Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Read: Flash Comics #17

Issue: Flash Comics #17 (reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1)
Title: "Murder At The Opera" (suggested title)
Published Date: May 1941
Generation: Golden Age Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: Carter and Shiera are enjoying a night at the opera when the diva, Camilla Cordova, onstage suddenly chokes and collapses.  Rushing the stage, they find the poor girl is dead.  A doctor in the audience, Dr. Selkirk, examines her and concludes that the cause of death was asphyxiation -- in plain view of the entire audience.  Shiera doesn't buy it, but Carter says they should stay out of it.  Back at his home, Carter finds a small golden mummy idol, warning him not to interfere.  Shiera and Carter then agree that Hawkman should investigate.  Winging back to the opera house (armed with a bow and arrow), Hawkman finds a tiny prick in the girl's neck, suggesting she was killed with a poisoned dart.  But he does not see the knife-wielding man creeping up behind him...

Back at Carter's house, Shiera is suddenly attacked by a golden skinned man, claiming to be an agent of the Golden Mummy.  The thug tosses Shiera in the trunk of his car, and rigs a shotgun on Carter's door as a trap.  Hawkman disables his would-be killer, and then takes him to the roof of a skyscraper.  When the man doesn't talk, he tosses him off!  Grabbing the man before impact, the goon is all too willing to tell Hawkman where the Golden Mummy is hiding out.  Hawkman wings there, and rescues Shiera, while the Mummy and his last goon make tracks back to Carter Hall's house, hoping to lay in ambush for him.  But the goon forgets to tell the Mummy about the trap, and he winds up shot.  Before he dies, the Golden Mummy is revealed to be Dr. Selkirk, Camilla's jilted lover who desired revenge.

Review: An interesting mix of the modern and the ancient, this story is something of a prototypical Hawkman story.  The gilded assassians and the mummy suggest a supernatural foe of some kind, but in the end it's the more mundane gangster.  Also nice in this issue is Hawkman's rather Batman esque tactic of interrogation, though Batman typically doesn't actually throw them off the roof!

Moldoff turns in his typically nice linework.  The last few panels are especially noteworthy.  One features Shiera moralizing on the death of Selkirk with Carter, and she looks downright beautiful.  The next two panels have our couple in their opera attire, and the gown Shiera wears is stunning.  Moldoff certainly gave Shiera plenty of love!

Image: Flash Comics #17, 1941, Sheldon Moldoff.

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