking the door in time for Morgan to drag the unconscious hooded man to safety. Tara recognizes him as the guy who helped fight the New Atlanteans a few issues back. It turns out to be Morgan’s pal Reno from the future … or is it from the past? Whatever. Reno was the scientist who accompanied Morgan, Shakira, and Krystovar on their time travel adventures. When Reno wakes up he apologizes for attacking Morgan, but says he hasn’t seen him for thousands of years; yeah, apparently when Morgan and the others left Reno in ancient Atlantis, he survived and lived right up into the present, aging very little. Reno explains that the cavern has a “time-Reno's storyrip” that renders it immune to the passage of time, which is why they stored the time-ships there. Reno and the others figured they’d live out their lives in Atlantis (where they were revered as heroes), but Reno found out his absorption of chronal energy had made him immune to aging. He grew annoyed by later Atlanteans petty squabbles and figured out how to project himself forward in time, observing mankind at different points along the way. But he admits he’s gotten so used to observing the human race, he’s almost forgotten how to engage with it. Outside, in the wilds of Skartaris, Jennifer Morgan, Faandral, and company are searching the caves for Tinder, not knowing he’s unconscious and being menaced by a giant spider. The strange monkey-creature Tinder saved from the spider’s web last issueJennifer blasts the spider returns the favour, distracting the spider and pulling Tinder to safety in aside cavern. Jennifer and the others run into the spider and she fries it with her magic, but they don’t notice Tinder and the monkey creature nearby. Farther north, Morgan, Tara, and the others sail out of the Atlantean caverns without the weapons they went there to collect (since Reno thought using them might cause more time rips) and leaving Reno behind at his own request. As they get out to sea, they run through a fog bank and right into the middle of a sea battle.

Jinal dueling the QlovBarren Earth – “Capture the Qlov” – Gary Cohn/Ron Randall

As the title implies, Jinal and her friends have come to a Qlov camp hoping to capture one of the aliens to deliver back to the floating city of D’roz for the Old Ones to examine. Jinal’s energy sword is the only weapon that can stand up to the Qlov’s own charged blade, so she duels with it. The others pile on, trying to pin the alien down, but its prodigious strength (and third arm) make it almost impossible. Yisrah finally knocks it out with a mixture of bugwort and hesium, which Skinner points out only works on humans. Does that mean the Qlov are mutated humans, or maybe some kind of human-insect hybrid? We’ll have to wait to find out.

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