Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Flash Comics #2 - pt. 2

Hawkman shows up third in this issue. New York City (I presume) is struck by a major earthquake (no other DC characters notice because there is no shared continuity yet). The cause is unusual; a mad scientist calling himself Alexander the Great has created a machine that increases an object's weight 1,000 times, and that is what caused the earthquake. It takes an hour to warm up the weight-increasing raygun before it can be fired.

In this story we learn that Carter and Shiera are engaged, and Carter has promised to give up adventuring when they marry (so, of course, they never do marry).

In a rare sign of heroes drinking, Carter is mixing a drink in a shaker. These are clearly adult heroes; not only does Carter end the adventure by offering Shiera a cocktail, but it's clear from Shiera's dialog that she just spend the night over at his place.

Dinner is served at 10, way later than any dinner I've ever eaten.

Shiera calls Carter's costume "robes."

Shiera gets them invited to dinner with Alexander by revealing Carter is Hawkman to him. Alexander, more like a Bond villain than a comic book villain, offers Hawkman $1 million to not interfere in his plans, and genially tells him he can visit anytime. Indeed, security is so light at Alex's mansion that Carter is able to sneak back in and test if the machine will work on ninth metal (Carter carries around a small sample).

We learn that ninth metal is not composed of atoms (but are not told what it is composed of. Solid energy?)

Hawkman arms himself with a trident and net, even though Shiera recommends a sword. The trident and net are also both made of ninth metal (not all his weapons are, apparently).

Showing off how well-read he is, Carter makes a reference to "fling the gage," a way to say "give an ultimatum" that comes from the poem "In the Vanguard" by Scottish poet Alexander Anderson.

Hawkman is still low level; he gets beat by a single mad scientist armed with only a pistol, and has to be saved by Shiera.

In one of the earliest examples of superheroes keeping trophy items, Hawkman keeps one of two weight-increasing machines left in Alex's mansion (after wrecking the other with an axe so no one else can have one).  

Next up is Johnny Thunderbolt, which has not yet been shortened to Johnny Thunder. Johnny "accidentally" casts Charm Person four times, on two police officers, a complete stranger, and a boxer, to get them to do what he says. When he finds a bully harassing a lady and makes him bounce across town into a hospital. It's more difficult to say what spell that would be. Telekinesis, possibly, or a new spell called ...Compel Movement? It would be a 2nd level spell that makes 1 target move in a certain direction for the duration. He also casts Fear, which makes four people run away from him.

The woman Johnny rescued immediately becomes his temporary supporting cast member, since she thinks he's cute.

The newspaper headlines make it clear that Johnny is in New York City.

Previously reprinted by Dell, Rod Rian of the Sky Police is in these early Flash Comics. This installment sets the time of the strip at 2500 AD. We also learn that telurium is a metal only found on the Moon, and that Earth has a world government that uses earthons instead of dollars as its currency. 10,000 MPH is a very fast speed to be approaching the Moon; most Moon landings arrive at around 5,000 MPH. The remainder of the pages are the same ones reprinted in Dell's The Comics #7, and feature the Mephisians.

The Demon Dummy continues the melodrama of Harry Dunstan, a ventriloquist whose sanity crumbles after losing the love of his life last installment.Talking to himself through his dummy, Harry convinces himself to become a destitute drunk and get himself arrested, so he can exact revenge while in jail. We also find out that "hooker" used to also mean a "good, stiff drink." 

In The Whip, Rod Gaynor buys the old villa that the original Whip was said to have owned 100 years ago. The place has a reputation for being haunted, supported by doors that swing open on their own (as the building shifts, perhaps). There is also a wandering encounter in the house, as Rod and his servant Wing meet the sheriff inside.

The Whip is opposed by The Association, a group of rural mobsters. They spend $10,000 to hire five assassins, who apparently work for $2,000 each.

Fighting the assassins, the Whip is able to entangle one of them with his whip and hurl the man against the wall hard enough to hurt him. That's tricky to emulate with game mechanics because the entangling attack and the hurling attack should be two separate attacks, giving his opponents twice as long to shoot him. As the Editor, I would consider how much damage the attack would likely do in total and, seeing how it would not be much, would condense it into a single punch attack (with the rest just flavor text).

The Whip entangles a second assassin with his whip, jumps out the window, and that pulls the assassin out the window with him. I would treat this as an opposed grappling attack, but with circumstances giving the Whip a +2 situational bonus.

(read at fullcomic.pro)

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