Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 181


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 181

General Info

Issue No:
181
On Sale Date:
January 1969
Cover Date:
March - April 1969
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
The Wrath of Dr. Cyber!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Mike Sekowsky, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Dennis O'Neil
Penciller:
Mike Sekowsky
Inker:
Dick Giordano
Letterer:
John Duffy
Colourist:
N/A
Editor:
Robert Kanigher

Characters

Main:
Diana Prince, I Ching
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Doctor Cyber
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Raphael, Tim Trench
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Comments

In this issue Diana moves ever more away from her “Wonder Woman” roots as she equips herself with some gadgets, much like a female James Bond!

Synopsis

Having captured one of Cyber’s female goons, the Amazon Princess and I Ching head back to Diana’s apartment where the Chinese man intends to interrogate their uncooperative prisoner using hypnosis. Diana is impatient for answers, knowing that Tim is in danger but Ching tells her that this needs to be done slowly and carefully if they are to break down the girl’s conditioning.

Laying her on the couch, Ching tells the girl to relax and unable to wait and watch the delicate process, Diana decides to go out for a walk. She makes her way to a run down neighbourhood, thinking to herself that she needs some insurance in case Ching’s methods fail. She knocks on a door and is greeted by an old man who recognises her and lets her in. The man’s name is Raphael and he asks her if she is still with Military Intelligence. She says “not any more” and then in turn asks him if he is still making bombs. He shakes his head, saying that he has not done so since Diana and Steve Trevor had managed to get him a parole.

He asks her why she is interested in his old career and she replies that she needs the kind of help only he can provide. He leads her to a desk on which lies some jewellery. He says she must be after his gas-bomb pearls and grenade earrings. Diana tells him that these are exactly what she is looking for and he shows her his latest creation – a charm bracelet that becomes a grappling hook and line.

Having equipped herself with these new gadgets, she returns to her apartment where I Ching is still working on the captured girl. She asks if he is making progress and he replies that that he is at a critical stage. As the girl moans fitfully in her semi-consciousness, he asks her gently where Dr. Cyber’s hideout is. She murmurs that there is a hidden submarine pen under the river bridge, which they can take to Cyber’s undersea fortress. An ecstatic Diana is amazed and he tells her to prepare for their journey immediately.

She dons a pair of thigh length boots, remembering her old Wonder Woman costume that she would normally have donned when preparing for combat. It seems like ages since she was fighting crime in her red blue and gold Amazon costume…ages since she had nothing to fear…ages since she was tireless and nearly invulnerable! As they make their way to the river location she wonders whether she has traded too much for her humanity.

They arrive at the shed and stepping cautiously inside they find the submarine pen just as the girl had told them. Several miniature subs are moored at the jetty and they realise that Cyber obviously has incredible resources. They make the girl show them how to operate one of the subs and are soon slipping through the waters of the river towards the open ocean.

After half an hour or so they approach a domed city on the sea bed and I Ching warns Diana that she must be alert as their enemy is ruthless and will stop at nothing to destroy them. Diana replies that she knows this fact – and is scared! He instructs her to put her fear to one side as their cause is the cause of Mankind.

Meanwhile inside Cyber’s hideout, the villainess is showing a relaxed Tim Trench around the complex. All the consoles are operated by girls and he asks Cyber what they are doing. She replies that they are monitoring all radio and television networks as she has transmitting stations in every capital city. Her empire is far flung and she can contact any part of it instantly. He asks what all this is for and she replies that at the moment it is purely for profit..but eventually for conquest! Soon she will be powerful enough to topple whole governments. Cyber has made world domination her goal and soon all its treasures will be hers. He tells her that she is a long way from the cheap hoods he usually tangles with and she smiles, replying that she takes that as a compliment.

He then asks what she has in store for him and she calmly replies “Death of course” as he already knows far too much. It is almost a pity as even though he is a mere man, he might have been of use to her. At that moment one of her aides rushes in and passes her a message from Bjorland. She reads it and smiles, raising her glass towards Tim and saying that he should join her in a toast to her greatest exploit.

Suddenly though warning sirens go off and the tannoy blares that there are intruders in the airlock. Bringing an image up on a nearby screen, they see Diana and I Ching racing down a corridor. Cyber smiles and tells Tim that they have come to rescue him just as she had planned. She instructs a guard to watch over the detective while she attends to their companions. As Cyber leaves the room the girl points her machine gun at Tim and warns him not to try anything. He smiles back and assures he would not dream of escaping before adding “why, you’re so pretty even that mouse likes you.” She says that she will not be distracted and he casually responds “who’s distracting? I think the mouse’s cute nibbling at your heels”. This proves too much for the girl who momentarily looks down and Trench seizes his opportunity clouting her unconscious. He quickly grabs her weapon and races to join where Diana and I Ching are battling Cyber’s hoods.

He joins the fight just in time to prevent a girl sneaking up behind the battling Diana, intent on slugging her. As more hoods race down the corridor towards them Tim suggests that make their escape in the sub. But they find their way blocked by Cyber and even more guards. Tim raises his weapon and opens fire. Diana fears he is going to kill their enemies but he uses the bullets to damage the air supply in the complex. An enraged Cyber tells Diana that if she agrees to join them she will let the others escape – otherwise her guards will open fire. Diana of course refuses and Cyber’s hoods unleash a hail of gunfire down the corridor. The three heroes manage to dive for cover as bullets ricochet around them.

A smiling Cyber then yells that Diana only has minutes to regret her decision. She then presses a button and a bulkhead door slams shut sealing them inside the chamber. Through a tannoy, she tells the trapped threesome that the air is quickly running out and while she makes her escape, they will be left to die here. She adds that before she departs she will press one further button – one which activates a small nuclear charge buried beneath the complex – timed to detonate in fifteen minutes.

As Cyber and her gang begin to make their escape in subs from the doomed complex, Diana spits that the villainess makes her ashamed to be a woman. I Ching tells her to control her anger until they have found a way of breeching the bulkhead. Tim adds that the bulkhead is solid steel and there is no way they can get through it. Diana however has other ideas and removing an earring, lobs it like a hand grenade, blowing apart the door! They race through the hole and I Ching tells them to follow him to airlock three. A skeptical Tim sarcastically asks if he intends for them to swim to the surface. But the chinese man explains that he had planted a post-hypnotic suggestion in the girl they had captured, instructing her not to leave without them. Sure enough as they race inside the airlock the girl is waiting for them in the sub. They zoom away from the complex just in time as the nuclear device goes off, completely destroying Cyber’s hideout.

Early next morning at Diana’s boutique, Tim is making a few phone calls to see if he can get a lead on Cyber’s whereabouts while Diana serves her first customers! As she makes a sale and watches the satisfied customers depart, Tim advises her that none of his informants have a clue where Cyber is. Diana reassures him that the villainess cannot stay hidden forever and asks him to help her put some posters up to brighten the decor. As she hands him one of the posters depicting mountains and a clear blue sky he suddenly recognises the name of the resort. Bjorland! He excitedly tells a bemused Diana that Cyber had referred to this place and they immediately make plans to depart to Europe. As he calls the airline to make their flight reservations though, Tim secretly thinks to himself that he should leave the other two at home but they might be useful – and he can always ditch them if necessary!

Within hours the trio are on board a commercial jet and are making their way to a small European country. They arrange a hire car and are soon driving through the beautiful countryside towards the resort of Bjorland. Trench tells Diana and Ching that he has booked them rooms at a ski hotel far enough out of town so as not to alert Cyber. By the time they arrive it is night fall and the tired trio make their way to their bedrooms. But Diana cannot sleep…not immediately…as she muses that she is becoming quite fond of Tim Trench. He is crusty but he is also strong and decisive…a man! At times he almost makes her forget about Steve…almost.

At 8am the following day the three heroes make their way into town, trying to blend in as just another group of tourists. Diana cannot imagine what Cyber wants in this place – it just seems too ordinary. It would certainly help to know what the villainess is planning. Tim replies that perhaps she is not plotting a crime at all – perhaps she has another use for Bjorland. Just then I Ching tells them both to be quiet for a moment. They look around and Diana tells the blind man she cannot see anything unusual. He replies that it is not what is here…but rather what is missing. He then explains that he can hear only adult voices…there are no children in this place!

Tim agrees that this is indeed a little strange and he decides to ask one of the locals about it. He grabs a man by the scruff of the neck and demands to know where all the children are. The man points behind Tim for the answer and they turn to see Cyber’s female goods pointing weapons at them. The smiling girls tell them that Cyber does not operate nurseries – the whole town belongs to Cyber! Instantly Diana springs into action and clouts the girls. As a fight ensues, Diana muses that she is never sure she can do a manoeuvres until she has actually done it. Karate…Judo…Kung-Fu…she has whatever skills she needs and is as effective as a person can be…without Amazon powers!

As more hoods arrive and the odds turn against them, the trio make a run for it down an alleyway. They clamber up onto a roof as a mob pursues them. Diana uses another of her grenades to block both ends of the alley way, trapping their attackers.

As they discuss how they find out what Cyber’s purpose with this town is, they hear the motors of a helicopter landing in a nearby street. They race to the where Cyber herself is disembarking from the craft. Tim draws his weapon and warns her not to move. She calmly advises him to put away his firearm – Diana Prince and I Ching are her enemies – not him! Diana warns him that she is up to something as the wily villainess lifts her hat and empties a pile of gem stones into a trinket box she holds. She tells Tim that this is just a tiny fraction of her weekly profit. All this and more could be his – if he joins her.

As she holds the gems in her hands, so that the sunlight catches them, glinting seductively before the detectives mesmerised eyes, she asks him for his answer. Will he join her? A worried Diana can see the expression on his face as Cyber demand that he proves his loyalty by killing his two friends.

TIm Trench pauses for a moment, then slowly raises his weapon and points it towards the horrified Diana and I Ching. He pulls the trigger and two shots ring out…