DC Comics (August-September 1978)“When Laughs The Hyena!” WRITER/CO-CREATOR: Gerry Conway ARTISTS: Allen Milgrom (co-creator) & Jack abel COLORIST: Gene D’Angelo LETTERER: Clem Robins EDITOR: Jack C. Harris
On the way back from the Antarctic, Firestorm saves some baby seals. But the problems for Ronnie and Martin get worse at home. A blackout where he travels around the world is too much for Martin, who hires a detective to secretly follow him (meaning Martin) while Ronnie gets in trouble with both his dad and classmates (except his girlfriend, Doreen, who introduces Ronnie to her sister, Summer) over leaving the basketball court during a game. But Firestorm has his own troubles when a more violent vigilante called The Hyena, who seems to hate cops as much as mobster “Shoe” Shine and his son “Spit”, breaks up the latter’s robbery attempt to make him look bad. When Firestorm captures Shine’s men during a second robbery, the Hyena overhears the nuclear man announce that he’s going to call the cops and now Hyena wants him dead!
What they got right: Knowing now what we know about the Hyena, there’s a good mystery starting here. Conway is doing a good job adding some Marvel flavor (that’s where he came from) without losing what made DC good (unlike the current group).
What they got wrong: Although Ronnie doesn’t come off good for letting Martin remain confused as to what’s happening to him. And I’ve just started ignoring the Cliff Carmichael parts. I hate this character and as you’ve seen in the reviews for the later comics he just gets worse. Of all the things Ostrander tossed out that I loved about this series, why did he have to keep Cliff?
Recommendation: This is a fair issue that’s worth getting but it feels like setting up further ideas. Then again, that could just be because I know what’s coming with Hyena, the Shine mob family, and Martin’s missing memory.