The Atom And Hawkman #44: "The Ghost Laughs Last!"

The Atom And Hawkman #44
"The Ghost Laughs Last!"
August - September, 1969

Story: Robert Kanigher
Art: Murphy Anderson

The Thanagarian policeman has caught up with the highwayman from one
hundred and fifty years ago.  Will he learn if the Gentleman Ghost is
supernatural?  Or will the Ghost prove to be the spawn of science?  On
the splash page, the feathered fury is confronted by five Ghosts, with
each one urging him on.

After using fluoroscopic beams on the ghostly quintet, Hawkman comes to
the conclusion that none of them is a real ghost.  BLAM!  BLANG!  SOK
KRUNK  WHUNK  The Thanagarian lawman easily evades the bullets, then uses
his fists and feet to make short work of the gang.

HA HA HA  The costumed bandits have been caught, but their leader makes a
break for the window.  CRRRASH!  Hawkman reaches for the fleeing figure,
snaring a monocle, with a taunting message on its miniature tape
recorder.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA  The Gentleman Ghost is racing down on
telephone wires, then ducks into an office.

TAP TAP TAP TAP  After entering through the office window, the
Thanagarian lawman sees that the room is filled with typists, and the
Ghost must have made his getaway.  As he leaves in anger, Hawkman fails
to notice that one of the office typists is laughing, and does not have a
face.  The next stop for the Gentleman Ghost is at a mod shop, where a
handsome pair of gloves catches his eye.  As he makes his purchase, the
Ghost is complimented on his unique attire by the clerk, and two mods eye
his fancy threads.

On the streets of Paris, ordinary citizens shrink in fear from the
walking phantom in their midst.  A woman stumbles into his path, and he
sees that she is blind.  Her sensitive fingers trace over the Ghost's
invisible features.  Since the woman is the only one who hasn't shunned
him, the Gentleman Ghost decides to take her for dinner at Le Figaro.
Learning that the restaurant is closed, the Ghost uses his power to
provide some animated entertainment for his companion.  Zita the
Fortune-Teller never dreamt that she would ever meet such a wonderful

Now in her parlor, the Gentleman Ghost peers into the fortune-teller's
crystal ball, and sees a sight from one hundred and fifty years ago.
Gentleman Jim Craddock is about to be hanged... The condemned highwayman
vows to return to steal their valuables, just as the trap door is sprung.
Instead of dying, he falls through a rift in time, and arrives in the
present as a ghost. 

Now it is Hawkman who appears in the crystal ball, the man who has vowed
to catch the Gentleman Ghost.  Unconcerned about this, the Ghost asks
about a way for curing Zita's blindness.  A rare jewel, such as a
diamond, a pearl, a ruby, or an emerald is needed.  By shining its rays
into her eyes, the fortune teller's sight would be restored.  The
Gentleman Ghost gives his word that he will find the jewel, and give Zita
her eyesight back.  Katar Hol and Shayera Thal are in a hotel room, with
Shiera reading about the Ghost's promise to steal the Empress Ra-Na's
emerald necklace from the Egyptian exhibit at the Louvre.  Carter insists
to his wife that there's no such things as ghosts, just a criminal
pretending to be one.  Now in their identities of Hawkman and Hawkgirl,
the Thanagarian policeman is in no mood to hear about the Ghost.

At the ancient Egyptian exhibit, two guards relish the chance to catch
the Ghost, but are knocked out by the fumes from the mummy case.  Six
hoods are making their way upstairs, when two Viking statues shatter, and
reveal the Hawks in disguise.  As they flap their wings, the gang are
determined to clip them with their guns.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl make fast work in taking down the criminals, but
their leader hasn't made an appearance.  CREEEAK  One of the mummy cases
opens, and the Gentleman Ghost makes his escape with the emerald

As the feathered fury makes his way into the next hall, he sees a row of
mummies, and hears the Ghost's voice mocking him from each bandaged form.
Green rays are shone in the eyes of Zita, but this is not the rare gem
which will restore her sight.  Although Zita is ready to admit defeat,
the Gentleman Ghost vows to continue the search.  Carter and Shiera are
back in their hotel room, with her reading about the fire ruby to be on
display at the Paris high-fashion show, and him making plans.

The following day finds the models at the Maison Malmon wearing
everything from bikinis to furs, but the fire ruby is all the Ghost wants
to see.  As they remove their furs, Hawkman tells Hawkgirl to stay for
the show, and he chases after the laughing fiend.  Now in the storeroom,
the Thanagarian lawman takes out his frustrations on the mocking
mannequins in his path.  The Gentleman Ghost is delighted to see that
Hawkman is at his wit's end, as he makes his way down to the cellar.

SPLISH  SPLOSH  Diving through the opening, the feathered fury finds
himself in the Paris sewers, and the Gentleman Ghost sure to be caught
now.  Soon, the Ghost cries out for help, and Hawkman reaches out for
whimpering wraith.  Dreams of having Shayera not mentioning the Ghost are
soon shattered when the shrieking phantom's arm comes off in his grip.
Before it can sink from sight, the Thanagarian policeman grabs ahold of
the Gentleman Ghost's hat, and a promise from its owner that they'll be
meeting again.  Now it is the rays from the fire ruby which shine on
Zita's eyes, but the Ghost wonders if he has failed again.

To his surprise, the fortune teller embraces him, and tells the haunted
highwayman that she can see him for the first time ever.  Knowing that
Zita is grateful for now, the ghost of Jim Craddock can only wonder how
long she could love a man without a face.  When he has found his physical
remains, the Gentleman Ghost will return to her.  The fortune teller
waves to her benefactor, and what expression is on his face is his own
secret.  As they fly through the sky, Hawkgirl asks her husband about the
existence of ghosts, and the feathered fury tells his wife to keep her
mind on flying.

On the cover of The Atom And Hawkman by Joe Kubert, the Gentleman Ghost
tells a struggling Hawkman that the tomb will be his home for the next
thousand years.

The Ghost gives the Thanagarian lawman a fighting chance, but has him
outnumbered five-to-one.

Thanks to a device from his home planet, Hawkman is able to short sheet
the gun-toting hoods.

If he's a ghost, then why did he go crashing through a window?  Did he
want his nemesis to wonder about his true nature, or did he not want to
let go of the loot?

In the office filled with typists, Julie Schwartz is seen going over
artwork with Murphy Anderson.

He may be a faceless phantom, but the Gentleman Ghost knows how to show a
date a night on the town.

The Hawks's position as the Mulder and Scully of the Silver Age is still

As they fight against the armed hoods, Hawkman and Hawkgirl manage to
punch out their respective opponents at the same time, and in the same
exact fighting pose.

I don't know why the feathered fury didn't want his wife and partner
aiding in the capture of the Gentleman Ghost.  Was this an ego thing on
Katar's part?

It's far from a "sewer" thing when Hawkman finally gets his hands on the
unarmed Ghost, and "hat's all, folks!"

The Ghost has found someone who loves him for himself, but until he has
come to terms with his new existence, the reunion will have to wait.

Shayera shows that she has an open mind when it comes to ghosts, but
Katar would rather be doing something else.

Steve Chung
"The Ghost Reviews Last!"