Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 304

General Info

Issue No:
304
On Sale Date:
February 1983
Cover Date:
June 1983
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Polaris Means Peril!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Gil Kane, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Dan Mishkin
Penciller:
Gene Colan
Inker:
Frank McLaughlin
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Ernie Colan

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, General Darnell
Heroes:
Green Lantern
Villains:
Doctor Polaris
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Major Keith Griggs
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Synopsis

As the two jets approach each other just seconds away from a midair collision, Wonder Woman knows she has only one shot at saving Steve and Keith. She swiftly unhooks her golden lasso and loops it around the tail of Keith’s fighter craft. Then, with a Herculean tug, the Amazing Amazon performs the impossible and yanks it off course, just narrowly avoiding Steve’s jet. She hopes Keith is smart enough to get out of range of Polaris’s magnetic power before he loses control again.

But while one pilot streaks away to safety, another is still held in the grip of magnetic manipulation! Steve keeps a level head even as his jet corkscrews through the sky. He decides the best course of action, though dangerous, is to eject out of the plane – sideways! He manages to avoid breaking his arms in the process but unfortunately looses his chute in the maneuver. He begins to plummet downwards, thinking to himself “oh well, out of the frying pan and into…” but before he can finish his train of thought a red, blue and gold streak appears from nowhere and catches him in her arms!

Using the air currents Wonder Woman glides down to the ground as Steve thanks her and says he was counting on her doing that! She jokingly responds that he will be asking for a discount on bulk rescues next!!! Privately though, she thinks to herself that she is grateful he places such trust in her.

Just then she notices out of the corner of her eye a piece of Steve’s plane spiraling down towards them. She throws Steve out of the way as the wing fragment imbeds into the ground where he had been standing seconds earlier. Standing on another floating fragment, Polaris bellows down to them that Wonder Woman need not fight him. He only wants Green Lantern who had trapped him in the Earth’s magnetic field. Now he wants his revenge! Wonder Woman replies that even if she wanted to let Polaris get away, it would not do him any good. She continues that Green Lantern is off in space on an extended mission.

Polaris does not believe her though and swears that he will “smoke that coward out of whatever hole her tries to hide himself in!” If he really is out in space as she claims, he will find a way to make him come back to get what he deserves. He then raises an arm and points to the remainder of Steve’s plane floating nearby, blasting it apart! He tells them that to consider it a warning if they survive it! Wonder Woman orders Steve to stand behind her as a shower of deadly metal shards approaches them. She uses her skills to defect the debris with her bracelets as an impressed Steve watches in safety behind his human shield.

When the lethal hail finally abates they find that Polaris has vanished. Wonder Woman assumes her has gone off to track down Green Lantern but she thinks to herself he will be sorely disappointed. However, as she and Steve climb into her robot plane to return home, she tells him that she is still worried about what Polaris might try once he finds out that his nemesis is really out of reach. Shortly they touch down at the airbase and are greeted by Griggs who has landed safely. Keith tells that once he had broken free of the magnetic hold, he had taken the opportunity discreetly track of Polaris using the North Star system. He suddenly stops short though and asks Steve whether Wonder Woman is cleared to hear classified information. Steve assures him that what he hears, she can hears! Griggs apologies to the Amazon Princess and then continues that he had adjusted the top secret North Star navigation system to track the unique magnetic profile of Polaris. It appears that the villain was headed straight for the North Pole.

He then adds that he had radioed Major Prince back at the control centre for assistance but had received no reply. Steve says that does not sound like Diana and they both race off, assuming she is in trouble. Wonder Woman takes that as her cue to leave and ducking behind a wall, transforms into her civilian identity. She then snaps her fingers and sends her plane away, making it appear as if Wonder Woman has left the scene. She swiftly enters the control room by the back door just in time as Steve and Keith burst in. They find her crouching on the floor, apparently in distress and Steve rushes over. He asks if she is all right and she replies that when their radios went dead there was some kind of static feedback which had knocked her of her chair. Steve suggests it must have been a result of the magnetic disruption caused by Doctor Polaris’s return to human form.

He then says that they are going to take her to the doctor to check her over, after which he will be sending her home for the rest of the day as he and Griggs can handle things. She agrees, privately thinking to herself that under other circumstances she would have chided him for being over protective. But she knows that it will give her the opportunity to go after Polaris as Wonder Woman without worrying about her Diana Prince guise.

Later on at the Pentagon, General Darnell’s thanks Wonder Woman for joining them as Steve debriefs him on the events earlier. The General continues that the danger unfortunately is far from over as Polaris has issued an ultimatum to the effect that Green Lantern must fight him. Failure to comply will result in him magnetically shifting the axis of the Earth, which would result in cataclysmic effects such as Earthquakes and Tidal Waves. Darnell finds it hard to believe that the villain would take such drastic action simply to get revenge against a single man, but they know so little about Polaris that they cannot even be sure he has the power to carry out his threat. Wonder Woman replies that the Justice League records show he does. He has got a Polar Fortress and Laboratory that might very well contain the machinery needed to channel his power into such a massive undertaking. However, the fortress is virtually impregnable and will be especially tough to crack when Polaris will be expecting an assault. Etta says that it sounds as if they will have to lure him out, but only Green Lantern could do that. Steve replies that unfortunately they do not have Green Lantern – and just as suddenly adds “or do we?”.

Several hours later above the snowy wastes of the North Pole, a pair of heroes soar through the sky towards the lair of Polaris. One of these figures if the Amazon champion known as Wonder Woman. The other appears to be Green Lantern – but in fact it is Colonel Steve Trevor dressed as GL, attached to a rope that hangs beneath the invisible plane so as to make it seem as if he is flying through the air. Steve says to Wonder Woman that the Amazon heat Balm she gave him is working like a charm as he cannot even feel the cold. She replies that the cold is the least of their worries and to be honest she does not know how she let herself be talked into this ruse in the first place. He tells her that it was their best shot and anyway, it is time she disappeared so that Polaris does not see her.

He then calls out to the villain, taunting him to come out and face him. Suddenly a giant metal hand bursts up from the ground preparing to grab the flying Steve. Up above out of view, Wonder Woman sees Steve needs her help but it is not time to show herself yet. She therefore orders her plane to climb and carry Steve up and away from the deadly reach of the hand. It responds to the command of its mistress instantly and Steve is whisked away just in time.

A grateful Steve hopes that Polaris is so blinded by anger he is still buying his ‘act’. He calls out again, daring Polaris to face him like a man. In response the villain launches forth from his fortress hideout riding a jet bike and vowing to put an end to Lantern’s taunts once and for all. Out of view, a watching Griggs dressed in snow gear, sees his chance and races to the doorway before it closes again. As he enters the fortress he hopes there are no hidden booby traps! He knows that Steve and Wonder Woman are on their own against Polaris and he does not for sure how long they can last against the maniac. No matter what happens to them though, his priority must be to find the Earth moving machinery.

Back outside meanwhile, Polaris chases ‘Green Lantern’ across the sky almost breathing down his neck. Steve hopes Wonder Woman is ready because once Polaris realises he has been deceived, Steve will be in big trouble! Polaris zooms past him and turns to face his foe for the “final reckoning”. At that moment though he also sees that it is not really Green Lantern at all, but before he can react Wonder Woman tackles him and sends him flying from his jet bike. He crashes into the snow below and getting up, curses the Amazon for luring him out of his fortress with a phony Green Lantern.

He continues that it will not do her any good – or has she forgotten the extent of his abilities? She casually replies that unless he has found a way to use his magnetic power on ice and snow, she really is not that worried. She cheekily adds that he could possibly throw his helmet at her but then his ears would get cold! And anyway, getting him out of his lair was not nearly as important as getting someone else in!

The next instant there is a huge explosion as Polaris’s equipment is destroyed in a large fireball. A horrified Polaris leaps onto his bike before Wonder Woman can react, intent on stopping the destruction of his fortress. She in turn curses herself for not being alert enough to spot that he had summoned his flying transport. She yells after him that it is over and to give up, but he responds that she will pay for this! He darts inside the cavernous hole in the ground at the same moment as Griggs emerges, his job done. Keith yells that the whole place is about to go up in flames and she grabs him and dives clear, just as a thunderous explosion levels the base!

Moments later Wonder Woman, Steve and Keith are on board her invisible plane and flying homewards, leaving the burning fires below to rage – a funeral pyre for Doctor Polaris.