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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 301-329 > Issue 316

Issue Number: 316
Published: June 1984
Cover Artists: Eduardo Barreto
Writer: Dan Mishkin
Pencils: Don Heck
Inker: Don Heck
Letterer: Todd Klein
Colourist: Nansi Hoolahan
Editor: Alan Gold
Story Title: The Chaos Game!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Tezcatlipoca Major Keith Griggs
Captain Montez Sofia Constantinas Hippolyta
Paula Major Steve Trevor The Gremlin
Etta Candy Howard Huckaby  

Cover of Issue 316

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Wonder Woman confronts Tezcatlipoca, telling him that he has failed. His trickery could not keep her trapped in her Diana Prince form forever and his lies and deceptions could not break her spirit. So where is his mocking laugh now? To be honest, he is nothing more than a clever charlatan who is nothing without his magic mirrors. With that, she removes her golden tiara and sends it spinning across the room. It caroms off each mirror in perfect ricochet, sending shattering sounds throughout the hall. It echoes and reverberates unabated until Tezcatlipoca bellows "Enough!".

He tells Wonder Woman that the limits of her mortal brain cannot conceive such majesty as his and that her life is in his hands! He then lifts an arm and the shards of broken mirrors whip up into a mini tornado, encircling the Amazon Princess. She realises what he is planning to do and raises her arms in anticipation. The deadly fragments launch themselves at her but the Amazing Amazon has long since been adept at playing bullets and bracelets and this is no different. Tezcatlipoca watches her skills and mockingly applauds her efforts, calling for "more!" as if this is all some entertaining show for his amusement.

At his summoning, Amazon warriors emerge from mirrored doorways and advance towards the unarmed Amazon Princess with their swords drawn. Wonder Woman realises these are the same Amazons she and Keith had battled before and she wonders what strange power the Aztec God holds over them and who on earth are they? But for now her questions must wait as she prepares to do battle. She has no wish to harm these Amazon sisters but if her hand is forced she will fight for her life!

Elsewhere, Keith Griggs finds himself in the middle of the jungle and judging by the climate and the position of the sun, he reckons the mirror did not send him very far - probably somewhere in Central America. His concern is for Diana all alone in the hands of Tezcatlipoca and he wonders how on earth to get back and help her. Just then he hears a commotion up ahead in a clearing and peeking through the foliage he sees a man strapped down, surrounded by armed soldiers (just as in the image shown to Diana by Tezcatlipoca) . One of the men holds a knife and is telling the captive that their god will find him a pleasing offering. Keith guesses that these men are Guerrillas and their victim's uniform suggests he has ended up somewhere inside Tropidor. He decides he cannot let the poor guy die and hurls a stone. The men hear the noise it makes in the undergrowth and turn to scan the jungle around them. One of the men says it is probably an animal but the man with the knife is not prepared to take chances and orders his men to check the bush.

Keith watches from his hiding place as the other soldiers disappear from sight, remembering that the first thing they teach you in Spy School is to divide and conquer. He suddenly springs up and clouts the knife wielding man unconscious. The prisoner cries out a warning to Griggs who turns just in time to deck another soldier creeping up behind. Keith then frees the bound man who introduces himself as Captain Montez. Keith replies that they have no time for introductions and they need to get away before the others return. But they already here the shouts of the returning guerrillas who have heard the scuffle. Thinking quickly, Keith sees a vine lying on the ground just in front of the approaching soldiers and tells Montez to yank on it. The two guerrillas go sprawling and knock their heads on the ground. Montez thanks Keith for saving his life and asks him to help save more. He then explains that unless they reach the capital before the rebel battalion does - there will be such a blood bath as has been unknown since the Aztecs ruled!

The Amazons are suddenly freed from the Aztec God's spell... Back inside Tezcatlipoca's temple, Wonder Woman is blocking the swinging swords of the attacking Amazons. She pleads with them to avoid this bloodshed because they are Amazons - and their freedom was hard won! They cannot let Tezcatlipoca's magic steal it from them. She asks them to think of their heroic past and at that moment she has an idea. She removes her lasso and loops it around the door latch of the cage in which the Eagle watches from above. She has a hunch that perhaps it is it's imprisonment that hold her sisters in the mad God's thrall. She yanks the door open and the bird flies free at last. Instantly, the Amazons awake as if from a daydream wondering where they are and how they got here. Wonder Woman quickly tells them that they should put their minds at ease because although they do not know her, she too is an Amazon and she has rescued them from their common enemy. One of the female warriors suddenly shows recognition and says that of course - is she not Wonder Woman?

Tezcatlipoca sees the Amazon Princess's confusion at these words and laughs, adding that confusion is his name and within his smoky mirror is the realm of Chaos which he now unleashes upon the world with glee! Huge stone monsters then emerge from the mirrored walls and the Amazons prepare to defend themselves. As Wonder Woman punches the nearest creature she finds that they are like Aztec Statuary come to life - and nearly as mindless as stone as well. They are simply going wild with the madness of their creator and while they do not even put up much of a fight, they might trample the women in such an enclosed space. She leaps from the back of the monster whom she has been pounding and kicks open the door through which she had tried to enter earlier as Diana Prince. This time, she has her Amazon powers and the huge door flies off its hinges with ease.  Seeing their opportunity, the Amazons herd the creatures outside to continue the battle but Tezcatlipoca cares not, for he seizes the chance to grab Wonder Woman by her arms telling her he will "toy" with her no longer... 

As the power of chaos grows, turmoil stirs around the world - even on Paradise Island and nearby Science Island. Sofia, still trying to contact Diana using the Mental Radio, suddenly hears a noise outside and turns to see Hippolyta standing there. The queen wants to know what is going on as she can already see the obviously unconscious Chief Amazon Scientist, Paula, slumped in the memory chair. She demands that Sofia explain herself at once. For her part, the young girl tells Hippolyta not to use "that imperious tone with me" and that it will not work anymore. Not since she has learned the queen's treacherous secret. A bemused Hippolyta asks her what on earth she is talking about? Sofia responds that the queen cannot feign ignorance and that she knows how Hippolyta robbed Wonder Woman  - her own daughter - of her very memories! She continues that Diana does not remember that she loved Steve Trevor twice before and that he died for her and was brought back to life. She also knows that Hippolyta has done everything she can to deny her that love. An enraged Amazon queen spits "How dare you!" and cries out to summon guards but Sofia tells her not to waste her time. She says to Hippolyta that she has already plugged Paula into the chair but rather than record her memories, she has set the machine to disperse them forever. As Sofia makes good her escape she secretly hopes to herself that the Amazon queen does not try to call her bluff, because she could not really reset the machine even if she wanted to! Wanting to give chase to Sofia but unable to forsake a friend in danger, a frustrated and angry Hippolyta rushes over to the chair. As she unplugs Paula she asks herself if this is how Sofia repays Amazon hospitality?

Meanwhile in the skies above, the invisible jet approaches the island. The Mental Radio has suddenly gone dead and Steve tells the Gremlin that he is unable to pick up Sofia's message anymore. The Gremlin looks out of the window and replies that may well be the least of their problems, as a squadron of Amazon hangliders encircle the craft. The nearest Amazon pilot orders them to land the plane immediately or face attack...

At that moment in Tezcatlipoca's temple, the Aztec God tells Wonder Woman that she is clever and strong but still mortal after all. With a mighty swing he hurls her through the air at a terrific speed. She finds herself spinning out of control and realises she is heading straight towards the lethal solid stone wall of the Pyramid. She has one chance to position herself so that her bracelets take the impact as she slams into the structure. The sheer velocity takes her careening through chambers until at last coming to rest inside the artefacts room she and Keith had come upon earlier. Thankful to still be in one piece, she wonders to herself why these statues and carvings merit safekeeping inside the Pyramid? Perhaps they have hidden powers? Her eyes rest once more upon the strange small statue of Tezcatlipoca linked to a mortal. When she had tried to touch it before as Diana Prince she had received a jolt. She tries to grab it again but finds it is too hot to handle even with her Amazon powers. She unhooks her lasso instead and loops it around the figurine, hoping that the reason why it is so well protected is because it is important to her foe...

Back in Tropidor, Keith Griggs and Emilio Montez make their way quickly through the steamy jungle. Griggs asks Montez if all the rebels are like the ones he had saved the Captain from? Emilio replies that only some are members of the Aztec cult. It is rumoured that one of their leaders discovered strange and secret ruins, after which he then took on the aspect of a mad god! Just as Keith tells Emilio that it is not a  rumour but actual fact, the captain trips and falls. Keith helps him to his feet, saying that the man should rest. But Emilio replies that if Tezcatlipoca truly guides the rebellion his plans may reach to the global superpowers that stand behind each warring faction. If his madness spreads to them he will put the whole world at stake!

Several hundred miles away in a deserted corridor inside the Pentagon, Etta Candy makes her way towards the exit unaware that someone is approaching her from behind. She is startled as a hand is gently placed on her shoulder and spins around to see a man standing there. Scared, she asks him what he wants from her and why he has been following her? He reaches towards her, trying to reassure her that she should not be frightened and that his name is Howard Huckaby - from Senator Covington's staff. She moves back unsure of his motives and spills some items from her handbag. Howard apologises and kneels down to pick them up. He explains that he has not been following her as he has only just arrived here. He was supposed to check some of Darnell's Department files for the Intelligence Investigation and would have got here sooner but for the traffic. He would be really grateful however if she could let him into the office to see the files tonight. Etta is unsure at first but when he adds that they could perhaps go out for a pizza afterwards she thinks - what the heck!

Wonder Woman stands defiantly atop the Pyramid challenging Tezcatlipoca! Elsewhere in the sunlit realm of ancient Aztec glory, Wonder Woman stands at the top of the Pyramid holding aloft the statue, now tightly coiled in her lasso. She shouts down to Tezcatlipoca, challenging him and showing him what she holds in her hands. He responds that he does indeed see what she possesses and as she has surely guessed by now, it is the means of his destruction. Wonder Woman is taken aback by his frank admittance of this fact. Perhaps this is more trickery and maybe he knows she has actually guessed wrongly about the importance of the statue? But then again, perhaps he means to instill the very doubts she is having now and she decides to go with her first instincts. She throws the end of the lasso away and the statue unravels from its coils and plummets to the ground, shattering into pieces. At once,  Tezcatlipoca lets out a roar of pain and cries out "I'm beaten!", but then abruptly his cries turn to laughter and he adds "...but I am not defeated!". As his body falls to the ground his ghostly apparition rises up from where it lays and he tells Wonder Woman that she has succeeded in separating him from his mortal host - but that is all! And though he must now quit this plane of existence he is still the victor. The seed of madness has been planted and it will bear the fruit of chaos!

Simultaneously in the country known as Tropidor, Keith Griggs and Emilio Montez have managed to warn the government troops of the rebels impending advance, but as yet they have seen no sign of the enemy from their defensive positions. The commander asks whether their information is indeed correct and if in answer Montez points down the road where a troop truck followed by guerrilla infantry men make their way along. At the same moment as the government troops open fire and a fierce gun fight takes place, Tezcatlipoca continues to tell Wonder Woman that he holds the key to that secret corner of the mind that revels in discord and disarray. He need unlock that place in but a few and then they will work his way upon their fellow men! For it matters not who wins or loses any single battle...so long as the day of final chaos is brought closer to hand!

And with that he fades from view, his laughter still lingering in the air. His monsters also depart leaving the battling Amazons to finally lay down their arms. Wonder Woman drifts down to the ground with some questions for her newly found Amazon sisters. But as she touches down in front of them they exclaim "Artemis! Is it really you?". A surprised Diana wonders how they could have known about Artemis, the ancient Wonder Woman? The Amazons then add that they are surprised to see her here because Hippolyta had told them that Artemis was dead...but then again the queen has lied to them before! On hearing all of this, Diana is even more confused and decides it is time to get to the bottom of this. Just who are these Amazons?

To be continued...

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