Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Read: Flash Comics #9

Issue: Flash Comics #9 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1)
Title: "The Creatures From The Canyon" (suggested title)
Published Date: Sep 1940
Generation: Golden Age Carter
Retcon Status: Out Of Continuity (A lot of this is way out there.)

Summary: George, a friend of Carter Hall, is on his way to visit his friend when a pair of strange creatures emerge from the sea and kidnap him.  The creatures, called Kogats, read George's mind and go to kidnap Carter Hall, only to run into Hawkman instead.  Saying they will kill George unless he cooperates, Hawkman is taken under the sea by the Kogats, by way of a clear helmet which lets him breath underwater.  Hawkman is brought before the towering King Jupo, who uses a hard light gun to vaporize George.  Jupo boasts that with this weapon, he will conquer the surface world, and then throws Hawkman down a deep chasm from which no one can escape.

At the bottom of the chasm, Hawkman winds up running into the god Poseidon, who grants him the abiity to breathe underwater as well as giving him the knowledge on how to beat the Kogats.  By placing an unusual rod at the "needle of rock" underneath the Kogats' cavern, Hawkman causes their entire city to collapse, ending their threat forever.  Poseidon tells Hawkman to come and see him again sometime, as he can now breathe underwater, while Hawkman muses that while some ships may have been sunk when he destroyed the Kogats' cavern, it was worth it.

Review:  Wow, this is a strange one.  It starts off simple enough, with the undersea civilization set to invade the surface world (like all good undersea civilizations are apt to do), then takes a hard right turn halfway through and pretty much turns into an Aquaman story!  Not really sure what Fox had in mind with this one.  The main strength and appeal of the issue is Moldoff's art, which really shines.  There's a few panels which are downright breathtaking, including a close up of the hulking King Jupo which really stands out.  An interesting feature begins in this issue: the "Weapons of the Past" stamp, which is the final panel of the story, illustrating an ancient weapon which Hawkman might use.  In this case, it is a Whip Mace.  This feature would continue on and off for a while in Hawkman's solo adventures.

Image: Flash Comics #9, 1940, Sheldon Moldoff.

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