Over the corpse of finally-dead Phillips, the Shield explains the dying reference to a Suicide Club.
|I'll be you a thousand Oreos he learned that from the Hangman.|
Naturally, the Shield, being an FBI agent, calls the local police to come pick up the body.
|"Hey, Dusty, I have an idea; d'ja ever see Weekend At Bernie's...?"|
Oh. Um. Okay. Maybe they don't call the local police to pick up the body. They just drive away with a corpse casually tucked in in between them. After all, it is an isolated outdoor locale, where decomposition could set in pretty quickly. Maybe they drive it to the closest constabulary. Maybe they--
Well, there's something you don't read every day: to their apartment. Not even to the Shield Cave, where the Shield underwent his innervation process and they could just lay the corpse on the Table of Pain & Pleasure. Nope; to their apartment.
|I suppose the landlady is used to that sort of thing: |
"Huh; usually that's how they look when they LEAVE!"
Joe props the corpse up for an impromptu reverse mortuary cosmetology lesson.
Apparently while obtaining a Ph.D. in chemistry (forgot that, didn't you?), a FBI agent's license to kill, and superpowers, Joe ALSO became a master of disguise in his spare time (which Dusty, the boy detective, is somehow utterly unaware of).
"Gallopin' ghosts"? "Dead image"? You know, maybe sending Dusty to the Hangman for Christmas is the right thing to do, because the boy makes Alice Cooper look squeamish. If Dusty does have a last name, I'll bet it's "Addams".
|So, you think Joe had a suit identical to Phillip's lying around the apartment or is there currently a naked corpse sitting in his armchair at home?|
Against all odds, Joe has absolutely ZERO problem passing himself off as this dead guy, even among his work colleagues. My personal theory is that his "innervation" is a general energy field he can direct in any way he sees fit; say, to suddenly become a master of disguise or to cloud the perceptions of people who should clearly know that he's not Jim Phillips. That would make him a sort of Golden Age Martian Manhunter.
That's absurd, of course, but no more absurd that his getting away with it WITHOUT that being the case. Sure enough, his goal to pose as Phillips to find the Suicide Club produces swift results.
|Slink, slink, slink!|
Unlike Oliver Queen, Joe Higgins' infiltration plans work and he's immediately swept into the arms of the Suicide Club, with the Boy Detective trailing him.
|Masterful bluffing there, Joe. Learn that from Hoover?|
Joe-as-Phillips then does something that apparently has never occurred to any other member, despite it being universal and inviolable rule of any card play: he invokes the age-old right to Cut The Deck. Using his magical power of innervation, I guess, he rearranges the cards so that the President gets the card requiring him to serve as his murderer.
|"But... but... we'll have to get new signature cards on the Club's bank accounts now, and everything!"|
As Shield stories go, it's a clever, passive use of the Shield's most basic power: he's invulnerable, so he's DELIGHTED to put President Grigas in the awkward position of trying to kill him. We'll see how that goes...