Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 169


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 169

General Info

Issue No:
169
On Sale Date:
February 1967
Cover Date:
April 1967
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
Wonder Woman Battles the Crimson Centipede!
The Cage of Doom!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ross Andru, Mike Esposito
Writer:
Robert Kanigher
Penciller:
Ross Andru
Inker:
Mike Esposito
Letterer:
N/A
Colourist:
N/A
Editor:
Robert Kanigher

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor, General Darnell
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
The Crimson Centipede
Olympians:
Mars (Ares), Aphrodite
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Comments

Once again, Robert Kanigher attempts to re-create the fantastical elements that made the Golden Age Wonder Woman stories what they were with yet another bizarre villain.

Synopsis - First Story

In Mount Olympus, Aphrodite and Mars continue their eternal debate. The Goddess of Love tells the God of War that despite all the wars his men have waged, there is no one equal to her Wonder Woman in combating crime and injustice. Mars replies that his latest creation – the Crimson Centipede – will utterly destroy her Amazon with all the powers he has bestowed on the new villain.

Down on Man’s World Diana Prince is walking home from work when Steve Trevor pulls up beside her in his jeep and offers her a lift home. She agrees but as they pass a Bank a few minutes later they hear gun shots. They realise a robbery is in progress as they see the Crimson Centipede emerge with bags of money. Diana desperately wonders how she can transform into her alter ego without Steve seeing.

Steve decides to take matters into his own hands though and leaps out of the jeep to confront the villain. But the multi armed Centipede knocks the Colonel flat. Using the distraction to her advantage, Diana transforms into Wonder Woman and launches herself at the Crimson Centipede who tells her it is about time they finally met.

His many fists beat upon Wonder Woman sending her flying as he sneers that she does not stand a chance. Lying momentarily dazed on the floor, she swiftly unhooks her lasso from her belt and prepares to loop it around her foe. But to the Amazon’s surprise he brushes the golden rope aside effortlessly and makes a very swift getaway with the money before Wonder Woman can even get back on her feet.

From high above, Mars smiles and tells Aphrodite that Wonder Woman has finally met her match. The Goddesses of Love replies that the Amazon Princess had merely been taken by surprise and that next time the outcome will be different.

Below, Wonder Woman rushes over to where Steve still lays dazed to check of he is alright. The onlookers standing around begin to murmur amongst themselves that Wonder Woman had been easily beaten by the Crimson Centipede. The Amazon hears the whispers and realises everyone is wondering what will happen when next she confronts the villain. She too wonders what the outcome will be.

Suddenly she hears alarm bells ringing from a window high above and sees the Crimson Centipede sure footedly making his way up the side of a building. She uses her lasso to swing up to where the villain is making good his escape. He anticipates her move though and uses his many feet to whirl against her like hammer blows until she loses her grip on the golden rope and plummets helplessly towards the street below.

She desperately tries to get a hand hold before she falls to her death and frantically her torn fingers seize a brick in her headlong fall. She struggles to hold on as the Crimson Centipede disappears out of view. The battered Amazon realises her foe is the mightiest threat she has ever faced. How can she possibly defeat him?

Above, Mars smiles smugly and gloats that his Crimson Centipede has made a mockery of Wonder Woman. Aphrodite responds that although the villain has hurt her, she has not given up yet because she is an Amazon!

Back on Earth, Wonder Woman laboriously climbs down the face of the building until she reaches street level. She muses to herself that while he has beaten her the two times they have met he has not yet won the war between them. However, the downcast onlookers around her think differently, whispering that Wonder Woman has met her match and that she has no chance against this new menace. The Crimson Centipede will quickly become the King Pin of crime and she will not be able to stop him.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Centipede, as an emissary of Mars, has not use for money and gives his haul away to members of the Underworld. He tells them to spread crime and chaos everywhere as the two Gods watch from the Heavens. Mars tells Aphrodite that Wonder Woman cannot fight crime and injustice until she has done the impossible – beaten his Crimson Centipede! The Goddess replies that Diana is an Amazon and she will never give up.

However, even Steve is affected by the Amazon’s encounters with the new villain and tells the Amazon Princess that while he is around her crime fighting career is finished. She may as well hand in the towel and marry him! She replies that she cannot give up! Later that night she prays to Aphrodite not to forsake her. She begs for help in her battle against the Crimson Centipede. Surely the Goddess of Love wanted the Amazon Princess here in Man’s World to fight crime and injustice. Aphrodite’s heart goes out to the lone Amazon but Mats reminds her that the Law forbids her from helping Wonder Woman. Aphrodite says that she is aware of the rules.

The next day Wonder Woman is walking down the street and her heart tells her that she is going to encounter the Crimson Centipede again today. This third confrontation will be last whichever way it turns out. Unknown to the Amazon meanwhile, Steve watches over her. He wants to help her when next she meets the new villain.

Shortly, Wonder Woman spots the Crimson Centipede robbing an armoured truck by a demolition site. She swiftly unhooks her lasso and ensnares the bag of cash he holds in his hands, whipping it away. He turns and tells her she has made a fatal mistake trying to stop him. He the proceeds to pummel Wonder Woman, as she desperately attempts to stem the flood of fists hurtling her way. She is slowly beaten back and knows she cannot take much more. But the villain makes a mistake by ceasing the pounding the instead producing a myriad of guns in his hands. He opens fire with all of them and with a dazzling display of skill Wonder Woman uses her bracelets to protect herself, grateful for the respite from her beating.

For the first time the Crimson Centipede becomes frustrated as he realises that while she wears the magic bracelets his bullets will not get past her. At that precise moment Wonder Woman momentarily turns to see Steve racing to her. A bullet strikes the distracted Amazon’s head a glancing blow and knocks her out.

Crimson Centipede sees his chance and quickly removes the bracelets from the motionless Wonder Woman so that next time he opens fire she will not stand a chance. But as she opens her eyes she lets out a terrible cry as she realises her bracelets of submission have been taken from her. Enraged, all her mighty powers are unleashed as she begins to pummel the surprised Crimson Centipede. The villain is knocked flying by the fury of the Amazon Princess and pleads for Mars to help him!

But against Wonder Woman’s runaway force he is unable to counter her blows and is beaten unconscious. But this does not stop the Amazon’s rage and she begins to tear down the nearby derelict building too. Steve realises he needs to get the bracelets back on her and picks them up from where they lay by the motionless Crimson Centipede’s side. As the wild eyed Wonder Woman charges at Steve he holds the bracelets out in front of him. Steve’s aim is true as the Amazon’s out stretched hands slide into the bracelets. Instantly the madness leaves her and she thanks Steve for his help.

Above, Mars rages that he had been certain his Crimson Centipede would destroy Wonder Woman. He will just have to try again. Aphrodite smiles back and replies that if he does, her hopes and prayers will still go out to her Amazon, whose mission to battle crime and injustice in Mars’ world of men!

Synopsis - Second Story

One day Diana Prince overhears an argument at Military Intelligence HQ between General Darnell and Colonel Steve Trevor. Darnell tells Steve he loves Wonder Woman as much as Steve does and since she has not agreed to marry him yet he intends to court her! Steve replies that the General does not have a chance. Wonder Woman has only refrained from marrying him because she has not found a substitute to battle crime and injustice in her place. Diana smiles to herself that neither of them know Wonder Woman can hear this debate!

She enters the office and Darnell immediately asks her that as Wonder Woman’s best friend, what does she think of the General’s chances? Steve again states that Darnell has no chance and that she is blind to any man except Steve! Bristling at Steve’s conceitedness, she decides to teach him a lesson.

At that moment though, they suddenly see a helicopter in flames, plummeting from the sky. As the two officers look on in horror, the unobserved Diana transforms into Wonder Woman and leaps out of the window. She summons her robot plane and leaps onto its wing. She then guides it towards the falling chopper and uses her lasso to ensnare it. She uses her incredible strength to twirl the huge machine round and around in order to put out the flames. She then lowers the craft safely to the ground.

General Darnell yells up to her that he would like to take her out on a date as there is something urgent he has to tell her. As Steve casually tells him he is wasting his time, the Amazon Princess smiles down and agrees to the General’s request! An unfazed Steve responds that she is only going out with Darnell because she feels sorry for him and is too polite to say no! An unimpressed Wonder Woman tells him that he must think he is the only man in the world. She takes Darnell by the arm before adding that she is going out with the General because he is a very attractive man!

A little later at a Supper Club, Darnell and Wonder Woman are together on the dance floor. But just as the General asks her to marry him armed hoods burst in, ordering everyone to hand over their valuables. Instantly Wonder Woman hurls herself at the gangsters who open fire on her. As usual, she defends herself with her bracelets but one of the slugs rebounds at a crazy angle and strikes a glancing blow at the side of the Amazon’s head. She falls to the ground and the hoods see the opportunity of taking a prisoner. But General Darnell puts himself between the hoods and where Wonder Woman lays. He grapples with them as they try to take him down but one of the gang clouts the general unconscious with the handle of his revolver.

With both Wonder Woman and Darnell duly bound, the gang carry their prisoners into the car ands take them to their hideout. There, they place the two captives inside a cage where a Lion has been chained to one of the bars. They then send a ransom note to Military Intelligence HQ and ironically it is Steve who is the first to read it. He sees an opportunity to rescue his Angel and General Darnell, thereby proving his love and making her look up to him instead of Darnell. He decides to tackle the hood’s stronghold alone and scales the walls surrounding the grounds of their hideout.

Meanwhile the prisoners come to and find themselves face to face with a ravenous Lion. A thug tells Wonder Woman that one move from either of them and he will let loose the wild cat. The Amazon Princess realises she cannot make a move without risking General Darnell’s life so she will just have to be patient and wait for her chance.

Not far away, Steve is decking a guard as she makes his way further into the grounds. But he is spotted by another two hoods who rush over to where he stands. However, Steve is prepared for their attack and duly takes them down too! He then stealthily makes his way to the cage and sees there is one guard by it. As he rushes forward though the guard reacts by releasing the Lion.

It bounds towards where Darnell lays but Wonder Woman leaps to her feet and grapples with the powerful animal. She uses her feet to bend two of the bars apart and orders Darnell to get away while he can. He tells her he will not leave her to fight the beast alone but she effortlessly punches the Lion, sending it flying across the cage before leading Darnell out through the opening. She tells him he does not have to prove to her he is a brave man. He has done it more than once.

On hearing these words, Steve thinks to himself that he has lost her to Darnell as she would not say something like that unless she really cared for the General. Momentarily distracted, he is clouted unconscious by the thug while Wonder Woman ploughs into the remaining gang members, sending them sprawling. With the gang subdued, General Darnel witnesses a revealing sight as the Amazon Princess rushes over to where Steve lays. Tears fall down her cheeks as she holds the lifeless Steve in her hands. She sobs that she will never forgive herself if anything has happened to Steve and it is all her fault for trying to teach him a lesson. The watching Darnell realises that Wonder Woman really loves Steve and that he will have to keep his love for her locked up inside his heart!

As Steve comes to he smiles up at her beautiful face and says that he will never take her for granted again. She smiles back and replies that she will never go out with any one else…unless she cannot help herself!