Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 236

General Info

Issue No:
236
On Sale Date:
July 1977
Cover Date:
October 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Armageddon Day

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Rich Buckler, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Not Stated
Editor:
Denny O'Neil

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Dr. McNider (Doctor Mid-Nite)
Villains:
Armageddon
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
General Blankenship, Etta Candy, Colonel Belushi
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Synopsis

Stunned by the death of her lover, Steve Trevor, even an Amazon Princess devoted to peace can sometimes break. Pressured to the brink of insanity she can contain herself no longer. She rages at the on looking soldiers, telling them that it was they that had done this – with their weapons, war and their need for confrontation.

She lunges towards the tank that had fired the deadly shell and swinging it around by its turret, throws it crashing into the ground. She continues to rage, saying that although it was the tank that had killed Steve, it had been fired by a man.

General Blankenship tries to placate the fuming and tearful Amazon, telling her that Steve had been like a son to him and that he knows what she is feeling. However, if she tries to harm his men he will have her shot! As she dares him to try, showing him her bracelets, doctor McNider suddenly cries out. He has found a faint pulse – Trevor is still alive!

Shortly afterwards at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Blankenship, Wonder Woman and McNider stand at Steve’s bedside, looking down at the unconscious creature. McNider explains that the same chemical which made him a monster is also keeping him alive. However, he will not survive another day unless they find the antidote to the toxin. His system is eating up so much energy that Steve will simply shrivel and die.

Once outside Steve’s room, Wonder Woman tells Blankenship and Colonel Belushi from Army Intelligence that she wants to help find the cure. Belushi replies, however, that after her outburst earlier on, Army Intelligence cannot allow her interference. As she listens incredulously, he tells her that they know that Steve had been captured by saboteurs operating under a man called Armageddon. But his intelligence team have been working too long on the Armageddon case to risk letting her foul it up! Warning her that she will face jail if she disobeys, he turns and leaves.

Once alone, McNider approaches Wonder Woman and calling her by the name Diana, tells her that he has information vital to Steve’s life. Puzzled how this intern knows her real name, she is amazed to see him transform into Doctor Mid-Nite before her very eyes. He tells her all about his recent confrontation with Armageddon. When he is finished, she asks him why he had not passed this information to Army Intelligence. He replies that he would have risked exposing his secret identity and that anyway, the case belongs to her.

She thanks him and boards her waiting invisible jet. In minutes she has arrived at the now abandoned power plant, disappointed that Armageddon has already left. As she wanders around the empty warehouse, she comes across an oddly shaped brass object. She is sure she has seen something like this before but as she tries to remember her thoughts are interrupted by a police message relayed to her telepathically by her robot plane. The Treasury Building is ablaze!

Quickly, she suspects arson and races to the scene. As fire trucks surround the blazing building, she lands on the roof and races down the stairwell, spinning her lasso to cause a vacuum and putting at the flames as she goes. She reaches the source of the fire, the printing room, and deduces that the ink supply has been substituted with Gasoline. But how was it ignited?

Just then she detects a vibration beneath her feet and realises that these are probably on the exact right frequency to set off a spontaneous combustion. She races outside and wrenching the pavement up, reveals a group of nazi saboteurs and a transmitter dish. As they try to make good their escape, she cuts off their exit and destroys the device too. Suddenly, she receives a powerful kick on her side sending her toppling to the floor. As she stares up at her attacker, she comes face to face with Armageddon!

He tells her that he normally remains aloof from violence, but she has forced him to choose involvement tonight. As he raises his booted feet once more, she dives out of the way, knowing that his kick has such a force that she must avoid it at all costs. He connects with a nearby car and to her astonishment, she watches it begin to vibrate, shaking so hard that it simply falls apart!

As she continues to dodge his kicks, he tells her that his ‘gift’ has been given to him by Germany in order to help destroy American economic and military might. She replies that he is talking in ‘slogans’ and that her indestructible bracelets can withstand the impact of his ‘super boots’. However, he unleashes a barrage of kicks against her and although she deflects each one with her bracelets, she suddenly sees that he has actually managed to crack one of them!

As per Aphrodite’s law, if the bracelets of submission are removed or shattered, an Amazon loses control over her own strength. And so, much to Armageddon’s amusement, she begins to run amok, destroying army vehicles in her way. As he makes good his escape, the raging Amazon Princess continues her path of destruction, and troops begin to move in on her. But as she prepares to attack them, she somehow manages to overcome her anger and stops her rampage. As Colonel Belushi of the intelligence unit arrives on the scene to arrest her, she jumps aboard her waiting jet and departs. To most of the soldiers watching , they are relieved she has gone!

Next morning at the War Department, Yeoman Prince is typing up some documents while Etta pours a coffee. Etta asks if there has been any more news on Steve and Diana replies that his condition remains unchanged. Her friend then says Diana needs cheering up and suggests she goes to see a movie. Diana replies that she would rather work but Etta persists and suggests taking a boat down the river. Suddenly, inspiration hits Diana and she rushes out of the office leaving Etta to assume that her friend is still upset about Steve.

However, Diana has taken the opportunity to transform into Wonder Woman and races to the river, having at last remembered where she had seen that oddly shaped brass object before, the one she had found at Armageddon’s hideout. It was a fishing rod brace from a yacht!

She dashes along the jetty, looking for a fishing chair with a missing brace amongst the various moored boats. Finally, her hunch proves right and she finds one. But as she steps aboard she is gassed unconscious by a waiting Armageddon. It was a trap all along!

When she finally comes to she finds herself bound with her own lasso sitting in the back of a parked truck. Armageddon sits beside her, using binoculars to survey the Arlington test range stretching out before them. He tells her she is just in time to see his final act of sabotage in America. He warns her that if she is even thinking of trying to escape, not only does he hold one end of the lasso but he also has the only existing antidote to Steve Trevor’s mutation. He then proudly shows her the test tube in his hand and she replies that presumably, if she tries to attack he will destroy the test tube, sentencing Trevor to death?

He tells her that today he is going to sabotage the top secret test flight of the American’s flying bomb, called a rocket. He intends to smash it with the device resting in the truck with them – a bigger version of the one used on the Treasury Building. Activating it, he gloats as he watches the soldiers guarding the device run around like frightened children, as the rocket begins to shake.

Suddenly though, Wonder Woman leaps into action throwing Armageddon out of the truck across the path of his device. He cries out, confused as to why the lasso has not held her and she replies that the lasso forces her to obey commands – but he had never actually given any!

She kicks the operator of the device, knocking him out and then turns the device so that it faces the interior of the truck. To the sound of twisting, reshaping metal, she leaps out of the truck just in time before it implodes!

She turns her attention to Armageddon, who is now making good his escape using a rocket propelled back pack. As she attempts to lasso him he drops the test tube containing the antidote forcing her to choose between capturing him or saving Steve’s life.

It is a choice that is simple for her and she uses her lasso to snare the antidote. As Armageddon gets away, she sheds a tear. She knows that Steve would have given anything to see the Nazi super villain captured, even his own life. But she loves him and that is a sacrifice she is simply not prepared to make.

Epilogue:

One day later, and a young woman reads a newspaper account of how Major Steve Trevor has made a full recovery. The accompanying photograph shows Steve with a Yeoman from Army Intelligence, named Diana Prince, smiling at his bedside.

The woman is horrified to learn that she may have committed treason by allowing a spy into Army Intelligence! This Yeoman Diana Prince is an Axis agent and she can prove it! How?

Because she is the real Diana Prince!