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Issue 44, "Voices"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Richard Case
Inker: Mark McKenna

Summary:
written by William Sherman (sherman@netcom.com), edited by Robert Kelly (bobek@rt66.com)

The Men from NOWHERE have captured Flex Mentallo and Dorothy Spinner, and have taken them to the region under the Pentagon. The Men are working for Major Honey, who greets them there (I know, he was a General last issue, but that's what it says). He shows them Wally Sage, whom Flex recognizes; Wally is kept sealed in a tank.

Back at DP HQ, everyone tries to figure out what's going on, and the remaining Man from NOWHERE vaporizes. Sara suggests that they use Danny to gain entry to the Pentagon (strangely, her earlier concern about Danny's safety seems to have lessened).

Honey explains what's behind this whole business: the Pentagon is a focus for energy from the "fundamental reality", and there is an "Avatar" at the heart of it all, in the Ant Farm. They wish to remove all abnormality and eccentricity from the world. The Ant Farm itself is a tremendous clockwork machine, manned by Men from NOWHERE, its only purpose being itself.

Suddenly, Danny appears, with the DP on board. Flex and Dorothy are left alone with Wally Sage, and rescue him from his tank. Flex's true origin is revealed: when Wally was young, he wrote a comic book for himself, using a green pen, which starred Flex and his friends. This comic was called "My Greenest Adventure" (this is the reference from the introduction to Issue 37). Wally's psychic powers actually brought the characters to life. After telling Flex, Wally dies.

Flex and Dorothy are attacked by the operators of the Ant Farm, but Flex now has his powers back, and he saves Dorothy. However, one of the operators manages to summon the Avatar. The Avatar seems to be an evil personification of the telephone system, a creature woven into the fabric of our society. It looks like a giant humanoid made from telephone components.

Cliff, Jane, Rebis and the Chief capture Honey and Washington, and fight the Men from NOWHERE. Rebis finds Harry Christmas, who has found the Tongs. Washington betrays Honey and tells the DP to destroy the Tongs. Jane does so, and the Men from NOWHERE collapse. The Avatar is hurt. Flex uses all of his power to make the Pentagon round, and urges Dorothy to destroy the Avatar. Dorothy falls into an interior mental landscape, where she talks with a strange, malevolent being with a candelabrum for a head. It promises to defeat the Avatar for her if she will let it loose. She does so, and wakes up to see the Avatar destroyed.

Annotations:
written by William Sherman

p. 3: "Little glowing friend" comes from the They Might Be Giants' song "Birdhouse in Your Soul" from the album _Flood_.

p. 6: Honey says that 5 is the number of his conspiracy. This echoes the _Illuminatus_ trilogy by Shea and Wilson, where the number 5 is strongly associated with the Illuminati (thanks to John Romkey [romkey@asylum.sf.ca.us]).

p. 9: The "napalm in the morning" line is from "Apocalypse Now", where it is spoken by Robert Duvall.

p. 10: Leonard Nimoy, of course, played Mr. Spock on "Star Trek". His poetry defies description; I prefer his rendition of "Proud Mary".

p. 13: As I mentioned in a summary file, "My Greenest Adventure" is a pun on "My Greatest Adventure", which is the comic book which turned into the original "Doom Patrol" series.

p. 21: Flex's attempts (this time, successful) to turn the Pentagon round may refer to the Yippies and their attempt to lift the Pentagon into the air. The Yippies were a radical political youth organization in the sixties, and once held a demonstration in which they gathered at the Pentagon and attempted to levitate it through a force of will.

The Doom Patrol is a licensed trademark of Jost Enterprises and, of course, DC Comics.
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