Thursday, April 9, 2009

Read: Mystery In Space #88

Issue: Mystry In Space #88 (Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman v.1)
Title: "Topsy-Turvy Day In Midway City!"
Published Date: Dec 1963
Generation: Silver Age Katar
Retcon Status: In Continuity (I guess?)

Summary: In Midway City, electronic devices start acting crazy -- running backwards and generally doing the opposite of what they were designed to do.  Meanwhile, Mavis Trent has discovered the Hawks' secret room in the museum, and dresses up as Hawkgirl just in time for Hawkman to enter.  Having received notice that a band of crooks used the distraction provided by the machines to crack a bank vault, Hawkman is eager to investigate, taking "Hawkgirl" with him.  They follow strange energy readings to a laboratory, where they discover the source of the "phase reversal" and it's creator -- the Master Electrician!

Mavis, not used to the anti-gravity effects of Nth metal, is out of her depth and ineffectual as a crime fighter.  Meanwhile, the Master Electrician uses another device, one which creates "artificial lightning," to alter the photons in the lab abd make his goons invisible.  The Winged Wonder has a little trouble fighting foes he can't see, but soon makes short work of them and shuts the Electrician down.

After the real Hawkgirl shows up, Mavis is revealed for her playing dress-up.  She is suspicious, but Commissioner Emmett helps the Hawks out but pointing out that Hawkgirl does not wear a wedding ring, so she and Hawkman aren't married, while Carter and Shiera Hall are.  Later, the Hawks have a good laugh -- because on Thanagar, a bride receives earrings on her wedding day, not a ring!

Review: A minor story, built primarily to have the goofy segment of Mavis Trent dressing up as Hawkgirl.  After the highly fun adventure against the I.Q. Gang last time, this is a bit of a let down.  Still, these kinds of tales were not uncommon in the Silver Age, and I can't complain too loudly about a story where Murphy Anderson gets to drawn both Shayera and Mavis dressed as Hawkgirl!  The bit about the Thanagarian wedding earings, however is classic, and one of my favorite bits of Thanagar's culture -- even if the implication that all married gals MUST wear wedding rigs really does date the proceedings!

Image: Mystery In Space #88, 1963, Carmine Infantino.

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