Fury and Sound
Trying to find out what happened to Air Wave II, his younger cousin, Green Lantern seeks out the Pied Piper in Central City for answers! Instead, Hal Jordan finds himself trying to tame the living storm called Typhoon! Guest starring the Flash!
From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, May, 1986:
While I admit working with Dr. Hoshi of Japan on the light engine was not easy due to her cold and demanding nature, I never wanted the scientist-turned-super-heroine to vanish! Yet, according to G.L., that’s exactly what happened to the new female Doctor Light when the original villain of that name used her as his living weapon! G.L. trapped her inside his ring in her light form, but found no trace of her when he tried to free her after their fight!
“Tom, she was inside the ring, but now she is not!” Hal had told me. “I can only speculate that her powers enabled her to escape in some manner. Perhaps she rode the green light to freedom when I used the energy to fly the Purple Pile-Driver to jail. I’d assumed she could only move one direction, but I could have been wrong. I just hope she’s OK.”
That revelation had occurred a few days ago. In the time since his battle with the enslaved Kimiyo Hoshi, Hal Jordan had been busy piloting traditional planes for Ferris Air under the watchful and disapproving eye of Carl Ferris.
However, Green Lantern soon found himself involved in another, more personal quest.
Green Lantern was grim as he flew toward Central City. He passed the community’s billboard honoring the late Flash, but for once his mind was so preoccupied that he didn’t give his old friend more than a passing thought.
Great Guardians! I can’t believe poor cousin Hal’s gone! he thought. I could kick myself for taking this long to look into his death during that whole Alien Alliance invasion. I guess, when it really mattered, I let down another loved one just like Carol used to always accuse me of doing back when my duties as a G.L. prevented me from helping her.
As he passed the Flash Museum, he recalled the brave and eager youngster called Air Wave II. Ollie was really down when I broke the news to him. He liked my cousin a lot. I really can’t accept that a fellow with Hal’s powers could go that swiftly. There’s got to be a chance that his Air Wave powers enabled him to live on after he and the others brought down that energy barrier the aliens had placed around Australia. The little data I was able to get didn’t satisfy me.
The Golden Glider may have reformed, but I can’t forget all the agony that blonde witch put poor Barry through while he was alive. Still, Captain Comet vouches for her. He wasn’t there when she, Mayflower, Plastique, Pied Piper, and Multiplex, among others, fought that Australian battle. (*) I can tell she spoke the truth because of my ring, but she could have missed something. That’s why I’m looking for Pied Piper. His music combined with Air Wave’s powers to break the force-field. He might just be the one man who could have seen something that would give me a lead.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors, Chapter 3: Battleground Australia.]
Rain began to fall in heavy sheets as thunder boomed and lightning flashed. Green Lantern didn’t feel the elements, since his green energy aura protected his fleet form as he soared over the city. Still, he noticed the change in weather and wondered just how severe the weather would get.
News channels are shouting that a big storm is brewing, he mused. I guess I’m just in time to fly right into the heart of it. Maybe I can at least do something about it, since I let Hal down so badly. Arisia and John were right in the heart of the battle for England while I was busy fighting Despero with the JLA. (*) Still, even they had no way of knowing that Air Wave was my relation or that he’d die during the fight for Australia!
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors, Chapter 4: World at War and Justice League of America: Pyre.]
As Green Lantern concentrated, his ring created concentric circles of pulsing energy. “Got it! I figured a man so devoted to sonics like the Piper would have an impressive array of audio equipment in his home,” he said. “The ring trail leads to the loft apartment below. I just hope I’m not accidentally getting ready to barge in on some poor schmuck with a huge hi-fi!”
Flying down, he met a figure rushing out of the door. The man was slender and blond, with a worried expression on his face. He wore a heavy coat and ordinary clothing. “Hold it, Rathaway?” he said. “I recognize you even without the green costume. I want a word with you.”
Hartley Rathaway frowned at the sight of the emerald gladiator hovering above the street and said, “Sorry, pal. I have places to be. I’m not wanted for anything, so I owe you nothing!” He turned to leave when Green Lantern placed a cage around his agile form.
“Not so fast. I want to talk to you,” said Green Lantern.
The Pied Piper sighed. “Guess it’s always got to be this way, but I really can’t play cops and robbers! Not now!” He pulled out a gold pipe, and its pulsing energy created solid music notes that were all too visible and all too yellow for the Lantern’s comfort. The notes were solid, and they broke the green cage with ease, allowing their creator to run freely.
Green Lantern muttered in irritation, “The old impurity that makes my ring vulnerable to yellow may be necessary, but it certainly gets old fast!” He used the ring to create an elongated arm that snaked out to snatch the Pied Piper from the street. “Hope Ralph Dibny won’t bring a copyright infringement suit against me for stealing his bit!” he joked.
The Pied Piper cursed and blasted out with his weapon of choice. The sheer sonic force caused Green Lantern to fall hard.
He’s disrupting my concentration, he realized. Got to create buffers to block his sound until I can take him down!
The Pied Piper darted aside and used his pipe to generate a screeching sound that cut through Green Lantern’s efforts to create a shield.
The emerald warrior stood up and forced himself forward by sheer willpower. Can’t summon ring weapons due to that noise, but I can rely on sheer force! he mused. He tackled the Piper and disarmed him with a swift left hook.
At that moment, a scarlet blur zoomed into view as the dark sky howled its rage, and the wind tore across the city like a lost soul.
“Green Lantern, glad to see you!” said the smiling Flash. “It looks like Central City is going to get hit by serious weather!”
Green Lantern turned toward Wally West, the young heir to Barry Allen’s name and legacy, and greeted his friend. “Flash! Sorry to have to come calling on such a somber matter, but I need information from the Pied Piper, here, and he’s putting up quite a fight.”
The Flash frowned. “Piper, what’s the story? Word on the street was that you had reformed.”
The Pied Piper rubbed a hand across his lip and spat blood. “I have, but this green goon thinks he’s Eliot Ness or something. I can’t talk to him now! My folks are out there on their yacht. That storm is threatening to wipe them out. I want to get to them. I need to save them if possible!”
“I didn’t know,” said Green Lantern. “I’m sorry. I acted like a brash buddy of mine. Let me use my ring to tame this storm and rescue your folks.” He extended his hand, and the Pied Piper slowly clasped it in his own.
“Sure. I guess it’s hard for a guy like you to see me as anything more than a Rogue,” he said.
“Piper’s right,” said the Flash. “I’ve been guilty of assuming the worst of an old foe before, too. Now, let’s try to settle his fears about the Rathaways and try to keep my city safe!”
Green Lantern scooped up the pair in an energy bubble and flew directly into the now-hurricane-force winds as his emerald light gleamed through the black skies. As they drew closer to the storm-tossed waters, numerous ships came into view. The barrage of waves and wind battered them relentlessly.
The Flash signaled to Green Lantern to drop him out of the bubble, and as the Lantern parted the energy-field, the Flash gracefully spun around and skimmed smoothly across the waters to race up the side of a yacht.
This must be the Rathaway boat, mused the Flash. Funny how the Piper comes from such a distinguished and wealthy family. Crime was just his way of rebelling, I guess.
Osgood Rathaway rushed over to the scarlet-clad hero. “The Flash! Thank heavens! Can you get me and my crew to safety?” he begged. “Forget about the yacht. It’s well-insured!”
The Flash nodded. “A sensible attitude! I’ll have you all on dry land in a flash!” As good as his word, the hero raced around the ship’s deck and soon stood on shore with the appreciative crew clustered around him. “Your son was worried sick!” he said. “I think he’s turning his life around!”
Osgood smiled warily. “I’d like to believe that! Where is Hartley?”
The Pied Piper was struggling to shore with a rope. Fighting the current, he tied it off at the dock. The other end reached to a small boat whose desperate occupants used the line to draw themselves through the raging surf to shelter.
Those folks were strangers, yet with the Flash helping my old man, I figured the least I could do was make his job a bit easier! he thought as the soaking wet former villain helped people reach safety.
Green Lantern soared high above with total confidence and pride in the Flash. Wally’s making Barry proud! he thought. I see he’s already racing back to try to rescue more sailors! Let’s see if I can tame this storm with my ring!
Creating a massive fan, he allowed it to blast away at the powerful storm clouds. But his efforts to blow the storm out to sea failed miserably, as the clouds parted and the raging winds seemed to mingle with the waves below to form human features.
“Great Guardians! This storm is alive!” he said. “It’s something like the Tornado Tyrant we once fought.”
The being towered above the coast, and one massive hand swept out to strike the hero firmly. He fell into the ocean and emerged swiftly due to the protection offered by his ring.
“Perhaps if I heat up the waters below, the resulting pressure will subdue this thing!” cried Green Lantern.
The Flash gasped as his trek across the waters abruptly ended when a wave crashed down on him. “Some kind of storm being! Firestorm fought a guy like this! Typhoon!” he muttered as he righted himself.
Green Lantern saw the huge Typhoon’s features distort in rage as he tossed back his head, and the winds roared in unison to his cries. “Listen, fellow, you may be angry, but you’re not about to hurt anyone while I’m here!” vowed the hero. He frowned as the lightning crashed, realizing that his ploy seemed to do nothing more than irritate the angry creature.
“His name is Drake!” cried the Flash. “He was once human. He has a family, or at least an ex-wife and kids! Maybe they can bring him to his senses!”
Green Lantern nodded. “Maybe I can calm him with their images drawn from his memory!” He flew directly into the stormy creature as the Flash admired his fearlessness.
They don’t make heroes like Hal anymore! thought Wally. I mean, he is the super-hero’s super-hero! The Pied Piper drew closer as the Flash shouted to him, “It’s a villain called Typhoon! Green Lantern is going to try to calm him!”
Green Lantern’s mighty power ring summoned forth images from the creature’s human mind and generated their likenesses across the horizon. “Drake! Think of your kids!” he cried. “They would not want this to happen! You are putting kids just like them in peril!”
Typhoon screamed, and lightning blazed out toward the Lantern. He dodged as the yellow energy shattered his energy-field. Too close for comfort! he mused. Still, it did get a response out of him. There may just be enough humanity left in Typhoon for us to do some good!
The Flash created mini-whirlwinds of his own to try to sweep back the perilous winds before they reached shore. He’s smart enough to know the images from his past, he thought. He does still have a mind!
Turning to Pied Piper, he said, “Those pipes of yours can do mind-control, right? They pulled that kind of stunt before. If Green Lantern magnifies your sound with his ring, and I get you close enough to Typhoon, will you try to make the Drake part of him calm down?”
“Are you daft?” said the Pied Piper. “I mean, really! You actually want me to try to snake-charm a typhoon?” He saw his father standing on the dock, and he sighed. “Why not? Who lives forever?”
The Flash smiled and said, “You’re risking your own for others, and that gives real meaning to your life. It’s got to feel better than hitting jewelry stores with living music notes!”
They sped out to the heart of the storm and quickly explained their plan to the Lantern. He agreed, and his ring shaped a huge sound system that magnified Piper’s frantic playing and funneled the sound into Typhoon’s elemental form.
In minutes the storm calmed, and Typhoon vanished beneath the waters with a sorrowful look on his all-too-human face.
The Pied Piper gasped for air as the Flash and Green Lantern led him to shore to be reunited with his cheering father. “I thought I was a goner!” he said.
Green Lantern smiled. “No, you are a hero. Again, I’m sorry for misjudging you before. I came here to ask you about Air Wave’s death. Did you see anything that might offer hope that the field’s collapse did not kill him?”
“No,” said the Piper. “I felt the field weaken through the combination of my music and his powers, but after that one moment of unity, the field was gone, and so was he! I’m sorry. Was he a friend of yours?”
Osgood Rathaway hugged his son as they reached shore, and Green Lantern nodded sadly. “Yes, he was.”
The Flash placed a hand on Green Lantern’s shoulder and whispered, “I’m sorry, too, G.L.”
Green Lantern nodded. “Thanks, son. At least, for every loss like that of Air Wave, I find new hope in folks like the Piper and even Drake regaining their own humanity.”