CSS Form Submit Button Css3Menu.com

 

You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 301-329 > Issue 322

Issue Number: 322
Published: December 1984
Cover Artists: Eduardo Barreto
Writer: Dan Mishkin
Pencils: Don Heck
Inker: Rick Magyar
Letterer: Phil Felix
Colourist: Nansi Hoolahan
Editor: Alan Gold
Story Title: Bid Time Return!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Sofia Constantinas Major Steve Trevor
Hippolyta Eros The Gremlin
(Glitch)
Gardner Grayle Aphrodite Paula
General Darnell Senator Covington Lisa Abernathy
Eloise Abernathy Etta Candy Michelle
Mark Kevin  

Cover of Issue 322

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

They story opens on Science Island, located next to the Amazon's home of Paradise Island. As Steve, Sofia, Eros and Queen Hippolyta look on, Diana sits plugged into the memory chair replaying the tapes kept hidden from her all this time. Tears of sadness and anger roll down her face as she relives her life with Steve, his death at the hands of Doctor Cyber (issue 180), her time spent with I Ching when she renounced her Amazon powers, her subsequent return to Paradise Island and her encounter with the second Steve, only to lose him again to the Dark Commander (issue 248). 

Removing the helmet, Wonder Woman turns on her mother, saying that while Hippolyta’s stated motive was to spare her daughter the pain of grief, it also served to deny her the joy of love as well. And to be honest, she feels that may have been Hippolyta's motive all along! Hippolyta denies this, telling Diana that she always had her daughter's best interests at heart. Diana had been so troubled and the Goddess of Love herself had approved her plan. But Diana throws the helmet away in disgust and cries that Hippolyta had no right and that her memories...her tragedies are hers to confront and lay to rest as best she can! She also now remembers how her mother seemed to fear her love for Steve right from the very start, begrudging Diana her happiness because her own love went wrong in ages past. It is no wonder that Atalanta and the other Amazons who left her rule felt suffocated by it!

Eros then interjects, adding that Hippolyta's disapproval nearly stifled his love for her daughter when he had been Steve Trevor. On hearing this, Steve suddenly steps between them all saying that he has heard enough about how he died and came back to life and how this so called God of Love thinks he is the "real" Steve Trevor! He just wants to know if he himself is Steve Trevor or not? Hippolyta replies that he is but that he is not the only one. Seeing his confused expression, she goes on to explain that the first Steve Trevor is twice dead and gone and that he is not either of them. Although few mortals know it, there are Earths beside their own...parallel worlds that duplicate this one and yet are filled with striking differences. She then tells Steve that he came from such a world when fate or Gods or cosmic chance had caused his experimental aircraft to pierce the veil between dimensions and crash land off the coast of Paradise Island, just as his namesake had done years earlier.

Wonder Woman is caught between competing lovers! Steve asks why he never noticed any difference between the two Earths? Hippolyta replies that all his memories were altered by the Mists of Nepenthe. She then adds that in retrospect, her willingness to toy with minds  does seem capricious. Wonder Woman spits that it is unforgivable and advances on Hippolyta but Steve grabs her arm and pulls her away, telling mother and daughter not to "go at it again!". Eros then grabs Diana's other arm and reaffirms that he is, or at least was, Steve Trevor and that the Amazon Princess is his lover...

Meanwhile at STAR Labs in Washington, the gremlin sits atop a deep space Radio Antenna mulling over his findings. Having double checked, there is no mistaking that the transmission he picked up earlier said that the Ytirflirks have found the space ship that the gremlins stole and are now after him. His only hope is that Steve and Wonder Woman can come up with a plan to save him. He leaps off the dish and rushes off to the Pentagon and his racing form is momentarily spied by a man looking out of one of the office windows. The man, named Gardner Grayle, does a double take, not sure if he has really seen a small imp like creature scurrying away, but decides it is probably his imagination! He turns back to his computer screen and mulls over the information contained within. A normal human brain could never have made sense of that signal from space. But his is not a normal brain since he volunteered to be the army's guinea pig. So to him, the meaning of the transmission is clear enough. There is an alien star ship headed towards earth and because it is within his power he has to find out what that will mean for the planet's future. He sees a vision of a world in turmoil, where cities have been destroyed by nuclear weapons and recoils away from the screen in horror. He cries out that he will not let it happen and that he must warn people. But just then a woman materialises in front of his eyes and tells him that his warning will count for nothing. He asks her who she is and she replies that she is a prophet like him, whom men will never believe...

Back on Paradise Island in the Temple of Aphrodite, Hippolyta tells a watching Diana and Sofia that if only her past deeds could be as easily recalled as Diana's memories, but she can still try and make amends by helping to fill in the gaps that remain. If Eros will not speak plainly then perhaps his mother, the Goddess of Love, will provide the answers they seek. She then summons a vision of Aphrodite who responds that they will have the explanation that is their due, but first she asks them to turn back her mind to when her Godly powers restored the first Steve Trevor to life. They accepted without question Aphrodite's ability to raise the dead but even for a Goddess such a task is nigh impossible. She had achieved it because Steve's mortal form could only be animated by melding his spirit with the hardy life force of a god...Eros...her son. It was that life force that was stolen by the Dark Commander causing Steve to die a second time. However, the villain himself had been destroyed at the very same moment which meant that Eros's spirit was scattered with the winds. When it was reformed her son had become quite mad and for his own good she had placed him in a twilight state from which he only recently awakened. Mulling this over, Wonder Woman realises that even after all this time he imagines there is still a romance between them both.

Suddenly, they hear an explosion coming from Science Island where they had left Steve and Eros. The two men face off to each other, with Eros telling Steve he is an impostor who wants to steal his lover away. Eros bellows "You shall not have her! You shall not live to have her!" and lunges at Steve who picks up a piece of debris to protect himself. He manages to throw Eros over him saying that the God cannot tell people whom to love or beat up the "other guy". An enraged Eros tells him he has gone too far this time and Steve realises he is no match for him. He decides to use Eros's blind rage to his advantage, and runs off chased by the God. As Eros closes in Steve uses a telepathic command to summon the invisible plane which bowls the God over. But Eros quickly gets back to his feet and tells Steve to witness true power in all its majesty. He then begins to increase in size before Steve's eyes and the now giant Eros grabs the plane as it is a toy. He then raises his foot intending to squash Steve but before he can stamp down he is pounded by Wonder Woman who streaks from nowhere.

Nearby in the ruined remains of the science laboratory, Paula comes too from her daze having been caught unawares by the flying rubble from Eros's earlier rampage. She gets up to check what other damage may have been caused and is horrified to see the Purple Healing Ray beginning to overload....

Elsewhere at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., General Darnell is speaking with Keith Griggs about the congressional hearing. The General tells Keith that Senator Covington is out for blood and will not stop until he has dismantled their operation. Keith asks how Darnell proposes to stop him and the General replies that they must demonstrate their abilities in a way that Congress cannot ignore, like the Tropidor situation for example. Keith feels that might be a little rash so Darnell asks him and him alone to come up with something else as equally bold and decisive. Keith realises Darnell is freezing Colonel Trevor and Major Prince out.

Outside on the window ledge, the little gremlin watches proceedings having come here to locate Steve. He watches as the two men wrap up their conversation and welcome Lisa Abernathy into the room. Keith tells her that Darnell has been looking forward to meeting her so he can give her a background briefing and help her understand their side of the issues. She then tells her daughter, Eloise, to wait outside while she conducts the interview. As she listens to her mother though, Eloise suddenly sees the gremlin scurry across the room and out of Darnell's office. Distracted momentarily, Eloise has to remind herself to acknowledge her mother but once the door closes, she tells Etta who is busy typing that she needs to get some water and that she will be back in a minute.

Once out in the corridor, she wonders whether perhaps she had been seeing things but immediately spots the little creature walking down the passageway between Pentagon Personnel completely oblivious to his existence. She runs after him calling out "You...Smurf or whatever you are! Stop!" . The startled gremlin turns on hearing this, unsure how the girl is able to see him?

Back on Science Island, Wonder Woman crouches on the shoulder of the giant Eros, telling him that he is deranged and desperately needs help. But he bellows "No!" and grabs her in his hand. He tells her that if she chooses to take Steve's side, she will force him to inflict the same fate upon her too! She can either love Eros...and the fighting ends - or she can reject him and the Amazons will be destroyed!

Meanwhile in the rubble of the laboratory, Paula hears his words and thinks to herself that the they may already be doomed! The power source of the Purple Healing Ray is overloading and she is too weak to disarm it herself! But as Eros lifts the struggling Wonder Woman high in the air he hears the sound of hooves and looks down to see Hippolyta in full battle gear leading her Amazon warriors along with Sofia. The queen orders an attack and the distraction allows Wonder Woman the opportunity to break free from his grasp. As he tries to kick away the mounted Amazons surrounding him, he rants that all womankind has turned against him now! The Amazon Princess can see in his eyes that he has no longer able to keep his madness in check and is becoming even more dangerous. He uses his fists to pound a nearby building, warning them that if they will not love him then they will fear him. Wonder Woman tells him to cease the senseless violence as she uses her lasso to snare the tumbling debris before it lands on the Amazons below.

Just then Wonder Woman hears Paula cry out for her, warning that she must forget about Eros and help her deactivate the Purple Healing Ray. Diana ruses down to where the Chief Scientist lays just as the Ray finally discharges its pent up power. Wonder Woman only just manages to avoid the lethal beam which burns like the sun and would have instantly melted her! She watches in horror as the beam blasts across the water and strikes Paradise Island itself. She swiftly removes her tiara and uses it to cut through the power coupling, disabling the beam but Paula looks at where smoke billows up from their Amazon home land, now covered with fires.

Wonder Woman then sees Eros pick Steve up in his hand and she demands for the God to let him go. He smiles and replies "If that is your desire..." before opening his hand. Diana watches in horror as Steve plummets from a great height before landing with a heavy thud on the ground. She races over to where he lays, having twice before seen a man named Steve Trevor die before her eyes and fearing that the same fatal scene has just been repeated for the third and final time! She cradles his lifeless form in her arms, yelling that Eros is a murderer and that she will never be his lover! As the God of Love shrinks back down to his normal size once more  he tells her it matters not what she says or feels because the seed of passion can be planted anywhere he chooses! With that he lifts his bow and takes aim at her as she advances toward him. But she uses her bracelets to deflect his arrow, saying that women were not made for men or gods to walk all over! He cannot believe she has rejected his love and fires more arrows as she closes in on him, each being deflected as before until she finally slaps the bow out of his hand!

Meanwhile Sofia leans over Steve and tells Hippolyta that he is still alive, though just barely. The queen lifts him into her arms and quickly carries him over to the Purple Healing Ray. Though badly damaged and without its power source, the ray may yet serve one last purpose as she prepares to bring together the two ends of the severed power cable. She prays that the auxiliary power line is up to the strain and that she can just maintain the contact for long enough...

Outside, Wonder Woman grapples with Eros, realising that he is winning and that even her Goddess given strength may not be enough against a true God. Suddenly though, Eros hears Steve groan and turns to see that his rival is not dead after all. He breaks away from his struggle with the Amazon Princess and races over to where Steve lays, intent on finishing the job this time. But as she leans into the glow of the Purple Healing Ray enveloping Steve he suddenly freezes. Hippolyta explains to a puzzled Sofia that the Ray has reached into the mad God's mind and if the fates are with them, it will eradicate the source of his insanity by extracting the memories of the first Steve Trevor.

As Wonder Woman rushes over she is delighted to see a smiling Steve get to his feet. He assures her he is alright...more than she can imagine. She asks him what he means by that and an equally smiling Eros explains that all the mortal memories of the Steve she knew before...the memories of the man who lived and died loving her and whose life he had shared, now belong to this Steve! He then apologises for the damage that he has caused and Hippolyta assures him that the Amazons can rebuild. Turning to her daughter, she adds that together they can restore all to what it once was. But Wonder Woman replies "No" and says that the bond between the two of them that Hippolyta severed along with her trust will not be healed by glue or mortar. The queen can rebuild Paradise Island by herself because Diana no longer considers it her home...

And hundreds of miles to the North West, Eloise and the gremlin peer round the corner of some changing rooms next to an outside swimming pool, where Eloise sees three of her school friends enjoying themselves in the water. She catches their attention and as they make their over she discreetly introduces them to her new friend. They are amazed by the little creature and are even more surprised when he speaks. Eloise explains to them that he is from outer space and that their voices cannot pronounce is real name, so she calls him "Glitch"! She then goes on to say that they have to help him because some really mean aliens are after him and maybe even the whole planet!

Diana cannot fogive her mother for her actions... As the children take in this information, elsewhere on Science Island sorrowful Hippolyta says to her daughter that Diana cannot mean to leave them forever. Wonder Woman replies that perhaps not forever, as this place has been a refuge since she first ventured out into Man's World. But now she feels as much a stranger here as she ever has among the mortals. For though the world of men is flawed and hostile, she has seen too much and loved too much of it to be satisfied with Paradise again! Hippolyta responds that she raised her daughters to have independent spirits and it seems she has done her job. She regrets interfering with her daughter's life the way that she did, but she did it only out of love. If the Amazon queen is hoping for some sign of forgiveness from her daughter the she is disappointed for Diana simply replies that yes, Hippolyta should not have interfered!

As Steve waits onboard the invisible plane, he asks Sofia whether she is returning with them back to Man's World? She replies that after she learned what Hippolyta had done and the whole time she had been trying to reach Wonder Woman with the information, she thought that Amazon society was not really any better than the one she fought against as part of the radical underground. But she was mistaken and as she watches Diana join Steve onboard the plane, she continues that Wonder Woman was right to bring her here to learn about the ways of love, peace and truth...and this is where she will be staying.

As Sofia stands by Hippolyta's side, Wonder Woman hopes the Goddesses look favourably upon them all and the  paths that each of them has chosen today. She bids them farewell and as the plane lifts off into the sky, Hippolyta sheds tears and comforted by Sofia, whispers softly "Oh child of my heart...farewell."

The story closes with a quote from Shakespeare's Richard III, (act 3, scene 2):

"One day too late, I fear me, noble Lord, hath clouded all thy happy days on Earth. Oh, call back yesterday, bid time return...!"

To be continued...

previous issueBack to GalleryBack to TimelineBack to AppearancesNext Issue