Flash 29 – Ghost Patrol debuts, and Hawkman battles killer plants

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Hawkgirl gets her first cover appearance in costume in Flash Comics 29 (May 1942), although her head gear is left off.  And though Shiera does appear in the Hawkman story inside, she does not don her costume in this issue.

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A very odd series debuts in this book, Ghost Patrol, by Emanuel Demby and Frank Harry.  It deals with three friends in the French Foreign Legion who get killed by a time bomb set by their mechanic, Henri.  Henri does try to warn them not to fly, but they go ahead anyway.

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Fred, Pedro and Slim become ghosts, which they figure out when they see their dead bodies.  But they do not seem particularly stressed about the situation, delighting in their new powers of invisibility and intangibility, the standard ghostly regime.

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And despite the fact that he killed them, Henri is not actually the villain in the story.  The Foreign Legion had been infiltrated by the Nazis, and the flyers had been bombing French villages.  Henri acted to save his girlfriend.

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The Ghost Patrol get vengeance on the Nazi infiltrators, but seem about as concerned with poking fun at them than taking them down.

Considering that Pearl Harbour had only recently been bombed, one might find this series in really bad taste.  But it was a hit, and continued to run throughout the war.

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The Hawkman story in this issue, by Fox and Moldoff, is not quite up to the usual level.  It deals with an evil botanist who has created a “plant-man,” although it looks like a plant, not a human.  There is also an orchid that gives off deadly fumes, a danger to both real people and the plant-man.

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As mentioned above, Shiera is in this story, but not as Hawkgirl, so it’s left to Hawkman to pit the plants against each other, while setting fire to the greenhouse.

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