Monday, August 31, 2009

Read: Flash Comics #14

Issue: Flash Comics #14 (reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1)
Title: "The Awesome Alligator" (suggested title)
Published Date: Feb. 1941
Generation: Golden Age Carter
Retcon Status: Changed Generations

Summary: A would-be world conqueror named Karvac summons an elder god once worshipped by the Phoenicians, Scorio, who takes the form of an alligator.  Scorio gives Karvac the knowledge of a flame-weapon which will melt the flesh of anyone hit with it.  Karvac and his men then use the weapons to attack an Army regiment on manuvers, wiping them out almost to the man.  The lone survivor manages to find a motorist -- Shiera Saunders, who lets Carter Hall know about the attack.

Hawkman, armed with a mace and a net of "Ninth Metal," confronts Karvac's men.  With the net able to resist the fiery attack, Hawkman takes out some of the goons, and takes one of their guns to confront Scorio.  The weapon does not kill Scorio, but does banish the elder god back to his own dimension.  Hawkman then has the soldier and Shiera call in an air strike from the Army, which wipes out Karvac's forces.  Karvac, seeing the writing on the wall, tries to kill himself by jumping off a cliff, but Hawkman captures him and turns him over to the authorities.

Review: One of my favorite of the Golden Age stories so far, this one has a little bit of everything, from the B-movie Western setting to an elder god to a weapon which vaporizes any shot with it to the cavalry coming to save the day.  Bonus points for Hawkman using his now-trademark mace to bash some of Karvac's men.  Sadly, neither Karvac nor Scorio would make any further appearances.  Shiera has a good showing this time out, although I should note that a caption box says that she is the only one who knows Hawkman's secret identity -- knowledge she seemingly gained off-panel sometime either in this issue or the previous.  Also interesting is a weapon actually made of what is still called "Ninth Metal," (now, of course called Nth Metal) which was a first for the strip at this time.

Image: Flash Comics #14, 1941, Sheldon Moldoff.  

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