Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 233

General Info

Issue No:
233
On Sale Date:
April 1977
Cover Date:
July 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Sea Death

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Gray Morrow
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Jerry Serpe
Editor:
Denny O'Neil

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Captain Strung
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
General Blankenship, Freidreich
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Synopsis

The time is six minutes after midnight – the location is the Armour Munitions Factory in Alexandria. Wonder Woman has surprised a group of Nazi saboteurs after being alerted to their presence by their flashlights. As she lays into the men, they unleash a withering barrage of machine gun fire at her, but the Amazing Amazon easily deals with the multiple bullets, using her bracelets.

Seeing that their gunfire has no effect, the Nazis make a run for it but Wonder Woman leaps after them, knocking them out. She then uses her magic lasso to ensnare a straggler and begins to question him. She knows that there is no way that they could have entered the country and found the munitions factory without the aid of a traitor and demands to know the name. The captured Nazi replies that the traitor’s code name is ‘Armageddon’, but that his true name is a mystery to everyone.

Later, when the authorities have arrived to take the Nazi prisoners away, Wonder Woman confers with two US military officers about the spate of recent sabotage attempts. A Colonel tells her that a special army intelligence unit has been set up especially to ferret out the saboteurs and that they could really do with her help. She replies that she will be happy to help them starting tomorrow, because right now she has an important appointment to keep. With that, she boards her invisible jet and returns to Washington, where she transforms back into her Yeoman Prince guise ready to make her appointment.

She meets up with Major Steve Trevor, who has been depressed recently since he injured himself during a weapon test a few weeks ago. She knows he needs his friends right now and together they take a stroll through the nearby park.

Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean, a merchant ship called the “Newport” has become separated from the rest of the convoy and now flounders in the choppy seas. As the captain orders the engine room to give him a full head of steam, one of the other bridge officers spots something with his binoculars. As he lets out a cry, the captain takes a look for himself and sees three mammoth whales charging in formation through the waves, ready to crush anything in their path!

Unable to get out of their way, the “Newport” is stuck full on by the behemoths, sending the crew flying. As they plunge into the icy water, their burning vessel slips beneath the waves. A few moments later, a Nazi U-boat glides into view and at first the “Newport’s” crew think they have been rescued. But, as the U-boat commander, Captain Strung, congratulates himself on the success of his first experiment, he then orders his machine gunners to kill all the surviving crew members.

The gunfire seems to last an eternity but at last the terrible noise stops and the U-boat slips beneath the water. Of the ninety two men who had sailed aboard the “Newport”, ninety one are dead. However, one crew member survives long enough to be picked up later by a rescue ship.

The following morning, General Blankenship reads the crewman’s account and cannot believe his eyes. He tells Steve that the Germans seem to have developed a weapon of devastating potential, one that could determine the very outcome of the war. Steve replies that a B-29 had been sent out to the last known coordinates of the “Newport” to verify the story, and that the photographs proved the story was true.

Meanwhile, Diana listens secretly outside the office and decides that this is something she must investigate for herself. Quickly, she transforms into Wonder Woman and boarding her invisible jet, speeds off towards the coordinates Steve had mentioned. As she flies to her destination, she ponders on a new device that has recently been invented by the British. Called ‘Radar’, it enables the operator to see things at night or in fog. She muses whether it might also be able to see her invisible jet because if so, she faces the danger of being shot down by an over eager antiaircraft gunner!

However, her thoughts soon return to the task in hand as she arrives at the location of the sunken “Newport”. Suddenly, a school of flying fish leap out of the water to attack her robot plane! Wonder Woman manages to veer away from the crazed fish in time but in doing so, she clips the water with one of her wings. The force of the jolt sends her head crashing against the cockpit canopy and she falls down unconscious into the ocean.

When she eventually comes to, she finds to her horror that not only is she aboard the Nazi U-boat, but she has been bound and captured by Captain Strung. Gloating, he informs her that he has learned much from watching American newsreels and knows that when she is bound by a man using the golden lasso, she is powerless to disobey. As she kneels helplessly before him, he enjoys the moment telling her that this is how it should be, “The Aryan in control – the inferior in submission.”

He guesses that she has heard of the destruction of the “Newport” and has come to try and defeat the Nazis. She confirms his assumption, replying that if she does not stop them, then others will. Smiling at her resolve, he leads her to the torpedo room, where she is loaded into one of the tubes with an anchor tied around her neck. The door slams shut behind her and with a blast of compressed air, she is fired out into the inky blackness of the sea where she is supposed to sink to her death. But as soon as she is clear of the sub, the Amazing Amazon easily breaks the collar around her neck and releases herself from the lasso.

As she begins to snap off the sub’s periscope, she muses to herself that at first she had suspected that there might have been a connection between the sub and the saboteurs hitting Washington. However, having met Captain Strung, she now feels that he does not have the brains to coordinate such an operation.

Meanwhile inside the sub, water begins pouring through the hole wrenched in the sub’s roof by the removal of the periscope. Strung orders the flooding sub to surface immediately and when he is finally able to open the hatch he sees Wonder Woman standing on the deck, hands on hips. As he bellows orders to his men she leaps over the hand rail and clouts him unconscious. Her trained Amazon hearing alerts her to footfalls behind her and she turns to see some crew members appear from another hatchway, preparing to open fire on her.

Once more, she uses her bracelets to fend off a barrage of bullets, sending the resulting ricochets back at her attackers, wounding them. But just as she prepares to finish the battle, a sixth sense alerts her to a presence in the water. It moves beneath the sea like a tidal wave towards the U-boat and as she looks on in awe, a massive sea serpent suddenly rises up in front of her. Not since man first walked the earth has its like been seen – a creature so huge, so frightening that it deserves the name Leviathan. As it bellows with rage, the Nazi crewmen cry out in fear, but it has not come for them. Leaping over the sub, it scoops up Wonder Woman in its jaws and plunges back down into the depths of the ocean…

At the same moment back in Washington, Steve Trevor wakes from an afternoon nightmare and cries out “Princess, Don’t!”. Now wide awake, he remembers that he had been dreaming about Wonder Woman in some kind of danger. However, his thoughts are distracted by the sound of his window opening and spinning round, he sees Nazi thugs climbing through.

As they open fire, he manages to dive for cover and throws a nearby trash can at one of the advancing thugs. The others pursue Steve, crying out that he must not escape because Armageddon wants him alive. Steve recognises the code name for the leader of the saboteur ring and decides that he would be better off allowing these thugs to capture him, in order that he can get close to Armageddon himself.

He pretends to put up a struggle before finally falling to a clout from a rifle butt. The Nazis heft his unconscious form out to a waiting truck, intent on ensuring that to the rest of Washington, Steve has simply vanished off the face of the earth as if he had never been born!

Back out in the Atlantic, Captain Strung watches as the giant sea serpent careers through the water, still clasping the struggling Wonder Woman in its jaws. Another man appears from the hatchway by the name of Freidreich. Strung grasps the small, frightened man by the throat, asking him if he is grateful for being allowed to live, along with his “miserable children”. Freidreich nods helplessly and is then forced to watch what his own talents have accomplished – the control of all sea creatures.

The small, Jewish man cannot help let out an exclamation at the sight before him, and Strung viciously throws him to the deck, telling him that he will not tolerate Freidreich’s blasphemy.

Out to sea, the massive sea serpent has dived beneath the waves once more and Wonder Woman fights to hold open its huge mouth.

Her strongest blows have no effect on the creature, but she realises that she must defeat it, not only for her own survival, but for the survival of the world! If the Nazis can control beasts like this, they can win the war and enslave the whole world.

“In the name of womanhood, they must be stopped, ” she vows, “even if it means my life!”