Comics Reviews: Flash 344, Wonder Woman 324, Green Lantern 187, Warlord 92, Jonah Hex 90

Flash 344 coverFlash #344 – “Betrayal” – Cary Bates, John Broome/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin, Joe Giella

Last issue, Flash got a shock when his longtime friend Kid Flash was called to testify in Flash’s murder trial … for the prosecution. Flash’s lawyer (Cecile Horton) reminds him that if Kid Flash was subpoenaed he has no choice but to testify, but Flash is still pretty shaken up. He reflects back on his past with Kid Flash and we get a couple of reprints shoehorned into this story. I don’t know if the book was running late, or if Bates just needed some filler leading up to the end of the series in issue 350, but as usual I’m not going to go into depth on the reprint stories. The first story is from Flash 110 and shows how he met Wally (who was Iris’s nephew) and how Wally gained his super-speed powers and became Kid Flash. The second reprint is from Flash 149 and is about ally gettingKid Flash's damning testimony amnesia after fighting aliens from another dimension. Flash shocked his memory back by revealing his identity on national TV, but it was done at super-speed so Wally was the only one who could see it because of his super-seed perception. After Wally got his memory back, he and Flash pounded the aliens. Flash’s reminiscence ends when Kid Flash admits under oath that he (as an expert on super-speed) doesn’t believe it was necessary for Flash to kill Zoom in order to stop him. We’ll see the fallout from that bombshell (and hopefully a new story) next issue.

Wonder Woman 324 coverWonder Woman #324 – “The Cassandra Complex” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

This one starts with one of Eloise Abernathy’s friends going to see her mom (Lisa) and telling her that Eloise and a couple other kids disappeared while following Glitch last issue. Naturally, Lisa has no idea who Glitch is, but Diana Prince knows he’s Steve’s idiotic gremlin friend, so she changes to Wonder Woman to go check things out. When she gets to the place where Glitch and the kids disappeared, she finds a residual trace of the teleportation energy that made them vanish. She steps through the portal and ends up in the Arctic Circle, plummeting toward the ground. She uses her powers to glide and noticesWonder Woman and Steve defeat missiles Steve is nearby, flying her invisible jet. Unfortunately the jet still has a heat signature, so the Russians launch missiles at Steve. After helping Steve defeat the missiles, Wonder Woman guides him to a landing and they compare notes. Steve is investigating a huge explosion in Siberia, which may have been caused by an alien spaceship. (And yes, he mentions the Tunguska Explosion, saying it was probably the gremlins jettisoning the nuclear fuel from the alien ship they’d stolen.) If there is an alien ship involved, Wonder Woman figures it belongs to the aliens who are looking for Glitch. Meanwhile, Gardner Grayle has had a premonition of the Siberia explosion and the possible consequences, including World War III. He takes the Cassandra taunts Atomic KnightAtomic Knight armour and flies to Siberia, but before he gets to the explosion site, he’s confronted by Cassandra, the goddess who’s been bugging him lately. In Washington, General Darnell and Keith Griggs are discussing a possible intervention in Latin America when Lisa Abernathy shows up with Senator Covington. General Darnell isn’t happy, since Covington’s committee has been making things hard for the Department of Defense lately, but Covington is there about Lisa’s daughter. He mentions Glitch being involved in her disappearance and points out that Glitch has been hanging out with Steve Trevor lately. In Siberia, Steve and Wonder Woman find the blast site, which is free of radiation, but before they can investigate they’re attacked by Atomic Knight. Wonder Woman breaks free of his stasis fieldWonder Woman brings down Atomic Knight and notices him talking to Cassandra (although Steve can’t see her). Atomic Knight blasts Wonder Woman with ultra-sonics, but she manages to bring him down. Atomic Knight tells her his origin (which we saw in DC Presents 57) and mentions how he can see the future but nobody will believe him, just like Cassandra. Steve interrupts to point out the Soviet troopers currently attacking them. On the alien ship, Glitch, Eloise, and the other two kids learn that the aliens are looking for the crashed ship because there’s something aboard called a Phlogiston Bomb. That worries Glitch and he volunteers himself and the kids to act as tech support for the aliens, since all the other Gremlins have left to found their own world. (Glitch also makes a Captain Steve and Wonder Woman fight Russian troopsAmerica reference when he tells the aliens he was frozen in a block of ice for decades and didn’t get out until he floated south into warmer waters.) On Paradise Island, Hippolyta is still missing Diana, but Sofia seems ready to take her place in Hippolyta’s heart, which worries Paula. In Siberia, Atomic Knight has another vision of two possible futures, both contingent on Steve’s death. He pushes Steve to the ground and draws the Soviet soldiers’ fire. After a brief fight, Wonder Woman convinces Steve to try diplomacy and he lets the Russian commander go. The commander orders Steve seized immediately, which worries both Wonder Woman and Atomic Knight. Before anything can happen, the alien ship appears and broadcasts a threat to wipe out the entire world.

Green Lantern 187 coverGreen Lantern #187 – “A Day in His Life …” – Paul Kupperberg/Bill Willingham/Rich Rankin

This is basically a filler issue before Englehart takes over as writer next issue. It starts at Rich Davis’s funeral, with various Ferris Aircraft employees paying their respects. Later, Bruce Gordon tells Carl Ferris he’s quitting now that his solar jet has passed the first test. Ferris and john Stewart try to change Gordon’s mind, but he insists on quitting. Meanwhile, Carol has been in a crappy mood all day and when Hal tries to comfort her she gets mad and tells him to leave her alone. Carol herself isn’t sure what’s wrong, but she feels like something has changed between her and Hal lately. She can’t help wondering if his quitting asPredator pounds Hal Green Lantern has something to do with it. Carol gets a shock when she finds Predator waiting in her office. Her scream brings Hal running and he arrives just in time to find Predator trying to put the moves on Carol. Hal jumps him and gets pounded, but Carol stops Predator from beating Hal too badly. Predator leaves, but lays a big kiss on Carol first … which she doesn’t seem too bothered by. Hal is pissed off about getting his ass kicked, since he’s used to dishing out the punishment from his Green Lantern days. Speaking of which, the new Green Lantern (John Stewart) gets bored and decides to go out on patrol. He feels stupid just flying around, so he commands the Ring to find some trouble and it leads him up into orbit where a Space Shuttle is having GL tries to help but makes things worsesome problems. GL tries to help but ends up making things worse, almost wrecking the Shuttle. In the end, an astronaut does an EVA to fix the problem and GL realizes they didn’t really need his help after all. He heads to Oa to ask the Guardians for some training from his predecessor so he won’t endanger anyone again. The Guardians won’t tell him who the previous GL was (John doesn’t know it was Hal), but they agree he needs more training and assign Katma Tui to instruct him. I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, which I’m sure won’t end tragically.

Warlord 92 coverWarlord #92 – “Evil in Ebony” – Cary Burkett/Alan Kupperberg/Pablo Marcos

This one starts with Travis Morgan, Tara, and some of their men ambushing a horde of New Atlanteans returning to Shamballah. Morgan and Krystovar plan to use the Atlanteans’ equipment to slip into Shamballah and scout the place in preparation for taking the city back from the Atlanteans. Tara is worried about Morgan going with only one other person and she doesn’t feel any better when she finds out Shakira is going too. In the caves below the Valley of the Lion, Jennifer Morgan is still studying the Evil One’s gem. She explains to Tinder that the Evil One’s book was destroyed (in issue 66), but that didn’t really destroy him, it just severed his connection with this world. Tinder is drawn to theJennifer blasts Tinder away from the gem gem, like Pippin with the Palantir of Orthanc and Jennifer realizes too late that the Evil One might have created the gem as a focus for his power. In Shamballah, Morgan almost blows their disguise when he stops some Atlantean soldiers from beating a street vendor. After Krystovar smooths things over, Morgan sends Shakira to prowl around in cat form and pick up whatever info she can. In Bakwele, the Vashek assassins are still looking for Morgan and get a little bit closer when they torture a pirate into telling them where to find Captain Hawk. In the caves, Jennifer manages to blast the gem away from Tinder before the Evil One can take him over. She locks the gem in a box, hoping Morgan starts troublethe Evil One won’t be able to manifest again, since she’s not sure any power in Skartaris could defeat him. In Shamballah, Shakira is returning from her scouting mission (having found some tunnels leading into the city) when she runs into a guard with a couple of freaky-looking dogs. The dogs chase her and she kills one (out of sight of the guard) after briefly returning to human form. The guard finds the dead dog and Shakira (back in cat form) sitting there calmly and he freaks out, yelling that there’s a devil-cat in the loose. That gets the attention of the witch Saaba (last seen in issue 76), who follows Shakira. Shakira finds Morgan and Krystovar in a tavern, arguing over how muchburying the earth elemental violence to use against the Atlanteans. They head out of the city, followed by Saaba disguised as a raven. Saaba summons an earth elemental to kill Morgan, but he and Krystovar end up burying it under a rockslide. Morgan tells Krystovar about his plans to sneak men into Shamballah through the tunnels and Saaba (still in her raven form) overhears and vows to tell Saber-Tooth Morgan’s plans as soon as he returns to the city.

 

Jonah Hex 90 coverJonah Hex #90 – “Starlight, Star Bright … First Star I See Tonight” – Michael Fleisher/Gray Morrow

This one starts with Jonah Hex leaving Mrs. Crowley’s boardinghouse to track down Emmylou. Mrs. Crowley isn’t happy, since Hex is still feeling the effects of Emmylou shooting him a couple issues back, but Hex is insistent. In another town, J.D. Hart is showing off his shooting skills to some kids by shooting pieces out of a silver dollar. He’s interrupted by a woman named Silver Ames, who says she just killed the third-fastest gun in the West and now wants a shot at number two, which is Hart. But Hart’s a pacifist and a gentleman, so he refuses to draw on Silver. That doesn’t stop her though … she shoots Hart in the back and rides off. I’m not sure howSilver shoots Hart in the back that proves she was a better shot, but I guess it’s one way to whittle down the competition. Hex s out looking for Emmylou’s trail when he’s caught in a rockslide and knocked out. Meanwhile, Hart is taken to the mortician (who has the hilarious name of Mr. Zuvimbi … must be a Marvel fan) and Hart’s girlfriend Mei Ling—who’s also Hex’s estranged wife—finds out about his death. She’s pissed off and starts going on about men and violence until the Sheriff tells her Hart was killed by a woman. At Silver’s campsite, she reflects on her past and we get an origin story: her dad was a sheep rancher who tried to get Silver interested in guns, but she wouldn’t go for it. When her father was killed by Silver's origincattlemen, she took up the gun in earnest and trained herself to be the best. Now she wants to be the fastest gun in the West and only Hex is left to dispute that claim. Speaking of Hex, he wakes up amidst the debris from the rockslide and seeks shelter in a cave when it starts raining. But when he explores the cave, he’s attacked by a mountain lion. At Brett’s hideout, Emmylou is feeling guilty over shooting Hex and wants to leave. Brett won’t let her and starts slapping her around. Emmylou lights the place on fire and jumps out the window. Brett leaves his other two bandit girls to fight the fire and goes after Emmylou. In the cave, Hex manages to kill the mountain lion and staggers to a farm where he borrows a horse. He rides into town and gets patched up by theHex blows Silver away doctor, who gives him a telegram about J.D. Hart’s death. As Hex is reading it, Silver shows up and tells him she’s the one who killed Hart and once she kills Hex, she’ll be the fastest gun in the West. Hex starts giving her advice about all the things she should correct if she wants to outdraw him … her holster’s too low, her front sight could snag on the holster, her stance is wrong. Silver gets tired of his advice and draws, but Hex blows her away before she can even get her gun pointed at him.

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