Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 306


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 306

General Info

Issue No:
306
On Sale Date:
April 1983
Cover Date:
August 1983
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Secrets and Suspicions!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jose Garcia Lopez, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Dan Mishkin
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Don Heck
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Nansi Hoolahan
Editor:
Ernie Colan

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor, Etta Candy
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Nikos Aegeus
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Senator Abernathy, Lisa Abernathy, Howard Kohler
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Comments

This issue sees the return of Wonder Woman’s foe from issue 299 and a lovely cover by the legendary Garcia Lopez whose artwork and colour guides for DC has defined the iconic image of the Amazon that most of the public are so familiar with. His depictions of Diana are seen everywhere, from Mugs and Tee-Shirts to Greetings Cards and Fridge Magnets and all manner of other Wonder Woman related merchandise.

Synopsis

High above the skies of Washington DC, Wonder Woman swoops down from her Invisible plane and using the air currents glides earthwards. As she descends, she sees the fully repaired Statue of Freedom back on top of the Capitol Dome after it fell during her battle with Circe’s Man beasts.

She still cannot understand what the Witch has against her but she does not have the time or the inclination to indulge her by tracking her down. She instead looks forward to a relaxing evening in her Diana Prince guise.

Having transformed her clothing, she enters the living room and is greeted by Etta and Senator Abernathy. The old man tells Diana that her roommate has been regaling him with stories about her wild and carefree college days. He hands her a freshly made cup of coffee she asks him whether he is still upset about the reports he is to be named to the Arms Control Post. He replies that the press have made a mistake and begins to get agitated. Diana asks him to calm down but he suddenly clutches at his chest and collapses to the floor. Diana tells Etta to call an ambulance while she administers CPR.

Diana begins to pump his chest and give mouth to mouth while Etta picks up the phone. But instead of summoning medical help she calls Steve Trevor. Diana hears this and demands to know what Etta is playing at. Her roommate replies that she is under strict orders to call Steve in the event that anything unusual happens to the Senator. Even before Diana can question the reason behind such an order, the wheels are set in motion in response to Etta’s call and shortly the street outside is filled with a flurry of military activity that would seem more appropriate on a battlefield.

As the medical team rush in and confirm that Abernathy is still breathing, Steve tells the watching Etta and Diana that they did a good job. Diana icily asks Steve what his involvement with this is all about when the Senator needed medical attention – not a commando team! He replies that the old man is getting the proper attention and the military’s own medical unit probably got here sooner than any private ambulance would have.

But Diana is not satisfied with that reply and asks again why an ex-Senator’s heart attack suddenly becomes a military operation? Steve replies that they have reason to believe that someone is after Abernathy and may even want him dead, hence the reason why he had asked Etta to keep tabs on him. Diana in turn responds that she is also his tenant and unlike Etta, she is also a Field Intelligence officer! Why didn’t he ask for her help? Steve says that she and Griggs had been busy working on the North African situation and he knew that Etta could do the job. He then adds that as long as he is a colonel and she is a major those sort of decisions are his to take!

Steve then departs with the medical team as they take Abernathy to the hospital. Diana muses to herself that Steve is holding something back as it is not like him to pull rank on her in the way he just did. Just then Etta interrupts her train of thought by saying that she had better track down Senator Abernathy’s daughter. Diana replies that she had thought that the Television Reporter was still in Europe but Etta says she is supposed to be flying into Washington tonight. Diana tells Etta to do what she can to contact her while she goes outside for some fresh air.

As she walks down the street she feels rankled by Steve’s behavior, especially as she had thought they were getting much closer. She decides that perhaps he will be a little more forthright with Wonder Woman. With that she slips down an alleyway and transforms into her costume. Shortly she is airbourne in her robot plane and follows from above the convoy of military cars escorting the ambulance. She thinks to herself that this entourage just for one sick old man seems excessive. Just then she notices ahead that a petrol tanker is pulling out across the road, blocking the way. The convoy screeches to a halt and Steve gets out, running to the Ambulance in front. He tells the driver to turn the vehicle around swiftly and get out of here escorted by one of the other cars.

Above, Wonder Woman steps out onto the wing of her plane, sensing trouble. As if to confirm her instincts, gunfire breaks out and Steve dives for cover. He yells again at the ambulance crew to get away from here. With a screech of tyres the vehicle reverses in order to turn back, but an armed thug appears from nowhere and opens the driver’s door before he can pull away and orders him to freeze.

Suddenly a red, blue and gold blur descends from the sky and knocks the gun out of his hand, before flipping him over onto the ground. One of the nearby guards pulls out his gun and tells Wonder Woman that he has this thug covered. She then turns away to see if she can be of any assistance elsewhere. She dashes over to where Steve and another guard crouches behind their car. Steve tells her he is glad to see her and asks whether she can put an end to this before somebody gets killed? She responds by leaping onto the roof of the car and bounds into the air, riding an air current.

The other armed thugs see her approach and open fire on the “open target”. But the Amazing Amazon deflects the hail of bullets with her bracelets and lands in the middle of the gang. In a blur of fists she floors them all and in a few seconds has them bound on the floor with her magic lasso.

Steve and the others walk over and congratulate for avoiding any bloodshed. She uses the power of her lasso to ask them where they had obtained the Russian Assault rifles they had been using? But she feels a hand on her shoulder and Steve says that this might not be a good idea. He adds that while he appreciates her help, he does not want to see these guys play true confessions out here in the open. It is better of everyone if they hold off questioning them. She reluctantly agrees and thinks to herself that Steve is still hiding something from her.

The remainder of the night brings no further violence and no answers to Wonder Woman’s many questions. And so the following day at the Walter Reed Hospital Diana, now in her civilian guise, stands by Abernathy’s bed talking with Lisa Abernathy, the old man’s daughter, together with a man called Howard Kohler who had been her father’s chief aide when he had chaired the Foreign Relations Committee. Howard tells Diana that he is now in ‘Intelligence’ although he is sure she can appreciate he cannot be anymore specific than that.

Just then Steve enters the room and is surprised to see standing Diana there. She asks if her presence is something he did not want to see but he replies that he simply wants to question the Senator, if Lisa will permit it. Diana begins to protest that the old man is barely conscious but Lisa tells her it is all right and adds that Steve had already called to say he was stopping by. She then asks if she can first have a moment alone with her father and Steve agrees. He and Diana step out of the room and while they wait alone in the corridor, Steve says to her that there had been something she had been wanting to talk to him about since she had returned from her leave of absence. Now seems as good a time as any for them to talk. She in turn thinks to herself that his timing could not have been worse! She had been ready to share a part of her life with Steve that she has never divulged to a normal mortal before. But the way he has been acting recently she is not sure it was ever a good idea! She therefore tells him to forget about it for now and suggests he checks to see if Lisa is ready for them yet.

Shortly they are standing alone at the Senator’s bedside. Steve asks the barely conscious old man if he knows who wants to harm him? Abernathy groggily replies “No..it was…years ago…” and Steve presses the matter, asking if it has something to do with that period five years ago? “Come on Senator,” he pleads, “you’ve got to help me! I’ve got to know!” Diana grabs him by the shoulder and tells him to stop and leave the poor man alone. He is surprised by the firmness of her grip and puts it down to the fact that she is obviously angry with him for pushing too hard. He tells her they are not going to accomplish anything here at the moment and that they should return to the office.

Soon they are riding in a staff car and Steve tells the driver to drop him off at the Capitol and then take Major Prince to the Pentagon. Distracted, she thanks him in advance and ponders how she could have been so wrong about Steve. He is not the man she thought she knew at all

Steve tries to make conversation by asking whether she had seen the fight Wonder Woman had had here recently but she is in no mood for chit chat and suddenly explodes, turning to him and telling him bluntly that she was shocked by the way he had treated Senator Abernathy with such callousness and total lack of compassion! Steve replies that of course he cares about the Senator but he cares a lot more about her! He then orders the driver to pull over and he and Diana get out. She asks him what he means and he says that he cares enough about her to protect her from the truth. As they stroll along the walkway he explains that her kindly old landlord is a traitor to his country! She cannot believe it but Steve continues that he had passed strategic information to the Russians that sabotaged secret arms talks that had taken months to arrange. Shocked, she asks why he would have done such a thing and Steve replies that he could not really blame the Senator because his wife was dying and the Russians convinced him that their doctors had perfected a radical new cure. He would have done anything to help her and he mistakenly believed that the data he provided was not all that critical. That’s why it was kept quiet when he agreed simply to resign his senate seat. Steve rests a comforting hand on the sad Diana’s shoulder adding that that’s why he had not told her before. He did not want her to have to know that this sweet old man she was so fond of had done such a dangerous and stupid thing. She tells Steve he should have explained to her earlier and that now she feels so foolish for doubting him so much. Then smiling, she adds that she also does not need to be protected by a big, strong colonel – but his heart was certainly in the right place.

She leans forward and gives him a kiss on the cheek saying “You old softie!”. Blushing, he says there is a rule about officers kissing in public and then adds that he is glad she is no longer mad at him! He then tells her he has to take care of business and find out why Abernathy has suddenly become a target. He says good-bye and walks up the steps of the Capitol as Diana turns to walk off towards the Pentagon Building. She chides herself for being so quick to judge Steve and wonders if it is still because she has doubts about revealing her secrets to him? Perhaps she should tell him right now?

She turns to look back up the steps and suddenly sees a blade looming from the shadows. Too late she cries out a warning to Steve. But the Air Force Colonel already finds himself face to face with Aegeus, who proceeds to stab him in the shoulder with a dagger. As Steve falls to the ground, Aegeus grabs him by his tie and looming over him, tells Steve that he will pay for the humiliation he and his Amazon Woman caused him in the past!

“I will never be humbled again” he declares, “not by a dead man!”