Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Read: Flash Comics #15

Issue: Flash Comics #15 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1)
Title: "The Hand" (Suggested Title)
Published Date: Mar 1941
Generation: Golden Age Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: Carter Hall is paying a visit to his friend Elwin Thayer, who has been acting strangely.  While on his way, though, Carter finds Elwin's daughter Teddy on the side of the road!  She tells Carter that her father has been receiving death threats, and locked himself in the library and sent her away.  They go to the house to find Thayer murdered, and the priceless Everest Emerald stolen.  Dropping Teddy off with Shiera, Carter investigates as Hawkman.

Meanwhile, we see that it was Elwin's brother Edward who is the murderer -- somehow he created a disembodied hand (which can speak!) to do his bidding.  He killed his brother for the Emerald (and estate) in order to impress his girlfriend Sandra.  As Hawkman investigates the grounds, the girls arrive with similar intent.  All three of them see the Hand, sent by Edward to kill Teddy, though they are able to avoid it.  Hawkman trails the hand back to Edward's apartment, and finds him dead -- killed by Sandra's thugs!  Hawkman takes out the thugs (with a timely assist from the Hand), but is shot in the shoulder by Sandra.  The lady killer then finds Shiera and Teddy outside, and takes them hostage.  Recovering, Hawkman and the Hand agree with to work together.  As Hawkman grabs the girls from the car, the Hand strangles Sandra, and the two drive off a cliff.  Back at the Hall place, Teddy chides Carter for not being brave like Hawkman.

Review: This is a bizarre one.  We never quite learn just how the hand was created, no how it manages to speak.  Add to that a lot of confusing coloring, including people's clothes spontaneously changing colors from panel to panel, and Sandra completely changing her appearance halfway through the story.  Still, it's amusing enough, including Teddy's admonishment of Carter as a "fraidy cat," which reminded me of the classic "Where were you when Superman was here, Clark?" motif.  The Moldoff cover is nice, but once again not connected in any way to the story.

Image: Flash Comics #15, 1941, Sheldon Moldoff.

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