Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 216

General Info

Issue No:
216
On Sale Date:
November 1974
Cover Date:
February - March 1975
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Paradise in Peril!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Nick Cardy
Writer:
Elliott S. Maggin
Penciller:
John Rosenberger
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Not Stated
Editor:
Julius Schwartz

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Aquaman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary
Villains:
Diogenes Diamandopoulos
Olympians:
Aphrodite
Amazons:
Hippolyta (Hippolyte)
Other:
Peter
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Synopsis

The first panel shows Bruce Wayne (Batman) speaking on the telephone to Black Canary, reminding her that she is due to report on Wonder Woman next ‘trial’ for the upcoming JLA meeting. She confirms that everything is in order but she would prefer to type the report up than to relate it verbally. We then see the story she has to tell…

Several months previously, billionaire shipping magnate Diogenes Diamandopoulos(!) is onboard his luxury yacht reviewing his list of goals he has always wanted to attain in life since he was a child.

Speaking to his faithful aide, Peter, he explains that he has completed the entire list except for the last item – to discover the secret why no man may set foot on Paradise Island! When Peter replies that it will be impossible because no one knows where the island is, Diogenes tells him that his special detection unit has already located its whereabouts, and Peter will be the one who steps ashore!

And so a few days later, a helicopter detaches itself from a private jet within sight of the Amazons’ homeland. Peter guides the chopper towards the main palace but as he approaches the helicopter disappears around him and he plummets towards the ground. Amazon guards inform the watching Queen Hippolyta that they have disintegrated the intruding craft and will catch the falling male in an air wave net, suspended above the ground.

Peter informs the queen that he brings greetings from his employer, Diogenes Diamandopoulos. She laughs at the fact that a man such as Diogenes, with power over other men’s’ minds, sends someone like Peter to extend his ‘petty dominion’ over the Amazons. She instructs the guards to jettison Peter back into the sea and contacts the nearest passing ship to pick him up out of the water.

Black Canary reads about the events in the paper the following day, and thinks that if the richest man in the world has vowed to conquer Wonder Woman’s homeland, then it may well turn into the Amazing Amazon’s next trial, so she gets on her motorcycle and heads off to New York to see what develops.

But as soon as Black Canary arrives in the city, she witnesses a bizarre robbery, as a large flying saucer like craft sucks a valuable statue up out of a nearby museum like some giant vacuum cleaner. Just as she prepares to spring into action, Wonder Woman appears, hanging from her invisible jet and giving chase. As Black Canary watches, she leaps onto the statue suspended beneath the craft and begins to climb up towards the cabin. The two occupants see this and, as per their instructions, let the sculpture go.

Wonder Woman plummets downwards with it but swiftly lassos the tail of the craft and halts the descent of both her and the sculpture. Then she instructs her invisible jet to position itself underneath her so that she can let the sculpture rest on the wing. That done, she is free to climb up her lasso towards the speeding craft. Bursting through the hatch, she confronts the two men who open fire on her, and down below the watching crowd here the gunshots, hoping that the Amazon has not been killed. Black Canary assures them that Wonder Woman is a ‘big girl’ and can take care of herself. True to form, the Amazon Princess disarms the crew and returns the statue to its rightful place. Crisis over!

Black Canary then continues to make her way to the UN Building, where Wonder Woman, in her other guise of Diana Prince, works. As she sets off, a figure in the crowd smiles to himself. It is Diogenes, who has staged the theft of the sculpture in order to plant tracer dust, with which it was secretly covered, on Wonder Woman, thus allowing him to trace her whereabouts…

Meanwhile, in an empty corridor of the UN Building, Wonder Woman is already transforming back into her ‘civilian’ attire as Diana Prince. Downstairs, Black Canary has also just arrived and once inside an elevator, removes her wig and changes out of her costume to make her own transformation into humble Dinah Lance. However, Diana knows Dinah Lance is also Black Canary, although she has never met her in person. Therefore, Dinah decides to use another name, ‘Shelley Ames’, so as not to arouse Diana’s suspicions that she is being ‘monitored’.

Posing as a reporter, she meets Diana in her office, pretending that she wishes to do an interview, But just as they settle down the shimmering shape of a man appears in the office and Diana hurriedly ushers ‘Shelley’ out.

Dinah has wanted to ascertain whether there was anything unusual going on – and she decides that the ghostly figure certainly counts! She realises she has to see what else is going on in Diana’s office and manages to slip out onto the ledge so that she can peer inside through the window.

She sees a holographic projection of Diogenes speaking to Diana. The Amazon Princess fears that he has discovered her secret identity but he explains that although she can see him, he cannot see her. He only knows that he is addressing Wonder Woman. He tells her that her homeland is in dire peril – from him! He recounts how he has always wanted to know what would happen if a man ever set foot on Paradise Island. One legend says that a huge tidal wave will engulf the island. Another suggests that Zeus himself will reign down thunderbolts to blast it to cinders. One way or another, he intends to find out the truth and he tells her that they need to decide a time and place to meet and discuss the matter further. He gives her 24 hours and warns that if she does not comply, he will invade Paradise Island with an army of men!

Far away in a secret projection room, Diogenes smiles to himself as the transmission finishes. He informs his men that he does not believe for one minute that Wonder Woman will try to contact him as instructed, but that this was not part of the plan anyway. He merely wants her to go to Paradise Island and for them to get there first!

Back in New York, Diana immediately transforms into Wonder Woman and boards her invisible jet, while back at street level, Dinah has donned her Black Canary outfit again and races off to call JLA Headquarters. As Wonder Woman urgently contacts her mother to warn her of the danger and to put operation ‘Hideaway’ into effect, Dinah is speaking to Batman who is manning the orbiting satellite of the Justice League. As per her instructions, he uses the Teleporter to whisk Dinah from New York to Paradise Island itself.

When she arrives, however, she finds the place deserted. She looks around the palace grounds and finds her way into the Hall of Knowledge. The building’s security system regognises her as a female and lets her through, where she discovers a TV screen supposedly depicting live events on the island. As she watches, the Amazons launch an attack on the approaching male invaders, who are using sophisticated machinery and weapons. Although the women fight valiantly, they seem hopelessly outclassed. Suddenly, Wonder Woman arrives and joins the battle, swiftly evening up the odds. With the machines downed, a group of men try to wade ashore and the Amazons intercept them before they can step onto land.

Black Canary watches worriedly at the battle, confused by the fact that she had seen no one else on the island and yet this was supposedly taking place right now! As she continues to look on, Wonder Woman suddenly departs, informing her mother that she is off to intercept Diogenes himself. Once she is gone, the men realise that the other Amazons are now also disappearing into thin air. Finally, as the fading Queen Hippolyta bids them farewell, the island itself disappears too, leaving the men dumbstruck.

Queen Hippolyta appears in the room next to a surprised Black Canary. The queen informs her that Wonder Woman had used her mental radio to plant thoughts that misdirected the army to a decoy island. She then proceeds to show Black Canary a recording from Amazon history, showing what really happens when a man sets foot on Paradise Island. It reveals that any Amazon seeing a man standing on their island will instantly fall hopelessly in love with him. So much so, in fact, that they begin to fight amongst each other until the peaceful and loving Amazons are reduced to barbarians. A startled Black Canary is even more amazed when the viewer switches back to a live ‘image’, showing the decoy island once again.

Diogenes himself, is running onto the shore, determined to find out what really happens. He feels cheated when nothing does – no fire or destruction. He then feels a hand on his shoulder and turns to see Wonder Woman who tells him that the ground he stands on is not, in fact, Paradise Island at all. He breaks down, informing her that his whole fascination with the Amazons was because he actually loved her from afar – the only woman beautiful enough, impressive enough and formidable enough for Diogenes Diamandopoulos! He wanted to impress her with his own power and strength without having to face her in person, in case he crumbled at her feet, hopelessly in love with her.

She shows him no pity, replying that he had hurled his unbridled power at an ancient civilization, threatened to destroy it in order to impress someone he claimed to ‘love’ and flaunted his petty male ego. Realising that she will never be able to understand his reasoning, she escorts him back to his boat…

Black Canary finally finishes typing her report of the previous events, but decides to remove one page before presenting it to her fellow Justice Leaguers. No man, she thinks to herself, not even those of the JLA, need know the consequences of a man setting foot on Paradise Island!