Flash 98 – Hawkman at the masquerade, the Ghost Patrol sing, the Atom changes his costume, and Black Canary jumps

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Hawkman changes to his least interesting headgear in Flash Comics 98 (Aug. 48), as Broome and Kubert send him and Shiera to a costume ball.

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The story begins as Carter worries that someone has figured out their identitaes, as he receives an invitation for Hawkman.  But in fact, he and Shiera are simply invited to a costume ball, by a real micro-manager, who tells the guests what to dress as.  Hawkgirl has also changed her headgear, although it doesn’t look nearly as bad as Hawkman’s.

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The host suggests that people act out the roles they are dressed as, which prompts men dressed as pirates to actually rob the guests.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl go into action, but this story remains pretty simple. It’s hardly a surprise that the host turns out to be mastermind.

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The Ghost Patrol get a more interesting story than usual, even if it does begin with them singing their own little theme song.  Infantino and Oskner are the artists on the story.

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Pedro spots a young woman walking on railroad tracks, and pulls her away before a train hits her.  She explains that her father has fallen into debut with people who run a gambling ship, the Clarissa.  Pedro alerts the other members of the Patrol by smashing a meteor into a glowing sign.

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The story plays out in a pretty standard way, with the Ghost Patrol tormenting the hoods and getting evidence against them.  But it ends with a kicker, as they, and we, find out that the girl herself is also a ghost.

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The Atom gets a new costume, and new powers, in this story by Kanigher, Infantino and Giacoia.  After so many years as a short, scrappy guy with a head covering that looked hot and uncomfortable, the Atom changes into a very super-hero looking outfit, and demonstrates a level of strength far beyond normal people, and beyond anything he had yet displayed.

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Non explanation whatsoever is given for the changes in this story, which sees the Atom take down saboteurs who are causing problems for a train line.  The Atom show himself strong enough to stop a speeding train with his bare hands, and later lifts the entire train.

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Kanigher, Infantino and Giella give another film noir opening to this Black Canary story.  Dinah Drake comes back to her flower shop, to find it has been turned into a grocery store in her absence. It’s being used as a trap for a millionaire, whose niece is plotting to have him killed.

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Larry Lance is more in the background of this story, with Canary handling the bulk of the action on her own.

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The death-trap that Black Canary gets put into makes one think of the Road Runner and Coyote, with a rock being dropped onto a board to fling Canary to her deaths.  But Black Canary does not stand around and wait to be killed, jumping off the board and taking down the bad guys.

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