Flash 2 – the Flash rescues Joan again, Hawkman vs Alexander the Great, Johnny Thunder becomes a boxer, Rod Rian of the Sky Police debuts, and the Whip stays in town

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Hawkman gets the cover for Flash Comics 2 (Feb. 40), and would be the second most appearing cover feature during this book’s run.

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There is not an awful lot to say about the Fox and Lampert story in this issue.  Many of these early Flash stories do not impress me hugely.  Once again, Joan Williams is in danger, and the Flash has to save her.

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The way the Flash’s speed is shown is not bad, but definitely lacks the dynamism that we are familiar with from years to come.

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Fox and Neville alter Hawkman’s name to Hawk-Man in this story, but that would not last.

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We discover that Carter Hall and Shiera have already become engaged, remarkably quickly.  Although, looking at it another way, their relationship has lasted a few thousand years.  They get invited to dinner by Alexander the Great, a would-be world conqueror who really enjoys bragging about his plans.

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He wines and dines Carter and Shiera, and shows off his shrinking ray.  One has to wonder why he invites them, until one looks at the way that Hawkman’s helmet is drawn by Neville, sitting atop Carter’s face rather than covering it.

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Hawkman defeats the big headed Alexander.  As with the Flash story, the art is the weaker part of the story.  Alexander the Great returns in an All-Star Squadron annual in the 80s.

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Johnny Thunder gets a romantic interest in this Wentworth and Aschmeier story, although Daisy Darling is not actually named in this tale.

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Johnny rescues her from some thugs, thanks to his magical thunderbolt.  This gets seen by some boxing promoters, who enlist him to compete, mistaking his magic for pugilistic skills.

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I find these early Johnny Thunder tales, when he has no idea that he has a magic word, quite entertaining, and a refreshing variation on the hero stories.

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Rod Rian of the Sky Police begins in this issue, by Paul Jepson.  It’s a futuristic science-fiction serial, set in the year 2500.  When an alien race disrupts the shipments of Tellurium to Earth, Rod is sent out to stop the bad guys.  He winds up on the planet Mephisto. confronting the saboteurs.

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Rod gets a romantic interest, Karin, who gets captured within a page of their meeting.

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Rod also gets an ally, Taro, who is also from the planet Mephisto, but fighting against the evil leaders of the world.

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Wentworth and Storm follow up the Whips’ first adventure as local landowners hire some killers to kill El Castigo.  The priest and Marisa Dillon both try to convince Rod Gaynor to stay in town, but it’s the danger posed by the gangsters that makes him stay, and become the Whip again.

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He actually defeats the bad guys by making them think that he is the ghost of the original El Castigo.

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