Comics Reviews: Flash 345, Wonder Woman 325, Green Lantern 188, Warlord 93

Flash 345 coverFlash #345 – “The Secret Face of the Flash” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

This one opens in the far future, with the mysterious escaped prisoner from last issue breaking into a lab and using a time machine to head back to the mid 1980s. Apparently, historical records of the time (which are spotty) say that this dude did show up in the mid 80s and went after the Flash. Speaking of Flash, he’s currently in 1985, still reeling from Kid Flash’s expert testimony last issue that Flash could’ve stopped Professor Zoom without killing him. Flash’s lawyer (Cecile Horton) tries to object, but KidKid Flash's alternatives to killing Zoom Flash is considered an expert on super-speed, so the judge lets him continue. Kid Flash gives several alternatives that Flash could’ve tried instead of breaking Zoom’s neck. Cecile gets Kid Flash to admit that speedsters’ instincts work at super-speed too and she points out that Flash was acting on instinct to save Fiona, so he didn’t actually make a conscious choice on how to handle Zoom. That night, someone breaks into the police lab where Barry Allen used to work and steals something. We can’t really see who it is, Cecile spies on Barrybut the evidence indicates it’s a speedster and the fact that he came from the future suggests it’s Zoom, somehow returned to life. But I still think it could be someone else, like Abra Kadabra; if Zoom really is alive, why would he show himself when that would exonerate Flash? We see Cecile talking to her assistant and feeling pessimistic about Flash’s chances. Later the same night, another speedster (or the same one) breaks into the police lab again and messes with the computer, taking a disc with some info on it. We later find out it had data on Flash’s Rogues Gallery. At Barry Allen’s parents’ house, Barry is cleaning up and his mom irons his costume before returning it to him. Outside, Cecile is hiding in a tree spying on them. She can’t see Barry’s face, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s happening. Cecile has been thinking Cecile tells Flash she has a planabout this for a while, ever since Barry Allen “disappeared” just as Flash went on trial for murder. The next day in court, things get worse as the prosecution shows a tape that was made by a guy at the wedding. (I assume he’s the videographer, but I’m not sure.) A freeze-frame clearly shows Flash breaking Zoom’s neck, so there’s no way for Cecile to refute that. That night, Cecile tells Flash she might have a way to help his case, but she doesn’t want to tell him what it is because he might not approve. Flash says he trusts her and tells her to do whatever she thinks is right. I have to say, Flash and Cecile are looking pretty friendly; he’s got his arm around her and she’s wearing a pretty sexy dress. Anyway, the next day Cecile makes her last Cecile's big revealditch effort, arguing that Flash had good reason to use deadly force against Zoom, since he knew what Zoom was capable of. Cecile points out that Zoom killed Iris West and Flash didn’t want history repeating itself … especially since Iris was his wife! Yeah, Cecile tells everyone that Flash is really Barry Allen, which gave him good reason to stop Zoom from killing his new wife like he had the old one. Cecile even pulls Flash’s mask off for everyone to see. Unfortunately for her (and Flash’s case), the man she unmasks looks nothing like Barry Allen.

Wonder Woman 325 coverWonder Woman #325 – “The Gremlin From the Kremlin” – Dan Mishkin/Don Heck

Last issue, Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, and Atomic Knight ended up in Russia investigating an explosion in Siberia. They figured out it had to do with an alien spaceship that crashed at Tunguska in 1908, after Steve’s idiotic gremlin friend (Glitch) and some of his people stole the ship from their alien overlords. But now the aliens have come to Earth looking for a powerful weapon that’s still on the crashed ship. Glitch took some kids (including Lisa Abernathy’s daughter Eloise) up to the alien ship and pretended to help, but it’s just a ruse so Glitch and the kids can take over the ship. It works and they beam Wonder Woman and Steve aboard, followed by Atomic Knight and a Russia soldier named Yuri.taking over alien ship They deal with the aliens and Glitch tells them about the phlogiston bomb, which can ignite a planet’s entire atmosphere in hours. After checking schematics of the crashed ship, Atomic Knight realizes that Glitch and his pals took the part of he bomb that kept it stable, which means the bomb could go off at any time. Unfortunately, the rest of the bomb isn’t on the crashed ship, so it could be almost anywhere on Earth. We see that the bomb is actually stored under the Kremlin, watched over by another of Glitch’s race, although this one seems to be losing his mind after 75 years of sitting Paradise Island politickingaround watching a bomb. On Paradise Island, everyone is playing politics; Sofia’s still trying to get close to Hippolyta as a replacement for her estranged daughter (Wonder Woman). And Antiope is encouraging all the infighting and backbiting, because she wants to usurp leadership from Hippolyta. In Washington, Keith Griggs finds out he’s being sent back to Tropidor, but this time with another soldier … Lauren Haley. In deep space, Glitch leads Wonder Woman and Steve to a rendezvous with his people on their huge mothership, where the missing piece of the bomb is. Back in Russia, Atomic Knight and Yuri trace the phlogiston bomb’s radiation to the Kremlin and sneak inside. They end up fighting the crazed alien guard, who can change shape into afighting the crazed gremlin giant monster. They subdue the alien but the fight brings a bunch of Russian soldiers after them. Atomic Knight realizes the bomb is more unstable than he thought and they have to be careful around it or it’ll go off. Out in space, Wonder Woman and Steve find the missing bomb piece in the ship’s engine room and head back to Earth on Glitch’s ship with it. They get within teleporter range, but have to deal with the alien captain who got loose and was pushed through the teleporter by Eloise and her friends. They teleport the bomb piece to the Kremlin where Atomic Knight attaches it to the bomb, but it’s too Atomic Knight saves Earthlate; the bomb has degraded so much that making it whole won’t be enough to stop it from exploding. Atomic Knight cuts the bomb loose and flies it up outside the atmosphere before it explodes. Not sure why they didn’t just do that in the first place, but whatever. Later in Washington, we learn that nobody knows if Atomic knight survived or not. Griggs plans to tell a reporter about Senator Covington’s dalliance with Lisa Abernathy and Steve says goodbye to Glitch, who heads back to his home planet. I, for one, hope he stays there.

Green Lantern 188 coverGreen Lantern #188 – “Decent Exposure” – Steve Englehart/Joe Staton/Bruce Patterson

This one starts with reporter Tawny Young exposing the new Green Lantern as John Stewart on the evening news. It sounds like a big deal, but apparently John has never been all that worried about concealing his identity the few times he acted as a back-up Green Lantern, so there were a number of people who already knew the truth … which made Tawny’s expose a lot simpler. Ex-GL Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris are watching and Hal’s pretty surprised, but realizes how lax John has been about his “secret” and figures John probably won’t care too much about the whole world knowing. Hal’s more concerned with who the Predator is andJohn and Katma get to know each other why he keeps putting the moves on Carol. Elsewhere, John and Katma Tui (who’s on Earth to train John as a GL) discuss his identity being public knowledge and John says he never expected to be the main GL, just a temporary substitute. But now that he’s got the job, he intends to do it right. Katma uses her ring to change her magenta skin so she looks African-American, which John seems to like. At Ferris Aircraft the next day, Hal decides to check through the personnel records to see if Predator might be someone who works for Ferris, since he always seems to show up to defend it. Hal sees Tom Kalmaku and says hi, but Tom’s still in a snit about Hal not asking Katma stirs up troublehis advice before quitting the Corps. Before Hal gets too far in the files, John shows up outside and everyone’s making a big deal out of him now that they know he’s Green Lantern. Unfortunately, Carol doesn’t want Ferris Aircraft associated with GL anymore, so she tells John she’s laying him off. He takes it pretty well, but starts to wonder when Carol mentions that Hal recommended John for the job, even though they’ve never met. Hal covers by saying he read about John somewhere, but they’re interrupted when Katma (still looking like an African-American woman) shows up and lays a big smooch on Hal. Katma’s still pissed off that Hal quit being a GL to be with Carol, even though Hal talked Katma out of quitting for love years ago. So the kiss was her way of fucking things up between Hal and Carol, but she tells John it was to get back at Carol for firing him (since she knows John might figure out Hal was the previous GL if he knew Hal and Katma were acquainted). BeforeJohn and Katma take Sonar down John can clean out his office, Sonar (who we last saw in issue 130) shows up and attacks him, hoping to prove himself against the new GL and put his loser country on the map. GL has a bit of trouble with Sonar at first, since he’s not familiar with his weapons. But he soon figures out that Sonar manipulates sound waves and sends a sonic wave at Sonar, which he absorbs easily. But GL has Katma (who’s still on the ground playing at being a civilian) to add sound waves in a slightly different phase, so the two waves cancel each other out and Sonar has nothing to absorb. He drops out of the sky like a rock and everyone congratulates GL, except Hal who goes back to looking through the personnel files.

Warlord 93 coverWarlord #93 – “Devil’s Wings” – Cary Burkett/Ron Randall

This one starts with a scout for the mountain tribes named Gris (who looks like Charlton Heston as Moses) spying on Lord Saberooth and his army as they move through the mountains toward Shamballah. Gris decides he’d better go tell Travis Morgan about Sabertooth’s movements. Morgan is having fun dueling with a fellow soldier, giving the men something to cheer about. In the caves under Fire Mountain, Jennifer Morgan tells Ashir about the Evil One’s gem and how it almost possessed Tinder. She asks Ashir to keep Tinder with him and to keep him busy so he won’t be tempted by the gem again. AshirJennifer gets mad at Ashir suggests destroying the gem and Jennifer gets pissed off, making Ashir wonder if the gem might have some kind of hold on her. At Morgan’s camp, Gris delivers the news about Sabertooth’s army and Krystovar points out that the reinforcements will screw up their plans to take back Shamballah. Tara suggests they divert Sabertooth’s forces elsewhere and that gives Morgan an idea. Leagues to the south, a handful of Morgan’s men wait to meet Captain Hawk and the freed slaves he’s supposed to deliver. But the Vashek assassins show up and massacre them, figuring Morgan will show up there sooner or later … where they’ll be waiting. In the mountains, Sabertooth’s army is Morgan's forces attack Sabertoothlured to a fake camp that turns out to be a trap, but before Morgan and his troops can finish Sabertooth off, Atlantean reinforcements show up and Morgan’s army is forced to retreat … which is all part of the plan. In the Valley of the Lion, Tinder is feeling the pull of the Evil One’s gem, so Ashir distracts him by engaging in a bit of thievery, even promising to teach him how to pick locks. In the mountains, Morgan’s retreating army leads Sabertooth’s forces farther away from Shamballah and into a narrow pass with two paths. Gris tells Morgan one pass is full of “Devilwings”, so Morgan uses trickery to make it look like they went that way. Sabertooth falls for it and his troops are attacked by Devilwings (who look a lot like Man-Bat). Sabertooth realizes he was tricked and turns his men around, but Morgandevilwings attack Sabertooth and his troops are waiting near the entrance to the canyon and drop rocks on the Atlanteans. Morgan gets a chance to blow Sabertooth away, but the Devilwings are so agitated that they attack Morgan’s men too and Morgan is forced to shoot a Devilwing instead of Sabertooth. By the time they get away from the Devilwings, Sabertooth has escaped. Morgan takes most of his troops back to prepare for the attack on Shamballah, but tells Gris and a few others to leave false trails and fake campsites to make Sabertooth think their main camp is in the mountains somewhere, which should keep him away Tinder steals Tara's watchfrom Shamballah for a while. There’s an epilogue with Tara going swimming and Tinder stealing her “bracelet” (Morgan’s wristwatch) which used to belong to Tinder. When Tara discovers it’s gone, she’s devastated, since it’s her last link to her dead son. Too bad she doesn’t know Tinder is her son. This is Ron Randall’s first art for Warlord (he’ll end up being the regular artist) and as usual, it’s really good. As you can see, he certainly knows how to draw sexy women (and men too, but they don’t really do anything for me).

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