Sunday, June 15, 2014

Golden Oldie: FLASH COMICS #102

Black Canary's ongoing adventures continue with seven thrilling pages of mystery and suspense in Flash Comics #102.

"The Riddle of the Roses!" is written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino.

A short time after Nelson Lang orders every rose in Dinah Drake's flower shop, Larry Lance comes by the store to tell her that millionaire Charles Lang has hired him to recover a stolen emerald.  Dinah and Larry mull over the coincidence that her customer, Nelson, is the elder Lang's nephew.

Later that day, Dinah convinces Larry to help her transport all the roses to Lang's mansion.  When they arrive, they're stunned to see an impressive rose garden in full bloom on the property.  No one answers the door, so Dinah and Larry bring the packed roses around to the back of the house where they discover a pair of criminals rummaging through Lang's rooms.  When they see Dinah and Larry skulking around outside, they draw weapons.

Larry shoves Dinah out of the way and tells her to get the police while he tries to disarm the crooks.  Dinah, miffed at his noble-yet-sexist behavior, changes into the Black Canary and joins the fray.

Yet again Black Canary is struck in the head by a pistol, but she feigns having brain damage to fool the criminals, whereas in reality she would have had actual brain damage long, long ago for the number of times she's been pistol-whipped.

Black Canary and Larry Lance find Nelson Lang dead in the house and chase the crooks back to Charles Lang's summer home.  There Black Canary overhears the criminals, with the millionaire at gunpoint, explaining that his nephew stole the emerald for them but then hid it somewhere.  Black Canary and Larry are captured by an unseen criminal and then tied to the outdoors stairway that leads down the cliff from the house to the water.  Then the criminals set fire to the stairs so the heroes will either burn or fall into the water and drown... because why not just shoot them?

Black Canary sneaks up on the crooks and hits them with an umbrella from Lang's patio furniture.  The millionaire is saved, the crooks are captured, but the emerald is still missing until Black Canary reveals that she's had it on her person, hidden in the rose she placed in her hair.

"The Riddle of the Roses" follows the same basic formula as all of Black Canary's other adventures in Flash Comics.  Kanigher and Infantino must have been hard up for deathtrap ideas by this point, though, because how they came up with the idea of tying Black Canary to an outdoor staircase over water and setting fire to it... boggles the mind.

Come back next Sunday for another Golden Age adventure of Black Canary in Flash Comics #103.

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