Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 186


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 186

General Info

Issue No:
186
On Sale Date:
November 1969
Cover Date:
January-February 1970
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Morgana The Witch!!

Creative Team

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

Characters

Main:
Diana Prince, I Ching
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Morgana
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Cathy Perkins, Tony Petrucci, Abbie, Millie, Henry
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Comments

With the main Dr Cyber storyline resolved (at least for now) and the brief return to Paradise Island over and done with, the story lines become increasingly mundane! With Diana no longer Wonder Woman out on patrol fighting crime and injustice, any “adventures” to be undertaken almost have to walk through the door of Diana’s boutique! And what does come her way are hardly worthy of a character who was once the greatest superheroine in the world.

Truly Diana had reached a low point (at least in my opinion at any rate!), though for some fans at the time (and indeed even today), this new “trendy” Wonder Woman and her more down to earth escapades was felt to be just what the character needed after the last few years of drift. She was, in their view, no longer a “frumpy heroine from the 40’s” but a “cool, hip, and with it chick” who truly reflected modern times i.e the 70’s.

It should be noted Morgana the Witch who appears in this issue was apparently a test to see whether the character was liked by readers, with the intention of potentially giving her a book of her own.

Synopsis

Diana smiles as I Ching enters the room. She introduces him to Mrs Petrucci and her son, Tony and Cathy Perkins and her parents. Diana tells the Chinese man that Cathy will be helping her in the Boutique from now on and I Ching replies that he is sorry to hear what had happened to her shop and the apartment above. They will need to find a place to sleep. Tony suggests that they have room in their place for Diana, Cathy and I Ching and they all agree to stay until they can repair Diana’s apartment.

The next morning a lawyer presenting the owner of the jewels that Diana had recovered pays her a visit and presents a sizable reward cheque. Over the next few weeks the sounds of sawing, drilling and hammering fill the neighbourhood as Diana and Cathy watch the new Boutique rise from the ashes of the old. When the work is finally complete Diana proudly shows off the new, improved shop to an impressed Tony.

A few nights later as Diana, Cathy and I Ching are eating their tea in Diana’s refurbished apartment above the shop, the Amazon Princess notices that the young girl is picking at her food. She asks Cathy what the matter is and the girl mumbles something about how, as Diana had helped her, she was wondering whether she might now be able to help Cathy’s friends too. Just then the door bell rings and Cathy rushes downstairs to let her friends Abbie and Millie in, who are carrying a box. Cathy introduces them to Diana and I Ching and for a few minutes the group sit awkwardly as Diana waits for one of them to speak up. She gently prompts them and at last Abbie opens the box lid to reveal a frog sitting inside.

Diana asks what the problem is with the frog and Abbie breaks down into floods of tears, saying that this is no frog – it is her boyfriend Henry! As Cathy and Millie move to console their sobbing friend they too break down and a confused Diana asks them to explain what on earth is going on! The girls are too distraught to respond and without warning the frog suddenly leaps out of the box and to Diana’s astonishment says “I suppose I’ll have to…”

The frog then begins to recount recent events. Henry had been browsing through an old book store when he had come across a particular volume about Black Magic and Conjuring Spirits. He had thought that while it was all hocus pocus, Abbie and her friends might find it a lark to try some of the old spells. He had duly purchased the book and later that night he and the girls had tried one of the spells. As Henry had spoken the ancient words nothing had seemed to happen at first. Then there had been a flash of light and a woman had appeared in front of them, introducing herself as Morgana the Witch!

The girls had become scared by the appearance of the woman and Henry had tried to exorcise her away. But the smiling Morgana, holding her black cat, decided she wanted to stay and used her magic to turn Henry into a frog! She had then warned the others that if they tried to stop her she would do the same to them before leaving to explore this new world.

On hearing the story, Diana and I Ching decide to help and the girls suggest they take Henry’s car and go back to the University where they had last seen the Witch. They climb aboard and race off down the street. Suddenly they hear a commotion and turning a corner they come across Morgana, surrounded by people playing instruments atop a pile of furniture looted from nearby shops and homes.

Diana decides she needs to put a stop to this farce at once and clambers up the pile towards where Morgana sits. The Witch instructs her faithful black cat to stop Diana and as the Amazon prepares herself she is surprised to see the cat change into a hawk which tears at her arm. Never-the-less she swats the bird away as it next turns into a mouse. She tries to karate chop it but it quickly changes again into a fly. A laughing Morgana calls her faithful cat back as Diana continues up. But as she makes a grab for Morgana the witch disappears before her eyes!

A thwarted Diana ponders her next move as I Ching tries to gain her attention. Suddenly they hear a scuffle break out and see a crowd of men fighting. Nearby a bank manager emerges from his bank throwing free money at passersby. Diana realises they have to stop Morgana before her mischievous spells ruin the city. They race down the street and spot Morgana looking into a shop window at toy animals. She waves her hand and turns the toys into real animals who race out onto the street!

Diana tries to stop the stampeding wildlife but is unsuccessful. Again, I Ching asks her to stop and listen to him but she dismisses him, saying she has a Witch to catch! Morgana laughs when she hears this and tells Diana she is going to teach her a lesson for being so impudent! She waves her hand again and uses her magic to freeze Ching and the girls in their tracks, leaving only Diana free to move. She then steps forward to confront Diana as the Amazon Princess readies herself for battle.

Diana tries a karate chop but Morgana easily dodges her and in response, grabs Diana’s head, hurling her towards the ground. But the Amazon uses her feet to clobber Morgana in the face before wrapping her legs around the witch’s neck to bring her crashing down. But she hears Morgana laugh nearby and realises she has been tricked and that this Morgana is a decoy!

A furious Diana looks up and swears she will get her hands on Morgana but once again the witch simply disappears before her eyes. The frustrated Diana clenches her fist in a rage and I Ching once more tires to speak with her. But before he can start they hear a crash from the next street. Peering around the corner they see that Morgana has now used her magic to make the men joust for her using their cars as horses! Diana sprints down the street towards the laughing Morgana and grabbing her around the neck from behind, tackles her to the ground! An annoyed Morgana gets to her feet and snaps that Diana will now feel her wrath!

She raises her hands and begins to utter a spell but I Ching walks over, raises his hand and calmly counteracts her spell with one of his own! A surprised Diana did not know the Chinese Man could do magic and he advises her that this is what he had been trying to tell her all along! I Ching then uses his magic to prevent Morgana from issuing any more spells here. Hearing that the Witch’s powers had been nullified, a defiant Diana moves to take down Morgana for good but the Witch clouts her, smiling that she does not need magic to fight Diana!

In turn, the Amazon Princess uses her booted foot to heft Morgana over her but as she confidently moves to pin her opponent down where she lies, Morgana uses her own foot to viscously kick Diana, sending her crashing backwards! Morgana gets to her feet and as I Ching raises his hand in defence she assures him that she has had enough of this place and will be leaving now. As she begins to disappear she remarks that she had never had the Chinese Man under her spell at any point and that he therefore could have acted sooner. He replies that he had not intervened because Diana had wanted to deal with Morgana her way.

Cathy, Abbie and Millie cry out for Morgana to undo her spell over Henry but the Witch fades from view. Abbie sobs her heart out, clutching the box with Henry inside. Diana comforts her and suggests they go back to her apartment and try to figure out what to do about Abbie’s boyfriend.

Some time later they all sit in her living room as I Ching tells them that he has now tried every spell he knows to change Henry back to human form but none of them has worked. In some ways Morgana’s magic must be stronger than his.

Suddenly Cathy has an idea and wonders whether the key to saving Henry lies in the old fairy tale. She tells Abbie to kiss the frog and her friend is at first a little hesitant. But Henry reminds her that this frog is her boyfriend and that is how she should think of it when kissing him. She leans down and kisses the little frog on the lips. There is a flash and Abbie is overjoyed to see a back to normal Henry standing before her. They kiss passionately as the others cheer.

Abbie thanks Diana for her help and the Amazon replies that it had been Cathy’s idea that had saved Henry. The girls and Henry depart, leaving Diana to stare scowling out of the window. I Ching senses the anger in her and asks what is wrong. She replies that Morgana had beaten her and she is not used to losing. I Ching responds “Well, as you Americans say…You can’t win them all!”

Meanwhile down in the street a figure hiding in the shadows looks up at the apartment window. The stranger recognises Diana as the one who had defeated them and vows that the next time, they will ensure the Amazon never does it again!