Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 234

General Info

Issue No:
234
On Sale Date:
May 1977
Cover Date:
August 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
And Death My Destiny!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jose Garcia-Lopez, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Joe Giella
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Liz Berube
Editor:
Denny O'Neil

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Captain Strung, Armageddon
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Freidreich
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Synopsis

As Wonder Woman still desperately struggles within the maw of the huge sea creature, Captain Strung congratulates Freidreich on serving the Fatherland so well, even for a Jew. He asks the frail old man how he had been able to summon such a leviathan even with his psychic abilities.

Freidreich replies that it was an accident and that when Strung had ordered him to summon the most overwhelming sea creature in the area, his mind had reached out and touched the thing in its lair. He curses himself for what he has done and is then violently admonished by the Nazi Commander, who tells him that the day he outlives his usefulness will be the day he and his pathetic children will die!

Meanwhile, back below the waves the valiant Amazon notices that the creature has begun slowing, its behavior become erratic. She suddenly realises that the great beast is suffering from the bends, after having risen to the surface of the ocean so quickly and then back again. She sees her chance and, hitting it in just the right spot in its mouth, causes it to alter its path and head up towards the surface again.

Directing the creature like a missile, she steers it straight towards the Nazi sub. When it hits, everyone on deck is thrown to the floor and Wonder Woman at last finds herself free from the creature’s mouth, taking the opportunity to gulp in fresh air again.

On board the sub, Strung panics and orders the torpedoes to be launched at the rampaging sea monster. They strike with a blinding explosion, causing the creature to roar in pain before vanishing into the depths once more. Unfortunately for Wonder Woman, she is also caught in the blast, losing her lasso in the process, enabling Strung to bring the floating body of the injured, unconscious Amazon Princess back on board.

This time, he decides he will not make the same mistake again and orders she remain with them until they return to Germany. That is, once they have finished their final mission!

At that moment, hundreds of miles away at an electrical power plant just outside Washington, a small truck enters through the unguarded gate and makes a sharp turn into an apparently empty warehouse. The doors open and the Nazi thugs escort their prisoner out of the van. Just then they turn to salute an approaching figure and at last Steve comes face to face with Armageddon! The Nazi super villain informs his captive that the American is now his puppet and slave!

A few hours later, and Wonder Woman finally recovers consciousness in a cabin on board the sub. As Freidreich looks on, she suddenly realises that her bracelets have been chained. Knowing that when chained by a man she loses her Amazon powers, she becomes enraged and turns on Freidreich who she suspects is responsible. The frail old man reassures her that he is as much a prisoner as she is. She slams her fists against the bulkhead, cursing herself for letting it happen, but Freidreich tries to persuade her that she was unconscious and helpless. There was nothing she could have done to stop it – but he, on the other hand, had been weak and had become their slave willingly.

He explains that he is a Jew and that the only reason they have not killed him and his children, who are currently being held in a German concentration camp, is because of the power he possesses. Somehow, he is able to control sea creatures with his mind and the Nazis have used this power to sink a dozen merchant ships. “My mind kills!” he moans. As he holds his hands in despair, cursing his lack of resistance because he does not want to see his children die, Wonder Woman finds herself wanting to comfort the tormented man…

The U-boat continues east through the North Atlantic, unable to dive but still capable of attack. Soon their sonar picks up a merchant convoy close by. Strung orders his men to bring Wonder Woman up on deck, so that she can watch the demonstration of his power and learn respect for the Nazis.

Soon, the Amazon Princess finds herself back on deck, still helpless in her bondage, and can only look on in frustration as Strung orders Freidreich at gunpoint to summon sharks. In minutes, around a hundred sharks converge upon on of the vessels in the convoy. Attacking in a pack, their sheer number forces the ship to rock, sending the crew plummeting into the shark infested water.

Unable to watch anymore, Wonder Woman leaps into action and barges Strung to the floor. As her guards open fire, she uses her chained bracelets to deflect the bullets until a bullet shatters one of the links. Free at last, she knocks them out and then summons her invisible plane. Leaping on board, she races to where the stranded merchant crewmen are and leaps down onto the back of one of the sharks. However, as she rides it like a steer, she realises she may have committed suicide when she sees it is a Great White! She knows that even if she can rout this monster, she will never survive a struggle against all the other sharks!

Suddenly though, the Great White turns on one of the other sharks and she deduces that Freidreich’s mental control may have overloaded its brain. She uses the knowledge to confuse the other sharks and causes them to turn on each other. In the ensuing bloodbath, she uses the distraction to lead the surviving merchant crewmen to safety. With the U-boat gone, she decides to take matters into her own hands…

Back at the warehouse, Steve Trevor begins to recover from a brutal beating. His mouth is crusted from heat and hunger and his mind spins with fever. Pushed to the limits of his endurance, he finally snaps when a Nazi guard arrives to take him away for another round of interrogation. Using a conveniently discarded toolbox close to hand, he suddenly turns on the Nazi and knocks him out. He then rushes out of the room and even in his state of semi consciousness, manages to find a way out of the warehouse to freedom!

But all is not as it seems when Armageddon arrives at Steve’s cell to congratulate the guard, who rubs his aching head. Steve, it appears, was supposed to have escaped!

The next morning the Nazi U-boat approaches a British Naval Base near Land’s End. Strung tells Freidreich that there will be “no errors” this time. Once more, Freidreich is forced to uses his powers against his will, summoning thousands of different fish to enter the harbour and strike at the moored vessels. Captain Strung watches the carnage, crowing how he will be remembered as the man who challenged a third of the vaunted Royal Navy, smashing it beyond salvage!

Suddenly, Wonder Woman arrives in her invisible jet and as Freidreich looks up, he sees she has rescued his children. As Strung orders his men to shoot them, Wonder Woman leaps out and effortlessly deflects the gunfire. Next, she slams her foot down on the deck with such force that they are sent flying into the sea. She then turns her attention to Strung.

The Nazi has a card up his sleeve though and produces her magic lasso, which he had managed to recover from the water. She knows that she cannot afford to let him capture her again and prepares to do everything to avoid being ensnared in the golden rope. But before Strung even gets the chance, Freidreich decides it is time for him to do something and summons the leviathan again. The creature has been trailing the U-boat relentlessly, despite wounds which have drained it of barrels of blood and despite pain which would reduce a lesser being to madness. Now, summoned by Freidreich’s call, it has come to claim its revenge!

It crashes down on the sub, sweeping the deck clean and barely missing the diving Wonder Woman. It sinks back down into the depths, taking the destroyed U-boat, Strung and Freidreich with it.

As the sea regains its calm, the Freidreich’s children ask Wonder Woman if their father is dead. She sadly confirms their fears, telling them that although he may have been a weak man, he was not an evil one. In the end he died a man of courage because when all is said and done, a man is his own judge.

And for a weak man with a will for good – his own judgment may be the harshest of all…