Type Comic
Date 1940-04
Tags hypnotism, fiction

Flash Comics #4

Flash Comics #4 (1940-04)

The Flash

The Flash rescues a drowning woman, Marcia van Doorn. She had been on a gambling ship, The Seven Seas, with her fiance Jimmy Norton, the son of a steel magnate, and was pushed overboard when some men Jimmy. She believes they're going to hold him for ransom. The Flash seeks out the ship. The Flash (who apparently hates gambling) pretends to be a gambler. He uses his speed to cheat at roulette, searching the ship between spins.

Flash finds some men he presumes to be the kidnappers, and tricks them into thinking there are ghosts on the ship, driving them from the room they're in. He takes the opportunity to search through their safe unobserved, and learns that Jimmy's father supports a law to ban gambling ships, so they must have kidnapped Jimmy to pressure his father into withdrawing his support.

Flash searches the ship for Jimmy and, upon finding him, decides to warn his father of the kidnappers' plans. He's too late, though, so instead he returns to the boat with Marcia, intending to use her in a ruse to force the men to release Jimmy and his father. It doesn't do much good, though, so instead he just grabs each and takes them back to shore in turn. Then he shows off his speed to the kidnappers, who are trying to escape in a speedboat, which frightens them into agreeing to turn themselves in.


At the Futurist Club is a master hypnotist, the Thought Terror, who "has formed a secret cult to foretell the future". A man asks him to interpret his future and is told that he will become drunk and then walk into a street and be hit by a car. The man, hypnotized, believes himself to be drunk, and is nearly run down by a car, were it not for Carter saving him.

Back at the Futurist Club, the driver of the car that nearly struck the man reports to the Thought Terror that he failed to kill the hypnotized man. The Thought Terror reveals their scheme: "At one hundred dollars a question about the future, I shall soon be wealthy! If those fools only knew I merely hypnotize them into doing something, and make them do the thing I tell them to do, and predict that to happen!"

Back at Carter's home, Carter is suspicious of the fortune teller the man told him about. He knows that no man can predict the future, so he surmises that the man must be a powerful hypnotist, instead. Investigating, Hawkman finds his theory confirmed. He intends to attack the Thought Terror, looking in his shield like Perseus to prevent his being hypnotized, but he is captured by the hypnotist's henchmen before he has the chance.

Shiera, learning the next morning that Carter has not returned to his home, goes out in search of him. Hawkman, in a basement dungeon, spots Shiera outside, and uses the sun's reflection off his shield to signal her in Morse code, explaining the situation and asking her to bring a blowtorch. The Thought Terror then arrives and takes his shield, telling Hawkman that he'll let him starve to death in his cell. The message has already been sent, however, and Shiera returns that night with the blowtorch. Hawkman tells her to wait in the car and uses the blowtorch to remove his cell door.

Hawkman escapes, retrieves his shield, and takes on the Thought Terror. The hypnotist commands Hawkman: "You are harmless! Docile as a kitten . . . you're an idiot . . . an idiot!". Seeing his reflection in the shield, though, the hypnotist follows his own commands, and so is neutralized.