Tag Archives: Hawkgirl

Flash 103 – the timed robberies, and Hawkman takes a cruise with the Gentleman Ghost

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A dramatic, if misleading, cover on Flash Comics 103 (Jan. 49).

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The deadly sword only appears at the very top of the story, used like the Sword of Damocles, but only for a mob boss to impress on his gang the effect his crimes are intended to have on the population, making them fear the next crime wave, uncertain of when it will hit.

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Oh, should have mentioned that this story is by Broome, Infantino and Sachs.  Hoods throughout the city all pull their crimes at the same times, down to the minute, overwhelming both the police and the Flash.  It’s fairly clear that a radio show is being used to convey orders to the gang, though not how those orders are sent.  The Flash breaks the code, based on the initial letters of the radio plays, and intercepts the gang and the boss.

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The Ghost makes his final appearance in the Golden Age in this Kanigher and Kubert tale.

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To help a failing cruise line, Hawkman and Hawkgirl go on a promoted cruise.  The Ghost sees the coverage of this, and decides to join them.  The Ghost’s plan appears to be killing the Hawks, and then sinking the ship, presumably to kill all onboard.  Once again, there are fake Ghosts and deceptive tricks, which decoy the Hawks long enough for the Ghost to capture them, and try to kill them.

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And, once again, the Ghost appears to die at the end of this story.

The Gentleman Ghost returns in Atom and Hawkman in the late 60s.  This is also the last appearance of Hawkgirl for an awfully long time, until the All-Star Comics revival in the mid-70s.

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Flash 102 – Hawkman and the big bubbles, and the Flash vs the Turtle

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I believe the cover story, Broome and Kubert, in Flash Comics 102 (Dec. 48) was also adapted for a Silver Age Hawkman story, but I might be wrong about that.

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Yet again Carter and Shiera are minding their own business when they see something impossible – in this case giant floating bubbles, one of which encases and steals an armored truck.

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The bubbles are made of “plasteel”, which I don’t think existed at the time, but are controlled by a radar machine that Carter Hall invented.  Exactly how radar is used to control them is far from clear.  The Hawks get encased in one of the bubbles, but break free and catch the bad guys.

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The Turtle, who had faced the Flash in All-Flash and Comic Cavalcade, makes his third and final appearance in this story, by Broome, Alex Toth and Joe Giella.  He wears the costume he had in his second appearance, but the story also adds the attribute that he speaks outrageously slowly.

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The Turtle escapes from prison during a talent show at the jail, and the best scene has him fleeing in a slow-moving wagon, which then becomes bait to lead the Flash off a cliff.  The remainder of the tale has him plotting and pulling off another robbery, exploiting lack of speed, and then getting caught by the Flash.

A Silver Age incarnation is one of the first villains that Barry Allen takes on,while the original returns in a back-up story, featuring Jay Garrick, in an issue of the Flash in the early 70s.

Flash 100 – Hawkman and the flying car

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Broome and Kubert pit Hawkman against the Human Fly Bandits in Flash Comics 100 (Oct. 48), a story which will get re-written in the Silver Age as an early Hawkman tale.

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Carter and Shiera see a car driving up the side of a wall, which is enough to get them into gear as Hawkman and Hawkgirl to investigate.  The car, and the man who invented it, have both been captured by villains who plot to exploit them.

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Some lovely Kubert art helps carry a very simple tale.  The Hawks get captured, and put into a giant thermometer as a death-trap, but escape and defeat the bad guys.

 

Flash 99 – the crime awards, the giant doll, the car race, and the giant hourglass

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There are a lot of great visuals in Flash Comics 99 (Sept. 48), although few of the stories are really remarkable.

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The Flash himself gets probably the best story in the book, by Broome and Elias, which opens in Jay Garrick’s research lab.  He shows Joan Williams his crime graph, showing a dramatic decrease in the past week.

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Then he’ off to a charity function for a children’s hospital, but winds up disappearing during a stunt.

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The story then cuts over to an awards ceremony for criminals, patterned on the Oscars.  Crime has decreased as everyone has been preparing for this.

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We see how the Flash vanished, sucked into a trap by one bad guy, who believes this qualifies him for one of the awards.  Of course, the Flash gets free, and spends the rest of the tale mopping up all the collected felons.

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No really great visuals in this one, but the best story of the lot.

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The Hawkman story, by Broome and Kubert, sees Carter and Shiera try to buy a red headed doll for her red headed niece, and fall afoul of criminals who stashed some stolen gems in the toy.

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It’s a fairly standard story, with the best scene being Hawkman and Hawkgirl battling bad guys on a giant doll.

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The Atom comes to the aid of a couple, after the new car engine that the man has developed leads to a robbery and murder attempt on them, in this story with art by Paul Reinman.

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There is only one sequence in which the Atom shows off his new powers, raising the couple and the car from the bottom of a lake.  Otherwise, this largely plays out as any other Atom story.

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Even the Black Canary tale, by Kanigher, Infantino and Giacoia, lacks it’s usual spark.  Dinah receives a package intended for a different florist, who winds up getting murdered.  There are stolen chemicals at the root of the tale, but it’s all primarily an excuse for the big death-trap.

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And I have to admit, the hourglass trap that Canary and Larry Lance get thrown into does look even better than on the splash page, but it’s the only thing that stands out.

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.

Flash 96 – Hawkman takes on centaurs, the Thorn returns, and Black Canary rides the parachute

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Great image on the cover of Flash 96 (June 1948), which does correspond to a brief sequence in the Broome and Kubert Hawkman story.

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Carter and Shiera are out for a rode as the story begins, and run into a herd of centaurs.  Like the ones from Greek mythology, these are hostile and violent creatures, who have lived for centuries hidden inside a dormant volcano.

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The heroes change into Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and follow a strange flying machine invented by the centaurs, finding their hidden city.  That’s when they wind up in an underwater battle, in the lake in the core of the cone.

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The centaurs plan to kill the humans they have captured using the incendiary cloak created by Medea.  But the centaurs lose control of their own technology, which destroys their city.  The Hawks do manage to get the captives to freedom.

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The Thorn returns, in a more demure costume, in this Kanigher and Kubert story.

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Rose is back as well, having a moonlit walk with Jay Garrick.  The dialogue does not imply a romance, but the art sure does.  Jay tells Rose that there is no sign of Thorn, and that he believes she is dead.

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But as Rose is Thorn, Jay is clearly wrong.

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The Thorn creates a giant thorn-stalk in the middle of Keystone City, with explosive thorns.  The Flash gets involved, but there is less action than one might expect.  Once again, the Thorn appears to die, but then we see Rose.

This version of Rose and Thorn next appears in the Justice Society revival in the mid-70s, in All-Star Comics.

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Kanigher, Infantino and Giella give a very film noir opening to this tale, as Dinah Drake and Larry Lance find a dead body in a drugstore, which vanishes by the time the police show up (and Dinah has changed to Black Canary).  They spot a newspaper clipping left behind, about a topaz brooch, which leads them to a big charity circus-type event.

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The brooch does get stolen, and Black Canary spends the remainder of the story trying to get it back, and showing off her guts. First on a motorcycle, jumping through a flaming hoop.

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Later, she jumps from the wing of a plane, and rides a parachute down to the ground to catch the murderous thieves.  Larry follows behind, but you sure don’t get the feeling he would have done any of this on his own.

 

Flash 92 – Black Canary begins, and the Ghost goes to Paris

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Flash and Hawkman welcome Black Canary to Flash Comics 92 (Feb. 48).  Apparently the Ghost Patrol and the Atom are not happy she has joined the book.

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Kanigher, Infantino and Giella are the creative team on Black Canary’s first solo story, but it looks and feels quite different from her appearances in Johnny Thunder.  We meet Larry Lance, a loser private eye interested in flower shop owner Dinah Drake.

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Larry is on the case of some men who hijack trucks, and after Dinah receives an order for a black funeral wreath for Larry, Black Canary appears on the case.  The two work as equal partners when it comes to the big fight scene, each taking down some of the criminals.

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Black Canary is the one who figures out how the crooks pulled off their hijackings.  We also see that Canary has a knife concealed in her choker, which she can activate with her chin.  Seems like the knife would be more likely to injure Canary than anything else.

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The very end of the tale reveals that Dinah Drake is really the Black Canary, for any reader too clued out to have put that together themself.  This is also the first tale to reveal that Black Canary wears a wig when in her guise, something that was never hinted at in Johnny Thundner’s strip.

Between the shady private eye, and the overall artistic look of the series, the Black Canary strip feels reminiscent of the very popular films noir from the period.

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The Gentleman Ghost is back in the Hawkman story in this issue, by Kanigher and Kubert, which takes all the characters to Paris.

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The story evokes the Phantom of the Opera, both because of the city, and the big scene at the opera, and the use of the chandelier as a deathtrap for Hawkgirl.

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As usual, the Ghost uses various tricks and deceptions in his robberies, leaving it unclear as to whether he is a ghost or a con artist  He appears to explode at the end of this tale, but of course he will be back in a couple of issues.