Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Read: Flash Comics #2

Issue: Flash Comics #2 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1)
Title: "The Globe Conquerors" (suggested title)
Published Date: Feb 1940
Generation: Golden Age Carter,
Retcon Status: In Continuity, With Retcons

Summary: When skyscrapers in New York begin to collapse, Hawkman swoops in and saves his fiancee Shiera from the falling debris.  It seems that the disaster was caused by a man namaed Alexander, who desires a modern version of his namesake's empire.  How does Shiera know this?  Because she got herself and Carter invited to dinner at Alexander's estate, of course!  Saying that it is good to be gracious to one's foes, the pair meet the bulbous-headed Alexander, who shows them his invention: a ray which causes objects to become immensely heavy.  He then offers Hawkman a million dollars to leave him alone.  Carter does not take the offer, but leaves in peace, only to sneak back in to see if Alexander's ray effects Ninth Metal, which it does not.  Arming himself with a net and trident made of Ninth Metal, Hawkman attacks Alexander, but is caught in a trap when the "Globe Conqueror" turns the ray on Hawkman himself, weighing him down.  Shiera manages to free Hawkman, who stabs Alexander with the trident and destroys his machine.

Review: A story that is in a lot of ways very typical of the Golden Age: A mad scientist with a crazy invention, a very girly love interest (Shiera at one point says not to point the ray at her because she "weighs enough"), and a hero who kills the villain at the end.  Fox can't seem to decide if his hero is named Hawkman, The Hawk-Man, or The Hawk.  Neville's work definitely has a comic strip vibe, but despite the small panels the art has a great pulpy look to it.  I really liked that the modern day Alexander The Great had a lumpy head for some reason.  The idea of eating dinner at your enemy's house to be gracious has a sort of Fleming feel to it, don't you think?  Overall this story brought a smile to my face, partly for it's simple superheroics and partly for it's dated sensibilities; ie, Alexander actually puts an ad in the newspaper demanding that the US government surrender to him.

Image: Flash Comics #2, 1940, Dennis Neville.

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