Flash 84 – the Flash murders the Changeling, and wedding bells for the Ghost Patrol

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The cover story for Flash Comics 84 (June 1947) pits the hero against a really good villain, but comes to a shocking conclusion.

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Kanigher and Hibbard introduce a prisoner who escapes from jail and takes a risk. He electrocutes himself, shorting out the power to enable his exit. To his surprise, not only does he survive, but he gains the power to change into any animal form.

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Calling himself the Changeling, he begins a deadly crime spree with these new powers.

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At the climax of the story the Flash grabs ahold of his gills when the Changeling is in the form of a shark, attempting to suffocate him. When the Changeling begins to transform into an octopus, the Flash hits the shark on the head so many times that the Changeling gets a concussion – and dies. The Flash muses that this was a life or death situation, but that doesn’t change the fact that he actively murdered the Changeling.

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Wentworth and Harry take the Ghost Patrol into romantic territory, as Pedro winds up having to marry two different women in this story.

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This story is more complexly plotted than the bulk of Ghost Patrol stories, and works its way to a great pay-off.  Most Ghost Patrol tales spend much of their time with the heroes in their spirit forms, but in this tale Pedro appears to be human for the bulk of the story.  Of course, were he not, the two women would not wind up marrying him.

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In both cases, the weddings only take place so that the women can save the lives of their fathers, being threatened by hoods, and neither wedding is valid – even if one could marry a ghost.  It’s a lot more fun than most of their stories.

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