Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 232

General Info

Issue No:
232
On Sale Date:
March 1977
Cover Date:
June 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
A Duel of Gods

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Michael Nasser, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Martin Pasko (based on a story by Alan Brennert)
Penciller:
Michael Nasser
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Liz Berube
Editor:
Denny O'Neil

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor
Heroes:
Sandman, The Atom, Starman, Mr. Terrific, Johnny Thunder
Villains:
Osira
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Synopsis

Continuing on directly from the previous issue, Osira releases the now unconscious Wonder Woman from her Pyramid encasement and orders her guards to carry the Amazon Princess to a specially prepared cell.

The entranced Steve watches, and asks the Egyptian Goddess what she intends to do with her. Osira in turn asks him whether he really cares, and although he feels that he should do, Steve admits that in fact he cares nothing for Wonder Woman’s fate. She assures him that he will soon grow accustomed to these feelings as the possession takes hold of him fully. But in order to satisfy his curiosity, Osira informs him that until she is ready to execute Wonder Woman, she will be imprisoned in a special glass Pyramid, identical to the ones currently surrounding the captured members of the JSA.

Meanwhile, the guards have dutifully laid the motionless form of the Amazon Princess on the cell floor, sealing the Pyramid behind them. One of the men sees that she still has her lasso beside her and asks the other guard if that is a wise thing to do. He assures his colleague that it is irrelevant because the Pyramid walls are impenetrable.

However, Wonder Woman has already come to and hears the conversation. When she is sure they have gone, she gets to her feet and attempts to break through the cell wall. But the guard’s statement is confirmed and she fails to break through.

Realising that it must be made of some alien material brought from Osira’s own world, she decides that further efforts to break through the wall will be wasted – therefore she decides to go underneath it. Using the lasso, she wraps herself in it very tightly and attaches one end to the window bars.

Then, executing a super fast pirouette, she sends herself spinning around in a circular pattern. Her spiked heeled boots begin to cut through the earthen floor, gouging a deep trench. Eventually she disappears below the surface and burrowing beneath the cell walls, she bursts through the floor outside to freedom!

Back in the throne room, Steve asks Osira who she really is and the Egyptian woman recounts the same story she has to given to Wonder Woman earlier on.

Elsewhere, Wonder Woman races through a corridor wondering why, if Osira wants her dead so much, she has been taking so long to kill her. As she catches up with the two guards and clouts their heads together, she continues to ponder whether Osira cannot kill her because she has depleted her energy and needs time to recharge.

Presently, she finds herself outside the throne room, and overhears Steve asking what Osira wants with him? Osira points to a stone carving of her ancient lover, Hefnakhti and points out Steve’s exact likeness to him. As she caresses the carving, she sheds a tear when remembering how Hefnakhti had expended more energy than she had during the time they had burst free from the tomb so long ago. Consequently, he had no reserves left to sustain him through the centuries and so while she slept on – he died.

With that, Osira raises her hand and begins to form a pyramid over Steve’s head. As her ministrations take hold, he tells her that he, as Hefnakhti has returned!

Suddenly, a golden rope appears from nowhere and lassos the stone carving. Wonder Woman pulls the carving off its plinth and smashes it with a double fisted blow, telling Osira that this is what she thinks of her Hefnakhti and what he has done to the man that she loves.

Instantly, Osira raises her protective Pyramid force field and tells Wonder Woman that now is the hour of her death. The Amazon Princess retorts that Osira should “Give it a rest!” and promptly dents the force field with a punch. The panic stricken Egyptian Goddess unleashes a searing blast of energy which Wonder Woman just manages to avoid, before taking the opportunity to punch through the force field and hit the weakening Osira’s face.

Just then though, Steve lunges at the Amazing Amazon trying to tackle her to the ground. In self defense, she is forced to knock him out and as she does so, sees that Osira seems to be concentrating to put all her will power into her next blast, in order to finish Wonder Woman off.

Taking a chance, she lifts Steve’s unconscious body up, shielding herself and hoping that Osira will not dare fire on her ‘lover’. At the last moment however, Osira diverts her blast towards where the JSA members are imprisoned, and Wonder Woman fears that she has killed them instead!

However, Osira merely shatters the glass pyramids holding them and using her hypnotic powers, orders them all to attack Wonder Woman! The Amazon Princess is furious that Osira, who obviously no longer has the resources to kill her, is using Diana’s own friends to do the job for her. How can she bring herself to battle them?

Fighting back tears of frustration, she lassos a column supporting the ceiling and dislodges it, sending the roof crashing down behind her as she rushes out of the throne room with Steve in her arms. Although she knows that some of her JSA friends may get hurt, she also knows they must be stopped because the fate of the Earth depends on it!

Racing outside of the Pyramid, she finds herself unable to summon her invisible jet and presumes that Osira has hidden it. She knows however that she must put some distance between herself and the others and with a mighty toss, sends her infinitely elastic lariat snaking through the air for miles, until it reaches Giza and snares the great Sphinx. Allowing her lasso to contract, she pulls herself and Steve in seconds to the same location.

Suddenly though, she sees Starman, flying under the power of his gravity rod, drop from the skies pulling Atom and Mr. Terrific behind him…

Back in Osira’s wrecked temple, the remaining two JSA members, Johnny Thunder and Sandman, are ordered to pursue Wonder Woman too. But they know that she will be far away by now and that they will never catch up with her on foot. Johnny has an idea though. He pronounces the Bahdnisian hex-words “Cei-U” (pronounced “say you”) and conjures up a strange genie-like being called Thunderbolt who always does Johnny’s bidding. “We need transportation…”

Many miles away meanwhile at the Sphinx, Starman cheers on Mr. Terrific, who uses his acrobatic skills to launch himself at Wonder Woman. But she grabs him in mid flight and hurls him into the base of the great monument. This enrages Atom who unleashes his comet punch into the back of an unprepared Amazon’s head.

Recovering quickly, she knows that they cannot resist Osira’s mental control and that reasoning with them is futile. She therefore removes her tiara and throws it at Atom, knocking him out.

But before she can even pause for breath, an arriving Sandman fires his sleeping gas gun at her. She quickly spins her lasso creating a fan effect and blowing the gas away. She then snares the gun and yanking it from his hand, crushes it with her boot.

Next instant, she becomes aware of a massive shadow looming over her and looking up, sees the mighty Sphinx hovering over her, held aloft by Starman’s gravity rod. As he prepares to drop it on her she loops her lasso around the monument and moves it towards where he stands. Seeing that he is the one now under threat, he uses his gravity rod to obliterate the Sphinx into pieces!

As Wonder Woman begins to overcome her opponent, a watching Johnny Thunder orders his Thunderbolt to do something about it. The Thunderbolt replies that Johnny cannot really want him to turn against a fellow member of the JSA, but Johnny is adamant and tells him to “Give Starman a hand!”. And so obligingly, the Thunderbolt promptly knocks Starman out with a one handed punch!

At last, Wonder Woman is free to lasso the final remaining member and orders Johnny to stay where he is and look after Steve. Just then though, Osira appears overhead with her strength having obviously returned and opens fire. Wonder Woman is sent crashing to the ground and tries to reason with the Egyptian Goddess, asking her if she had ever wondered what might happen if she somehow lost control over the Earth? Once freed from her thought control, the leaders of the Allied and Axis powers would resume their aggressions, thinking each other was responsible for some conspiracy to end the conflict unresolved. The fighting would simply escalate to such a level that not even Osira would be able to stop it. Wonder Woman then tells the Goddess that achieving peace through brainwashing is a worse kind of tyranny than Hitler’s!

As she is speaking though, the Amazing Amazon is slowly reaching behind her for Starman’s gravity rod. Without warning, she suddenly unleashes a burst of energy from it onto the unsuspecting Osira and neutralises the force field.

Wonder Woman walks over to where a sobbing Osira lays, defeated. The Egyptian woman explains to the Amazon Princess that she really did love earth and its people, and what they might have been. Wonder Woman asks her if the tables had been turned and she had been forced to love humans – would that have been true love?

Just then Steve appears, still possessed by Hefnakhti and tells Osira that Wonder Woman speaks wisely. He asks Osira to join him – in peace. As he grasps her hand there is a blinding light and her body disintegrates as her spirit joins her mate’s together for eternity.

Freed from his spell, Steve returns to normal, as do the JSA members. As the others leave to ensure that their colleagues have escaped from their moon trap (see last issue), Starman decides that he had better rebuild the Sphinx!

Soon, Wonder Woman and Steve are flying home in the invisible jet as the news breaks that around the world, war begins anew. She angrily tells Steve that she hopes “you men are satisfied!” that she has given them back their war. He retorts that Amazon or not, she is human and that she ‘fights’ and ‘feels’ just like anyone else. It is her war just as much as anyone’s.

As they fly off into the distance, she ponders for along while what link between Amazons and Mortals has brought her here to Man’s World – is it a common destiny or a common doom?