Comics Reviews: Flash 346, Green Lantern 189, Warlord 94, Jonah Hex 91

Flash 346 coverFlash #346 – “Dead Man’s Bluff” – Cary Bates/Carmine Infantino/Frank McLaughlin

Last issue, Flash’s lawyer (Cecile Horton) pulled a bold move in court, unmasking Flash to reveal him as Barry Allen in an effort to show he had a reason to use deadly force against Professor Zoom (since Zoom killed Barry’s wife Iris and was trying to kill his fiancée Fiona Webb). Unfortunately, when Cecile pulls Flash’s mask off, the guy underneath looks nothing like Barry Allen. Chaos erupts as Fiona (in the gallery) faints at the very thought of Barry being the Flash, especially since Barry disappeared weeks ago. And a smarmy photographer tries to get a picture of Flash, but the speedster putsFiona ends up in treatment again his mask back on before the guy can get the shot. Later, Fiona is taken back to the psychiatric facility where she’s been since Zoom’s attempt on her life and the doctors convince her the whole “Barry Allen is the Flash” thing was a big mistake. The doctor tells Flash that Cecile’s stunt almost ruined Fiona’s recovery and that he hopes the real Barry Allen never comes back, for Fiona’s sake. Flash takes that to heart and leaves. The doctor moves on to another patient at the facility, Henry Rathaway, aka Pied Piper. (I always thought his name was Hartley Rathaway, but they call him Henry here.) Pied Piper had a nervous breakdown a while back (or pretended to, at least) Pied Piper sees a ghostand he’s been coming along so well that the doctor allowed him to repair the hospital’s PA system. That was a mistake, as Rathaway broadcasts a soporific melody through the facility, knocking everyone out and recovering his Pied Piper costume. He takes off, but soon runs into trouble; someone who looks a lot like the Flash starts slapping Pied Piper around and Piper is freaked out because he knows his attacker is supposed to be dead. Piper ends up running back to his padded cell in the hospital, cackling like a madman and babbling about someone being alive who should be dead. Elsewhere, Flash confronts Cecile (who seems to be wearing some sort of go-go dancer outfitCecile promises to keep Barry's secret from the early 70s) about her surprise in court and she apologizes for unmasking him without warning, saying it’s probably damaged his case a lot. Flash tells her the truth, that he really is Barry Allen but had his face altered in Gorilla City after Big Sir’s attack (as we saw in issue 341). Cecile wants to reveal the truth to help Flash’s case, but Flash insists on keeping things secret to spare Fiona any more trauma and Cecile finally agrees. The next morning, the bus carrying the jurors in Flash’s trial is on the way to the courthouse when it’s sideswiped by a car and plunges into the river. One of the jurors (Nathan Newbury, the mysterious juror who we saw struck by lightning Flash saves the jurorsback in issue 338) calms everyone by telling them they’ll be fine. Sure enough, the bus drifts over to shore before it sinks and the people get out. What they don’t realize is that Flash actually saved them, but left because he didn’t want to prejudice them in his favour in case a mistrial was declared and he had to go through all the bullshit of another trial. The big question is, how did Newbury know they’d be okay? Downtown, a punk steals a woman’s purse and is chased into an alley by Captain Frye. When Frye gets there the punk has already been caught … by Reverse-Flash, who tells Frye he’s back to kill Flash, the way Flash supposedly killed him.

Green Lantern 189 coverGreen Lantern #189 – “Echoes” – Steve Englehart/Joe Staton/Bruce Patterson

This one starts with Green Lanterns John Stewart and Katma Tui busting into the county jail to prevent Sonar from busting out. Unfortunately, Sonar has help from a couple of new villains, Blindside (who can project blinding light bursts) and Throttle (who can speed up any moving object and use it as a weapon). Together they overcome the Lanterns and take off. Elsewhere, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris are still looking for Predator and think he might be someone who used to work at Ferris Aircraft. They talk to a dude named Grantland, who was recently fired from Ferris. Grantland gets rough and Hal beats the shitHal pounds Grantland out of him. Carol searches Grantland’s house, which is technically illegal, but she points out Hal isn’t a Green Lantern anymore so what’s a little lawbreaking between friends? John and Katma head back to John’s place after recovering from their beat-down and discuss what it means to be a Green Lantern as they recharge their rings. At Ferris Aircraft, Mr. Smith (the mysterious guy who was appointed administrator of Ferris by CON-trol when they saved the company from bankruptcy) tells Clay Kendall and April O’Rourke that they’re both fired. He specifically says Kendall is fired because he’s in a Smith fires Kendall and Aprilwheelchair now and tells him he’s welcome to sue for discrimination if he wants. April is pissed off, but Kendall says he was thinking of quitting anyway. Smith goes to see his boss, who turns out to be Predator. Apparently, Predator wants Carol, her father’s company, and Green Lantern’s defeat. On the way back from Grantland’s place, Hal stops to see Guy Gardner, who’s still catatonic from his injuries in issue 123. Hal tells Guy he’s quit as GL and says he’s going to come see Guy a lot more, since the two of them are kindred spirits now … both ex-Lanterns. After Hal leaves, Guy seems to smile a little. Sonar, Blindside, and Throttle attack Disneyland and John and Katma show up toJohn and Katma fight Sonar and his pals stop them. The Lanterns are ready for their foes’ powers this time, but Throttle ends up speeding up Katma’s heart, threatening to kill her if John doesn’t leave. John flies away at top speed as Sonar warns he’ll be scanning to make sure John doesn’t come back. But John actually zooms right around the world at top speed, coming at Sonar from behind and taking him (and his cohorts) out. Katma thanks John for saving her and they end up kissing.

Warlord 94 coverWarlord #94 – “Assassin’s Prey” – Cary Burkett/Mike Chen/Pablo Marcos

This one starts with Travis Morgan heading off to the camp near the coast where Captain Hawk is supposed to bring the slaves he freed from various ships. Shakira goes along with Morgan, but when they reach the camp, none of Morgan’s men are there. Instead, they’re attacked by Vashek assassins, who are some kind of Skartarian ninjas. Morgan’s gun gives him an edge, but the assassins kill his horse and Shakira is knocked out. Morgan goes nuts and fights his way through the assassins, grabbing Shakira and taking to the trees like Tarzan. Unfortunately, a branch breaks and Morgan and Shakira plunge to the ground (which never seemed to happen to Tarzan). Back at the main camp,Hawk takes out a Vashek assassin Tara is restless but has nobody to talk to, and Ashir is teaching Tinder to pick locks. In the jungle, Morgan and Shakira wake up to find Captain Hawk and some of his pirates surrounding them. Hawk figures he can get more money out of Morgan, since he has him at his mercy, but the Vashek assassins show up and kill one of Hawk’s men. Hawk avenges him, but the assassins show up in force, so Hawk leads the others to the shore where they take a boat back to his ship. Morgan wonders how the Vasheks knew where to find him and Hawk remembers the Vasheks killed one of his pirates a while ago. Hawk figures the pirate probably told the Vasheks where to find Morgan before he sea monster attacksdied, but doesn’t tell Morgan that. Before the boat makes it back to Hawk’s ship, it’s overturned by a sea monster. As the monster devours most of Hawk’s men, Morgan, Shakira, and Hawk spot a barge nearby and swim for it. Hawk immediately commandeers the barge (he is a pirate after all), which belongs to the Princess of Torgami (Hoornami). The Princess (who has a definite Cleopatra vibe going on) isn’t happy having three ruffians on her barge and demands to go ashore. But the Vashek assassins are on shore, and the sea monster is behind them, so they tell her they’re taking the bargeHooranami in trouble away from both. Shakira makes sure Hooranami understands by knocking her down. A slave tells them Hooranami has fled from her father on a nearby island and they’ll be amply rewarded if they return her. That gets Hawk’s attention and they head for the island. The Vasheks watch them go, but aren’t ready to give up just yet. Back in the Valley of the Lion, Jennifer Morgan is in a sorcerer’s trance and when Ashir interrupts her, she freaks out and almost fries him. He points out that the Evil One’s gem is having an effect on her mind like it did with Tinder and she locks it in a box, promising to destroy it later. As Ashir leaves, he realizes his lockpicks are missing. On the Morgan and Shakira trappedisland, Shakira goes hunting, leaving the others to eat roots and berries. Hawk puts a sleep drug in Morgan’s food and steals his helmet, as well as taking the Princess. The Vasheks use hang-gliders (!) to reach the island, avoiding the sea monster, but Shakira sees them moving through the forest. She goes to warn Morgan and has to wake him from his drugged sleep. They run from the Vasheks, but soon find themselves at the top of a waterfall with a bunch of assassins right behind them.

Jonah Hex 91 coverJonah Hex #91 – “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – Michael Fleisher/Gray Morrow

This one starts with Jonah Hex running into a girl who’s practicing her trick-riding. He ends up saving the girl (Carolee) from a rattler and from almost getting dragged to death by her horse. Later, Carolee tells Hex she ran away from home because she wants to be a trick-rider in Starbuck’s Wild West Show. Conveniently, Hex knows someone who works for Starbuck and says he might be able to get her hired. Carolee is very grateful and puts the moves on Hex … which he doesn’t really resist too hard. The next day, Carolee does get hire for Starbuck’s show and when they’re taking her horse to the stables, they findHex fights the arsonist out someone lit the building on fire. Hex tries to put it out and runs into the arsonist. Hex pounds him, but the guy’s confederates come back and knock Hex out. They take off and the show people put out the blaze and save Hex’s life. Starbuck tells Hex the arsonists are some guys he recently fired who are trying to ruin him. Elsewhere, Emmylou is still on the run from her kidnapper, Brett. She’s half-starved and freezing, but can’t afford to rest too much. Brett ends up finding her and she decks him, taking off again as he fires a couple shots at her. Back in town, Hex is feeling a little guilty about banging a seventeen-Hex and Carolee getting it onyear-old, but that doesn’t stop him. The next day, he goes out to track the arsonists and gets ambushed. He wings one of them, but they all end up getting away. When Hex tells Starbuck what happened, he figures Hex probably scared the bandits off, but Hex knows they’ll just wait until he leaves to strike again. He gets an idea of how to draw the bandits out by making them think he’s left. It looks like Starbuck has his eye on Carolee, but Hex is too busy to notice. Meanwhile, Emmylou loses Brett, but her horse is exhausted and when she gets off to walk, she ends up falling in a concealed pit trap. At the show, Hex has disguised himself as a clown so he can move around unnoticed. He seesHex's clown beat-down Carolee making out with Starbuck, but before he can say anything, he has to go distract a pissed off bull in the ring. The bandits show up and hold Starbuck and Carolee at gunpoint, but Hex jumps them and beats the hell out of them. He gives Carolee shit, but she points out that he was the one who said he was too old for her, so she was trying to move on with someone else.

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