Flash #340 – “Reach Out and Waste Someone” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin
Last issue, a number of Flash’s Rogues set him up by convincing a dimwit named Dufus that Flash had killed his pet mouse. The Rogues equipped Dufus with some high-tech weapons and armour, dubbing him Big Sir. Big Sir found Flash and knocked him out before dragging him out into the country to finish him off. The Rogues celebrate the success of their plan by slapping around some cops and taking off to commit some major crimes.
Meanwhile, Cecile Horton is going through the rubble that used to be her house looking for some silverware, when the psychic (Dreed) hired by Captain Frye to find Barry Allen stops by. Dreed says the vibes from Barry’s ring (which nobody realizes is where he hid his extra Flash costume) led him to Cecile’s place, but she assures Dreed that she doesn’t know Barry and that he’s never been there.Out in the mountains, Flash wakes up and Big Sir gives him shit for killing his mouse. Flash denies it and tries to break out of Big Sir’s chains, but they’re made of pure energy (generated by his armour), so Flash can’t vibrate free or break them with super-speed punches. Flash realizes the Rogues are behind everything and tries to explain it to Big Sir, but he’s distracted by a bear cub that’s stranded on a nearby ledge. Big Sir flies over to help the bear, leaving Flash chained up. Unfortunately, Big Sir isn’t much of a hero and manages to knock himself out while trying to save the bear. He ends up dangling from a rock projection, unconscious. In Central City, Cecile is pissed off that Flash hasn’t been around to consult with her, since his manslaughter trial is tomorrow. Apparently, the District Attorney just dropped some kind of bombshell, but we won’t get to see what it is until next issue. Across town, the prosecutor in the case is acting like he’s already won, even though the trial hasn’t started. On the mountain, Flash finally gets loose by vibrating so fast he heats the chain and expands it enough to slip free. He tosses some rocks in the air and uses them as stepping stones to get over to Big Sir in time to catch him and take him safely down the mountain. Flash also rescues the bear cub, which convinces Big Sir he’s not a bad guy. Big Sir agrees to turn himself in (after they find the bear’s mother) and Flash says he’ll ask Captain Frye to go easy on the big goof. The next morning, Flash shows up in court just as his trial is starting, much to Cecile’s relief. (Cecile has forgone her usual sexy look for a more schoolmarmish style, looking like Barbara Gordon’s grandmother.) The prosecutor is still certain he’s going to win … maybe a little too certain.
Wonder Woman #322 – “Bid Time Return” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck/Rick Magyar
Last issue, Wonder Woman found out that her mother Hippolyta had erased some of her memories, specifically the ones about Steve Trevor and how he’d died (twice!) and been replaced. Wonder Woman is pissed off, but Steve is also upset to learn he isn’t technically the original Steve Trevor. Hippolyta explains that this version of Steve came from a parallel Earth to take the dead Steve’s place and never noticed the transition because the Mists of Nepenthe altered his memory. To complicate matters, Eros insists he’s also Steve Trevor (or a version thereof) and is in love with Wonder Woman. Back in Washington, Steve’s idiotic gremlin pal is freaking out because he detected an incoming transmission from space last issue and is afraid his people are coming for him. Not far away, Gardner Grayle (aka Atomic Knight) has also intercepted the alien transmission and deciphered it, thanks to his highly engineered intellect. He uses a computer to get a vision of the future and sees nuclear destruction, which freaks him out … but not as much as a Greek goddess appearing to mock him and disappearing just as quickly. I’m not sure who she was, but she mentions people not believing her prophecies, so maybe Cassandra? On Paradise Island, Hippolyta asks Aphrodite for answers, since she’s the one who brought Steve back from the dead the first time. Aphrodite says she melded her son Eros’s soul to Steve’s to bring him back from death, but when Steve was killed by Dark Commander (in issue 248), Eros’s soul was scattered and when it reformed Eros was crazy. Aphrodite placed him in suspended animation, but he recently awoke and now believes himself to be Steve, heart and soul. Their conversation is interrupted by an explosion on Science Island, where Steve and Eros are beating the shit out of each other. Before Eros can squash Steve, Wonder Woman breaks up the fight. Nearby, Paula is worried because the explosion has damaged the Purple Healing Ray. In Washington, the gremlin is looking for Steve without success, as General Darnell asks Keith Griggs’ advice on how to handle Senator Covington’s vendetta against the Pentagon. Darnell is interviewed by Lisa Abernathy and her daughter (Eloise) spots the gremlin and follows him. On Science Island, Eros really starts losing his shit, attacking Wonder Woman and Steve. The other Amazons show up to fight him, but he slaps them down and almost crushes the life out of Steve. Meanwhile, the damage to the Purple Healing Ray makes it overload, almost incinerating Wonder Woman and starting a fire on Paradise Island. Wonder Woman shuts the Ray down and confronts Eros, deflecting his arrows and rejecting his obsessive love. Hippolyta rigs the Healing Ray to save Steve and Eros tries to kill him again, but when the Ray strikes Eros, it removes his madness and transfers all the memories of the first Steve Trevor into this one. Eros apologizes for being a dick and offers to help rebuild Paradise Island, but Wonder Woman’s still pissed off about Hippolyta erasing her memories, so she says she’s finished with the Amazons. In Washington, Eloise introduces the gremlin (who she calls Glitch) to her friends and tells them about the imminent alien invasion. On Paradise Island, Wonder Woman and Steve prepare to return to Man’s World, but Sofia (who started all this by figuring out what Hippolyta had done) decides to stay, saying the Amazons aren’t as bad as she’d thought.
Green Lantern #183 – “Day of Disaster” – Len Wein/Dave Gibbons/Mark Farmer
Last issue, Major Disaster threatened to destroy a dam and inundate a city if Green Lantern didn’t show up and surrender to him. But Major Disaster doesn’t know that the GL he’s thinking of (Hal Jordan) recently quit and was replaced by John Stewart, so when Stewart shows up, Major Disaster gets pissed off thinking it’s some kind of trick the “real” GL is playing. John convinces Major Disaster he’s the real deal by using his power ring, but Disaster needs time to digest the news. John retreats behind the police cordon and runs into a reporter (Tawny Young), who he starts flirting with. At Ferris Aircraft, Hal goes to see Tom Kalmaku and asks why he’s been in such a shitty mood lately. Tom points out the obvious … when Hal was wrestling with the decision to quit being a Lantern, he never sought Tom’s advice, even though Tom’s been there for him right from the beginning. At the dam, Major Disaster decides he can still get revenge on an ex-Lantern and tells John to bring his predecessor as soon as possible. But Disaster still can’t speak Hal Jordan’s name, so when he tries to tell John who to bring, it just comes out as gibberish. Major Disaster figures John’s screwing with him, so he busts the dam open, releasing tons of water toward the town. At Ferris, Bruce Gordon gets another threatening phone call about his solar jet, which worries the mysterious Mr. Smith (whose even more mysterious employer is funding Ferris’s rebuilding project). At the (former) dam, John tries to whip up a new dam with his ring, but his concentration wavers and he’s almost swept away. He musters his will power and constructs a bunch of water troughs to divert the flood around the town. As John makes dinner plans with Tawny, the cops tell him Major Disaster’s body wasn’t found in the wreckage of the dam. In a Coast City hospital, Clay Kendall is released but he’s feeling sorry for himself (being confined to a wheelchair now) until his girlfriend April O’Rourke gives him a pep talk. Major Disaster is wandering through the streets of the town he almost destroyed, causing mini-disasters in his wake. He starts second-guessing himself, wondering if Hal Jordan was ever Green Lantern or if he was just deluding himself. The delusion hypothesis looks possible when Major Disaster starts seeing Green Lanterns everywhere he looks. All the people on the street are dressed like GL and they all run away when Disaster stars freaking out … except one. When Disaster approaches him, it turns out to be John and he decks the villain. John used his ring to make everyone look like a GL, gaslighting Major Disaster so John could get close enough to take him out. John feels a bit guilty (Major Disaster’s mind seems to have snapped), but he does get that date with Tawny, so I guess everything worked out all right for him. But when Hal sees Tawny’s report on the news, he’s not quite so thrilled … he’s wondering if he made a huge mistake giving up his power ring. Really? He’s been off the job for a couple days and he’s already having second thoughts? No wonder he could never commit to Carol.
- Major Disaster started out as a thief who found a journal detailing GL’s secrets, including his secret identity. But GL used his ring to prevent Major Disaster from speaking the name Hal Jordan, so Disaster left Coast City for a while.
Warlord #87 – “Bargain With the Devil” – Cary Burkett/Dan Jurgens/Rich Buckler
Last issue, Travis Morgan, Tara, Shakira, Krystovar, Scarheart, and their cohorts escaped the Atlantean caverns and ran right into a sea battle. One of the ships is Atlantean, so Morgan’s forces attack it, assuming it holds some of Tara’s people as slaves. They take the ship (and Morgan wastes the Beast-Man captain), but the other ship turns out to be pirates. The pirate ship is captained by a man named Hawk, who has quite the reputation on the high seas. Morgan has a pretty good rep himself, so Hawk invites him over to parley. After a dick-measuring contest (actually, showing off with their swords, but same difference), Morgan suggests to Hawk that he could make a lot of money allying with Morgan’s forces. Hawk likes the sound of that and invites Morgan to his cabin, but he sends his men to sneak onto Morgan’s ship and kidnap Tara. How do they kidnap a master swordswoman like her? By using some kind of sleep dust and taking her by surprise. Meanwhile, back in the caves of Fire Mountain, Tinder wakes up after his fight with the spider and realizes the weird monkey-creature he helped saved his life. The creature can’t talk too well, but manages to let Tinder know its name is Chakka. Back on the ship, Morgan proposes that Hawk increase his raids against the Atlanteans, for which he’ll be well paid. Hawk agrees, but when Morgan returns to his ship, he finds out Hawk has taken Tara. Hawk says it’s just insurance against Morgan setting a trap for him instead of paying for his services. Hawk sails off and his ship is much faster than Morgan’s, so Morgan gets his crew to catapult him to Hawk’s ship, where he uses his Automag to disarm Hawk. Hawk pulls a dagger to threaten Tara, but she decks him and he’s forced to let her and Morgan go. Hawk claims he was just testing them and proclaims that their deal is still on … he’ll raid the shit out of the Atlanteans in exchange for gold. Tara wonders if they can trust Hawk, but Morgan figures Hawk will stick to the deal as long as there’s money in it.
Barren Earth – “The City in the Sky” – Gary Cohn/Ron Randall
Last issue, Jinal and her friends captured a Qlov and are now heading to their meeting with the Old Ones. Being a diplomat by training, Jinal wishes she could communicate with their captive, but the only word the Qlov recognizes is “Qlov”. Before they get to the meeting place, Jinal’s band realizes the other Qlov are after the in their weird spherical ship. They find some ruins and decide to make a stand, but before the fight can really get going, both sides are grabbed by a force field from D’roz, the floating city of the Old Ones.
Jonah Hex #88 – “The Saloon Girl and the Outlaw Queen” – Michael Fleisher/Tony DeZuniga
Last issue, Jonah Hex brought in some bandits and collected the reward for them, then was flabbergasted to see his ex-girlfriend Emmylou’s face on a Wanted poster. Hex pretends not to know Emmylou, but he’s obviously disturbed to see she’s an outlaw now. Before he can digest that, he’s ambushed by some gunslingers outside. Hex takes cover behind some boxes, but the bandits light the boxes on fire. Hex drops some bullets in the fire, making the bandits think he’s still there while he sneaks through the hotel and up to the roof. He jumps over to an adjoining roof to get the drop on his ambushers. Out on a secluded ranch, Emmylou is practicing shooting (and getting pretty damn good at it) with her kidnapper/accomplice Brett. He shows her the Wanted poster and says she’d better know how to use a gun for when all the lawmen and bounty hunters come after her. At another cabin in the middle of nowhere, an outlaw named Lew brings one of Emmylou’s Wanted posters to show his gang. The poster has given Lew an idea and he forces one of his men (Eddie) to wear a blonde wig to make him look like Emmylou. Lew’s gang (including Eddie in his wig) rob a train the next day and guess who’s on it? Yup, I one of those coincidences that only happen in comics, Hex’s other ex-girlfriend (Adrian, the socialite from New Orleans) is on the train, chatting to a woman she just met named Temple. Turns out Temple is running away from her old boyfriend (and possibly pimp) to work as a “saloon girl” out West. Temple has a locket with her and her ex’s picture inscribed to her and she lets Adrian try it on for some reason. That’s when Lew and his boys rob the train and Temple gets her head blown off resisting them, while Adrian is knocked out cold. You can probably see where this is going. When news of the train robbery spreads, Emmylou gets the blame just as Lew intended. Hex is outside the telegraph office and overhears the news, so he goes out looking for Emmylou, still having trouble believing she’s a murderous bandit. In another town, Adrian wakes up in a doctor’s office with amnesia and everyone (including her) assumes her name is Temple Starr because of the locket she’s wearing. Meanwhile, Hex tracks Lew’s gang to their hideout and brings them in. The sheriff and Hex figure Eddie’s wig explains the reports of the “bandit queen”, not realizing Emmylou really was involved in the earlier robberies. They soon figure out something’s up when a posse comes in to say the blonde bandit has struck again. Brett decides to head to a town called Red Dog, to steal a bunch of gold from the assayer’s office. Hex tracks them and sees Emmylou really is part of the gang. He assumes she’s been forced to join and follows at a distance hoping to rescue her. Meanwhile, Adrian needs money, so she ends up getting a job as a saloon girl, dancing with men and pushing cheap whiskey. The saloon owner says it’s cool with him if she makes some extra money on the side … At the assayer’s office, Hex watches the robbery through the window, hoping to get Emmylou out of danger. When Brett and his other two female bandits head out to the horses, Hex comes busting in to grab Emmylou … but she shoots him instinctively.