Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 170


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 170

General Info

Issue No:
170
On Sale Date:
March 1967
Cover Date:
May-June 1967
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
The Haunted Amazon!
Wonder Woman - Gorilla!

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:
Doctor Pyscho
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta
Other:
N/A
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Comments

More retro Golden Age weirdness as we see Wonder Woman transformed into a Gorilla of all things!

Synopsis - First Story

Returning home from a mission in Latin America, Colonel Steve Trevor is in a happy mood as he looks forward to seeing Wonder Woman soon. Suddenly though, his plane goes into a nose dive and he realises he is going to crash!

A while later at Military Intelligence HQ Diana Prince reels at the news that the wreckage of Steve’s plane has been found in the mountains. Unwilling to believe Steve is dead, she races out and swiftly transforms into Wonder Woman. Boarding her invisible plane, she speeds to the crash site and spends the next few hours combing the area but can find no sign of Steve. Sobbing, she at last must resigns herself to the fact that Steve must have been killed in the explosion.

Two days pass and The National Railroad celebrates its 100th Anniversary by sending an old steam train with a Gold Shipment to re-enact the glory days of the Gold Rush. As the train approaches a trestle bridge though a gang of hoods uses a laser beam to slice through the track on the bridge. As the train comes to a screeching halt they then use the beam to cut through the carriage that carries the bullion.

The train driver manages to radio a message for help and within minutes Wonder Woman arrives on the scene. The gang fire on her with the laser beam but she easily dodges their efforts before destroying the weapon. As the gang make a run to a waiting getaway car Wonder Woman sees that they are being led by a man in uniform. She seizes him and whirling him around is shocked to see that it is Steve!

Unknown to the Amazing Amazon however, two days earlier her arch foe Dr. Psycho had read of the death Steve’s death. He was pleased as meant Wonder Woman must be suffering with grief. When a hood request his services to do some cosmetic surgery to alter his face in order to avoid the attention of the police, Dr. Psycho sees an opportunity to get his ultimate revenge against the Amazon Princess. He gives the hood the face of Steve Trevor so that it will torment Wonder Woman whenever she tries to arrest him!

And so the stunned Wonder Woman hesitates, unable to bring herself to arrest her lover. The false Steve uses her faltering to set off some explosives he has hidden in a nearby Fireworks factory. She immediately rushes to save the workers from a potential disaster as the hood uses the distraction to make his getaway. The Amazon orders the employees to evacuate before she hefts the entire burning building high up into the upper atmosphere where the lack of oxygen snuffs out the flames. She catches the building as it falls back to earth and places it back on the ground intact.

With the emergency over she has a chance to take stock of recent events and realises that the eyes and voice of the Steve she had met were different. He must have been a criminal posing as Steve and she has let him escape! When she makes a report to the police chief he sympathises with her but adds that she had let her feelings interfere with her sworn duty to fight crime! If it happens again her value as a force for good is finished. She knows he speaks the truth and thinks to herself that if it does happen again someone else from Paradise Island will have to replace her as Wonder Woman!

Sometime later the Amazon Princess attends the launching of a new ship that will carry foreign aid to a needy European Country. She informs the watching crowd that an armoured truck will shortly arrive carrying thousands of dollars. But as the vehicle approaches a wrecking crane suddenly moves from its waterfront garage and knocks over the truck, causing the doors to fly open. As Wonder Woman races to intervene she sees it is the same gang as before led by the false Steve! As he tries to use the wrecking ball to send her flying she protects herself and smashes it into pieces. The gang makes a run for it but she decks them, leaving just the false Steve to confront. As she raises her fist though she is again torn by her feelings for Steve even though her head knows this man is an impostor.

Again, the cunning bandit takes advantage of Wonder Woman’s hesitation and launches three missiles he had pre-prepared. The Amazon Princess watches in horror as they arc up into the sky and head towards ships anchored out in the bay. She is forced to handle the danger leaving the hood to make his escape again. She leaps onto one of the missiles and uses her lasso to grab a second. She pulls it towards the third as she steers the one she rides in the same direction. At the last moment she leaps clear as the three warheads collide and detonate harmlessly in the sky.

Later she informs the Police Chief that under the circumstances it would be best if she retires from crime fighting and a short while later in her apartment, she sadly removes the costume which has won her the respect of the world. She thinks to herself that she will never wear it again. A new Wonder Woman will have to be chosen – one who will not be hampered by the memory of a dead sweet heart’s face. As she looks at a photograph of Steve she sheds a tear and laments how she has failed everybody…

People across the world sympathise with the Amazon’s plight except at Dr. Psycho’s hideout. He is delighted to read that he has at last beaten Wonder Woman and she will never bother him again.

Shortly at Military Intelligence HQ, Diana in her guise as Captain Prince is visited by General Darnell. He tells her that Latin America has sent them one of its priceless treasures in tribute to Colonel Trevor’s mission there. Since she and Steve had been friends Darnell would like Diana at the dedication service in the State Museum. She thanks him for the offer and decides that after the ceremony she will take her costume back to Paradise Island so that the newly elected Wonder Woman can wear it.

Later at the museum, she and Darnell watch the dedication ceremony as an Ancient Aztec Statue of a Jaguar carved in gold is revealed. Suddenly the building shudders as a giant metal fist smashes a hole in the external wall. Through the hole they see the false Steve and his gang preparing to steal the statue. Diana is enraged that he would dare steal a gift that was to honour her lover. At last her head is cleared of all doubts and she realises that she has been made to look a fool just because he looks like Steve. He is in fact nothing more than a criminal!

In the ensuing confusion of the heist, Diana slips away unnoticed and dons the costume that she has brought with her. Seeing Wonder Woman appear from nowhere, General Darnell says that he thought she had retired. She replies that she had but now she is back to stay! The gang try to stop her by using the huge metal hand to grab her. In response, Wonder Woman begins to spin around rapidly. Furious as a Typhoon the Amazon rips the device apart and pile drives into the gang. The false Steve makes a run for it and as Wonder Woman gives chase she sees him board a getaway jet parked outside. She quickly summons her own robot plane and takes off in hot pursuit.

The hood realises that try as he might he cannot lose her from his tail. Just the he notices that they are coming up on the very same mountain range where Steve Trevor’s plane had crashed. The hood has an idea that his only chance of escaping Wonder Woman is to really become Steve Trevor. As his plane crosses over the mountain range he sends it crashing down to earth, parachuting out at the last minute. His hopes his black chute will not be noticed against the dark mountains. He can then drift down without being spotted by Wonder Woman. She will no doubt be too busy watching his plane go down in flames.

His plan seems to work as the Amazon Princess sees the hoods craft crash into the ground. She thinks how strange fate is that the crook who looked like Stave met his death just like Steve and in the same spot! Meanwhile, having hidden his chute, the crook dirties his uniform and emerges into the open so that Wonder Woman will spot him. She sees him waving his arms and is overjoyed, believing it to be the real Steve Trevor! She touches down and raves over to him, arms outstretched. He tells her that he is a hard man to kill and had managed to escape from the plane before it crashed. He had been stuck inside a crevasse all this time and only just managed to climb out.

She hugs him and he thinks to himself how stupid the Amazon is. She will probably take him back to the hospital for rest and then he can sneak out and have Dr. Psycho give him another face. Suddenly though another voice is heard calling for help. Wonder Woman turns to the crevasse, thinking how the voice sounds somehow familiar. She rushes to the ridge and looks down to see Steve stuck at the bottom. She uses her lasso to pull him out as he explains how he had escaped before the crash but had drifted into the crevasse. His head had slammed into a rock and he must have been unconscious when search parties were looking for him.

Steve sees his doppelganger and asks who he is. The false Steve asks the same question and Wonder Woman looks back and to between the two Steves, unsure who is the real one. Suddenly, a bear emerges from nowhere and the real Steve instinctively pushes Wonder Woman to safety. In that instant she knows who is the real Steve Trevor. She gets to her feet and hurls the attacking bear out of the way before turning towards the advancing hood. But Steve decks him, vowing that he will never let anyone harm her.

The next day a furious Dr. Psycho reads the headlines of the paper, which describe how Steve has returned from the dead and that as a result Wonder Woman will be remaining here in Man’s World to fight crime.

On a Park bench under a moonlit sky, Steve and Wonder Woman hold each others hands. He tells her that while he was alone on the mountain the one thing that kept him alive was the thought of seeing her. She replies that it is wonderful to have him here instead of merely being haunted by him.

Synopsis - Second Story

On Paradise Island, Wonder Woman and her mother, Queen Hippolyta, watch the other Amazons joyfully engaged in competitive events as part of an annual Festival. The Amazon Queen says that none of them would be merry if they ever disobeyed Aphrodite’s strict law that no Man may set foot on the island. If this happened the Amazons would lose their powers and ultimately perish.

The mighty Amazon Princess decides to join her sisters and tells them they have five minutes to pin her shoulders to the ground. As they accept the challenge Wonder Woman uses her dazzling agility to dodge their attempts to grab her. She moves like lightning and uses her lasso to ensnare her laughing sisters who recognise that they have lost the challenge.

A little later on the other side of the island Wonder Woman prepares to take a dip in the cooling waters when she suddenly spots an alien craft approaching in the sky. The saucer touches down and she is staggered to see Gorillas in spacesuits disembarking! The lead creature tells her that they are from a highly civilised planet beyond the sun. But they are lonely and they have come here to take her back as his Queen! His other subjects will choose from the other Amazons. Wonder Woman realises she must get them off the island before the Amazons lose all their powers!

At first, the patient Amazon princess appeals to them. She begs them to leave or else they will cause the Amazons to suffer dire penalties caused by the visitors setting foot on the island. But the Gorillas laugh back at her and she resorts to force. She hurls herself at the leader and knocks him down but he instantly reacts by using his legs to juggle her in the air like a human ball! He kicks her clear and as she lands back on her feet she tells him she will never consent to be his queen.

Again she hurls herself at the invader, thinking to herself that she must prove herself stronger then him and force the Gorillas to leave the island. Time after time the valiant Amazon pits herself against the laughing space creature but her strength has no effect on him. He knocks her flying again and again and in desperation she uses her magic lasso on him. But to her consternation it has no effect on him and he simply yanks on it, pulling her over.

He then points a ray gun at her and zaps the helpless Amazon Princess. The strange beam transforms her into a Gorilla but when the leader sees the result of his handiwork he is not impressed. Before the beautiful Amazon Princess has looked unique – someone to treasure – but now she just looks like one of them. He had not crossed space for this! Wonder Woman suggests he changes her back and then he will not be disappointed. He agrees and using the beam on her again she is changed back to her normal gorgeous self.

Ingeniously, she then argues that nowhere in the world do unlikes share a throne. Since he does not like her as a Gorilla why does he not change himself into a man so they can be similar? He finds her idea appealing as it will make him unique on his home planet. He turns the ray gun on himself and as Wonder Woman watches his features change to that of a human being, she hopes her desperate plan will work before the Amazons are all doomed. As soon as the Gorilla has completed turning himself into a man she uses the lasso again and orders him to return in peace from whence he came and take his crew with him. He unable to refuse and turning himself back into a Gorilla he and his crew board their craft. He tells her he will never forget her beauty and she replies that while it is very sweet of him to say, fate had not meant for them to be together. She thanks hear as the craft lifts off and zooms away.

She returns to the Festival and her mother again thanks the Gods that no men have ever set foot on their island. She casually asks if her daughter has seen anything that might threaten the status quo and Wonder Woman replies that all is well on Paradise Island.